Thursday, January 19, 2012

How Much Of A Master Photographer Are You?

How Much Of A Master Photographer Are You?

One very cool feature of our upcoming PhotoPro Expo is the "LIVE" juried print judging taking place on Thursday, February 2, 2012.

Master Photographer

I entered my first print judging way back in 1978 - I was just a babe back then :~) But, what a thrill it was to watch the images being judged and hear the judges comments.  It is one of the best learning experiences one can have in their professional careers. 

One Of The Best Learning Experiences Ever!

Time To LearnWhen you enter print competition, you set the bar higher on your own work.  You learn what you need to do to improve your work, make those improvements and score higher the next time around. The net benefit for you and your business is that by raising that bar on quality, your raise the quality bar for your clients work too.  You'll be amazed at how much better your delivered images look going out the door once you begin participating in Print Competition.

PhotoPro Epos's Print Completion has three components; 1 - the Actual Judging, 2 – the Clubhouse Print Lounge where you get the chance to bet on the judges scores maybe winning you some big bucks, and 3 - our Coach's Corner where you can get your images reviewed and critiqued by expert and successful image makers.

Enter The Juried Competition – Here’s How

I've discussed the actual print competition recently at DigitalProTalk [link].  You can also download all the details and rules right here. But the other cool thing we're doing this year is introducing our Digital Cafe Print Lounge where you can bet against the judges as to what the print score will be.

Be Part Of The Fun – Bet To Win!

Clubhouse Print LoungeWe are piping all the digital images into Clubhouse Print Lounge along with full audio of all the judges scores and comments.  You can buy into a "betting" round for only $10 and are allowed to select scores for 20 images. The person in that betting round with the most scores closest to the judges will split the pot - not bad.

This whole thing should be a "hoot". It was originally tried last year at  New Orleans Convention and went over like gangbusters.  To assure the success of our Print Lounge betting activities, my good friend, Ralph Romaguera and his wife Cindy, who were the originators and very instrumental in the success of New Orleans competition are flying up to be sure things go smoothly for us too.  You don’t want to miss the fun and it should be a "hoot"!

Coaches’ Corner – Critique and Review

Coach's CornerThe third component of our print competition is our Coach's Corner image review.  You do not have to enter the print competition to participate in our Coach's Corner. Any one attending PhotoPro Expo or even just visiting the Tradeshow Expo is welcomed to bring their images by for review.

All you need to do is show up with your portfolio of images. Your image portfolio can be comprised of loose prints at least 8x10 inches or larger, an album, or even presented on your iPad or laptop computer.

To participate in our Coach's Corner you'll need to drop LaDawn an email at so she can get you scheduled with one of our Master Image Makers and Coach for your personal critique. 

That’s it gang – join the FUN - it’s going to be a great time!  -David

Top 10 Most Viewed Posts For 2011

Good Morning Everybody,

With all the rushing around yesterday (Thursday) I forgot to see if this post went up. Soooo…. how about we get it up today. –David


As you know the first day from a big is always the busiest and that sure is true around here today.  Like I mentioned yesterday, we are “pedal to the medal” doing the last major push for my BIG convention in two weeks [link].

PhotoPro Expo picsIn spite of the craziness around here, I was up early this morning and reviewed ALL 520 posts from last year to see which posts were the most popular.  I really like putting these Top 10 lists together because it really shows me what our DPT readers enjoy the most.

Technique Tuesdays are always a big favorite but in looking over all last year’s posts, it looks like most folks really like the Business Day Thursday posts too.

Originally I was looking at the most commented posts of the year, but curiously enough, not many of our DPT readers spend much time commenting.  I still haven’t quite figured that out.  You would think with about 8,000 daily viewers a few more would leave a comment or two – I feel so unloved ;~)  Actually I think it comes down to the fact that we just have a lot of very quiet readers that just like absorbing the content – and that’s a good thing too.

So, that being said, let’s get right to today’s Top Ten list.

Top 10 Most Viewed Posts For 2011

Top 10 -21. 5 Flash/Camera Techniques To Improve Your Lighting [link]

2. A Huge Success! Digital Design, Now Easier Than Ever [link]

3. The Most Important Tool In Your Gear Bag [link]

4. 5 Of My All Time Favorite Wedding Images–Exposed At Last! [link]

5. Uncle Harry and Cousin Mary - Get Out Of My Way! [link]

6. You've got to come Back With the Shot [link]

7. Business Day Thursday: Engage With The Engaged [link]

8. Business Day Thursday: Make Yourself Famous Fast! [link]

9. After The Wedding: Sales flow/Workflow Part 7 – 10 Steps To Getting The Order Out The Door [link]

10. Business Day Thursday: Selling The Wendy’s Way [link]


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  I really hope you enjoy the read and re-reads – lot’s of good stuff there.  I’ve got to get back to my PhotoPro Expo plans so have a good one and I’ll see you on Monday.

Adios, David

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Into The Light"

Into The Light2

"Into The Light"
© David A. Ziser

I made this image during a flight home from New York a few years ago. We had to travel through Detroit which has completed a brand new airport - and, boy, is it a cool airport. Walking through the long corridor connecting two of the terminals was a kick and kind of reminiscent of the walk to the United terminal at O'Hare airport.

I managed to pull off this shot while there were not too many people in the scene. It was mid-day Saturday and travel traffic was down a bit for the weekend.

The challenge was timing the lights just right to get the beautiful rich colors I wanted to capture in the final image. I don't mind the slight blur of the travellers, in fact I think it adds a sense of motion to the scene. Anyway, I hope you like the urban landscape captured here.

Camera specs: Canon 40D Fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 18mm, F 3.5 @ 1/25 second, ISO 500. Enjoy! -David

100 Year Memory; Recover Data From Anything; My Interview With B&H; and More

Good Late Afternoon Everybody,

Imaging USA2We wrapped up the Imaging USA Convention yesterday making our rounds through the tradeshow one more time. In addition to all the frame and album manufactures, processing labs, my favorite booths to visit are the photo dealers like Midwest Photo Exchange and Dury's.  I've been a friend of both companies for many years and they both always have a great deal or two.  

Yesterday I picked up a SanDisk 32 gig compact flash card for only $89!  It amazes me how much the cost of media has dropped over the years. I can still remember about 10 years ago purchasing my first 1 gig flash card for, get this, $700!!!!!!

Brand New Memory Storage

SanDisk Memory Vault 2I'll tell you, one of the more interesting things I saw at the Dury's booth was the brand new SanDisk Memory Vault.  The SanDisk Memory Vault is nicely packaged flash memory that SanDisk says will archive anything, including photographs, for 100 years!  That's quite a claim, but if true we finally have a much safer way to store our valuable images other than the hard drive, DVD, or Blu-Ray alternatives. Definitely a very interring product to consider.

Data Recovery Solutions For Everything

Drive Savers - DAZ -DarrenOK, the SanDisk Memory Vault looks cool but what if it fails?  I also stopped by and talked with Darren at DriveSavers.  I've also been familiar with DriveSavers for a number of years and even used their services a several years ago to recover one of my hard drives.  Yes, they recovered all of my data and have a great reputation of doing just that.

What turned our conversation interesting was when Darren mentioned that they also recover data from dropped, drowned, or otherwise electronically neutered iPads and iPhones. That was news to me and I wanted to pass it along to you.  The bottom line is that Drive Savers can recover data from just about any device that can store data - a good thing to know.  You can get full details here.

The Biggest and Best and Most Fun In The Midwest!

PartiesWe just got back to Cincinnati, Ohio a few hours ago and went right to work gearing up for our upcoming PhotoPro Expo 2012

These next two weeks are the big "push" weeks leading up to the convention. As of last weekend, PhotoPro Expo 2012 is the largest photographic convention and exhibition in the Midwest! 

We should easily hit our goal of 700 attendees and tradeshow visitors.  That's great news to all the vendors at our sold out Expo Tradeshow too. I sure hope you'll plan to come by.

Check Out My Interview With B&H

B and H InsightsYep, I've been doing a lot of interviews the last week or two.  My interview at B&H Insights [link] just went “LIVE” It went a little long – what’s new :~) and they broke it into two parts.  You can catch Part 1 right here.

Here are 4 of the 11 questions I answer in that interview:

  • B&H: You’ve been doing this (wedding & portrait photography) for a long time. What are the three biggest changes or turning points in the W&P industry that you’ve seen over the span of your career?
  • B&H: Who inspired you in the past, and does anyone inspire you now?
  • B&H: What advice do you have for today's up-and-coming photographers who want to enter this very competitive field?
  • B&H: We know you are a W&P guy, but we see plenty of landscape and cityscape images on your blog, Digital Pro Talk. Is there a different thought process that goes into your making of personal images versus “business” images? Also, do you have a favorite place where you’ve taken photos?

Check it out right here, I think you'll enjoy the read.


Hey gang, I'm cutting it a bit short today since we've just got home and we need to tend to a few more things before the end of business day.  How about I see you tomorrow for a very special Business Day Thursday.

I'll see you then,  David

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Hobbit's Hidden Treasure"

0002-How Slow-IMG_2194-Edit-Edit

"Hobbit's Hidden Treasure"
©David A. Ziser

I captured this image while visiting Multnomah Falls a few years ago. It still remains one of my favorite images from that wonderful trip to the Columbia River Valley near Portland, Oregon. 

This image was also featured in a Technique Tuesday I did where I was discussing extremely slow hand-held shutter speeds. How slow – how about 1/3 second.  Yes, handheld.  You can catch that TTues episode right here. I love blurring flowing water and Multnomah Falls is the perfect place to do just that.

It was this motion blur together with the water's misty spray in the bright late morning sun which provided a hint of mystery to the shot. A tweak or two in Lightroom finished the image's treatment weaving the colors and textures into their artistic presentation.

Camera specs; Canon 5D Mark II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 24mm, F22 @ 1/3 second (handheld), ISO 50. Enjoy! -David

24 Hours Only! $129 For All Three Days, The Best Deal EVER on PhotoPro Expo!

Hey gang, I just got word that we are very close to selling out the room block at the Marriott Hotel for our upcoming PhotoPro Expo happing in two weeks. PhotoPro Expo is now officially the largest convention and tradeshow in the Midwest.

PhotoProExpo pics[4]

If you are a photographer, aspiring or pro, and want to have a great time learning from the top trainers, you need to be at this show.

Our tradeshow is totally sold out with the top vendors in the country being available to answer your questions and show you their latest merchandise or software.  Here is the list of all those exhibiting at our convention. OK, if you have read this far, I’ve got a little surprise for you. For the next 24 hours, if you use Promo Code PPE24HR, you can save $150 off the regular price of $279.  That’s right, you can attend the entire convention for only $129.  The Promo Code is starting right now! But won’t be available for long! You have only 24 hours or until 9:00 am EST to take advantage of this premium price!

Plan to stay for Jerry Ghionis’ program on Monday – your total cost  is only $229 – it truly doesn’t get any better than that!  That was our special Early Bird promo price way back in July.  I’m bringing it back for only 24 hours only so by tomorrow morning, this price goes up in smoke.  If you are even thinking in the slightest that you may come to the convention, this is the time to finalize you decision and nail down the best price ever!

Technique Tuesday: Top 10 Hits of 2011

Top Ten TTues Posts

Good Morning Everybody,

I’m a little light on my report from Imaging USA today.  I was in meetings most of the day and attended the tradeshow late in the day.  I plan to be there all day today so I hope to have more to report tomorrow.

At the beginning of a new year many sites will report top 10 lists on about everything.  Hey, DigitalProTalk is no different ;~)  This is the week for my listings of DPT’s top 10 lists.

For today’s post I spent quite a bit of time reviewing ALL the Technique Tuesday posts from last year, checking the stats, and arranging the posts in order from most viewed tutorials. 

The topics range from off-camera lighting with small speedlights, lighting in lousy locations, my favorite wedding images, Lightroom tips and tricks, and more.  All told, these videos give you about 4 hours of great information. I sure hope you enjoy revisiting each of the links listed today.

TOP 10 Technique Tuesdays For 2011

1 . Trigger Happy Budget Flashes -

2. Impossible Location - Amazing Portraits

3. Supercharge Your Portable Speedlight's

4. You Won't Believe Your Eyes

5. 5 Steps To Better Wedding Portraits

6. Oh, The Lightroom Auto Mask Feature – I Love You, I Hate You!

7.  Light Painting With Lightroom 3

8. 5 Of My Favorite All Time Wedding Images

9. I Just Feel So Vibrant Today!

10. Super Bowls & Weddings


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  The programing starts early this morning and I need to hit the road to get to the show. I still have nearly half the show to cover and hope to share with you the more interesting happenings from the show tomorrow.

How about I plan to see you same time, same place tomorrow.  Have a great one and I’ll see you then.

Keep your pixels smiling -David