Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Sunset Dance"

"Sunset Dance"
©David A. Ziser

I made this image at our Tuesday evening shoot. It had been quite cloudy with a drizzle of rain on and off all day. Unfortunately, not a great day for outdoor photography. The clouds started to clear about 6:30 p.m. and I thought we might have a chance to pull off our evening shoot. This is one of the first shots of the shoot. The clouds were breaking up just as the sun dipped below the horizon. The clouds took on this wonderful texture which served as a dramatic background for our bridal portrait. Light, of course, was supplied by the off-camera flash. No umbrella since the umbrella cuts down the light too much. You need all the light you can get for these sunset images. The rest is history - we got a great series of shots at the end of our rainy day.
Camera specs; Canon 5D Mark II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 55mm, F5.6 @ 1/200 second, ISO 200.
Enjoy! -David

Business Day Thursday:Waitress Lessons Learned

Good Morning Everybody,
We wrapped another day of classes yesterday. We headed to one of Cincy's nicest parks in the morning, had lunch at Skyline Chili - that ain't Texas chili, its Cincinnati chili - a famous taste that you can't hardly find anywhere else in the US but get mostly just in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most in the class took the chili plunge and dove right into their Cheese coneys and 4 -way chili spaghetti. After lunch we were all friends back at the classroom with chili and onion smells everywhere - ah, what a perfect afternoon;~)

Today we have everyone back to our home for a nice dinner and a little R&R - it should be a good time. Anyway, let's get on with Business Day Thursday...

Waitress Lessons Learned
I wasn't going to write about this but then decided to about 5 minutes ago. From the title, you might gather that this was a lesson learned yesterday at the chili parlor - and you would be correct. To me yesterday's experience with our waitress typified what a good sales person should be.

Let me explain. Most everyone was new to the Cincinnati chili experience, and it is an experience for first timers. Anyway, our waitress executed to key points in salesmanship when taking orders from our table. One of our table mates was hesitating on trying the 3-way chili. Our waitress said, "Go ahead, try it" at which point the hesitant diner took her up on her suggestion and placed an order for the 3-way.

That was lesson #1 - make the decision for the indecisive customer. Sure, he made the final decision, but it was really our waitress that made the decision for him in the first place.

After she took the order, she affirmed to our table mate, "You are going to love it, everybody does." That was lesson #2 - affirm for the client that they will be happy with their purchase.

Folks, right there was one of the most succinct sales lessons I have ever witnessed in my life. Our waitress hit the sales rhythm perfectly, got the order, and kept the client happy. I've said it a million times - "salesmanship is finding out what the client wants and then helping them get it." Our table mate really wanted to try this new kind of chili, but was unsure of making a wrong decision. The waitress sensed it, and then helped him get what he wanted.

How many times do we miss sales because we don't take the initiative with an indecisive client. We sort of just wait for an order to be made instead of taking the lead in getting the order. You know, you can be an order taker or an order maker - the choice is ours.

I do this all the time in my business. I know the client is going to love the final product so I suggest what I think will be the best choice for them. They still make the final decision, but at least I have pointed them to that final decision which I think best serves their needs - lesson #1 - just like our waitress presented yesterday.

After my client makes the final decision, I always affirm for then that they have made an excellent choice - lesson #2. In fact I know they have because I have clients make similar choices all the time and I see them thrilled with their choice time and time again. In fact, I can't think of a time when one of our client's was disappointed with our final product.

So there you have it - two wonderful little lessons on salesmanship. Our waitress yesterday could not have been a better example of a great salesperson and how to make the sale.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. I'll see everyone tomorrow for another episode on Soap Box Friday. See ya' then, -David

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"A Beautiful Place"

"A Beautiful Place"
©David A. Ziser
This image was made yesterday during our class shoot. The location was one of our Cincinnati favorites for wedding photography. The Phoenix has this great stairway which offers a wonderful location for bridal portraits - the bride's love it. As I was making this image, my first choice was to light the bride with my "shoot through" umbrella technique. The problem was that it lit up too much of the left side of the image really distracting the focus being on the bride. My solution was to pull out my trusty "Z-Ray" light and just illuminate her with a very small cone of light that wouldn't spill on the surrounds. The 2800 K color temperature of the high power flash light meant that the daylight flooding the scene in the background would be rendered in blue tones because of the camera's color balance setting - 2800K - to get the proper color balance on the bride. The solution worked perfectly and I captured this image of my bride. The wide angle lens pulled all the elements of the location into the composition resulting in a quite dramatic bridal image. Camera specs; Canon 5D Mark II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 24mm, F4.5 @ 1/20 second, ISO 1600. Enjoy! -David

Wednesday Is Portrait Day: The Clothing Conference - Or How To Your Clients Look Good For Their Portrait

Good Afternoon Everybody,
We had a big shoot yesterday at my Digital Master Class. We started about 9:30 a.m. and wrapped last night about 9:30 p.m. - yep, it was kind of a long day, but I know everybody enjoyed it and we captured some great images. We got to visit two of the most beautiful churches in the area and that always makes the photography a fun experience. We head out again today to one of our local parks to see what we can put together there. Hopefully the weather holds together for us as rain is expected. I'll see if I can sneak you a peak of one of the images tomorrow morning.

I've got a short morning here so let's get right into the topic for today - looking good for the portrait. Here we go...

The Clothing Conference - Or How To Make Your Clients Look Good For Their Portrait
You know, there are a lot of portraits being created these days and it seems there is NO time put into the planning of the portrait. Now we've been talking about this for the last few weeks, but let's take it to another level today.

Our client's portrait is hopefully going to be hanging in their home probably in a very prominent location maybe the formal living room or the family room or maybe even over the fire place. So if you are the client how would you like to look in your portrait? The quick answer is - you want to look your best! Remember this portrait is now as important as any other decor items in your client's home and as such needs to exceed their expectations and look beautiful.

During our conversations with our clients we always ask where the portrait may be hung. We inquire as to the room's decor as well. Why, because the portrait needs to be designed to compliment where it will be displayed. Take a look at the following example.

Although the client loved the portrait, you can see that everyone is dressed completely different with respect to each other - the colors are everywhere. When the viewers eye looks at the portrait, their is no one point of focus - the eye travels all through the images looking more at the clothes than at the people in the portrait.

I like to discuss clothing selections with my clients. I want to suggest colors and clothing styles that enhance the viewing experience for all who will be enjoying it. How can we do this? It's simple, let's just try to coordinate how people are dressed for the portrait. Take a look at the next example. Now you can see there is some consistency to the clothing selection. It just looks better, doesn't it? More importantly - where does your eye go now as you view the second portrait?
The focal point is now on the subjects of the portrait, not on their clothes. So, guess what? Your eye now looks at the people in the portrait instead of all the clothing colors. Why, because your eye is not distracted by the clothing as it was in the first image.

Clothing makes a big difference in how your client will enjoy their portrait. Have a discussion with them about their clothing selection. Make suggestions as to what might look best for their portrait. I tend to keep it simple - matching tops, long sleeves, matching pants. I prefer the earth tones - browns, burgundies, blues, tans, etc. I could spend even more time on this but I think you get the idea.

Also, let me add that this advice is targeted to the client looking for a classic, elegant portrait. Sure we have lifestyle portraits and any number of other portrait options as well. But, this will give you a start in helping your clients plan something that will look incredible when displayed in their home.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. So, have a good one and I'll see you tomorrow for another episode of Business Day Thursday. See ya' then, -David

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"A Study In Contrasts"

"A Study In Contrasts"
©David A. Ziser

This image still remains one of my all time favorites. When setting up the shot, I was first intrigued by the shadow and highlight on the wall behind the couple. I always survey the "space" first and then see how I can make it work with my subjects. The contrasts of this scene seemed to fit the bill with what I had in mind. I simply positioned the bride and groom against the contrasts of the wall creating an image that is intriguing both compositionally and visually. OK, I have one regret with the image - even years after I have taken it. I wish, at the time I would have switched the position of the bride and groom - him in his black tux against the white side and her in her white gown against the darker side of the building. As with any wedding shoot, we were in a rush so I didn't get a chance to try "Plan B". Anyway, I still like the shot as presented. Camera specs; Hasselblad 500CM fitted with 50mm Distagon, F11 @ 1/500 second, Kodak Vericolor 400 film. Enjoy! -David

Technique Tuesday: Encore Performance - The Eyes of Love

Good Morning Everybody,
We kicked off the first day of the Master Class yesterday - once again, it's an international symposium of photographers. This time around we have photographers from Germany and Switzerland in attendance. I always like when we have visitors form other counties in the class. It gives everyone a chance to get the flavor of how weddings take place in the other parts of the world.

We wrapped the day with a little get together at our home where everyone could just relax and get to know each other a little better. Today we are on location all day with an evening shoot planned as the sun is setting. It should be a good day. Anyway I've got to get scootin' pretty quick today so I going to leave you with a Technique Tuesday episode that ran several month's ago - think of it as a refresher course episode. Here we go...

Encore Performance - The Eyes of Love
I like this episode because it presents a nice Photoshop tutorial which I love to use on babies. It's based on my "painting with light" technique that just puts light on the subject right where you want it. I love the result we get with this technique. I hope you enjoy this week's encore performance. Just hit the play button below and enjoy the show. -David

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Stairway To Heaven"

"Stairway To Heaven"
©David A. Ziser

Over the weekend I was wrapping the final edit on my new book Captured By The Light. That means I'm digging through a gazillion images to illustrate one point or another. I'm not complaining because it allows me to revisit images that have been in the archives for a while and many times those images are just as beautiful to me today as the day I took them. That is the case for today's post. It's a simple, elegant window light image of a bride descending the stairs but is carried off with the wonderful composition of the large window and leading lines of that graceful stairway. This is pretty much the image as it was made without any manipulation at all - just an elegant, graceful wedding portrait. Camera specs; Hasselblad 500CM fitted with 40mm Distagon lens, F8 @ 1/250 second, Kodak Vericolor 1000 film. Enjoy! -David

Quick Hit Monday: Wedding Survey; A Visit To Crash's Place; What's Up With The 5D Mark II; Very Quick Color Adjustments

Good Morning Everybody,
Well, we made it back home safe and sound on Friday just in time to kick it into high gear for the start of my Spring Master Class today. We have everyone over to our home this evening for our Welcome Party and LaDawn has been working hard all weekend planting flowers, spring cleaning the deck and successfully getting the place looking great. I looking forward to a wonderful week with the class. I'll keep you posted as the week progresses.

Hey gang, I've got a lot of stuff for Quick Hit Monday today so let's get right to it.

Wedding Business Survey and Wedding Leads
I happened on these two stories at PDN over the weekend - very interesting. The first reports on PDN's survey results on the state of the wedding photography business for 2009. In addition to just listing the results, the article also posted some strategies for photographers on how they were handling the business turn-down for the year. You can give it a read right here.

Wait, there's more. I also found this second article about the reasonable success some photographers are having with lead generating sites like and Just In this business climate, you may want to check out some of the options. Give the article a read right here and see if there might be a fit for your business.

Heading Over To Crash's Place - Interview With Grant Oakes
Blogging buddy, Crash Taylor, started interviewing wedding photogs a number of month's ago - I was honored to be one of those interviewed - and the series has really taken off. This past week, Crash interviewed my good friend, Grant Oakes from Denver. I have known Grant for a number of years and his work is beautiful. Check out his interview right here. Grant also runs, a company that specializes in designer websites for photographers. Grant has a great thing going there so check it out too - tell him I told you to make the visit.

Super In-Depth Review of Canon 5D Mark II
I have to say, this is about the most in depth review of the 5D MkII that I have seen. What I like about this review is the fact that the reviewer covered the setup and use of the radio transmitter for the 5D which I use too. I found it to be about the easiest transmitter in the world to set up. Also covered in depth are the video capabilities of the camera. Yep, all the other stuff is covered too. So if you want a different perspective on the Canon 5D Mark II, this is a nice read. Here is the link.

Quick Color Adjustments In Photoshop CS4
Maybe I should have saved this for tomorrow, but heck, it's Quick Hit Monday, so let's hit it today. I have to admit, I'm just getting up to speed on CS4. I'm kind of a guy that thinks that if its not broke, don't fix it. That's why I'm always late to the latest greatest version of Photoshop. Anyway, there is a really good tutorial on CS4's new features when it comes to making color adjustments. It's only 7 minutes long and worth the peek right here. Hey, after seeing the video, you may decide to upgrade too;~)

Ansel Adams - Rare Video Footage on Visualization
I've been an Ansel Adams fan for years. I even had the occasion to visit with Mr. Adams personally on the phone several years ago - but that's a story for another day. Anyway, fellow blogger, Marc Silber, manages to get permission to present this rare video footage of the master himself. It's only about 2 minutes long but does give an ever so brief look in the creativity of a photographer who is considered a true legend and one of the best. Here is the link.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. I've got my class starting in just about an hour so I've got to run. See everybody tomorrow. -David

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Jump For Joy"

"Jump For Joy"
©David A. Ziser

Remember the bride I posted Wednesday, well, here she is again at her wedding reception. This image was taken during one of the really fast dances at a Jewish wedding. The dance is called the Horah and is one of the highlights of the partying festivities. The guests were circling the couple as they were twirling in the middle of the crowd. I like to get up close and personal for the shot so that puts me right in the middle of the action. For this shot, I had my 30mm Distagon Fisheye lens on my Hasselblad. Just as the groom twilled the bride, she made a jump into the air. I caught it perfectly from my very low vantage point and captured a great party shot. Camera specs; Hasselblad 500CM fitted with 30mm Distagon Fisheye lens, F8.0 @ 1/125 second, Kodak Vericolor 800 film. Enjoy! -David

Soap Box Friday: Are You As Stale As Old Crackers Or Always Looking For Something New?

Good Morning Everybody,
Yesterday we wrapped out visit to SLC with a quick tour of Temple Square which is beautiful in the springtime. Flowers abound everywhere and it is quite the site. I have to say - the stroll through the grounds is a great way to recharge your batteries and a recharge we needed.

We hit the road early today getting back to the Kentucky side of Cincinnati, Ohio about 6 p.m. this evening - just in time to catch a Cincy sunset with a refreshment in hand. Tomorrow I wrap the final edit on my book, "Captured By The Light." I hear it should be on bookshelves mid-July. I'll keep you posted.

Next week we start my Digital Master Class which is always fun. Again, I'll keep you posted as the week progresses. That's said, how about we move on with Soap Box Friday - hope you enjoy it - here we go...

Are You As Stale As Old Crackers Or Always Looking For Something New?
You must know the choice is yours. Your choice also determines your success or failure in business - yes, even for our little "mom and pop" business. Innovate or die - words each and everyone of us should have on our lips especially in these ever-changing days, recession or not. It's the same mantra that has been heard from forward thinking businesses and governments over recent years and we must do the same.
I was recently reading an article in business week in which they interviewed CEO, A. G. Lafley. Here is the link to the article. Innovation fuels about 20-25% of what Procter and Gamble does. Without constantly innovating the company would not be enjoying the success it's had over it's many long years. P&G is fuelled by innovation - sure, they've got to please their stockholders with "return on investment" and keeping the stockholders happy definitely fuels their need to succeed.

But our need to succeed should also fuel our motivation to innovate. We too should constantly strive to smother our own complacency and constantly strive to manage our business for success. And, innovation is one of the most powerful tools we can use to drive our success.

Ask yourself the question, "What have I done lately to build my business?" Have you developed any new products, new services, new packaging - anything? Or are you still doing the same ol' thing? Those that stand still will be run over by the innovators. It's been happening for the last several years in our digital photography world. To many of the old film shooters have failed to innovate and are sadly "dieing on the vine" - it's a sad state of affairs for many.

Where do you stand? How important is it for you to succeed? How important is it for you grow your business? Here is another reality - if you fail to work towards innovation, you will tire of what you are doing. Life will become boring and you will want to quite. If you want to keep life exciting - then innovate.

Spend time each week with yourself, with your staff, with your peers, and challenge each other for new ideas in how to innovate your business. Put some forethought into these meetings so you are a prime contributor to the "idea pool" and not just a taker. I happen to be one who never listens to the radio while I'm driving - even on a five hour trip from Cincinnati to Chicago.

It's my "thinking time" - it's the best and most creative time I spend with myself. I keep a little personal recorder with me to record my thoughts along the way on these long trips. These days, you can buy programs like "Dragon Dictate" that will even transcribe your notes. That's sometimes how I keep this blog on schedule.

The main thing is this - you've got to put some "think time" into the creative process of innovation. It's up to you to make the choices you need to be successful and happy in your endeavors. It takes more than just wanting it. Start making innovation part of your business planning now so your business will be around tomorrow and you are enjoying every minute of it!

P.S. You can catch a thought provoking discussion from top business leaders at CNBC. Here is the link. This presentation is important because it represents global ideas that apply to businesses - large or small alike. Give it a peek.

End of rant #26.

Hey everybody, we are jumping the plane back to good ol' KY in just a few hours. My book is in the final stages of editing with Kelby Media and my Master Class starts next week. It will be a busy few days, but I'll still see you on the flip side of the weekend, all the pixels willin'. See ya' then, -David

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Think A Happy Thought"

"Think A Happy Thought"
©David A. Ziser

I'm posting another "blast from the past" film image. This doesn't imply that I was doing things differently 12 years ago -actually, I'm always trying to capture these special moments during the wedding. This little girl just was not having a good day and it shows in this image. I forget the specifics of her unhappiness, but it had something to do with hair piece not fitting comfortably on her head. The little girl's grandmother was trying to get it just right. Even the bride was offering her support, but the little girl still was not in the best of moods. I had just entered the room, saw what was going on, particularly in the expression of the little girl, and shot away. This was before the days of automatic exposure cameras. My Hasselblad was fitted with an exposure meter in the prism itself - a $1200 option at the time - but it allowed me to accurately judge the exposure, make the correct exposure settings, and get the shot. I love it. Camera specs; Hasselblad 500CM fitted with 50mm Distagon lens, F4.0 @ 1/30 second (estimated), Kodak Vericolor 800 film. Enjoy! -David

Business day Thursday: Add A Little Spice To Your Life And Your Photographs

Good Morning Everybody,
We wrapped our last day of this leg of the tour last night to a cheering SLC crowd - I think it was the door prizes that caused the cheering, but cheering nonetheless. Today we repack the bags for our flight home tomorrow. I have to say, we are looking forward to getting back to familiar Terra Firma - as they say, there is no place like home. But, we did see some very cool places on this trip and met some truly wonderful people along the way.

Anyway, why don't we kick it off with another episode of Business Day Thursday, so here we go...

Add A Little Spice To Your Life And Your Photographs
You know you can learn so much from how other business do business. For instance, when dining at a restaurant recently, I ordered the salad with a blue cheese dressing. The waiter asked me if I would like Maytag Blue crumbles as well. It seems Maytag Blue Cheese is about the best blue cheese you can buy - additional cost $2.00 - heck, for the best, why not?

Here is the lesson learned - What can we do to enhance the products we offer to our clients? Sure we can offer frames, matting, and more but these can substantially add to the cost for the client. Don't get me wrong - we always offer our clients framing, matting, and mounting services. What can we offer that only incrementally increases the cost by only a few dollars but still enhances the final product for our client?

In our digital age, the possibilities are endless. Here is one possibility that I think works pretty well. Why not enhance the image with a special digital mat. Let's say our client selects a favorite image of her baby and would like a 5x7 of that image. Most of us would simply take the order for the 5x7 image. But, why stop there - how about we recall the "Maytag Blue Cheese" offer the waiter made to me. For only a few dollars more the image can be enhanced with a very nice digital mat.

After the client selects the image and size, I might say, "Mrs. Smith, can I show you a very nice option for this image?" When she answers in the affirmative, I show her an image with a digital mat added and say, "Look how this treatment really adds to the overall presentation of the image. See how we've even picked up the colors of the little girl's outfit. Why don't we do something like that for your daughter's portrait. It only adds a few dollars to the cost but is a very nice way to showcase and enhance the image. What do you think?" She loves it and we quote a small additional cost - $5-$10-$25, based on your market and clientele, to deliver the image with the new digital mat.

The easiest way to make this kind of presentation work smoothly is to have a series of mats already created around a variety of portrait styles you offer - sort of like a mat catalogue that you can present to your client and she can easily make a quick choice. Think of it as picking out a digital frame for the photograph before we actually select a real frame for the image. And as far as the real frame is concerned, now we get to offer our client an 8x10 frame instead of a 5x7 frame.

What I like about our digital mats is that we can coordinate the mat with the colors of the child's outfit, the colors of the nursery, the colors of wherever the photograph will be displayed. It's one more way to customise the product for the client. This then becomes one more difference our studio offers over the studio around the corner, one more way to sizzle our product, one way to provide a unique one-of-a-kind product and one more way to add value to our photography.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We've got the day off in Salt Lake City today and are going pack our bags and take in a few sites before heading home tomorrow. Have a good one and I'll see you tomorrow for Soap Box Friday: Are You Inspired? See ya' then, -David

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Almost Time"

"Almost Time"
©David A. Ziser

Today I took a peek back in the archives and found some of my favorite images again. This image was captured about 10 years ago back in the film days. I still think it works well today. I caught the bride just lifting the blinds to check the guests arriving. I love the moment captured. I also like how the little slit in the blinds added just a touch of light to her face. The leading lines of the blinds add to the interesting composition. Camera specs; Hasselblad 500CM fitted with 50mm Distagon lens, F4.0 @ 1/60 second, Kodak Vericolor 400 film. Enjoy! -David

Wednesday Is Portrait Day: The Consultation - Part 2

Good Morning Everybody,
We headed out from Denver and made the 7 1/2 hour drive to Salt Lake City arriving about 7:45 p.m. last evening. I have to say, LaDawn and I enjoy driving from city to city on the DWC tour. This time our travels have taken us from Phoenix to Tucson to El Paso to Albuquerque then to Santa Fe, up to Denver and then across Wyoming to Salt Lake City. I don't know how many miles we traveled but the hours of beautiful changing scenery sure made it worth it.

Yesterday was probably the longest haul - we plugged in the SLC address into our GPS and were off. We didn't even know what the route mapped out for us as we followed along from the directions our GPS system instructed. We were flying across the country side enjoying the views LaDawn sighting herds of deer several times along the way. We assumed from not viewing a map we were in Colorado - never did we see a sign that said "Welcome to..." - hence our confusion.

I commented that maybe it might be Wyoming - we had no clue. Stopping at a Little America along the way to get gas, I noticed all the cowboy books and other memorabilia at this very comfortable stop. I had to giggle - turns out that we were in Wyoming all the time and, wow, those mountains we saw must have been the Grand Tetons! My 7th grade geography teacher would be so disappointed!!What can I say, we were just gringos in the Wyoming wild west. It was our first time seeing Wyoming and we enjoyed every mile of it. By the way, photo credit to LaDawn Z for this one.

Hey gang, today I've got another installment in Portrait Day Wednesday so let's get right to it...

The Consultation - Part 2
Last week I discussed the importance of the portrait consultation. Here is the link. This week I want to review what we cover during that consultation. This consultation is separated into two parts.

Part 1 - Finding out a little about the client and what they are looking for in their portrait.
Part 2 - Product presentation.

Many times the client is unclear and really doesn't know what they want. We explore the possibilities together to come to a consensus as to our photographic approach for our client. At the end of the process, the client too feels comfortable that we both have a plan for a great result. This is the beginning of the "expectation building" I discussed last week.

Here is the quick hit list of the items we want to find out to best serve the client with the portrait experience.

1. Family profile - Mom and Dad, how many children and their ages.

2. Where do we want to take the portrait - their home, nearby park, or in the studio. My preference is always a favorite park. I know the locations, when the lighting is best, and what park features offer the best backgrounds for the family portrait.

3. Is the portrait going to be formal - jackets and ties, or more casual - i.e. blue oxford shirts and khaki pants or jeans. You get the idea. I have only done one formal portrait in the last few years and that was right after Christmas last year. Most of my family groups are more casual with the family matching in their wardrobe selection - more on that later.

4. Have they thought about where the portrait will be displayed in their home. This question is usually a first for many clients. Most have never thought of a family portrait that could be displayed over their sofa or prominently in their family room. I mention that with an appropriately sized portrait displayed in their home, it will be the first thing noticed by any guest entering their home. They may have just redecorated their entire home but the family portrait is always noticed first. What pride that instills in the client.

5. Once we raise the issue of the wall portrait, we introduce our clients to our other products. That includes portrait albums, treasure boxes - a box of 5x7 matted images beautifully presented in a black lacquered box, multi-image frames- we call them wall collages, framed collages in different aspect ratios - i.e. 8x10, 11,14, etc. Anyway, you get the idea that we are suggesting many, many additional product options.

As we move through our simple series of questions, our discussion with the client really starts to gel into a special portrait experience for them. The "ice has been broken" and now they are getting excited about their family portrait.

Next week I discuss a crucial part of client conversation that puts the "whip cream and cherry on top" for a wonderful looking portrait that far exceeds the client's expectations.

Hey everybody, that's it for me today. We are looking to meeting the photographers in SLC tonight. Hope to see you there! -David

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Deserts Rains"

"Deserts Rains"
©David A. Ziser

On Monday we made one of the most beautiful drives of our DWC tour. The drive was from Santa Fe, New Mexico up to Denver, Colorado. The scenery was just gorgeous. New Mexico is definitely the Land of Enchantment. The range of colors, textures and geography is astounding. As we half way to our final destination we noticed a rain storm out over the desert. Of course I tried what we call one of our "drive by" shootings, but the view was just too powerful to pass up. We stopped the car, I jumped out and grabbed this image before the scene changed. I love the power in the clouds, the swirl of the rains, and the contrasting colors of the landscape. Camera specs; Canon 5D mark II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens @ 105mm, F10 @ 1/800 second, ISO 400. Enjoy! -David

Technique Tuesday: Shooting In The Sun

Good Morning Everybody,

We wrapped a great evening with the very enthusiastic Denver photographers last night and gave away another $4000 worth of door prizes - the crowd loved it. It was also nice to visit with some past attendees of my Digital Master Class too - lots of good people in Denver. By the way, if you haven't heard, we've announced the dates for the Summer Master Class - July 27 - July 31, 2009. Here is all the info right here. You can also call the studio at 859-341-5900 for more info and to reserve your seat.

Several Master Classes have been international events with attendees coming from as far as Nigeria, New Zealand, and Belgium. That's what makes the class exciting - photogs from all over the world coming together for the love of photography. Maybe we will see you at the next one in July.

Help Wanted:
Yep, I'm putting out the call for volunteers to help with the set up and tear down of our Digital WakeUp Call as it heads down the West Coast starting in Seattle on May 5, 2009. Here is the link to the West Coast dates. I know we still have a few opening for volunteers. Drop LaDawn an email at - the goodies await for our volunteers.

OK, everybody, are you ready for a different, yet very informative Technique Tuesday today - then please read on. Here we go...

Technique Tuesday: Shooting In The Sun
Hey gang, I've got a nice treat for everybody today. Ray Vilalobos, Director of Multimedia at Entravision Communications and Adjunct Instructor at Seminole Community College was in the audience when we brought the Digital WakeUp Call tour [link] through Florida a few weeks ago.

I got an email from Ray later offing to do an article for DPT. I was thrilled to have an instructor of his caliber offer to do a post at DPT. Ray has written a book entitled, "Exploring Multi-Media For Designers" [link] and runs a very cool web site called Planet of the Web [link].

We talked about some different topics and he suggested an article targeted on how to shoot in the sun. I guess those Florida photographers have to deal with that pretty often. I thought it was a good idea and that was that. So today, we have my first guest blogger post by Ray Villalobos entitled,"Don't Forget The Sun." Here we go...

Don't Forget The Sun - by Ray Villalobos
As a photographer, the sun can be your most powerful ally as well as your most bitter enemy. What will make the difference is your understanding of light and how to control it. Make no mistake, dealing with sunlight is all about learning to tame a very powerful but small light source.
I often divide shooting situations into two categories: indoor and outdoor. Each of these has it's own set of challenges, but generally speaking, when shooting inside, your problem is not having enough light to obtain a proper exposure.

When shooting outside, you'll usually have plenty of light, so the problem becomes learning to get the light to do what you want aesthetically. Because I have to shoot mainly during work hours, I often have to deal with the sun as a light source. So I've learned some tips about working with the sun that I'd like to share with you, but first let's talk about light itself.

The Basics of Light
Light has three properties that are important to photographers: Color, Brightness and Contrast. We deal with color in light through white balance controls in our camera, brightness refers to the amount of light available and contrast refers to the harshness of the light...a harsh light casts hard shadows, a soft light casts soft shadows. In photography, a softer light is almost always a better light. A hard shadow will augment any imperfections in skin and is not always flattering.

Although the color of sunlight changes throughout the day, you're not generally concerned with the color of the light source when shooting outside. Using the proper white balance settings on your camera, custom white balancing it, or shooting in Camera RAW will usually take care of any issues you may have with the color of the light. So the bigger problems are dealing with brightness and contrast. In addition to that, you'll also have to deal with the position of the light in relationship to your subjects.

The Biggest Problem
Frankly, I think the biggest problem with the sun is the lack of control you have over the source. If I'm shooting inside, I can move my lights wherever I want, easily add modifiers and adjust the power settings to whatever I need to get the best exposures. When dealing with sunlight, you're working with something that is in a fairly fixed position, no power adjustments and which is affected by circumstances beyond your control like the weather. But like a zen master, you must learn to work with it.

Location, Location, Location
My first way to deal with sunlight is to understand it's position in relationship to what I'm trying to shoot. As soon as I reach a location, I survey what the sun is doing and think about how best to position my elements to work harmoniously with it. The position of the sun often dictates the position of my subjects.
Since I can't control the position of the sun, I work with what I can control, which is the position of my subjects. If the sun is too bright, look for shadows underneath the trees or under buildings where most of the light will not be direct, but reflected, softer light.

The photo above was taken outside a bathroom. Not the most exotic place in the world, but the background really worked well with her dress and since it was an extremely clear day we were looking for shady places to photograph in. Working with the sun means looking for places where the light is doing something great, even if they place doesn't necessarily appear exciting.

The Weather
Before a shoot, you should check the weather to see what kind of day it's going to be. If you want clear blue skies, look for a high pressure system blowing across the area, generally a cold day is a clear day. Do remember that on a cold day, your batteries will drain more quickly, so make sure you bring extra on those days.
If you're not shooting the sky or don't mind a few clouds, clouds are excellent diffusers, making your light and shadows soft and pleasing. I think a partially cloudy day is the best day to shoot. Beautiful fluffy clouds make interesting backgrounds and their ability to diffuse the light means a pleasing light source.

On a cloudy day, like in the photo above, I can time my photos so that they happen when the sunlight is being diffused by clouds, which makes the light softer and more pleasant.
You can't control the weather, but you should understand how it will affect the quality of your photographs and use it's different properties to your advantage.

The Problem with Brightness
Having a lot of light can be both a blessing and a curse. Having a lot of light means you have a lot of flexibility with your camera settings. Bright sunlight allows you to shoot with a large range of shutter speeds, which means you can freeze fast motion, and it allows you to shoot with small apertures, yielding sharp photos.

Timing Your Shoots
There are lots of situations when you want to shoot at lower shutter speeds. What if, for example, you want to soften a stream of water, or show light trails in your photographs? Or, as in the photo above of my daughter, you want a narrow depth of field. A narrow depth of field is achieved with a low F-Stop, nearly impossible to do with full sun, but easy to accomplish during the magic hour.
At low shutter speeds too much light is your enemy. But thankfully, the brightness of the sun changes throughout the day. If you're looking to shoot at lower shutter speeds or F-Stops, you simply have to time your sessions accordingly.

This means shooting earlier or later in the day. Photographers usually refer to this time as Magic Hour. It's really two magic half hours that occur one half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset. The sunlight during this time acts as reflected light, which means soft, diffused shadows.

Another tool you can use is a neutral density filter. This type of filter goes in front of your lens and is like adding sunglasses to your camera. It will make less light pass through the lens, allowing you to shoot at lower F-Stops and still achieve a narrower depth of field in some situations. They come in different strengths.

Problems With Contrast
Too much light is usually a blessing to me when dealing with outside photography. The bigger problems are with the quality of the light. Hard light in photography is often considered inferior to soft light.

Subjects with bad skin can look even worse in harsh light. A hard light like in the photo above creates the dreaded "Raccoon Eyes"–hard shadows around the eyes. A hard light can also make the subject squint, which is also not desirable in photos.

What makes the sunlight hard ?What makes a light hard is the apparent size of the sun in relationship to the subject. A bigger light is a softer light. I'm not referring to the physical size of the light, the sun is immensely large, you could fit about one million earths inside the sun, but it's also incredibly far away...more than 92 million miles away. Because of this, it appears as a very small light source and a very small, but bright light source always casts a hard light. In order to tame the sun, we must learn to make it bigger.

Making The Sun Bigger
Okay, you can't actually make the sun bigger, but you can make the light coming from the sun behave as if it were bigger. You already know how this looks, because clouds are natural diffusers of light. They scatter the light coming from the sun making it softer, but on a clear day, clouds are nowhere to be found so you can make your own.

You can buy a diffuser that you can place in the path of the sun like in the picture above to create your own shadow. The sun will actually pass through the diffuser and it will change the direction of the light rays so that they scatter and fall on the subject unevenly, creating softer shadows and solving the problems with squinting. Any translucent material will work, but I recommend buying a circular diffuser like the one above because it's collapsible, and you can use them with a reversible cover that can be used as reflectors of different colors.

A reflector is any object that can be used to redirect light (in this case sunlight) by changing the direction of the light. For this photo, the light was harsh, so we looked for a tree, then used a reflector to cast some light back onto the subject. The reflector used was the same as the diffuser attachment we used for the previous photo, but with the cover on using a yellow side to give the model a warmer color.

A reflector can help you control sunlight by redirecting it when it's not in a location that's convenient.

Supplementing Sunlight
The problem with using diffusers is that they weaken the light, and they still make it come from the same angle as the sun. Good light is not only soft, but it should also be directional. Your light should look like it's coming from a location which is dictated by your creativity, not the sun's position. In order to change the apparent position of your light source in full sun, you have to supplement the light with flashes or other light sources.

Unless you diffuse the flashes, you'll have the same issues with the light being as hard as the sunlight so I often use umbrellas in front of my flashes to soften the light coming from them as well. In the shot above, I used two flashes on a white shoot-through umbrella to slight camera right to make sure I'm controlling the direction of the light. The sun is essentially lighting the background on this photo and I'm lighting the subject.

Speaking of shooting things at the worse possible time, we took these pictures when the sun was pretty high in the sky, so in order to cross light Aaron, I had to have him get up on this ledge, and get my lighting team to hold the flashes and umbrellas pretty high. Still, this is a pretty dramatic shot that yields impressive results.

Cross Lighting
Another technique you can use when dealing with the sun is to put your subject directly opposite the sun and use flashes to light the subject from the other side. The sun will create a nice rim light. This is easier to do when the sun is lower in the sky, but it didn't stop me from setting up the shot.

Have Fun
These kind of lighting situations can be a challenge, but learning to control the power of the sun to your advantage will help you become more aware of available light problems and force you to think of creative ways you can solve them. For more lighting tips and other tutorials, visit my website.

Hope you guys and girls enjoyed Ray's article. And, my thanks to Ray for a great article on how to shoot in a very difficult lighting situation.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We got a long beautiful drive to Salt Lake City today. See everybody in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains tomorrow. Adios, -David

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Study In White"

"Study In White"
©David A. Ziser

This image was made last week as we left El Paso heading to Albuquerque and made a detour to White Sands National Monument. White Sands National Monument is the largest natural gypsum sand dunes in the world. The visit was both inspiring and eerie. The plows, I guess "sand plows" as opposed to snow plows, had cleared the roads for the park access. We made our way as far as we could, climbed the dunes and saw brilliant white everywhere - very, very cool. I like this image because it captures the clear blue sky against the simple beauty of the dunes. The ongoing winds keep the dunes on the move. The grasses in the foreground are constantly resisting but to little avail. If I'd only had a bride.......maybe next time! Camera specs; Canon 5D Mk II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 32mm, F 20 @ 1/800 second, ISO 500. Enjoy! -David

Quick Hit Monday: 40 On-line Photo Magazines; Stunning Landscape Photography; A Visit To The Film Side; Seminars In Knoxville; My Interview At Jason M

Good Morning Everybody,

We are coming off of a few days R&R in Santa Fe - not a better place to relax over the weekend. I have to say, after all the driving last week the break was worth it. We were "holed up" in a fabulous little 13 room hotel - Inn of The Five Graces - what a place - full of the colors and textures of the Southwest and a great place to "chill".
And chill we did - upon our arrival the city was in full "blizzard" mode. We watched three or more inches of snow fall just while we were checking in - unbelievable. By the next day, the temperature was back in the high fifties and all the snow had melted - we were fortunate to experience two season's in 24 hours!
The stop also gave us some time to take in the city and a few of the museums. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum was my favorite. Part of the reason we stayed in Santa Fe was the weather report predicting, get this, over 2 feet of snow in Denver. We thought we would let the city thaw out a bit before we arrived late Sunday afternoon.

We are looking forward to another big crowd tonight - over 225 photogs strong! I'll fill you in tomorrow. Anyway, let's get started on Quick Hit Monday - lots' of things to cover today.

40 Photography Magazines All In One Place
I was doing my regular browse of the news at the Imaging Insider and saw this story. I had to check it out. The story pointed to one of my favorite sites, Smashing Sure enough, there they were - links to 40 on-line photo mags - here is the link. Not all of them may be your "cup of Tea" but there are some nice gems in the mix. Give them a peek - there is definitely something for everybody over there, that's for sure.
Inspiration Galore - Breathtaking Beautiful Landscapes
All last week I posted images from Sedona. I thought I would keep the thread alive with these wonderful images I found over at The site did a series of articles about how to take landscape photographs.
The series was capped with this amazing group of breathtaking images like the one shown here Katarina Stefanović. Here is the link - definitely worth the look.

Film - I Don't Even Know How To Spell It Anymore
Blogging buddy, and friend of the film camera, Brian Auer has a nice piece at reviewing Kodak's latest film - Ektar. OK, why do I even mention this. Kodak introduced Ektar years ago in 35mm format - I remember using it in the early '90's. It was really cool fine grain film.

Anyway, Brian has been playing with all things film lately and has just posted a review of his impressions of Kodak's re-introduced Ektar film in 120 format. Here is the link. For film junkies out there, you will enjoy the read. For "digital only" photogs, it's a nice peak into the film world and the options it still holds for photographers.

I'm Live At On The Web Today!
Well, not really live, but my interview with Jason Moore about a week ago is now on line. Here is the link. Jason asked some pretty good questions so I hope you enjoy the read. Jason has 8 interviews on line at this time including Larry Becker, Executive Director for NAPP, and John Nack from Adobe. All nice reads - give a peek right here.

Famous Australian Photographer Coming To Knoxville
That's right - famous photographer, Rob Heyman is coming to Knoxville on 28th and 29th of May - just 6 weeks from now. Ron was named one of the TOP TEN portrait photographers in Australia by the YAFFA Publishing Group. I got the word from Steve Chastain - he flew down to the DWC tour in Orlando a few weeks ago. He dropped me a line about Rob Heyman doing an encore performance in Knoxville again this year. Rob did a similar program last year and it was quite the hit.

Here are the details:
Day 1 - Posing and composition; Lighting; Exposure made simple; Location selection; Make your photography unique; Hands-on outdoor photography session.

Day 2 - Digital workflow, image presentation Wow factor!!; Sales strategies; Job Costing – how do I know what to charge; Increase sales and make happy clients; What photos do clients want to buy; Feedback on your portraiture; Keep clients coming back; How to pose a large group
Cost $550 2-days

Check out Rob's portrait work here and his wedding work here - very nice stuff. If you are interested in attending, contact Steve via email -

Hey everybody, that's it for me today. We are expecting a big crowd tonight in Denver - Hope to see you there. -David

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Walk To The Top"

"Walk To The Top"
©David A. Ziser

I captured this image as we walked to the top of the mesa. The final views were indeed beautiful, but the colors along the way were just as beautiful. I love the richness and contrasts of the desert colors in Sedona. A walk anywhere in that part of the country is simply breathtaking. Camera specs; Canon 5D fitted with 12-24mm Sigma at 24mm, F9.0 @ 1/80 second, ISO 400. Enjoy! -David

Soap Box Friday: Are We All Just A little Bit Lazy?

Good Morning Everybody,
At least it's still morning in my part of the world. After a nice meeting with the Albuquerque photogs last night, we slept in a little later this morning and are heading leisurely to Santa Fe for a day or two of R&R before we head to Denver. Yep, lots of driving - lots to see.

I have to say, the last two Soap Box Friday's sure got plenty of play in the "Comments" section. Those that chimed in and voiced your opinion - it is much appreciated because that was the intent. I wasn't trying to pick a fight as much as I was attempting to instigate some dialogue going on about those topics - and the dialogue sure came through.
What I liked about the dialogue is that it did bring to bear some different perspectives on both subjects that have been missed in previous discussions. So, thanks to all who took the effort to post your comments. So, let's get right to today's Soap Box Friday.

Are We All Just A little Bit Lazy?
I hope today's post is another thought provoking topic. As usual, I have some strong thoughts on today's topic so here goes. Are we all a little lazy? The easy answer is that we all are at some time or another. I know that's true some of the time but I want to dig a bit deeper than that.

I hear all the time that we are all so busy and don't have time to learn new information a new software, a new camera technique..... I have to giggle a bit because people say, "I don't have time to read your blog every day." My quick remark is, It takes longer for me to write it than does for you to read it but I still write it every day." Don't get me wrong here - I'm grateful to all of the DPT readers. I crack this comment more as a "tongue in cheek" remark.

The fact of the matter is that many of us may be more involved too much with the busyness of our lives instead of living our lives.

I think the reality is this: If we want to be successful at anything we do, we need to invest some time and effort into the "success" process to get the results we want. Back in 2001 I was touring with my buddy, Ralph Romaguera. Ralph is a Photoshop guru - I wasn't even close at the time.

Ralph made a remark that has stuck with me all these years. I asked him how he got so good at Photoshop. He said he woke up an hour earlier each day and just practiced Photoshop - no phone calls, no interruptions, not much going on at 6:00 a.m. He went to "Self Taught Photoshop School" every morning for years until he became a PS guru. I knew if I wanted to get better too, I should take a hint from Ralph.

A few months ago, I read Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Outliers. The book discussed the most successful people in the world and the steps they took to achieve that success. One of the books observations was that many of these people had applied the 10,000 hour rule to their success. Simply stated, it takes 10,000 hours of study and practice to get really good at something! That's like 250 weeks or 5 years of work 8 hours a day everyday!

What are you doing right now in your own life to achieve your success? What kind of time do you invest in your success plan each day to reach your goals?

The answer for most is not much time at all. Many of us just move from day to day in our lives doing exactly the same thing, and that "same thing" usually has nothing to do with any kind of success goal or plan.

My favorite time of the day is between 6 a.m. - 8 a.m. That's generally when I work on the DPT blog, surf the web for new stuff, or just plain play on the computer trying something new in Lightroom, Photoshop, or what ever. That's the time that's best for me. By the time the day is in full swing, the phone calls, and interruptions of the day tend to negate any real effort I try to make. For others, it's the end of the day after the kids and spouse go to bed, the TV is turned off, etc.

Anyway, the point is to find the time that works best for you to work on your success plan and then pro-actively pursue it. Strive to maintain a "perfect attendance" record for yourself as you work the process. After a while, the process becomes a habit and is much easier to maintain. And, once you've got that "perfect attendance" record going, you don't want to break it - that in itself becomes further motivation to keep working it.

So are we a bit lazy - yes, I think we are. If we want change in our lives, it's time we change ourselves. I heard a quote not so long ago that's speaks straight to that wisdom. It went like this, "For you to get what you are not getting, you've got to do what you are not doing, and think like you are not thinking."

Just Food for thought---

Hey gang, that's it for me today. LaDawn and I are going to nap a little them explore a little of the enchanted lands of New Mexico over the weekend. See ya' in snow covered Denver on Monday, -David

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Brilliant Agave"

"Brilliant Agave"
©David A. Ziser

I have enjoyed shooting flowers and plants since I was a kid. My mom was always complaining that I should shoot more people pictures. I guess my career in wedding photography filled the bill in that department, but I still enjoy a photowalk just to photograph the foliage and the fauna of the surrounds. I've always been intrigued by agave plants, not just because they are used to make Tequila, but because of the unique shape and color of their leaves. I've tweaked the colors in Lightroom to create the blue glow, just like my favorite Margarita, in the middle of the image. The slight vignette finished the presentation for me. Camera specs; Canon 5D fitted with 70-300mm DO IS lens at 130mm, F5.0 @ 1/125 second, ISO 400. Enjoy! -David

Business Day Thursday: The McDonald Close

Good Afternoon Everybody,
Finally, the afternoon post - here we go...

We had another great group of photogs show up in El Paso last night. This was our first visit to west Texas and what a cool city it was. Turns out El Paso is one of the 22 largest cities in the US – yep, it was a big city. It sure caught us by surprise as we were pulling in. Hey, what do Midwesterners know about the west anyway?

One of the things that struck both LaDawn and I was how much pride this part of the country has in their area. All we heard was how truly enchanted this part of the country was. Just about everybody wanted to show us his or her favorite areas. The group as a whole was about the most hospitable we have visited. Next time, for sure, we will let you guys show us around.

The main talk of the area was White Sands National Park, which was slightly off course for our travels to Albuquerque today. That's the reason for the late post today. We woke up, packed up, and headed to White Sands. What a beautiful, other worldly place it was. White Sands National Park is listed as one of the 1000 places to see before you die in the book by the same name. I’m glad we made the detour – maybe a pic or two tomorrow.

Anyway, today is Business Day Thursday so why don’t we get right to it. Here we go…

Business Day Thursday: The McDonald Close

Last week I was reading an article in USA Today [link] about how restaurants are now asking the guests if they want to add to their order. It was a fascinating article and deserves a read. Funny thing is - we have been doing the same thing here at the studio for years but for slightly different reasons.

After our clients would place their orders, we would start with the smallest orders first and suggest to the client how they might enhance their image selection. Here is an example. Say the mother of the flower girl selected 4 images of her daughter from the wedding. I knew that the client probably had no clear cut vision of how she wanted to display those four images so I always made a suggestion that went something like this.

Hit the "Read More..." link below for the rest of the story.

“Mrs. Jones, those are really 4 very cute photographs of your daughter, but can I make a suggestion? Why don’t we also add the photograph of your daughter taking that finger full of icing from the wedding cake? We could place all 5 of those images in this portfolio – I’d show the portfolio – and you really have a nice section of images of your daughter’s role in the big event.” The client would almost always go with my suggestion.

Remember, selling is not a dirty word. It’s always about helping your client find out what they want and then helping them getting it. The folio suggestion in the above example exemplifies good selling. Good selling should be a service to your clients. My client loved the suggestion because it accomplished exactly what she wanted – a nice collection of images of her daughter in a folio that would be easy for her to display and share with her friends.

We sold the additional print and the folio, but it was our suggestion that helped the client get what she really wanted and also helped our sale. We call it the McDonald close after McDonald’s policy of always asking you if you want a cherry pie to add to your order. Sometimes I would opt for the cherry pie, sometimes I wouldn’t – in any event, I’m glad they asked.

One of my favorite shopping experiences is when I walk into a Men’s Warehouse just to see what might be new on the shelves. When my friend Pat is in, the shopping experience always turns into something more than just picking out a new sweater or jacket.

I may ask Pat if any new jackets have arrived after which she walks me over to the rack, pulls off a few for me to try on. After I try one on and indicate that I might like it Pat immediately heads over to the slacks racks and pulls a few pair, lays them on the jacket, and before I can wink, she is grabbing a selection of ties off the tie rack.

Before my very eyes, I see my new wardrobe coming together – and it looks great. Pat’s great eye for style and color together with her easy selling manner, always help me find what I really wanted which was more than just a new jacket. And you know what else, I always enjoy my purchases and look forward to my next visit with Pat – it was always a great buying experience.

Maybe that’s the bottom line; a good salesperson always makes it a good BUYING experience for the customer.

Selling is more than just pushing more merchandise onto the customer. It’s understanding what the customer wants; making suggestions based on your expertise, and facilitating a pleasant BUYING experience for your customer. Maybe for others it’s about pushing product for the sake of sales, but for me it’s about how the client is feeling after the sale.

Hey gang, that’s it for me today. We are still a few hours out from Albuquerque. LaDawn is driving and I'm going to grab a few more shots out the window.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for another episode of Soap Box Friday: Are Photographers Just A little Lazy? Anyway, I hope to see a lot of you in Albuquerque this evening. Adios, -David