Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Merry Christmas Everybody,

Christmas 2012I’ve said it before - this is my favorite time of the year.  I love the bright twinkling lights, the rich colors of the season, the wonderful carols playing on the home stereo, car radio, Pandora, I-Heart Radio, Spotify, Rdio, et. al. And, I love the wonderful fragrance of pine in the air – yes, we put a REAL tree up every year ;~)  I like looking over the Christmas card list in the mail and reminiscing about the good times, over the years, I've shared with all the special friends and family on that list.  I like reading every holiday card that crosses our inbox or mailbox.  And I love what this season stands for compassion, love, joy, peace and sharing. And we all know the world needs a lot more of that.

That indeed is the most important thought to keep in mind during this wondrous time of the year.  Christmas isn’t made special by shopping till we drop, rushing from one party to the next, or heading to the latest opening movie on Christmas Day.  Christmas is a celebration of life and love.  It’s about touching others lives and hearts in our own thought, word, and deeds. Christmas is made special when we take a pro-active approach in doing just that. 

ChristmasMost of us will be spending time with family and friends enjoying this wonderful (day)season. From kids to grandparents and beyond, families and friends will be enjoying everything this holiday season has to offer - friendship, laughter, good food, and love.  But, take an extra step and reach out and help make Christmas special for everyone you come in contact with these next few days. The easiest way in the world to have a great day is to help someone have a great day first – Christmas season is a good place to start.

I wish each and everyone one of you the most wondrous of holiday seasons and pray that they too find peace, caring, compassion, and love at Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

-David and LaDawn

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Day’s End At Land’s End"

Day's EndIMG_1665"Day’s End At Land’s End"
©David A. Ziser

One thing you have to admit while in Cabo, Mexico is that the sunsets are fabulous just about every evening.  Last evening was no exception. We were visiting new friends up the beach from where we are staying and this was the view of the Sea of Cortez from their back yard property – simply breathtaking!

The challenge for sunset photographs is getting the exposure just right so that you preserve the color and richness of the sunset and still maintain details in the shadows.  Leaving the camera on “P” for program just will not do it. I choose to set the camera to “M” manual, then adjusted the aperture and shutter speed to capture just the result I wanted.

I should probably mention that I used the camera’s viewfinder as my exposure guide.  That seemed to work just fine because the image on the camera looked the same when I imported the image into Lightroom.  I love how the cameras give you decent feedback on your exposures when using their built in viewfinder.

Composition was easy for this image.  I positioned the sun in the bottom right quadrant of the viewfinder.  That opened up the rest of the frame for the beautiful cloud formation filling the sky.  A tweak of the “vibrancy” slider and a slight saturation push for the blue tones gave me the color values I wanted.  I added clarity to the water with the gradient tool to get my final result.

Camera specs:  Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera zoomed to 40mm (35mm equiv) at F8.0 @ 1/200 second, ISO 200.  Enjoy!  -David


Have Yourself the Photographic Blast of a Lifetime!

Good Morning Everybody,

2013 PhotoPro Expo Header LRSorry for the delay in getting back to DPT.  Even though we’re in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the last few weeks, I’ve been spending many long days wrapping all the FINAL arrangements for our “blow-out” PhotoPro Expo 2013. I can’t wait to tell you the details so today I’m “spilling the beans” and officially announcing one of the BIGGEST and BEST photographic events of the year!

"If you love photography, you've got to be there!"

So, why should you attend?  Easy answer:

  • iPad miniLearn from 26 of the best instructors in the business presenting nearly 40 programs over 5 days!
  • You can bring a friend for only $99!
  • You could win an iPad Mini for registering early.
  • You can visit the largest photographic tradeshow in the Midwest!
  • You may win some of the over $15,000 in prizes given away during the convention!
  • Add to your portfolio at the Westcott Fantasy Model Shoot-out.
  • Hear 14 FREE “LIVE” programs at the Expo Theater from top instructors.
  • Schedule a personal portfolio review with a top photographer – what a great way to learn!
  • You have a chance to enter, sit in and learn during our juried Print Competition.
  • You get a $99 room rate – the best of any convention – at a four star hotel!

Check out all the details below – pretty cool stuff happening, including 1 in 50 chance (great odds) to win an iPad Mini.



"If you love photography, you've got to be there!"

Rarely does a photographic event this big and exciting come to the Midwest.  And I want to tell you about a very special opportunity for all of our DPT readers!

On February 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11, 2013 you have the opportunity to attend the region's most exciting photographic event of the year, save some money by bringing a friend for only $99, and have a great chance to win an iPad Mini if you're one of the first 50 to register with Prize Code PPEDPT13!

Image(5) Learn from the BEST Instructors in the business!

The speaker line up is amazing and is, hands down, one of the best for 2013.  These superstars include National Geographic photographer, Joe McNally; Photoshop guru, Julieanne Kost; the hottest wedding photographers on the planet, Zach and Jody Gray; top shooter, best-selling author, & social media expert, Rick Sammon; Saturday Night "Live" HDSLR legend, Alex Buono; high school senior & marketing geniuses, Kent and Sarah Smith; the legendary Kevin Kubota; fashion photographer, Lou Freeman;  top commercial, digital illustrator, Woody Walters;  and many, many more. A total of - 26 amazing speakers presenting nearly 40 programs! 

The Biggest and Best Photographic Tradeshow Ever!!!

PhotoPro Expo 2013 will also be home to the largest photographic trade show in the region.  With over 100 booths in the tradeshow, you can expect to see some of the top photography vendors from around the country!  

ImageThe Expo trade show will once again be hosting:

  • A two-day, Fantasy Model Shoot-Out  sponsored by Westcott.
  • 14 LIVE programs in our new Expo Theater.
  • A fully juried photographic Print Competition with $5000 in awards.
  • Over $15,000 in prizes and awards when using Prize Code PPEDPT13 upon registering.
  • Personal Portfolio Image Reviews with photo experts.
  • Three great parties. 

PhotoPro Expo 2013 is the NOT TO BE MISSED photographic event of the year!!!


Bring A Friend For Only $99 - Offer good till 12/31/12

Book Early - First 50 Registered Eligible for iPad Mini Drawing!

OK, how much does it cost?  Good question!  A convention like this with a 26 speaker talent line up can run as high as $600.  But the cost of PhotoPro Expo 2013, with our Prize Code PPEDPT13 is only $159 and lets you bring a friend for only $99 more!  Using our code also allows you to be eligible for over $15,000 in prizes!!!  The convention is taking place near downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. 

$99 rooms rates at 4-Star Marriott RiverCenter

$99 room accommodations have been arranged at the 4-Star Marriott RiverCenter hotel, conveniently attached to the convention center.


Only $159 for all three days! Add a second person for only $99 - that's only $129/person and great room rates!  That makes it a "no-brainer" to attend.  PhotoPro Expo 2013 is not only the best education destination for 2013, but also the best place to have yourself the photographic blast of a lifetime!

Check it out at www.photoproexpo.com.  This offer expires December 31, 2012 so register NOW!  Don't forget - make your hotel reservations right away - the hotel will definitely be sold out if you wait.

Remember, use Prize Code PPEDPT13 to register for only $159, bring a guest for only $99 and be eligible for over $15,000 in prizes and awards!  Offer expires 12/31/12! So REGISTER NOW!  You can't afford to miss this event and you may even win an iPad Mini for registering early.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We leave for home on Saturday.  Once the dust settles from all our travels and holiday activities, I’m hoping to get the blog postings back to normal and on a regular schedule.  That said, everybody have a great rest of the day in your part of the world and I’ll see you soon.

Adios till later,  David

Thursday, December 06, 2012

"Morning Magic"

Morning Magic

"Morning Magic"
©David A. Ziser

I captured this image about two days ago while on a sunrise walk with LaDawn  through the estuary in San Jose del Cabo.  The days are kind of short around here so we’re finding ourselves up before the break of dawn.  That has given us a great (photographic) opportunity to explore the surrounds of this beautiful part of Mexico when the sun is just breaking the horizon. The ocean breezes are more intent and the morning sunrise colors are often quite breath-taking.

Compositionally - I placed the sun at “nodal point” #4 – bottom right of the tic-tac-toe grid – for the visual balance I wanted in this image.  After exercising a small amount of patience, the ducks were perfectly positioned in the composition just as I clicked the shutter. I know that I could never be a National Geographic, or such, photographer waiting for hours for the perfect position of the animals in my composition. After 60-90 seconds I’m ready to move-on.

This is how the image looked at the moment of capture.  It’s easy to see why we like visiting San Jose del Cabo so much.

Camera specs:  Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera at F8.0 @ 1/250 second, ISO 500.  Enjoy!  -David

My New Favorite Camera Gets The Shot Other Cameras Miss!

Good Morning Everybody,

CAbo Sunrise2OK, I have to admit it….  The Cabo sunshine, sandy beaches, sound of the waves crashing the shoreline can get you in slow motion pretty quickly. But that said, it’s not all play in sunny Mexico.  We are on the verge of kicking off our PhotoPro Expo 2013 promo blast next week so that has taken up quite a bit of my time while on vacation.  Isn’t technology wonderful – I still get to do the work by the beach ;~)

My New Favorite Camera Gets The Shot Other Cameras Miss!

Let's get on with today's post. On Tuesday I shared with you my fun experience with my brand new Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera. It's been getting great reviews on the Internet but what is most amazing about this camera is the zoom range. It's currently the widest zoom range available of any camera on the market ranging from 24mm all the way out to 1200mm in one small, lightweight, compact package.

You may be asking yourself, "Why in the world would Ziser be using a consumer grade camera?" I alluded to the answer in Tuesday’s post.  Let me spell it out today. As a professional photographer there are some instances when I would really like to get up close and personal to the action going on. A perfect example would be when the bride and groom are exchanging wedding vows. Sure, I've got a 300mm lens that I can use on my 7D which will give me effectively a 480mm telephoto lens.

Canon 1200mm lensBut, what happens if I want to get even closer than that?  You might think I could call my buddies at B&H and order one of Canon’s 1200/5.6L USM  monster lens priced at $125,000!!! Uh… I don’t think so!

So, back to my new favorite fun camera, Canon’s PowerShot SX50 HS  Camera at a whopping $450 US dollars.  I have to say,  from my early tests I am mighty impressed with the photographic capabilities of this small, little consumer camera. Let me review a couple of my test images I've made in the last few days.

Photo One:

This image was taken from the front door of our home in Kentucky looking out across the city and it was taken at the 24mm wide-angle setting. Keep an eye on the water tower in the center of the image.

Water Tower - Far

Photo Two:

This image was taken from the same place, at the full 1200mm zoom, but in this case I targeted closer into the water tower that you can barely see in the distance in the first photograph. Amazing, don't you think?

Water Tower near

Photo Three:

While on a walk around the neighborhood  I continued to experiment with the telephoto capabilities of this little jewel  of a camera. Notice how sharp and crisp the detail is on the pumpkin - and this image was also captured at the 1200mm setting of the camera …amazing!


Photo Four:

Recently I had the occasion to be at an event at one of our local churches and I thought the occasion would offer the perfect opportunity  to experiment with the long lens capabilities during an actual church service. Take a look at the next photograph.

Back of Church

This image was taken with me standing at the very back of the church with the camera in the wide-angle 24mm setting. You can see I get quite a wide view of the church and image sharpness looks just great on my computer.

Photo Five:

Take a look at this next image. It was captured in the exact same location as the image above, but this time I zoomed in just a bit to the 60mm setting of the camera. Again, the image is quite sharp and perfectly acceptable for any 8x10 I might deliver in a clients album.

Church at 60mm

Photo Six:

In the following image I zoomed into the pipe organs in the back of the church.  This image is the zoom equivalent of a 500mm lens on a 35mm camera. Color and definition of detail looks good in the image.

Pipe Organ pipes

Image Seven:

This next image was taken of a church statue so obviously it wasn't moving but what I want you to notice are the camera specs of this image.  This image was taken at 700mm (35 mm equivalent), 1/10 second at F5.6, at ISO1600.  Yes, I said 1/10 second. The SX50 is capable of 4 1/2 stops of image stabilization built-in at all of the focal lengths!


I think it's quite amazing that this is a handheld photograph! It points up one more time some of the amazing possibilities of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera

Photo Eight:

This image was taken during the actual church service handheld at 1/80th of a second at F5.6 but this time I zoomed into an 800mm setting.  Once again you can see the detail is crisp and sharp throughout the image.

Photo 8

Photo Nine:

Moving onto the next image - this image was taken from the back of the church but in this case I zoomed all the way to the 1000mm setting. This image was also handheld at 1/60th second at F5.6 and shot at ISO 1600. I’m finding it pretty incredible, but wait there’s more!

Photo 9

Photo Ten:

This image was taken from the back of the church at full magnification of the zoom lens.  The camera was racked out to 1200mm and I clicked off the image at 1/60th of a second handheld at F5.6, 1600 ISO. I think it's an amazing and again highlights the capabilities of this little camera.

Photo 10

In Conclusion:

Canon SX50It's just thrilling the technology Canon built into this camera. I’ve printed out 11x14 hard copies of all the images I’ve featured today.  Everyone that looks at them thinks they look great.  The camera also includes the DIGIC 5 processor, a decently sharp lens, a super compact shape, HDR capability, 1080p video, and many other wonderful  features that I haven’t even shown today.

So, is there a place for this little power shot camera in your professional camera bag? There certainly is for me. I really like the idea of being able to zoom in so closely on some key moments of a wedding  and be able to do it without breaking the bank by buying a “monster millimeter” lens. So, tell me, if you are making the choice would it be for the $125,000 lens you can’t even carry or the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS  Camera for $450? For me I think for what I'm looking for I think $450 model fills the bill just perfectly.

Anyway, I'm not promoting the fact that we should purchase amateur equipment for a professional jobs but, what I am suggesting is that there might be other solutions much more reasonably priced for the occasional situation in which we might need a few super close-up images. Anyway, food for thought.


Hey gang that's it for me today. The sea breezes, sandy beaches and snorkel gear are calling – I’ve got to go ;~)  Have a great rest of the day and I’ll see you soon.

– David

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

An Amateur Camera For Pro Use??? Never, Well Maybe

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Canon SX50I have to admit, that while we're in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, I'm having a great time with my new, early Christmas present, a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera.

The cool thing about this special, little camera is the fact that it will zoom from 24 mm all the way out to 1200 mm – 35mm equivalent – without changing lenses! If you let that zoom range sink in, just for a second, you understand why it is such a fun camera to use. While in Cabo, I've been photographing everything from sunrises to sunsets, landscapes, cactus flowers and plants, macros of baby sea turtles, goggley eyed crabs, wildlife photos, and even taking close-up photographs of the moon.

0016- HS50-IMG_0874

It's the unbelievable zoom range of this camera that makes it so much fun to use. It produces a 12 mega-pixel RAW file which I can import into the latest Lightroom 4's beta release. Lightroom gives me plenty of control in enhancing the camera's images. The 12 mega-pixel file size is the same as my size as my beloved Canon 40D camera of just a few years ago. So I suspect I'll be able to print an acceptable 24x36 inch print from these files just as I routinely produced and delivered from my 40D.

0006- HS50-IMG_0581

The camera is also responsive enough for me to capture most of the photographs that I want to take. The time it takes to write the file to the card is a little slower than I would like, meaning that I rarely do any burst shooting and that can be a real hindrance for any wedding photographer.  Don' t  get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you trade in your Canon 5D Mark III of Nikon D800.

0033- HS50-IMG_1131

This camera is small, convenient, light weight and what I REALLY love about this camera is the zoom range.  It is that fantastic zoom range that offers not just an amateur photographer some added shooting versatility but the professional photographers as well. I know some of you reading this must think I'm "nuts" about now, but hang in there with me.  I ran a few tests about a week ago just to see what kind of real image quality I could produce out of the camera.  I was really surprised with my first tests!

0031- HS50-IMG_1106

I have several sample images that I quickly printed 11x14 prior to us leaving for Cabo. I plan to share with you these images in a follow-up post this week. So, be sure to tune in, I think you'll be surprised with the results I was able to obtain!

0010- HS50-IMG_0702

0011- HS50-IMG_0710

Hey, for $450 US dollars, this camera is one sweet little gem that I am thoroughly enjoying using while on vacation. Galileo would have loved it ;~)


Hey gang, that's it for me today. Everybody have a great rest of the day in whatever part of the world you're in and I'll plan to see you again later this week.

Adios, David