David's Digital Newsletter

David A. Ziser Digital Newsletter Vol #10 )
 "Friends Don't Let Friends Shoot Film" April 2007 
  • Last Chance - Spring Master Class April 30 - May 4, 2007
  • Photoshop World - Boston WOW!
  • WPPI - 10,000 Photogs Strong!
  • Photoshop - Instant Signature!
  • Fixing the Digital Contrast
  • Last 4 Customer Service Commandments

  • Hi Everyone,

    Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the last newsletter. Your kind comments were very much appreciated. The biggest hit was the "Background Fix" Photoshop Tutorial. We have another great tip this month. Also, look for another camera tip in this issue. Hopefully by the next newsletter, we will be introducing a brand new web site dedicated to the digital portrait/wedding photographer. Content will be centered on more FLASH tutorials for both the photographer and Photoshop devotee. We want you to be involved too. One of the sections will be called "FIX my PIX". Send your image to my attention and we will share the FIX with our readers.

    We will also feature some of the most interesting software tools that we use in our studio to enhance our products and profits. Lots going on - feel free to share this newsletter with your friends and invite them to get on board with the link below - and PLEASE stay tuned! --David

    Last Chance - Spring Master Class April 30 - May 4, 2007

    The Spring Workshop is just about 2 weeks away. It's been called one of the best ever. In addition to the 40+ hours of eating, sleeping, breathing photography (and Photoshop) you get to hang out with a great group of photographers whose combined synergy always leads to a great experience for everyone attending. We also have a special guest coming by this time too - our new Canon rep, Mary Mannix - will be bringing a nice selection of lens for the class to road test - very cool.

    Something new for this upcoming workshop - we will be giving away about $500 worth of product and software from some of the leading vendors in our industry. Remember too that this is a PPA merited event and as a PPA member you will receive an educational merit for attending. One last note, PPA will also be giving a complimentary subscription to PPA Magazine to all attendees. Please give Susan a call at 800.292.2994 to reserve your seat. We hope to see you there!

    By the way, this is not springtime in Cincy. This image is of the whole gang at the first ever Winter Master Class - just a little chilly - but a good time nevertheless.

    David's Master Class info


    Photoshop World - Boston WOW!
    WOW! We just got back from Photoshop World in Boston - it was their largest east coast attendance ever - over 2700 attendees! As many of you know, I have been heading up the Photoshop World Wedding Track these last two conventions - it's a great group of photographers and LaDawn and I really enjoy the friends we make at the show.

    I have been invited to do another Photoshop TV episode, so keep an eye out for that coming up in the next few weeks. You can also check out my images from the Wedding Shootout during the pre-conference sessions at the link below. I've got it running as a FLASH file with all the EXIF data accompanying each image. Give it a minute or two to load and ENJOY!

    The FLASH file will take about a minute to load, but it's worth it - ENJOY!


    Photoshop World Wedding Shootout Images


    WPPI - 10,000 Photogs Strong!
    This has been a "whirlwind" last couple of weeks. The week before Photoshop World, LaDawn and I were in Las Vegas at WPPI largest convention EVER - about 10,000 attendees - unbelievable! These are two of the best, highest energy conventions you could ever attend. Put them in your plans next time around.

    PICTage invited me to be at their booth on Tuesday and we had a great time. I got to share the booth with David Jay for the first 30 minutes and my good friend, Denis Reggie for the second 30 minutes. Everyone there really enjoyed the new format - great ideas, great photography, and great fun!

    So, you ask, what was the most interesting thing I saw at the show? Well, here it is - tucked way back in one of the convention aisles was a software vendor showing a fascinating piece of software. The booth was Image Trends, and the software was their new Fisheye-Hemi plug-in for Photoshop. I have always been a fan of "fisheye photographs, but sometimes the distortion is a bit much. This plug-in from Image Trends REMOVES the distortion while still preserving the super wide field of view. Download the demo - really cool and at a terrific price.


    Image Trends - Fisheye - Hemi Plug-in


    Photoshop - Instant Signature!
    Wouldn't it be "cool" to sign your portrait and wedding images with one simple "mouse-click" in Photoshop. In years past, I used the gold pen - I was a "happy camper" as long as I didn't mess it up. Ahh! Then the digital age emerged upon us and things got a bit easier in that department. Click on the link below to see how easy it is. Enjoy!

    Please give the show a a minute or two to load to load.



    Making a "Signature" Brush in Photoshop


    Fixing the Digital Contrast
    I got some nice comments on last month's camera tip. Here is another. Does anyone other than me think these new digital cameras come out of the box with the default contrast settings just a bit high? I have been a film shooter for a long time before switching to digital. Then when I made the switch, I didn't think I was getting the same "visual result" as with my film images. The image was just a little too "snappy" for my tastes.

    Here is the tip - when I was shooting my Nikon D1X a few years back, I set my contrast down one notch. The result was much closer to what I was getting with film. When I switched to Canon almost 3 years ago, I found the 20D had even more contrast than that of the Nikon D1X. Here are my current settings for the Canon 20D, 30D, and 5D - I set the contrast down 2 notches and the sharpening up one notch for the default "Portrait" settings and save this as "User Parameter1. See the settings accompanying this article. The results are much more pleasing to my tastes. For other camera manufactures, you will want to run your own tests. Give it a try - the result may be better looking images.


    Last 4 Customer Service Commandments
    1. Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It's easy and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Value customer complaints. As much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel better.

    2. Give more than expected!! Since our future lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate us above the competition. Consider these points: What can we give our customers that they cannot get elsewhere?? What can we do as follow-up and thank- you to customers, even if they don't buy? What can we give customers that is totally unexpected?

    3. Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions on how we can improve. There are several ways that we can find out what customers think and feel about our services. Listen carefully to what they say. Check back regularly to see how they are doing. Provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments and suggestions.

    4. Treat employees well. Employees are the internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat employees with respect. Appreciation flows from the top. Treating customers and employees well is equally important. See you next month! --David

    Quick Links...

  • David's Spring Digital Master Class
  • Image Trends

  • Photoshop TV
  • Photoshop Signature Tutorial
  • Previous Newsletters



         email: david@ziser.com
         voice: 859-341-5900
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    David A. Ziser Photography 2957 Dixie Highway Edgewood KY 41017 Tele:859.341.5900