P&P Blogger Profile: David Ziser

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David Ziser of Digital ProTalk

David Ziser, an internationally renowned portrait and wedding photographer, has shared his knowledge with ten’s-of-thousands of photographers, in 5 languages, and in 14 countries worldwide. Studio Photograph magazine has extolled…”Award winning photographer, David Ziser, is showing the world how to take wedding pictures.”  His “Digital WakeUp Call” tour was acclaimed as one of the best ever seminars on digital photography.  He has been a regular featured lecturer at Photoshop World, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, WPPI, and Imaging USA/ Professional Photographers of America.  He is a Kodak Mentor and also holds the distinguished honor of Fellow with the American Society of Photographers

Why do you blog?
I started blogging as we traveled through France this past summer.  It turned out to be a great way for LaDawn and I to relive as we recapped each day.  That Blog is “Dave and LaDawn on the Road” – www.dazld.blogspot.com.   After getting back home, I thought I would give it a try for the large number of digital photographers, hence www.DigitalProTalk.com was born.  It has become an extension of my lectures and seminars and my readers are loving the continued information.  The comments from the readers also help me enhance the content of my lectures too.  It has truly taught me a little something about becoming more disciplined with my schedule –  since I Blog everyday. 

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, which ones would they be?
That’s a good question – If I’m looking for good news tidbits, I like Imaging Insider, PopPhotoFlash, and Imaging Resource.  If I’m reading for fun, inspiration, and info, I like Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, Luminous Landscape, and Media Storm.  Of course, my all time favorite is DigitalProTalk.com ;~)

How long have you been using Photoshop/been a photographer?
I started in Photography as a hobby when I was 12 years old processing my own film and prints.  My first enlarger was my little sister’s “Give-a-Show” projector.  I photographed my first wedding at age 15, graduated with a Physics degree and Engineering degree in 1971 at age 23, and opened my studio in 1978.   Regarding Photoshop – I go back to Photoshop 5.  I could do it all back then, but all I could do was burn, dodge, clone, and crop.

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
My current Favorite is the Canon 40D, I still own the 5D, 30D, and 20D’s

Mac or PC?
Let’s not make it a religious argument here, but I use the best tool for the job and for me 90% of the time that’s a PC.

What is your favorite piece of photo or computer equipment (other than your camera)?
Wow! That’s tough one – it’s like I like the whole gear bag – but I do tend to lean towards wide angle lenses.  Computer wise, I like the big screen monitors.  I’m currently using a Dell 24” wide screen monitor, but boy, that Dell 30 “incher” looks pretty cool.

What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have?
The radio transmitter for the Canon 40D – it’s a great teaching aid – it really ramps up the learning curve for seminar attendees.  I’m also looking at the fisheye lens for my Canon 5D.

What advice do you have for a novice creative professional/photographer?
You might have passion for what you want to do, but that is only half of the “success” equation.  The other half is discipline.  Without both of them, you will never reach your goals. Passion + Discipline = Success.  Now if you also want $uccess, you better have a Plan – but that’s and answer for another time.

What inspires you to create?
Wanting to see what comes out on the other side of an idea.  Something will pop into my head about a certain scene – color, lighting, details, lines, shapes, forms, pose – anything like that.   I’m curious how it will all come together in the finished image.  This process is kind of a private, quiet moment for me – even on a fast moving wedding day shoot. Motion seems to stop as I slowly put the “compositional pieces” together in my mind – almost “Matrix” like. Granted, it’s really fast in “real life”, but I love it when the final image is just the way I saw it in my mind. At that point, the experience is no longer private.- now it’s shared with the client.  For the portrait/wedding shooter, nothing excites your client more that your own excitement for the image you created for them.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Never give up, and sometimes, just live life’s questions without having to know the answers right now.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you live now)?
Maybe New England, or Northern California, but I am pretty happy right here in the good old metro Cincinnati area though.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Travel with my wife, LaDawn, reading, and enjoying a nice bottle of wine, “puttering” on the computer, and long or short walks with LaDawn.

What talent would you most like to have?
Playing a musical instrument – Banjo, Guitar, or Piano – but not all three.

From Inside the Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word? Can
What is your least favorite word? Can’t
What turns you on? Seeing someone being the best they can be.
What turns you off? Seeing a person’s God-given gifts being wasted.
What sound or noise do you love? Falling rain
What sound or noise do you hate? The studio business phone ringing during holidays (i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.)
What is your favorite curse word? Don’t really have one because I don’t swear very much, but sh_ _, comes out rarely – always followed with an apology to anyone within earshot.
What occupation other than your own would you like to attempt? Acting – LaDawn and I love plays and the thought has crossed my mind to join an acting class or community theater.  If that didn’t work out, “chef” would be next.
What occupation would you not want to participate in? Being an attorney – man, all they do is argue with each other.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? I think life is the journey so I’d like to hear, “Welcome home.” 

*Note: If you there is someone you would like to see as a part of the P&P Blogger Profile series, please email Jason with their blog’s URL. Also, be sure to check out the P&P Weekly every Monday for news about this site and a roundup of what other Photoshop & Photography Blogroll members are posting and come back on Fridays for the Geographic Composition weekly photo project.

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