Lots of stuff happening! Check out the BLOG announcement below - good
stuff. This month we've got a requested Photoshop tutorial, which I think
you will find quite interesting. And be sure not to miss the other articles
as well. There is another good one on a marketing idea that could be great
for your business. I've come across a couple of very interesting items which
offer an intriguing "read" for the digital photog. Also, check out the "web
site of the month" - although we may not do this every month - this site is
LaDawn and I are off to France for two weeks this Sunday; so check the
Blog for further news, images and updates.
Digital ProTalk Blog to Kick Off!
This is the start of a new blog entitled "Digital ProTalk" that will
incorporate "All the photo news that's fit to print." (Where have I heard
that before?) Well, maybe not all the news, but news, ideas, techniques,
etc. Topics will include Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and anything
else I think might be of interest to our readers.
You can check it out right now. I've posted a few interesting articles in
RED on the right hand side of the site - take a peek. These will change a
few times a week so check back often. I want it to be a great - need I say
"geek surf spot" for anyone in this wonderful profession of ours. It will be
a work in process, so give me your feedback on it.
Fall Workshop filling Fast!
We are almost 2/3's booked for the Fall Digital Master Class, and we are
more than two months out! We try to keep these classes to 20 - 25
participants so everyone has a chance to be involved. So, if you are
considering coming, please give Susan a call at 800- 292-2994 to
register. You can get all the info at www.davidziser.com
David's Digital Master Class »
Easy Terabyte Storage
I came across an article in PC magazine a while back talking about this
new company - Hammer Storage. John Dvorak, the columnist, was mentioning
what a great piece of backup hardware they made called 'myshare".
"Myshare" is a network attached storage (NAS) device in the very
reasonable $429 range.
NAS is very convenient when you have a number of workstations needing
access to the same data - like image files. I thought I would give it a
try and, so far have been quite happy with the results. It was fairly
easy to set up - about 15 minutes - and when I ran into one "hitch" the
company's tech support was quick to pick up the phone and resolve the
issue. That was a pleasant experience in this digital day and age.
We have it plugged into our gigabyte switch and can easily access our
data quickly over the network. Let me add that this is not a "RAID"
device with data redundancy built in, but when coupled with another
"myshare" drive for backup, it becomes a pretty reasonable solution for
data integrity. I'll talk about some back-up solutions in an upcoming
Stretching the Background - Photoshop Tutorial
I received a request from a reader who wanted to know how to stretch a
studio portrait background in an image so that the subject was better
centered. We have this come up every now and then, so in this tutorial
I'll show you a quick, easy way to make the fix. Enjoy!
Click here to play tutorial - Stretching the Background »
A Stepping Stone to Stardom - Marketing
How many of us get phone calls asking us to participate in a fundraiser
or similar charity event. It goes something like this - "Hi, I'm with
'Best Charity Events' and we would like you to participate by doing the
photography for us at cost - we will give you a free ad in the program
guide - can we count you in?"
Now I know all the calls are being made by well meaning volunteers
for very deserving causes. Many of us jump on the chance to cover the
event and settle for the ad.
How can we get more mileage out of our efforts? Well, first of all,
offer to do it at no cost to the organization. Yes, take your
complimentary ad in the program, but here is the key point. Ask for a
level of sponsorship consistent with the product and services you will
be performing for the organization. For instance, if you will making
several hundred images of the event and special images of the board of
directors, creating an album for their archives, providing them with a
CD of the high-res images for unlimited use, etc. - the value of your
services ads up quite quickly. These services may be in the "thousands
of dollars" category, which should trade quite nicely for a significant
Once you have negotiated a fair sponsorship level for your business
involvement, be sure that your company name appears wherever they list
the sponsors - newsprint, radio, TV, program guide, etc. Now you have
some real "bragging rights" to include in your studio promotions. It's a
"win-win" situation - great PR for you because of your community
involvement and great photography for your charity client. Good Luck!
And You Were Worried Before
80% of Americans will own digital phones by 2008. 903 million camera
phones will be shipped by 2010. Now it gets really interesting. Gone are
the days when mobile phone cameras had poor VGA quality of less than 1
megapixel. Today's camera phones average 2 megapixels, while the
top-notch models from Nokia and Sony Ericsson now offer 5 megapixels and
also come with an array of camera-specific features such as auto-focus,
red-eye reduction, and xenon flashes. So becoming a photographer is now
even less of a big deal.
And the megapixel trend will rise further as cameras with 8
megapixels will be out soon. NEC plans to launch a camera phone chip in
October and hopes to change things drastically. Top end camera phones
will be equipped with 8-megapixel resolution in 2008, with mid-range
phones ramping up to 5 megapixels and low-end phones at with 3.2
I'm really not trying to put up a "big scare" but too many photogs
out there are complaining about the downturn in business, and in many
parts of the country, it's true. That's why it behooves us to constantly
re-invent our products and ourselves so we stand out from the crowd.
Web Site of the Month
OK - here is a really good one. I was cruising the net the other day -
using Google Reader, of course - and came across one of the more
fascinating web sites I had ever seen - KITE PHOTOGRAPHY! Craig Wilson
is the photographer and kite flyer.
Yep, he somehow attaches a camera to a kite and sends it soaring. His
images are outstanding. He even has a book available - I've ordered mine
already. Check it out - you will get a "kick" out of it.
Don't forget, check out the new blog - See everyone next time.
Au revoir, David
From a Kite