Monthly Archives January 2008


The amazing David Ziser has been in town since last week working on his on-location wedding shoot for, and I stopped by and crashed their shoot yesterday at a local church. I stayed just long enough to take a few quick shots (as seen above), but while I was there I watched him tape a short segment and I have to tell you—David Ziser flat out rocks! He is, without a doubt, one of the best teachers out there, and the stuff he imparts in his teaching you just don’t find anywhere else. He makes it all so clear, so simple, and it just makes so much sense. I can’t wait to watch his entire class when it goes online (should be within just few weeks).

Besides traveling the world shooting high-end weddings, and teaching both the photography and the business side of wedding photography, he has one of the most informative (and active), blogs out there (called ““). I know I’ve mentioned it here before (I even talked about it in my latest book), but even if you’re not a wedding photographer, you’ve got to add to your daily list (David posts numerous times each time. He even makes me feel like I’m a slacker). Here’s the link to his site, and I’ll let you all know as soon as his first online class goes live.

One last thing: David’s Photoshop World pre-conference workshop (and live on location wedding shoot) is one of the very first ones to sell out (he’s sold out every single one well in advance), so if you’re planning on going—make sure you snag your spot right away.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="450" height="335" wmode="transparent" /]

As promised, here’s the full intro to Dan’s new advanced Photoshop Lab Color Frontier online class, and I posted the full intro for two reasons:

  1. Dan’s the real deal. He’s brash, outspoken, and he “calls ’em like he sees ’em.” You’ve got to hear it in his own words. Plus, you’ve got to love any class intro that’s rated PG, and I particularly enjoy the way Dan both scares you away, and then at the same time nearly dares you to take his class.
  2. You’ve got to watch the full intro because at one point not only does Dan somehow manage to draw a connection between Shakespeare and Photoshop Lab Color, but he actually kind of acts out a scene from Shakespeare’s King Henry IV, Part One. But here’s the most surprising thing; he does it so darn well (and knows the topic so well), that it’s really captivating (in a “Shakespeare goes to Brooklyn” kind of way). I promise you—you’ll love it. It can only be hours before this winds up on because it’s really, well…you just gotta watch it. Only Dan could pull this off.

So, lower the lights, hit the play button above, sit back and just watch. Oh yeah, it wouldn’t hurt to grab a glass of wine first. Or two.


Hi folks: here’s what’s up:

  • Photographer Alan Hess from sent me the photo above (click for a larger version) which he took of Nikon shooters on the sidelines of the San Diego Chargers vs. Detroit Lions game late last year. Thanks Alan, for sharing your photo with my readers (and check out Alan’s fantastic concert photography if you get a chance–here’s the link).
  • When I was checking out Terry’s video on Elements 6 for Mac yesterday, I wound up over at Terry’s Tech Blog, where he’s got a great in-depth review of Wacom’s new lightweight 12″ Cintiq 12WX and if you’ve ever dreamed of having a Cintiq, this is your chance. By the way, Corey Barker’s been using one here in his office, and I got to play around with it, and I’ve got to tell ya—it absolutely rocks! Here’s the link to Terry’s review.
  • Want some Tuesday photo inspiration? Check out the photography of UK-based photographer Tim Wallace. Make sure you visit his Automobile portfolio. Amazing stuff. Here’s the link.
  • This is a bit off topic, but if you’re thinking about whether to go BlueRay or HD-DVD, check out DV-Confidential’s report on the topic right here.
  • “The Blog” did an in-depth review of my new book, “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2” and you can read it online right here.
  • Looks like it’s going to be a big day for Apple, as Steve Jobs kicks off the Macworld Expo out in San Francisco with his highly anticipated Keynote presentation. Should be a fun day!

Have a great one everybody. See ya tomorrow! :-)


Don’t miss this week’s episode of Photoshop User TV (you can watch it right online), as we taped the show last week live from the booth on the show floor of PPA’s Imaging USA show at the Tampa Convention Center (the photo above was taken during the taping by Corey Barker).

Matt, Dave, and I each gave previews from some of our online classes, and RC did a tour of the Expo, along with some interviews with vendors and photographers at the show. You can watch the show right here.


A huge congratulations to my buddy Matt Kloskowski, who yesterday ran in the Disney Marathon (that’s Matt and his brother crossing the finish line after running 26.2 miles in the 80°+ Florida heat! Click on the photo for a much larger view).

RC, my brother Jeff, and I were there to photograph Matt’s race, and text him with unmotivating messages while he ran, (including a play-by-play of our breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort while Matt was in the middle of his race. I’d text him with stuff like, “Hey, RC, can you pass the maple syrup? Whoops, sorry Matt–that text was supposed to be for RC.” and stuff like, “Man, we’ve been waiting so long in this breakfast line. I’m beat!” and worse).

Despite all our text jokes, Matt finished the race and we’re all so proud of him, and just amazed at his incredible accomplishment, Way to go, Ski!!!! :-)


I’ve been getting a number of emails, and posts here on the blog, about my book, “The Photoshop Seven-Point System,” so I thought I’d put together a short Q&A that will hopefully address some of the most frequent questions. Here we go:

Q. I can’t find out where to download the photos used in the book. Where are they?
A. The download link is listed in the last place you’d look; the book’s introduction. That’s why from here on out, I’m including the link in more places in the book.

Q. Why don’t you just put the link here?
A. It’s because the downloadable images are just for people who are using “The System.”

Q. I’m trying to use Lightroom instead of Photoshop CS3, but it won’t let me take an image from Lightroom into Photoshop CS3 as a Smart Object. How come?
A. It’s because at this point, Lightroom doesn’t have the option of opening images in Photoshop as a Smart Object. I’m hoping that Adobe will include that option in Lightroom 2.0, but at this point I have no idea if they will.

Q. But I use Lightroom for all my raw processing. Is there a workaround?
A. Well, yeah, but it’s pretty clunky (which is why I called it the seven point system for “Photoshop CS3” and NOT for “Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom”). Here’s a step-by-step:

STEP ONE: Take the image into Lightroom’s Develop module and process the image using the techniques from the Photoshop CS3 Seven-Point System.

STEP TWO: Switch back to the Library module, then go under the Metadata menu (up top) and choose Save Metadata to File.

STEP THREE: Ctrl-Click (on Mac), or Right click (on PC) and from the pop-up menu that appears, choose “Show in Finder” (on Mac), or “Show in Explorer” on PC. This opens and brings to front the window where that file resides on your computer.

STEP FOUR: Inside that window, select both your image file, and the XMP metadata file (they should be right next to each other), and copy these to a new location on your hard disk (I told you this was clunky). I make a copy of mine and put them on my Desktop, so they’re separate from the one I used in Lightroom, but you can actually edit the same image you used in Lightroom—just don’t drag it to your desktop or another location.

STEP FIVE: Go to Photoshop CS3, and choose “Open as Smart Object” and that image will open in Photoshop CS3’s Camera Raw, with all the changes you made back in Lightroom. You can continue applying “The System” from here.

STEP SIX: The clunkiness continues: There’s no easy way to go back to Lightroom for printing or more editing, without reimporting the photo into Lightroom like you would any other photo on your computer. I know, this isn’t what you wanted you hear, but this is why I didn’t include a section on Lightroom in the book, even though Camera Raw and Lightroom’s Develop module share the same controls. When it comes to using Lightroom and Smart Objects, at this point the two don’t really mix.

Q. Can I use “The System” if I have CS2, instead of Photoshop CS3?
A. Well….no, not really. A key part of the system requires that you use the Camera Raw functionality of CS3 (even if you’re shooting in JPEG or TIFF). So, if you try “The System” using anything other than CS3 (like CS2, Lightroom, etc.) it’s not the Seven-Point system. It’s the five point system, or the 6 point system, or well…something else.

Q. Does “The System” Work with Photoshop Elements?
A. Nope. Sorry ’bout that.

Q. I heard there was a flickr group for people who use “The System,” and that they’re posting their before/after photos there. What’s the link?
A. The “Seven Point System Before/After” flickr group is at this link right here.

Q. Will I wind up using all Seven Points on every single photo?
A. I sure hope not. The more messed up the photo, the more points you’ll need, but chances are you won’t have to use more than five or six for most photos, and that’s a good thing.

Q. You refer to some sharpening actions in the book, but I can’t find them. Where do you download them from?
A. You don’t download them–you build them yourself (as a way of learning how to create and use your own actions), in one of the first chapters in the book. That way, you can use those actions throughout not only the rest of the book, but in your own workflow as well.

Q. Does “The System” really work?
A. I can honestly say, that I get more emails from people who swear by “The System” than probably anything I’ve ever written for Photoshop. The “Seven Point System” is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done as a teacher, because I really set out to help folks who are struggling. I wanted to find a way to really help them to finally get their images to look the way them always wanted them to, and to hear from so many people around the world, and read so many wonderful reviews online about the success they’re having, is just incredibly motivating, encouraging, and gratifying for me. When you’ve devoted your life to teaching, this is the kind of stuff you live for. :)

Well, there you have it. A few things that I hope will help answer some of the lingering questions about “The System.”