The Tables have Turned, and now David Saffir Needs Your Assistance

We are writing this note for distribution to all the places where David Saffir has generously provided his expertise and wisdom over the years; please distribute as appropriate.

Many of you will recognize David’s name. Some from the excellent book he contributed to our Mastering Digital Series, named Mastering Digital Color. It still sits on my resource volume shelf. Others have heard David speak at venues from Sammy’s in California to B&H Photo in New York. And in recent years you may have had the opportunity to discuss photography, videography, and digital workflow with him in the Datacolor booth at a number of tradeshows. Thousands of you would recognize his voice from the webinars we co-hosted for Datacolor on a wide array of photo and video topics. Finally, there are those who have followed David’s personal blog, as well as his frequent contributions to the SpyderBLOG.

Like many photographers, David is an independent contractor. This means he has to pay for his own health insurance, most recently through the Affordable Care Act. Recently David’s wife underwent major surgery, and the bills, above what insurance covered, had already begun to mount. During her recovery David suffered a major stroke, leaving one side of his body paralyzed. Neither of the Saffirs will be able to return to work any time soon.

An account has been set up on David’s behalf, and any donations to it will be used towards the Saffir’s rapidly growing short-term expenses. Donations can be made payable to David Saffir, and sent to his sister Cynthia Saffir, 2266 Pelham Ave. Los Angeles CA 90064. Alternately, you can donate via PayPal, account name All donations, of any size, will be much appreciated.

We will keep you informed of David’s progress as further information becomes available. Thank you for your assistance.

David Tobie, on behalf of Mike Ritzer, Ken Sklute, and a growing list of other photography friends.

Think Different: Every Picture Tells a Story

Think Different: Every Picture Tells a Story

Every picture tells a story. That’s also a line from a song – but good image or bad, there’s a story and an experience in there somewhere. Emotion, form, movement, behavior, interaction, socialization, violence, the contrast of the young and the old – it’s there, isn’t it? Sometimes, one can find several stories within. In some cases the photographer intends this, sometimes not, and sometimes it’s just an accident – again, good or bad.

I draw a lot of my creative inspiration from the natural world. The cycles of day and night, an animal’s astonishing behavior, color in a wildflower, the rhythms of water- at times, they all speak to me.

I tried for days to capture this image of a flycatcher. He’s feeding at a pond near my home. These birds are so fast, that getting a sharp image is frequently a matter of luck. I’ve published this before, but I think it’s worth showing again.

Flycatcher Feeding at Dusk

I remember thinking, as I was taking photographs in a stream in the Colombia River Valley, that the stream had a unique pulse and rhythm – the level of the water rose and fell, the speed of the water went up and down, sounds changed , even the temperature varied. I felt as though the stream was almost a living thing.

Columbia River Gorge

I also draw creative inspiration from people I encounter, or from things they’ve changed as they pass through a place. I’m particularly drawn to things that don’t fit – call it eccentric, misplaced, irreverent – the non-conventional makes me think- everyday ordinary, however, beautiful, rarely prompts me to pick up my camera.

In past months, I’ve really made an effort to change my habits, and carry a smaller camera, or at least a pocketable one. Now I’m trying to change my habit of running off to the next thing, and pausing to capture something new, different, unusual – or inspiring. This one’s unusual, to say the least!


Think Different will, I hope, become a series of short essays on creativity and inspiration in photography.

Sedona PhotoFest Conference-Speaking Engagements and Events

I will be speaking at the Sedona PhotoFest event. My topics will be: “Monochrome In The Digital Age”, and “Printing Tips and Techniques for Photographers: Getting the Most Out Of Your Inkjet Printer”. (NEW) I will also participate in a panel discussion on “Making the Web Work for You”

The event will be held July 18-25, 2010.

Sedona PhotoFest 2010 brings together Pulitzer-winning photographer Jack Dykinga, “Sedona Masters” and six competing “Apprentice Photographers” juried from Arizona high schools for three days of photography in Sedona’s stunning red rock country.

"Determination" © D Saffir

Keynote talks, symposium presentations and panel discussions, and gala evening events make this week ideal for photographers, educators, students, families and art buyers worldwide to celebrate Southwest photography’s contribution to the fine arts.

Finishing Your Fine Art Prints On Canvas

(my latest post on the Pro Photography blog)

Making prints on a softly textured canvas can provide a pleasing, painterly look to your images. Printing on canvas can also eliminate the need for an expensive frame and matting, remove glass as a barrier to viewing, and provide an additional step in the creative process.

However, canvas prints typically require some sort of finishing treatment. You should definitely plan to apply some sort of liquid coating or spray to provide protection against display hazards. After the coating has been applied, you can brush on some clear gels that will enhance the surface texture of the print and make it look more like a one-of-a-kind piece of painted art. (more)

Tracking Ownership of Fine Art Prints and Preventing Fraudulent Copies

Earlier this year I wrote about Certificates of Authenticity, and how they add value to fine art prints. There is an additional tool available, called the ARTtrust solution that can help track and verify the authenticity and ownership of each print.

Read more in my article on the HP Pro Photo Blog.

Santa Fe Workshops: Fine Art Digital Printmaking, Feb 28 to Mar 6, 2010

February 28 – March 6, 2010, Santa Fe, NM


Our third year! Make your photographic vision come to life in this Advanced Photography Experience/Digital Lab workshop.

Join two accomplished photographers and fine art printmakers, Jack Duganne and David Saffir for this exciting, hands-on journey from a photo shoot on-location in the Santa Fe area, through high-intensity classroom sessions in image processing and editing, all the way to printing your new color or black and white images on brand-new state-of-the-art HP pigment-based inkjet printers.

We will spend most of our time in the digital lab, and travel out for a photo shoot or two during the week.

Topics will include, but are not limited to selecting vantage points and times of day for shooting, options in image composition, use of on-camera controls to enhance image quality, choice of digital file formats, importing and evaluating your images, processing images to maximize quality and artistic impact, and creating exhibition-quality color and black and white prints. We will wind up our week with an image critique and discussion of preparing for success in print competition.

On the last day, we have a festive evening reception and dinner – AND prints from the class will be shown on exhibition.

This is a work-group style class, with frequent one-on-one work. This limits the workshop to a dozen or so participants, so enroll early and reserve your spot.

Prospective students are requested to bring an open mind and their film or digital camera for a week of exploration and learning. Use of a camera tripod is strongly recommended. Film processing and scanning will be available. Applicants should have a working knowledge of Photoshop. Bring a portfolio box too, because you’ll want to take these images home.

About the Instructors

David Saffir is an internationally-recognized, award-winning photographer, author, and printmaker. He has taught in many venues, including the West Coast School Super Sunday, WPPI, Clear Focus Studios, the Hasselblad PowerPro Tour, HP Dreamcolor Seminars, and the Arles Photo Festival in France (Recontres d’ Arles).

He is also the author of Mastering Digital Color”, published by Thomson Course Technology. He is one of the principals of the Artists’ Showcase of Santa Clarita, and past president of the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association. He has written numerous articles for Great Output, Rangefinder, AfterCapture, Professional Photographer, Digital Imaging Tech, and others.

Jack Duganne is an internationally-recognized photographer and a world-renowned fine art printmaker. He is one of the founders of Nash Editions, and now heads Duganne Atelier in Santa Monica, California. He has taught advanced classes throughout the US, and in Europe. His web site is

Join us in Santa Fe for a week of photographic creativity and camaraderie!

Best regards,

David and Jack :)

Link to Santa Fe Workshops Registration

or telephone: (505) 983-1400 ext 11

My Web Page

Boston, Galleries, and Partnerships

In Boston yesterday and today for discussions about partnerships in a number of areas. More exciting, starting to move forward toward representation from one or more galleries here in the Northeast, and the the Southern US for my work in scenics and images from the natural world. We’ll see how it goes!

Offshore Breeze, San Simeon Sunset

Offshore Breeze, San Simeon Sunset