Photo Plus Expo, New York City, October 2012 – David Saffir and David Tobie

Will you be attending PhotoPlus Expo in New York City, October 25-27? If so, David Saffir (me!) and David Tobie will be speaking at the Midwest Photo Exchange Stage, booth # 1027 at the show. We are currently scheduled:

Thursday 10/25
11:30: David Saffir- Screen to Print Match for Photographers
1:30: David Tobie- Moving into Motion: Video and Video Color for Photographers

Friday 10/26:
11:30: David Tobie- Moving into Motion: Video and Video Color for Photographers
1:30: David Saffir- Screen to Print Match for Photographers

Saturday 10/27:
11:30: David Saffir- Screen to Print Match for Photographers
1:30: David Tobie- Moving into Motion: Video and Video Color for Photographers


Be sure to visit Datacolor, nearby at booth #1239. See some of the latest technology in color calibration, the Spyder4, and
lots of other cool stuff!

© David Saffir

Photography Quote of the Day – June 28


A photograph  is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.  ~Ansel Adams


Join us in our upcoming workshop:

Photoshop Selections and Compositing Made Easy
Wednesday, June 29th – 6:30pm to 9:30pm

New Free Webinar: David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

New Free Webinar: David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

from the press release:

“Join X-Rite and Nik Software for an hour with David Saffir, internationally recognized, award winning portrait, commercial photographer and fine art printmaker. He is the author of the book Mastering Digital Color: A Photographer’s and Artist’s Guide to Controlling Color, published by Thomson. His second book, focused on his photography, is titled The Joy of Discovery, and was published in Spring 2009.

This webinar will teach fundamentals of end-to-end workflow for creative photographers, from pre-visualization through color management, capture and selected image editing techniques.

We will focus on landscape and scenic imagery.  Using the latest tools from Nik and X-Rite,

© David Saffir

David will demonstrate his workflow using X-Rite i1 Pro solutions and his techniques with Nik’s Viveza 2 and Silver Efex Pro to achieve the best quality from his images.

Who Should Attend:

• Landscape and Nature Photographers

• Commercial Photographers

• Environmental Portrait and Wedding Photographers

• Fine Art Photographers

• Anyone interested in a creative, color managed workflow

Two sessions will be held on the same day.

Register for your choice of times. Be sure to register today and arrive early for the webinar. Space is limited and they will fill up quickly.

David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:00-10:00 AM PDT (check your time zone!)



David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

Wednesday,  July 13, 2011  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT (check your time zone!)


Learn more about David Saffir at

“Critters & Creatures” Master Class from Nik Software and Laurie Shupp

Announcement from Nik Software Talking with award-winning photographer Laurie Rubin Shupp about her upcoming “Critters & Creatures” Master Class coming up next week on 2/22. If you shoot wildlife, be sure to join her to learn tips for bringing out the very best in your images.

Creating Gallery-Quality Black & White Images Using Nik Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for Photoshop

Creating Gallery-Quality Black & White Images Using Nik Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro 2 for Photoshop
David Saffir instructor

SCV Center for Photography, Santa Clarita – Saturday, February 26th – 1pm to 5pm – only  $79!!


In the digital world, a strong color image is the foundation of top-quality black and white prints. In this workshop, we’ll start with editing color images. We’ll be using Nik Viveza 2 and Nik Color Efex Pro in Photoshop to create a custom, pro-level finish for each color photograph – preparing it for life as a top-quality Black and White Print!

"The Singer" © D Saffir

Color Efex Pro has dozens of presets and special effects and Viveza facilitates precision color and tonal editing.

Once the color image is dialed-in for conversion to black and white, we’ll move on to Silver Efex Pro 2 – which is like an all-you-can-eat buffet when it comes to options creating your final black and white image. You can even apply pre-sets that match the appearance of different types of black and white film.

All are easy to use and the software gives real-time previews as you go. Special effects and toning are a snap. Imagine the possibilities!

We’ll also look at different paper/media types and your choices in creating the look you want. You don’t have to be an expert in Photoshop or Lightroom to benefit from this class. You don’t even need a laptop (but it’s nice to have one!)

We’ll even have a BRAND NEW Epson 4900 pro printer on hand, and we’ll be making prints during the class! We will review printing methods that give the best results on desktop inkjet printers and some of their larger cousins.

Join us for a fun and informative afternoon that’s sure to take your photography skills to the next level! You can download a 15 day trial version at if you do not own any of the Nik Software products.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be giving away a free copy of Nik Silver Efex Pro – currently worth $179 – and a free 8×10  silver halide print from Digital Silver Imaging!

So call Mel at the SCV Center for Photography and reserve your spot NOW! 661 904 2092

Think Different: Fear Not the Shadows!

by guest author and photographer Ted Dayton

If you want to add depth and drama to your images, look for ways to shoot toward the light, where the pros shoot. If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a snapshot shooter anymore, so act like it! No more pictures with the sun at your back. Ever. Unless it looks really good, of course, but it won’t happen often. Learn to shoot in lighting conditions that confuse your camera’s meter. Get accustomed to throwing away most of these pictures and call it progress. Learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Embrace those shadows!

If you’re not sure what I mean by ‘shooting into the shadows’, just turn on the TV or queue up a DVD. You will see scenes that are back-lit, rim-lit, hair-lit. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes subtle. And it nearly always makes the picture better, because these images have weight that front-lit scenes (images) generally don’t have.

A simple example of this comes from basic portrait lighting and it is called ‘short’ lighting, a termed coined by Leonardo da Vinci, the world’s first photographer. Just kidding about that, but I suspect that this term predates photography altogether. Actually Lenny’s Mona Lisa is a good example of short lighting, although this quality doesn’t jump out at you. She is in a subtle version of loop lighting, and there is some shading on the near side of her face. If her light source was a bit more to her right, this would be more obvious. Google the Mona Lisa and you will see right away what I am referring to.

In photographic portraiture, short lighting simply refers to facing the shadow side of the face or having the shadows coming toward the camera. The opposite of short lighting is– you guessed it – long lighting, also called broad lighting, and refers to facing the side of the face the key light is also on. Short lighting gets its name from how this style makes the near side – the shadow side – seem shorter or smaller than the highlight side –sometimes. And, as you might guess, broad (long) lighting gets it’s name from how much longer/broader the lit side of the face appears – sometimes.

Confused? Don’t worry. If you are a new portrait shooter, this will sink in quickly. Once you have seen the difference, you’ll be an expert and this simple dynamic can be applied, to some degree, to nearly anything you take a picture of.

Said another way, photographs with strong light from behind the subject have more potential for drama and mood than photos made with the light mostly from the front. There is another reason I like this type of lighting: it conveys a sense of depth and distance behind the subject and a sense of place because this backlighting or rim lighting must theoretically come from some place. Depth is good.

From now on, think about your lighting in terms of whether you are facing it or whether your subject is facing it. There is no single, best way to light any subject, but many subjects do look better one way or the other, and understanding the difference can make or break an image.

So, face the light!

See our new workshop on Black and White image editing here!

Think Different: Put a Leash On Your Inner Creative Genius (ICG)

by guest author and photographer Ted Dayton

My previous “kitchen table” tip, ‘Camera in Auto, Brain in Manual’, implored you to think more about the scene you are aiming toward – out there. At the heart of that and other commentaries of mine is my desire to help people make better pictures right away – by doing specific things that always improve a photograph, and by not doing things that nearly always hurt it.  This wisdom comes from years of slow progress, but I sometimes feel that slow is not good. (You’ll see what I mean in a moment.)

Great images possess qualities that live in the content. No matter how great the technical execution, something great has got to be going on in the frame. Yes, some of the great images of this digital age are composites of several images, seeming to defy the idea that greatness happens in the camera.

But please allow me to argue. A successful composite image works for the same reason a single frame image works: the content is good. A good, single frame image works because of the convergence of elements I call “vision”. A multi-frame digital composition works for the same reasons: the maker has vision.

Strong Idea = Strong Image © Ted Dayton

I am not so old-school as to believe that a good image can only be made when greatness happens at 125th of a second. But no amount of digital trickery can make a weak image strong. You just have to have good content and you have to refine it and give it subtlety.

How do you do that?

Simplify your approach (the big stuff) so you can refine the subtleties (the small stuff). This is where the shots are that makes people say “Wow!, Ah!, Ooh! Dude! Love it! Awesome. That rocks. Do you accept American Express?”

Here is a simple exercise that might help. Even just reading this will make enough sense.

Take a simple portrait of a friend. Shoot lots of pictures, of course, but think of a new way to go about this. Shooting lots of frames does not guarantee that you will have lots of good shots to select from.

Instead, pay close attention to the frames that seem best while you’re shooting and refine those. When something isn’t working during the session, ditch it.

If it is working – a smile or a pose or some subtle change to the lighting, stick with it for five extra frames. If it gets better during those five frames, shoot five more.

Make a point of raising your chances for a great image – not just a good image – by making tiny adjustments to whatever seems to be working. Do this instead of trying anything and everything, thinking you’re allowing your inner creative genius to fly free.  Your ICG will fly home with lots of bad pictures and you will be unhappy. Trust me on that.

This approach breaks segments of your portrait session into individual processes, each one its own separate creative effort – giving each one a greater chance for success.

Instead of getting a few good frames and maybe one very good one from an entire session, you will begin to see many more good frames from several parts, or segments, of the session. Eventually, you’ll see a few outstanding shots from each of those segments. You will also spend less time shooting weak images because “you’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em.”

And this will make you happy.

See more of Ted Dayton’s work on his web site.

And remember: we have a workshop coming up on December 15, Getting the Most out of your Desktop Inkjet Printer.