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Captured by the Light: The Essential Guide to Creating Extraordinary Wedding Photography 1st Edition

133 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321646873
ISBN-10: 0321646878
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Captured by the Light: The Essential Guide to Creating Extraordinary Wedding Photography + One Wedding: How to Photograph a Wedding from Start to Finish + Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


World-renowned wedding photographer, and one of the most widely acclaimed instructors in the industry today, David Ziser brings his no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point teaching style to a book that totally rewrites the rules for how wedding photography is taught.

This groundbreaking new book is the first of its kind to focus on the exact areas that wedding photographers have been begging a top pro like David to cover, including how to create professional quality light and beautiful images in every situation, how to compose wedding images that sell, and how to create amazing images in the limited time and at the fast pace of a wedding.

But David doesn't just stop there. He covers every aspect of what today's brides and wedding couples want from a wedding photographer, including poses that work every time and can't-miss lighting setups you can use again and again, and everything is laid out in a brilliant step-by-step method that makes learning these techniques so easy, you'll be able to pull off these same looks yourself (without spending thousands on expensive equipment). Plus, the book is packed with David's tricks of the trade that he's picked up in a career shooting all over the world.

Each year David trains thousands of photographers on how to shoot weddings like a pro. He knows the problems and challenges today's wedding photographers face, and that's exactly what he covers in this book. You'll learn everything on the list here and much more:
  • Professional posing and composition tips
  • Simple on-location lighting setups that are specially designed for the wedding photographer
  • How to get gorgeous images using a minimal amount of time and equipment
  • Creative lighting techniques that anyone can use to create dramatic wedding portraits that will set you apart
  • David's own camera settings and lens selections (which lenses to use when, and why), and how to get the best results with your existing gear
  • How pros use on- and off-camera f lash, and a host of tricks of the trade that will make you more profitable and have you delivering the type of wedding shots you've always dreamed of!
Plus, the book includes the complete cover-to-cover layout from one of David's wedding album designs to help spark your creative juices and give you ideas to take your own layouts to the next level.

The wedding photography industry has been waiting for a landmark book that would become “the book that finally changes everything, and that's exactly what you'll be getting with the purchase of this book.

About the Author

David A. Ziser, an internationally renowned portrait and wedding photographer, has shared his knowledge with tens of thousands of photographers in five languages, and in 14 countries worldwide. His Digital WakeUp Call tour was acclaimed as one of the best-ever seminars on digital photography. David is a regular featured lecturer at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), and Imaging USA/Professional Photographers of America. He also provides training classes on DVD and online through Kelby Training, writes a daily photography blog, and writes for Professional Photographer magazine. David has been honored as a Kodak Mentor, and is one of 98 people worldwide who holds the distinguished honor of Fellow, bestowed by the American Society of Photographers.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (February 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321646878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321646873
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Ziser sincerely believes in his photography.

"One of the most crystalline thoughts I have had in this profession was the result of a remark a student of mine made several years ago during a class I was teaching to 75 photographers from around the world.

The question was raised - 'Why were weddings such big events for people of his faith?' (He came from Israel to participate in my class.) His answer is as clear to me today as it was ten years ago - 'In the 4000 year history of people of my faith, we endured by living from one joyous event to the next!

That's when it became clear to me that the role of the wedding photographer was more than just about a weekend wedding. It was truly about capturing the most joyous events in peoples lives. Every photographer working in this profession MUST see and feel that "joyous event" as they look through their viewfinder. Only then will they be able to capture all the heartfelt images their clients deserve.

It is a honor for us to be asked to participate with our skills and talents in such an important part of our clients' lives."

- David is a nationally renowned wedding photographer and lectures to other photographers on international speaking circuit and writes extensively for professional journals throughout the United States and worldwide.

- David recently completed a 60 city city lecture tour traveling the US presenting his Digital WakeUp Call tour for 2009. It is the most successful digital wedding/portrait photography tour of the year!

- In July of 2007, David launched; a blog dedicated to the aspiring professional photographer looking to enhance his/her photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and business skills. It's been called one of the best photo blogs available.

- David currently has 5 DVD's online for Kelby Training with 5 more planned by year end.

- In 2008 David was asked by Professional Photographer Magazine to be a regular monthly contributor to their award winning publication. David continues to provide feature rich articles filled with tips and techniques.

- In 2009, David was one of the leading platform speakers at WPPI drawing over 800 attendees for his program.

- David will be presenting at both Photoshop World conferences again in 2010.

- Several times during the year David conducts his week-long workshops in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area for professional and aspiring professional wedding and portrait photographers. These classes are attended by photographers from around the world.

- David Ziser continues to be one of the leading trainers in the industry for over twenty years.

Here is what past attendees of David's seminars are saying.

David, your commitment to the profession is second to none and your ability to instruct and share only raises the bar for all professional photographers. Your talent is truly a great gift to our profession.

David's images are so beautiful, really great they don't need any altering!
Absolutely loved the sales and marketing techniques!

Great class! David is truly passionate and knowledgeable about photography and digital workflow. I can't begin to describe how valuable this class was to me.

David is a great teacher and his passion shines through.

David's seminars and workshops always exceed my expectations.


Loved the experience!

Highly recommended!

David, your patience, caring, and generosity were a breath of fresh air.

David's programs are a real bargain, way more bang for the buck!

David, you are the best, you give 150% !

You make everyone feel like family at your programs!

Here are a few comments from notable individuals in the photographic industry

Frank Cricchio, M.Photog.Cr., past president of the Professional Photographers of America has described Ziser as " of the leading wedding photographers in the country. He is highly technically competent and has an artistic flair that is favorable to the total bridal industry."

Paul Ness, past marketing director for Eastman Kodak's Asian, Australasian, Latin America professional photography division, says of Ziser's photographs: "They reflect a sensitivity and skill that results in the creation of treasures."

Dr. Roger Saunders, past executive secretary of the Master Photographers Association of Great Britain says "He is one of America's top photographers. He has spoken to thousands of British photographers and is highly regarded by them; plus, he is very nice..."

Past Accomplishments:

- Retained to photograph the nuptials of Peter Frampton in 1996.

- Honored in 1995 by the British Institute of Professional Photography by being awarded the degree of Licentiateship. This honor is given to very few photographers outside of Great Britain.

- Invited to Photokina, the largest photographic exhibition in the world, to speak for Victor Hasselblad, Inc. First American wedding photographer invited.

- Subject of page one, full color, feature story in "Today" section of the Dallas Morning News; extolled Ziser as "...Wedding photographer extraordinaire."

- Traveled to eight international venues, including Seoul, Korea; Shanghai, China; and Bangkok, Thailand on behalf of Eastman Kodak Company to lecture to the best professional photographers in those countries about his style of wedding and portrait photography. Ziser is the first American wedding photographer to receive such an invitation.

- Featured by "Studio Photography" magazine, a publication reaching the professional market nationwide, which acclaimed "...Award winning photographer, David Ziser is showing the world how to take wedding pictures."

- Holds the highest honor of "Fellow" bestowed by the American Society of Photographers. Ziser is one of only fifty-five (55) photographers worldwide ever to receive this distinction.

- Ziser received the highest score possible, a perfect 100, on his photograph entitled "Joy in the Morning". The perfect score of 100 has been given less than twenty times in the last fifty years by the Professional Photographers of America.

- Eastman Kodak has selected many of Ziser's images for use in conjunction with national advertising campaigns and marketing programs. His work has been featured at national and international exhibits including the annual conventions of the Professional Photographers of America, Wedding Photographers International, and the Photo Marketing Association. In Kodak's widely acclaimed wedding booklet, "To Have and to Hold", Ziser's images comprised nearly one third of the publication. Kodak also used Ziser's images exclusively in their Picture Perfect Wedding Planner.

- The National Association of Photoshop Professionals has also used David's images and articles in their national publications.

- In addition to having been honored with the coveted Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees, Ziser has taken top honors every year he has entered print competition.

- Photographs Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Portraits and society events each year throughout Cincinnati and coast to coast. His work has been published in Newsday, USA Today, and Town and Country magazine.

- Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics; Thomas More College, Covington, Ky. Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By M. Thompson on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've scoured for wedding photography books that encompass the perfect blend of inspiration, technique and overall workflow. And finally, this book arrives. The layout is excellent, with logical chapter breaks, informative call-out boxes, and full sections devoted to natural light, on camera ETTL flash, off camera flash, ceremony workflow, reception workflow, and a few more. Also, some books are pretty dated as far as equipment, but the author refreshingly describes using his Canon 5D Mark II AND 7D. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but in many places he talks about leveraging the amazing high-ISO capabilities of cameras like this with your other settings. For example, in the off camera flash sections, he talks about the use of these high ISO settings to cut flash power by half, thus conserving battery life. There's not a lot in here about pricing/contracts, but that's not what I was looking for. If you know what you want to charge, but want to take your wedding photography to the next level, this is the book. Buy it.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brent A. Thale on March 13, 2010
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I don't normally buy wedding photography books, but after flipping through this one I couldn't resist getting it. The author, a former engineer, gives very specific advice on how to get certain looks, defines his terms, and shows example pictures both using and not using his techniques, very helpful.

I liked the simple description of "loop" lighting and why it is desirable for this type of photography. The composition chapters, which very specifically list things to look for to set up a good shot, are also excellent. The author's advice on how to work with assistants to dynamically position off-camera lights to add depth and separation is also great, although unfortunately this technique requires at least one full-time assistant, so don't expect to duplicate the author's work going solo.

Some minor nitpicks: I thought the advice for making a snoot out of a rolled-up magazine was silly, it looks unprofessional and there are many inexpensive, sleek-looking snoots on the market that don't risk damaging the flash unit or present a fire hazard. Also, the author repeatedly uses the word "perspective" when I believe he means "cropping" or "framing" as on page 25 when he says he stays in one place while zooming to change perspective. Additionally, I thought his equipment recommendations were strange since they involve low-end zooms that change aperture based on zoom settings, I would think this would interfere with the manual flash control the author uses.

The book doesn't focus on gear but be warned the author uses Canon equipment so don't expect any Nikon CLS tips or anything but passing references to other brands.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MaJPix on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been a professional photographer specializing in weddings for over 30 years and have NEVER read any book with such intense information! Check for yourself: search the other "instructional" books listed on Amazon, Borders or any bookstore and you'll come to the same conclusion as me- there is nothing that even comes close to Mr. Ziser's "how to" approach. We as photographers, enjoy delving into a beautiful image and explore the impact and composition, but rarely are provided the insight in order to obtain those outstanding results. David's approach comes across to the reader as if he is in front of the class giving a seminar. The book is written in a very easy to understand and conversational language that any aspiring photographer to the most advanced can comprehend.

So often, many books written by photographers illustrate specific points, but rarely do the accompanied images reflect such depth and dimension as Mr. Ziser's. The quality of the photographs almost "jump off the page" and the cool thing is, he explains the technique to achieve it! There are many "starving" photographers out there, wondering why they can't make a good living at their craft. By its very nature, once the photography improves, they can raise their prices with confidence. What David teaches in his book will make one's images stand out! He opens the door to unbelievable lighting techniques that include everything from nature's light to creativity with a simple "flashlight."

After just reading a few pages, the reader will start to view wedding photography as truly an art. The information revealed in "Captured By the Light", along with the beautiful photographs will never be out of date.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By HP on March 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers systematically all topics in wedding/portrait photography. This book is an inspiration source, a repetition of techniques, or truly an essential guide. You may need to be an intermediate photographer to get the most out of the book - know your gear and lightning/photography theories. However, it isn't just simple to buy this book and become a wedding photographer. Most off-camera-flash setups in the book are based on an assistant that can move the light source around. Light stand can help, but can not replace the flexibility of a person, especially when time is limited during a wedding. This book constantly remains me about "situation awareness": looking for backgrounds, compositions, geometry, lens choice, lightning/ambient, planning ahead - do it right first time and save lots of time in post-processing. Overall I am very happy to have this book. Highly recommended. Thank you David Ziser.
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