On the State of the World

It seems like every day becomes a new chapter in the book The Degradation of America. Corporations are referring to people as Human Resources instead of Human Beings, Universities are exposed for cheating at the administration level in order to get grant money and top ratings, citizens are mobbing police officers that are trying to enforce the law, hospitals are swindling money from insurance companies that are swindling money from citizens, doctors are treating patients for diseases they don’t have, our news media is openly ridiculing people and circumstances that don’t coincide with their personal beliefs, demands are made for apologies from prominent people for saying things that accusers can use as platforms to further their own causes, unscrupulous dissection of potential political candidates is twisted and leaked to the press in order to win elections before they occur, billions of dollars are spent on campaigns while our people suffer with poorer public services, poorer health care, poorer education and poorer paychecks; it seems that the list goes on and on … Continue reading On the State of the World


May 2015 Contest – Win a Full Day of Private Training With Jane

Purchase online training during the month of May and have a chance of winning a full day of private training with Jane – $800 to $1,200 dollar value!

Drawing on June 1, 2015

The winner will be picked at random and notified via phone and email.

Training Topics May Include:

  • Portrait Retouching
  • Portrait Painting
  • Photo Restoration
  • Competition Image Preparation
  • Color Management
  • Photo Composites
  • Adobe Camera Raw
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Corel Painter
  • Wacom Tablet
  • Printing
  • Embellishing

Winner may choose to use their full day live with Jane ($1,200 dollar value, recipient assumes any travel costs) or via Internet (Skype, email, phone, $800 dollar value, winner may split the 8 hours into up to 4 segments).

Offer is redeemable through Dec. 31, 2015


How to Score Your Best in Image Competition / Jane Conner-ziser

Degrees of Photographic Excellence require that your work is recognized and rewarded by your professional peers for both artistic and technical excellence. It seems easy for some people to earn Golds or Merits, but for most of us, it’s a lot of hard work that often doesn’t pay off the way we hoped it would. Sometimes our images almost make it, but pushing them that last couple of points seems almost impossible to achieve. I’d like to share some hints that I’ve learned during my many years of working with Exhibition Imaging:  Continue reading How to Score Your Best in Image Competition / Jane Conner-ziser


Jane’s 2015 Plans for Live Classes and Training Courses

Cocktails On The Patio

2015 is all about YOU!
I’m so excited about the new classes I’m teaching in 2015!
I’ve completely revised them, making sure that the projects and techniques utilize all of the current trends and upcoming valuable technology for photographers and artists. And, even more importantly, use the technology to produce the kinds of things that professional studio photographers, painters and retouching artists need to do every day to make their work striking to look at – and profitable.

In addition to the classes outlined in my Learning / Live Classes section of the site, I’m responding to the requests I’m receiving for personal creative training by offering Day Sessions on Demand. You can connect with me for a full day of photographing and post production – your location (or mine), your models (or mine) – we’ll work together to create the imagery you imagine – and then some!

Prices vary according to what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and where, but I promise I’ll work with you to make it affordable. My goal is to provide you with a personal mentor, someone who cares about you, your unique vision and your art. Someone who can work with you regardless of what level you’re at now and help you move up. Call me or connect via email and let’s talk about what you want to do in 2015!

*** Look for new ONLINE and DVD training for photo painting coming soon! My Portrait Retouching for Everyone is current for Photoshop CC – and the best retouching training I’ve ever created – almost 13 hours of it! Painter 2015 sessions – coming up!


Adventures With Mama – The Pantry Raider

I arrived in Ormond Beach around midnight after having spent a week in upstate New York teaching a seminar on Fine Art Portrait Retouching to a great group of professional studio photographers. Tired from the week and the long trip back, I drug my bags into the family room, kicked off my shoes and did a face plant, clothes and all, onto the bed in the guest room.

It was about 7:30 am the following morning when I drifted into the living room with a cup of green tea …. Continue reading Adventures With Mama – The Pantry Raider


The Five Lights of Nature

The Five Lights of Nature / by Jane Conner-ziser

5LightsThe Five Lights of Nature are values that artists and photographers use to create the illusion of depth and drama in two-dimensional output. Each of the 5 lights has characteristics that when combined, provide the viewer with information about shape, size, surface, color and texture. The Five Lights of Nature always occur in the same relationship to each other. Portrait artists use light to create specific professional lighting patterns that accentuate the bone structure of individuals in the most flattering way. Shaping the light perfectly is the basis of professional portrait retouching. When more than one light source is used, more than one set of the 5 lights is produced so it’s important to identify and understand what you are seeing when using light for photography, retouching and painting. Continue reading The Five Lights of Nature


From Film to Pixels _024

_024 / The Calm Before the Storm
Jane Conner-ziser                                         http://www.janecz.com

The next several years were pretty blissful for photographers. Most studios started out by photographing weddings because they were easy to get. The profit margins weren’t huge for the time that was spent on them but they opened the door to the professional portrait photographer’s dream of making customers for life. A wedding meant that children were likely to be coming around, and then family portraits, seniors … and full circle with children’s weddings, grandchildren, and so on. By then the business would be well established, the profit margins better and life would be good for the photographer and his family. Most studio owners hoped that one of their children would want to carry on the tradition and the studio would continue.         Continue reading From Film to Pixels _024


From Film to Pixels 023

From Film to Pixels / A Photographer’s Journey From Film to Technology
_023 / A Photographer’s Life / Jane Conner-ziser     http://www.janecz.com

Life in the studio provided variety and challenges. I came in around 8 am; Bill and Prince, their Wiemaraner, would already be there. Bill’s wife, Barbara, generally arrived shortly after 9, usually with baby Michael. Barbara did just about everything – she ran the office, the front desk, manned the phone, was customer service, the main sales person – and she always dressed nice and projected a friendly, happy attitude. Bill and I ran the back, and Michael hung out in the playpen accepting coos and tickles from just about everyone who came in. Continue reading From Film to Pixels 023


From Film to Pixels / 022

From Film To Pixels / A Photographers Journey from Film to Technology _022 / Simoniz / The Competitors Edge / Jane Conner-ziser                 http://www.janecz.com

Entering photo competitions is a good way to see how your work stacks up against that of your peers, and if you win some awards, you can use your success for advertising to potential clients, showing them that your peers consider your work of high value. When you consider entering in a competition, it’s important to research the rules, criteria and requirements prior to selecting your images because different competitions reward different kinds of photography, plus they have different artistic and technical requirements. You want to make sure that your selections are the best for the event.  Continue reading From Film to Pixels / 022


From Film to Pixels / 021

From Film To Pixels / A Photographer’s Journey from Film to Technology 021_ Airbrushing_Jane Conner-ziser                                         http://www.janecz.com

I’m probably not the best person to write about airbrushing on photographs because Helen Yancy is ‘Paasche, Queen of Gouache’ when it comes to this. Her work with the airbrush is perfectly controlled, delicate and photographic. I confess my love was for transparent mediums and I mostly used the airbrush to knock out backgrounds and accomplish other utilitarian tasks.

Nonetheless, I had all of the gear, the compressor, a nice selection of gouache (water soluble paint), plastic squeeze bottles, sandpaper, extra cups and needles, old cut up photographs to use as masks, clear acetate, a hole punch, Xacto knives, fine tip markers, frisket paper, scissors, masking tape, paper towels, plastic palettes, distilled water and … of course, long grained cotton and toothpicks for making skewers. Continue reading From Film to Pixels / 021


Jane Conner-ziser

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