Sunday, December 28, 2008

David Smith's Photo Class Schedule - Apr. 2009

David Smith has announced his digital photography course schedule of interest to Vancouver, BC area beginner and enthusiast photographers for the period February to April 2009. The classes will be held at the West Vancouver Ferry Building Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery (Art Centre) and the Kerrisdale Comminity Centre.

The class schedule includes short ( one full day, or 2 half day sessions) on Introduction to Digital Photography (Level 1) and Intermediate Digital Photography (Level 2) for both point and shoot and digital SLR camera users. A new digital photography lighting workshop will be held at the Ferry Building Gallery as well

For more class information and how to register visit Image by Interface

Your Instructor: David Smith is a professional photographer and travel writer with Image by Interface - photographers of people, places and things worldwide: Weddings. Portraits. Editorial. Events. He is a guest speaker & lecturer and workshop leader on digital and travel photography, travel destinations at photo & art conferences, camera clubs, travel events and cruise ships. His multimedia presentations will inspire, inform and entertain you. Private tutoring/workshops for beginner, enthusiast & professional levels is available. Order David’s Digital & Travel Photography Explained Tutorial CD online

Contact: David Smith Cell 604-818-7662 dave@imagebyinterface

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our New Stock Photo Archives

We have changed stock archive service providers. Please visit our new Interface Images web site

In addition to royalty-free (RF) licenses, prints and products can be ordered from our new archives.

Some of our collection has already been uploaded, with the balance ready my mid-November. Watch for new uploads from our recent Asia travels to be available soon.

Feel free to grab the above slide show, put in on your blog or web site. Click on the up arrow on the slide show box to get the code

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Warning - Don't resave and resave your JPG files

New Photographer Tip: Warning - Don't resave and resave your JPG files
Avoid saving and resaving jpg files. Each time a jpg file is changed and saved it is compressed and you will loss image quality. The preferred option is to save your files as TIF files (or PSD files using Adobe Photoshop software) as they are not compressed and you will retain your image quality. To select your file formats in your image editing software select File/Save as/dropdown menu. If necessary use the jpg format as final file save for smaller files.

Enthusiast Photographer Tip -Reasons to Shoot RAW files

Raw files have not had white balance set. This allows one to set any colour temperature and white balance one wishes after the fact with no image degradation. File linearization and colour filter array (Bayer) conversion is done on a computer with a fast and powerful microprocessor versus in the camera. The raw file is tagged with contrast and saturation information as set in the camera by the user, but the actual image data has not been changed. The user is free to set these based on a per-image evaluation rather than use one or two generalized settings for all images taken.

Possibly the biggest advantage of shooting raw is that one has a 16 bit image (post raw conversion) to work with. This means that the file has 65,536 levels to work with. This is opposed to a JPG file's 8 bit space with just 256 brightness levels available. This is important when editing an image, particularly if one is trying to open up shadows or alter brightness in any significant way.

Reasons to Shoot JPG.

Files are smaller and therefore more of them fit on a card. For many applications image quality is more than sufficient (family snapshots, news images). Small files are more easily transmitted wirelessly and online. This is important to newspaper photographers. Many photographers don't have the time or inclination to post-process their files. Many cameras (especially digicams) can not shoot quickly when working in raw mode. Some lower-end models can't record raw files at all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photo Hint for all Digital Cameras - Dave's Dynamo Effect

A Simple On Camera Flash Technique to Amaze your audience.... Creating Flash Images So Unique that No-one can replicate them - even you!

I came across this technique 10 or 12 years ago by accident while I was playing with my camera settings at a wedding reception when the lights were down low and the dancing started. The effect is really cool and I now teach this at most of my digital photo classes, seminars and lectures.

Not to blow my horn, but I tutored this technique to a gal from Calgary last year and a guy in Vancouver a few months ago. There were individually on a trip to Africa's Mount Kilaminjaro and and one saw the other using this technique (very evident to see because it looks really weird from anyone watching you use it!) and in chatting, they found that they had both learned it from Dave the Rave (that's me!) in private lessons back in Canada. What a small world! Well here it is... and I gave it a name: Dave's Dynamo Effect (tm) . I am certainly not the first person to uncover this trick but you may be hearing this firsthand here.

Dave's Dynamo Effect (tm)

Facts: A camera flash will freeze close fast moving objects in low light and has a limited distance range beyond which it has no effect at all. The duration of flashes vary by type and model, off-camera or built-in/pop-up and is typically between 1/1000 to 1/30,000 of a second. This is like a superfast shutter speed and when most or all of the light is from the flash (and not other sources) then you freeze anything to tack sharpness within the flash distance range, even if it is moving quickly. Objects that are beyond the flash range become more blurred if they move quickly. Therefore, in low light situations and with a very slow shutter speed you will get a tacksharp close moving object and blurred far away objects. Well, if the far way object, or background is not moving then you will get a dimly lit blurred background because of the slow shutter speed - boring!. Solution to this: Spin rotate your camera as you take the picture - this will cause the background to become ethereal looking, dizzyness like, wild and crazy. Background lights will create a variable "falling star" trail increasing with more distance from the camera.

You can get this effect on ALL cameras by using an option that sets a slow shutter speed and forcing the flash on. A common setting to use on a point and shoot cameras is party mode, night portrait ot slow sinc found on dials or in Scene Mode and the best setting to use on all SLR cameras and some Point and shoot cameras is Shutter Priority (S or TV) with flash forced on and set a shutter speed between 1/10 sec to 1/35 sec. If you can, vary the shutter speed as the effect will differ. Don't forget to rotate the camera bigtime as you take the picture and everyone watching will think you are nuts! Try it. Some love this effect and some hate it! What's funky is that no-one, even you, can duplicate the image agian because they will be all diffenent.

Confused? Read the above again slowly, attend one of my classes or look at the photos - all taken with Dave's Dynamo Effect (tm).

Email your images to by Nov. 1, 2008 and the top 3 entries will receive a complimentary copy of my newly updated "Digital and Travel Photography CD Tutorial"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


'Images' Newsletter published by David and Anna Smith of Image by Interface and circulated to over 3,000 email subscribers across the globe will be morphing into their new BLOG "David & Anna's Excellent Travel & Photo Adventures" in August. 'Images' subscribers are photographers, photo buyers, travellers, artists & dreamers who have followed David and Anna and their passion for photography and world travel.

This blog will have the same content as the "Images" newsletter plus more travel writing and viewer participation. David and Anna can update it easily via email as they travel and Blog visitors can also add comments and subscribe online. Subscribers already receiving the 'Images' newsletter will be automatically subscribed to Blog email updates soon.

What is a BLOG? Definition: A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links. A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and business and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people. People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with the introduction of automated published systems, most notably Blogger at and Wordpress at; and many others to simplify and accelerate the publishing process. We use Blogger, a Google company. Blogs are alternatively called web logs or weblogs. However, "blog" seems less likely to cause confusion, as "web log" can also mean a server's log files.

Image by Interface is a Vancouver, BC based digital photography, key note speaker, travel writing and photography and fabric arts teachers for people, places & things -worldwide.

Monday, May 26, 2008



A HANDS-ON approach to learning digital photography. A combination workshop and local field trip to learn how to use your digital camera and the principals of digital photography with constructive critique of your images. Bring Your camera!

Ferry Building Gallery,
June 5/12, 2008
2 Thurs. evening classes 1414 Argyle Ave., West Vancouver, BC
2 eve. course $55 7-9
To Register: 604-925-7270 Course No 471867

Surrey Art Gallery .
Sunday daytime June 22, 2008
1 Sunday daytime class Surrey At Centre, Bear Creek Park, Surrey BC
Full Day 9:30am-4pm $54 Surrey Art Gallery
To Register: 604-501-5100 Course No. 599606

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


David and Anna Smith of West Vancouver always have their travel bags packed. As frequent guest lecturers of Holland America Cruise Lines, they get to travel the world and talk about their respective passions – photography and exotic fabrics - and sometimes with just a few days notice. Since January of last year they have been to South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, the South Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia and will be traveling to Africa, Russia, Japan, China, Viet Nam and Thailand this year.

“We are really fortunate to have such a wonderful life. The only reason we come home from our travels is to change our clothes and see our 4 (soon to be 5) grandchildren” comment the jet lagging Smiths between trips.

David is a professional photographer and founder of Image by Interface, specializing in digital photography for people, places, events and things - worldwide. His passion is the photography of people (“I love to make anyone look good!”) and world locations (“traveling is a passion”). He loves to photograph weddings, events and objects and is available for assignments globally. He a keynote guest speaker on digital and travel photography, travel & lifestyle subjects and is represented internationally by stock photo agencies. His images have been published in magazines, books, websites, and newspapers. He is a professional member of the Editorial Photographers Association and past President of the North Shore Photographic Society of West Vancouver, B.C.

Anna instructs fabric arts, quilting and photo transfer classes at art galleries and quilting guilds. Color and fiber have influenced Anna since her youth. It is her mission to search out new textiles and innovative art techniques at all destinations to build her “stash” for her teaching and creative projects. Anna approaches her art projects with energy and enthusiasm whether it be arc welding metal designs, intricate embroidery or multi-year photo memory quilts. When Anna added photography to her many passions it was only time until she needed to preserve her special photos and works of art into fabric/photo creations.

Anna’s motto “to live each day to the fullest, just like my overflowing fabric studio”.

They particularly enjoy the people they meet while pursuing their passions and have lots of travel tales. Either one is bound to entertain, inform and inspire you with enthusiasm, passion and a sense of humor. They will be sharing their knowledge and travel adventures in a variety of presentations on the North Shore this Spring. David will also continue his popular series of local digital photography classes between trips.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Morocco Madness by Anna Smith

© 2008 Anna Smith Do not reproduce content or images in any manner without written consent. All rights reserved.

I must say Morocco was a huge culture shock for me and can't believe how many different ways they have to con you out of your cash. Anyway, the sights we saw were all very worthwhile and the photos we have are tres amazing. The architecture and design work in the Riads (small guesthouses) left us feeling very much in awe and taught us life really needs us to go slower and enjoy the candlelight more often. We did notice how DRY Morocco is, can hardly get wine or beer anywhere so on Dave's birthday, April 4th, I took him to the Hotel Meredes overlooking the Old Medina in Fez where we did score some spirits and spent the evening enjoying the lights and warm climate. We found Casablanca to be like a war zone as far as driving to our hotel, buildings crumpling down cement dusty but our hotel Ibis right beside the train station was basic, convenient and stored two of our suitcases until we returned so that was a Big Bonus. We made a visit to the Ancient Medina and with help of tour guide Mustafa saw quite an eyeful (more photos)!!

Food all over Morocco was delicious, my favourites being the Tajines, Couscous and Pastilla. The Pastilla is sweet savoury wrapped phyllo pastry around a mix of chicken, almonds, onions & honey, the top of the round pizza shape dish is sprinkled with icing sugar and designs made with cinnamon, a must try! I did purchase a cookbook there as well as kilos of spices so I'm in to some serious cooking with my new tajine dishes. Hopefully, I will have it mastered by the time you come to visit this summer.

The areas of Marrakesh, Essaouira and Fes were all very different and each offered us great delights. Marrakesh had the great square, medina and souks that provided nonstop excitement and shopping. We hired a tour guide and car for a day trip to the top of the High Atlas Mountains which was magnificent; may even consider a return visit to hike there and see some fabulous waterfalls. The people were so colourful and live in very harsh conditions but seem very content. We ended that day with the dinner show Fantasia, the Arabian horses and stunt riders together with all the folkloric costumes and music topped our day and depleted our memory, i.e. the digital cameras were burning up from over 1200 images between us. Our stay at the Riad Jonan was grand and finished our days up on the rooftop chatting with many English guests.

Essaouira was reached by Suprabus and we had a porter pulling a uhaul type wagon to take us to our Riad. Point to mention, no Riad in any medina can be found by a visitor you need Help. Here we scored the one and only room located on the rooftop, where doves and birds sang and we spent many a relaxing time on cushioned couches as well as enjoying our breakfasts (all included for $75 US a night). The medina here was much more laid back (not as aggressive as Marrakesh) and I felt very safe walking around on my own as David took a few days out here to have flu like symptoms, couldn't have been in a nicer spot. We walked the ocean shores and I got up for a short camel ride, like how tall are those guys, I felt way too high off the ground to even consider jumping or falling off. They also had a great fish market where you go and chose your fresh catch, take it to the kitchen where you see them clean it and cook it and serve you, sole, red snapper and shrimps were our pick and they tasted delicious. More candlelight at night!!

We bused back to Marrakesh, caught the train to Fes (6:00 am to 6:00 pm travel time), I liked both methods of travel and they were quite comfortable and civilized once you got your seats! Fez is remarkable both in history, culture and landscape. Our Riad Dar Cordoba was a house that was once owned by a Pasha (equivalent to a Prime Minister) bought by this charming couple from Andalusia, Spain who had just recently opened their home to guests. The ceilings went up to the sky and our room was totally awesome, 2 bathrooms and a tub plus breakfast that would put a trucker under the table. Let me tell you, David had just a few days to organize all these Riads but he did a great job and we will certainly be writing more about our wonderful experiences. Our tour with an official Government educated guide through the Old Medina took us back to the 8th century and stories and info to fill your mind with wonder and images of how life was in the old days - A definite must see. I ventured in to a traditional Hamman where I got a scrub from what could have been Mother Teresa's twin, this was all too questionable and no English spoken anywhere. Spent our evenings at Chez Rasheid watching the never ending crowds walk by as we enjoyed more good food.

Now that you have heard about Morocco, let me just say our time on the good ship Prinsendam and the World Grand Voyage on the Amsterdam was Decadently Divine and how Welcome we always feel by the wonderful crew and staff! We have travelled to the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Bali home for 10 days then off to Africa via the Caribbean where we visited St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Turks & Caicos sailed the calm seas across the Atlantic to Madeira on to Casablanca where we disembarked to start our own adventures. We are very blessed to have this opportunity and certainly enjoy the interesting people we meet. How full our days are with great adventures and new friends!!

I would love to share this special story with you that happened to me. While in Fes I tried out one of the Hammans, quite the experience; but I must have had some glow on or looked content because as I was walking back to our Riad a cute young man stopped and asked my name and these were the next words out of his mouth "You Shock My Heart with Your Beauty", needless to say I was shocked myself by such a statement and he invited me to share tea with him in his gallery (not come up and see my etchings) and I replied maybe tomorrow as I was on my way to see my husband.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Vancouver BC Area Digital Photography Classes

For Vancouver, BC area photographers and travellers here are upcoming Digital Photography Classes:

Introduction (Level 1) to Digital Photography. David will conduct this class at the Surrey Art Gallery on Sunday May 4, (register call 604-501-5100), and also held at West Vancouver's Ferry Builidng Gallery on the evenings of May 8 and 15 (register 604-925-7270) and at the Kerrisdale Community Centre on evenings May 12/13 (Register 604-257-8100).
Some of our classes sell out so register early

An Intermediate Level 2 Digital Photography class will take place at the Surrey Art Centre on Sunday May 25 (9:30am-4pm) - to register call 604-501-5100

David will commence a NEW Lighting and Digital Photography class on using natural light, flash and studio lighting systems at the Ferry Building Gallery on May 22/29 (2xThursday evening sessions 7-9:30pm; register @ 604-925-7270)

In June a Digital Photography Workshop & Field Trip Class will be conducted at all three locations: Kerrisdale Community Centre (June2/9; 7-9pm regisiter @ 604-257-8100); Ferry Building Gallery (June 5/12; 7-9:30pm; register @ 504-925-7270) and the Surrey Art Centre (Sunday, June 22; 9:30am-4pm; register @ 604-501-5100)

Details of all other classes, future events and presentations is here

Can't attend? Don't miss out. Purchase our digital and travel photogaphy Tutorial CD! Click here

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Unique Photo Adventures in the Greek Islands and Turquoise Coast

© 2008 David Smith Do not reproduce any content or images in any manner without written consent. All rights reserved.

My wife, Anna, and I traveled through the Greek Islands and Turquoise Coast of Turkey for 4 weeks early last Fall without a single hotel or ferry reservation and never got stranded. We still backpack Europe after 35 years of marriage but now pull along suitcases with wheels to give us a few comforts (and backaches) along the way. Anna is a shop-aholic (there is bling bling everywhere!) and I am a professional photographer so we need the extra bags anyway. We still long for the Europe on $5 a day era of our earlier times but today $75-$100 a day for two still goes a long way.

Our adventures this time had taken us to Paros, Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes (the latter a new destination for us and we are going back!) followed by a one-week gulet cruise from Fethiye on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. We then bussed to Bodrum, Kusadasi and Ephesus before ferrying to the Greek Island of Samos (where we literally vegged at Pythagorian - an absolutely charming and relaxing fishing village with loads of bars and restaurants) before returning home to Vancouver via a 2-day stopover in England for our London fix.

Santorini is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and is always a must see when we go back to Greece. The stunning views, spotless blue door whitewashed lanes and proud people makes Santorini a photographer’s dream come true. Its beauty is not just the living on the precipice of a volcano overlooking the deep blue Mediterranean, it's also the beautiful, smiling and
enthusiastic Irini at the Hotel Hellas (I have nicknamed her Santorini Irini - she calls us Dave the Rave and Anna Banana) who literally adopts you as her children and goes out of her way to guide and help you; and the sunsets at Oia, mostly boring, but the ooohs and ahhhs from the tiny friendly crowds becomes almost a rite of passage.

The medieval castle at Rhodes (a UN world heritage site) and Roman ruins at Ephesus are lifetime must sees. Don’t ask questions – just go there and see for yourself. Anna found a charming 3 room pension with private balcony within the castle walls of Old Town Rhodes at 11:30pm at night for 35 Euros a night – we wanted to stay forever.

We both travel with digital cameras and the addition of a battery operated 80 Gigabyte portable disk drive permitted virtually unlimited shooting without the worry of running out of memory cards or needing to burn our images to CD’s along the way. DVD burning capability is difficult to find on the road even in today’s Greece and Turkey and expect to pay about $10 per CD to store your images. Before heading out on that long trip be sure to calculate the image capacity of your digital camera memory cards and work out the days between image downloads to be sure you can keep shooting. Take additional rechargeable batteries and a 220V capable battery charger to avoid camera shutdown when you have the money shot. Share your images on the back of your camera with your subjects as you go and you will new friends for life. When you get home today’s easy to use software will help you prepare multimedia slide shows for computer, DVD and web site viewing.

Reservations or not, the Greek Islands and Turquoise Coast is a fascinating mix of beauty, history, culture and fun which should appeal to travelers of all budgets, styles and ages. Bring your camera and you won’t be disappointed.

(Images for this article by keyword search are available at

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