Director David Robin created this humorous spoof of the TV show Shark Tank for the WPPI conference and expo that took place in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. It features a number of well known photography industry figures (Roberto Valenzuela, Bambi Cantrell, Jerry Ghionis, Melissa Ghionis, and Gary Fong) as the investors and entrepreneurs.
Although they portray a couple of inept inventors in the parody, Melissa and Gary have found success with their actual products in real life. The Ghionis’ are behind the new Omega shoot-through reflector and Fong is well known for his Lightsphere diffusers.
You may know Gary Fong due to his eponymous line of products for photographers, but pay a visit to his website and you’ll find that he has been very active in the world of instruction as well.
Today, Fong launched a new online product that’s designed to help camera owners become familiar with their gear in ways that owner’s manuals fall short in. It’s a new series of virtual cameras for interactive learning. Read more…
On July 14, 2012, I received a desperate email from a photographer whom I had only met once briefly at a public appearance. He was terribly distraught, and nobody would help him. In his letter, he said that I was his last resort.
His name is Nelson Tang, and he is a very gentle soul, kind and soft-spoken, a new immigrant from Hong Kong with only a rough command of the English language. At the time, he and his wife were adjusting to life with an 18 month old son, she was a server in a restaurant and he worked for a non-profit. Financially, they were living paycheck to paycheck. Read more…
Here’s a quick update by Gary Fong on the wedding photographer who’s being threatened with a $300,000 lawsuit by a client who says that he didn’t like the images. The photographer’s name is Nelson Tang, and we learn that Tang has received a followup letter that appeared at first glance to be a lawsuit, but lacked a necessary court stamp at the bottom. This messy case has going viral online and has everyone shouting “extortion”.
Photographer and entrepreneur Gary Fong was recently contacted by a wedding photographer who found himself in a pickle: after doing a “great job” (in Fong’s opinion) in shooting a wedding, he received a menacing letter from the couple threatening him with a $300,000 lawsuit. The video above shows Fong reading the letter — which sounds an awful lot like blackmail — and explaining some of the mistakes made by the photographer. The main takeaway: always sign a contract!
Here’s a short and sweet video in which photographer/entrepreneur Gary Fong shares his “red hallway” trick for turning a drab background into something colorful. The basic idea is to trick your camera into thinking the world is a certain color by doing custom white balancing with a colored gel in front of the lens. Once you have the WB set, use the gel over your flash to color balance your subject while the background is transformed.
Have an idea for a photo product and an entrepreneurial itch? PDN published an article this past week with three stories of people who successfully turned their ideas into products (and businesses). One of them is the story of Gary Fong and his Lightsphere:
Gary Fong, the former wedding photographer-turned-entrepreneur whose name has become synonymous with lighting accessories, says he got the idea to make his first photographic product, the Lightsphere, while flipping through an in-flight magazine. “There was an ad that said something like, ‘We make plastic parts for your ideas.’” It started him thinking about what he would like to make. What he wanted, he thought, was a large light diffuser, modeled on a lampshade. “Until then, diffusers were tiny. They sat on top of your flash and they didn’t do anything to the shape of the light. All they did was block the light coming through your flash.” He noticed that when he photographed indoors, light filtered through lampshades—which create a hot spot on the ceiling while diffusing the light on faces—produced pretty skin tones. “I thought, okay, I’ll make a big lampshade for electronic flash.”
Fong’s advice to fellow inventors? “All you need is the customers. It’s got to be a product that customers will buy. If they buy some, you know grandma will be packing boxes for you. If they buy waves of them, you’ll have grandma supervising some temps who pack the boxes until you find a distribution company.”
The Lens Lock is the latest product in the GearGuard gear locking system by Gary Fong (maker of the well known LightSphere). It attaches to the back of a lens like an ordinary rear lens cap, but can be secured and locked using a cable/lock combo. This allows you to lock the gear down when not in use (like you would do with a bike) or lock it together with other gear in your bag, preventing individual items from being stolen from your bag. Read more…
Gary Fong, the dude and company behind the LightSphere, has come up with a simple adapter you can use to attach your iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS to a tripod. Unlike existing tripod adapters that utilize special cases or suction cups, Gary Fong’s adapter allows you to simply slide your phone in — assuming you don’t use any kind of case that changes the dimensions of your phone.
However useful this adapter might be for you, the price might cause you to go with a DIY alternative — the plastic adapter will set you back a cool $20. The adapter will go live in the Gary Fong store on September 3rd.