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.”
Poladarium is a cool tear-off calendar that’s great for Polaroid enthusiasts looking for daily inspiration:
Every day this calendar reveals a new Polaroid photo, each with its own little story. In this way, you will discover little jewels from both well-known photographers and newcomers throughout the whole year. On the front of each calendar page there is a Polaroid, on the back there is a short description of the background to the photo and information about the photographer.
Tamara Lackey recently sat down with Chase Jarvis to talk about how he became a successful photographer. Chase offers a lot of really good high-level advice for aspiring photographers based on his own experiences — both the successes and the failures.
“What Light” is an incredible stop-motion video that features sunlight dancing around a bedroom. It might look like it was done with CGI, but the sunlight was actually manipulated using cut-outs and stencils placed in the window. Creator Sarah Wickens says,
I noticed how the sun came through the windows in my bedroom, creating patches of light that moved throughout the day, as the sun changed position in the sky. So I started experimenting with ways of using that light to make animation, sticking cut-outs and stencils on to my windows to carve the light into different shapes [#]
The result of her efforts is one of the most creative stop-motion videos we’ve seen.
Here’s a fun and creative idea that requires brains rather than a big budget: using an ordinary video-capable camera and some basic editing software, you can show a person walking forward through a world that’s traveling backward. For even crazier examples of this same technique, check out the music videos for The Scientist by Coldplay, Typical by Mutemath, and Drop by The Pharcyde.
Update: Looks like the video was taken down due to a copyright claim. You can watch it here.
This is more related to filmmaking than photography, but it’s so creative that I just had to share: Gatorade recently released this 5 minute commercial featuring professional skateboarder Chaz Ortiz. What’s mind-blowing is that it captures the passing of a school day in one take. Any mistakes (e.g. Ortiz failing to land a trick) would have ruined the entire shot. You can find a behind-the-scenes video showing how it was made here.
YouTube user smithje77 and his dog recently embarked on a cross-country road trip from Seattle to Maine (3,000+ miles!), and he decided to document the journey by programming his Droid X to snap a photograph every 90 seconds (the script is available here). Afterward, he took all the stills captured and combined them into one epic time-lapse video that shows what it’s like to drive from coast to coast.