About wizwow

I am in love with light.

Also known as Don Giannatti, photography has been the focus of my life for most of my adult years. I have written three books for Amherst Media (available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble: keyword 'don giannatti'. Lighting Essentials is my flagship blog and ezine with a slightly different slant than most photography related blogs. If you are interested in becoming a better photographer, check out www.project52.org. Thanks for visiting.

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

“Work The Scene” with Rasmus Hald

Work the scene.

Rasmus Hald

One of the things that separate a good photo from a great photo is often planning, patience and how we work the scene.

In July 2012 I was in Italy on vacation, driving around Tuscany in an RV and we went to Florence for a couple of days. I had read beforehand about a place to camp with a RV close to Piazzale Michelangelo that have a splendid view out over the old city center.

We spent the first day down in the city and after a good dinner we went back to the RV and as soon as we got there I trapped my tripod and camera and went to shoot the city from above…

image 1

I was not happy with this image, it was to late and the sky had gone dark, so it was clear that I had to get there earlier to get a better picture, this was shot 11.30 PM.

So the next evening I came back a lot earlier…

image 2

This image is shot 08.53 PM in the evening. I like this image, but it was not the image I came for.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 45mm f/1.8 ISO 200, f/11, 1/50s

So I waited and tried the lenses I had with me.

image 3

Samyang 7.5mm fisheye. 13s shutter time to allow car lights to make lines below…

image 4

2 image panorama shot wide (12mm), I have printed this image here at home in 36x16inch and it looks very nice. This was shot 09.45 PM and was one of the last images I shot before the sky went dark.

I made a total of 50 images during this hour and ended up with the below image as my favorite:

Firenze

Olympus OM-D E-M5 12-60 f/3.5-6.3 f/16, 20mm 20s ISO 200.

All images shot in raw and processed in Lightroom 4 + Nik Color efex pro with tonal contrast preset.

Rasmus Hald
Oslo, Norway
Website
Facebook

SUMMER-SCHOOLMANY OF THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

An Interesting Negotiating Tactic

on-stlts

… and it is true.

Names have been changed a bit to keep client/photographer privacy.

I had lunch with a photographer today. We had met to go over plans for a big project and chose “The Vig” for delicious sandwiches and salads. What has that to do with the story? Nothing, I just wanted to tell you where I ate so it is kind of an instagram moment.

He recounted this story from earlier in the year:

A prospective client had been in touch with him 5 times in the past two years about shooting his proprerty, a twenty-six unit hotel in North Carolina.

Each time my friend sent him the same bid: $6000 for 16 finished images and a usage of two years.

Recently the hotel owner called and was totally dismayed. “Why so much?” I hired a guy last year and he only charged $800.”

“How did they turn out,” my friend asked? “Since you are calling me today, I am guessing they didn’t do the job.”

The hotel owner was nearly apoplectic. “They were horrible, terrible pictures and didn’t do anything for my business. But you are ten times more expensive.”

“Actually, my images won’t cost you a thing. They will even make you money.”

The hotelier was now very curious… “What do you mean they won’t cost me anything”?

Most of the hotelier’s business came from website bookings. Internal and external research shows that the most important thing a consumer looks at are the photographs of the hotel… even before price in many instances. Having better photographs means getting more bookings.

My bud explained that in detail and then asked: “What is your profit per room, per night”.

The answer was something like $55.

“Well, my photographs are going to cost you .50 a piece per day. $8 a day for 16 images that will help you book a room for $55. A net gain of $47. Even at one booking per week, your costs will be paid. If the images bring in one more booking per day, your costs will be paid in a few months, and then it is pure profit after that.”

$16 per day / $2920 per year / $5840 for 2 years.

“If the images bring in 2 additional bookings per week, that is $110 per week or $11,440 – nearly double what the images cost,” the photographer explained. “How many more bookings would you expect with really great photos”?

The hotelier explained that his chain estimated that great images could add an additional 5-10 bookings per week.

An hour later, my bud received the go-ahead. The shoot was booked three weeks out, shot in a day, and delivered in three days.

The hotelier was so pleased he has shown the photographs to his chain representative who was also fascinated by the breakdown of ROI that my friend had presented.

“It just came to me,” he said over lunch. “I was sitting there and looked at the calculator and thought… oh what the hell.”

Are there ways you can use out of the box thinking to explain cost/benefit to YOUR clients?

I bet there is… and there is a calculator built in to your phone.

Make the case for better by showing them how much more better can produce.

BTW, the hotelier reports much higher bookings as a direct result of the images my friend did.

SUMMER-SCHOOLMANY OF THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

One Umbrella on Location

bri-wall-small

 

I am a Photoshop guy who is finding a lot of love in Lightroom. I would say that about 80% of my work goes from LR (or CR) into Photoshop for finishing. But the other 20% is done totally in Lightroom.

Briana and I did this shoot last year for some new portfolio pieces. She had this cool, crazy outfit and I wanted an urban setting for the shot.

I used a single softlighter at 1.5 stops brighter than ambient for a pool of light effect.

bri-one

I chose three that I liked:

bri-2
_MG_9350
bri-3

I chose the middle one to do the Lightroom work on. I may come back and do the third one in black and white at some point.

Below is the Lightroom work I did. Simple and easy, and somewhat subtle… but then subtle may be all you need.

SUMMER-SCHOOLMANY OF THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.