Gary Fong

Started Apr 6, 2014 | Discussions
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
Darren Lee Regular Member • Posts: 299
Gary Fong

I just started hearing about Gary Fong. Any thoughts on him? Is he really a pioneer in photography?

-- hide signature --

AS-"First Love" shot with Sony CineAlta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmS3Qh_SFwU

Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 16,657
Re: Gary Fong
9

Darren Lee wrote:

I just started hearing about Gary Fong. Any thoughts on him? Is he really a pioneer in photography?

-- hide signature --

AS-"First Love" shot with Sony CineAlta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmS3Qh_SFwU

If he were a pioneer in photography, he'd be about 200 years old. There is nothing wrong with being clever and good at self promotion however.

-- hide signature --
 Glen Barrington's gear list:Glen Barrington's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +11 more
Darren Lee OP Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: Gary Fong

Glen Barrington wrote:

Darren Lee wrote:

I just started hearing about Gary Fong. Any thoughts on him? Is he really a pioneer in photography?

-- hide signature --

AS-"First Love" shot with Sony CineAlta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmS3Qh_SFwU

If he were a pioneer in photography, he'd be about 200 years old. There is nothing wrong with being clever and good at self promotion however.

-- hide signature --

I should've been more precise...is he really a pioneer in wedding photography?

-- hide signature --

AS-"First Love" shot with Sony CineAlta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmS3Qh_SFwU

Pantyhose Bandit
Pantyhose Bandit Senior Member • Posts: 1,387
Re: Gary Fong
4

He was a wedding photographer. He quit wedding photography when he found it didn't pay. He started selling filters for flashes and that's what made him a bunch of money.

 Pantyhose Bandit's gear list:Pantyhose Bandit's gear list
Leica S2 Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Brother MFC-J6910dw Echo One File Juicer Vertu Ti +2 more
bruxi
bruxi Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: Gary Fong
3

Pantyhose Bandit wrote:

He was a wedding photographer. He quit wedding photography when he found it didn't pay. He started selling filters for flashes and that's what made him a bunch of money.

He sells overpriced diffusers

 bruxi's gear list:bruxi's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
Doug J Veteran Member • Posts: 8,952
Re: Gary Fong

Darren Lee wrote:

I just started hearing about Gary Fong. Any thoughts on him? Is he really a pioneer in photography?

Not a pioneer, but a very successful photographer that focused a lot of his efforts on wedding photography. He's since moved on to other businesses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Fong

He gets a lot of criticism for his "invention" of the Lightsphere flash diffuser and its variations. Regardless if the criticism is earned or not, it's stated he sold 400,000 of these by 2011.

http://photosecrets.com/turning-ideas-into-photo-products

The Wiki article has a number of external references if you're interested to read more.

Cheers,
Doug

Darren Lee OP Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: Gary Fong

Doug J wrote:

Darren Lee wrote:

I just started hearing about Gary Fong. Any thoughts on him? Is he really a pioneer in photography?

Not a pioneer, but a very successful photographer that focused a lot of his efforts on wedding photography. He's since moved on to other businesses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Fong

He gets a lot of criticism for his "invention" of the Lightsphere flash diffuser and its variations. Regardless if the criticism is earned or not, it's stated he sold 400,000 of these by 2011.

http://photosecrets.com/turning-ideas-into-photo-products

The Wiki article has a number of external references if you're interested to read more.

Cheers,
Doug

i'll check it out..thanks

-- hide signature --

AS-"First Love" shot with Sony CineAlta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmS3Qh_SFwU

pew pew
pew pew Contributing Member • Posts: 775
Re: Gary Fong

I watched several tutorials from Gary Fong on youtube, hes very competent specially in light techniques.

 pew pew's gear list:pew pew's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000
GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 11,582
Re: Gary Fong

Glen Barrington wrote:

Darren Lee wrote:

I just started hearing about Gary Fong. Any thoughts on him? Is he really a pioneer in photography?

-- hide signature --

AS-"First Love" shot with Sony CineAlta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmS3Qh_SFwU

If he were a pioneer in photography, he'd be about 200 years old. There is nothing wrong with being clever and good at self promotion however.

Sort of like Ken Rockwell.   (ducks for cover now)  

-- hide signature --

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
- Rayna Butler

 GodSpeaks's gear list:GodSpeaks's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 +45 more
carl english
carl english Veteran Member • Posts: 8,060
Re: Gary Fong

Think he was once employed by Practical Photography magazine.

 carl english's gear list:carl english's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Nikon D70
dwight3
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,377
Re: Lightsphere

When I started getting into event photography with my DSLR a few years back I saw someone with a Fong diffuser on their speedlight. It looked interesting and I considered getting one. The price put me off for a while and eventually I decided it was mostly a marketing thing, not necessarily a good photography thing. That's really all I know about Gary Fong.

The primary reason I'm not interested in the Lightsphere or the small softboxes I've seen advertised is that they don't place the light where it will do the most good, but throw it around in all directions and hope it hits something useful. IMHO that wastes a lot of the light. I like to use bounce flash, but I like the light to go to a specific area where it will diffuse back to the subject.

I built my own diffuser with a sheet of card stock and a rubber band and used that for a while but it wasn't the best thing and didn't really look too professional. Also tried the black foam thingy.

Eventually I saw a video on the Spinlight 360. I got one and I like it. It's not perfect, but I think it does a better job than the Fong thing. It basically gives you a way to direct light from your on-camera speedlight. It's easily adjustable. It will take gels if you use them. It attaches to pretty much any speedlight with a velcro strip.

One of the things that bugged me about my old SB800 was that the rotational limits were really limiting. If I wanted to use the camera in portrait orientation and bounce from the ceiling I could rotate the head to the right position. However, if I wanted to switch it around to landscape and bounce behind me I had to move the head all the way around to get it into the right position. The SB910 has a much better versatility for rotations like that. You still have to squeeze the locking button to get it to move from some positions but it goes where I want it now. The only problem I have is that in some positions where it's not really locked, the weight of the Spinlight attachment can cause it to move out of position if it's jiggled the wrong way.

 dwight3's gear list:dwight3's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +8 more
003tvd Contributing Member • Posts: 901
Re: Lightsphere

I've seen him at a few trade shows, and he has boundless energy. He's always ready to talk accessories and how to use them. I think his forte has been identifying lighting problems, and "McGyvering" a solution from a plastic cup and duct tape, and then figuring out how to mass-produce and market the device. Good on him.

egk4260 Regular Member • Posts: 394
Re: Gary Fong
1

Darren Lee wrote:

I should've been more precise...is he really a pioneer in wedding photography?

Actually, he invented wedding photography. Most of us were unaware until Al Gore invented the internet.

 egk4260's gear list:egk4260's gear list
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Apple iPhone 5s
bruxi
bruxi Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: Lightsphere

dwight3 wrote:

When I started getting into event photography with my DSLR a few years back I saw someone with a Fong diffuser on their speedlight. It looked interesting and I considered getting one. The price put me off for a while and eventually I decided it was mostly a marketing thing, not necessarily a good photography thing. That's really all I know about Gary Fong.

The primary reason I'm not interested in the Lightsphere or the small softboxes I've seen advertised is that they don't place the light where it will do the most good, but throw it around in all directions and hope it hits something useful. IMHO that wastes a lot of the light. I like to use bounce flash, but I like the light to go to a specific area where it will diffuse back to the subject.

I built my own diffuser with a sheet of card stock and a rubber band and used that for a while but it wasn't the best thing and didn't really look too professional. Also tried the black foam thingy.

Eventually I saw a video on the Spinlight 360. I got one and I like it. It's not perfect, but I think it does a better job than the Fong thing. It basically gives you a way to direct light from your on-camera speedlight. It's easily adjustable. It will take gels if you use them. It attaches to pretty much any speedlight with a velcro strip.

One of the things that bugged me about my old SB800 was that the rotational limits were really limiting. If I wanted to use the camera in portrait orientation and bounce from the ceiling I could rotate the head to the right position. However, if I wanted to switch it around to landscape and bounce behind me I had to move the head all the way around to get it into the right position. The SB910 has a much better versatility for rotations like that. You still have to squeeze the locking button to get it to move from some positions but it goes where I want it now. The only problem I have is that in some positions where it's not really locked, the weight of the Spinlight attachment can cause it to move out of position if it's jiggled the wrong way.

I bought a knock off Fong dome and it works well for me.  The effect of diffusing the light in all directions makes shadows very soft or non existent.  Anyway, it's the price that's ridiculous for me, but he's done well branding himself.

 bruxi's gear list:bruxi's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
SushiEater
SushiEater Senior Member • Posts: 4,459
Gary Fong's goal...

is to make every one around user of his product blind.

 SushiEater's gear list:SushiEater's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM +10 more
bruxi
bruxi Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: Gary Fong's goal...

SushiEater wrote:

is to make every one around user of his product blind.

True - it does blast everyone in the face with a flash unit that is usually set fairly high....

 bruxi's gear list:bruxi's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
SushiEater
SushiEater Senior Member • Posts: 4,459
Re: Gary Fong's goal...

bruxi wrote:

SushiEater wrote:

is to make every one around user of his product blind.

True - it does blast everyone in the face with a flash unit that is usually set fairly high....

It doesn't have to be set very high. If the person with the flash standing right next to you you will get blinded on the normal setting. I shoot on the red carpet and it happens to me all the time. Many times even gets in to my camera.

 SushiEater's gear list:SushiEater's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM +10 more
gfspencer Contributing Member • Posts: 517
Re: Gary Fong

bruxi wrote:

Pantyhose Bandit wrote:

He was a wedding photographer. He quit wedding photography when he found it didn't pay. He started selling filters for flashes and that's what made him a bunch of money.

He sells overpriced diffusers

He sells overpriced diffusers that work real good.  

 gfspencer's gear list:gfspencer's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM +5 more
bruxi
bruxi Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: Gary Fong

bruxi wrote:

Pantyhose Bandit wrote:

He was a wedding photographer. He quit wedding photography when he found it didn't pay. He started selling filters for flashes and that's what made him a bunch of money.

He sells overpriced diffusers

He sells overpriced diffusers that work real good.  

I bought one for $85 and returned it. Bought a $13 copy on eBay that works even better.

 bruxi's gear list:bruxi's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
ThaiM
ThaiM New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Gary Fong

I was skeptical with the expensive GF diffuser at first, but after seeing his video where he compares just about every single diffuser and reflectors on the market, I was sold. Now I never use my flash without it, it makes that much of a difference. Expensive, but so is everything else in photography.

 ThaiM's gear list:ThaiM's gear list
Canon EOS 50D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +5 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads