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Gary Fong

Started Apr 6, 2014 | Discussions
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Darren Lee
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Gary Fong
Apr 6, 2014

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

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Glen Barrington
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Darren Lee, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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Darren Lee
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Glen Barrington, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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

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

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Pantyhose Bandit
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Darren Lee, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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bruxi
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Pantyhose Bandit, Apr 6, 2014

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

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Doug J
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Darren Lee, Apr 6, 2014

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

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Darren Lee
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Doug J, Apr 6, 2014

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

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

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pew pew
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Darren Lee, Apr 6, 2014

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

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GodSpeaks
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Glen Barrington, Apr 6, 2014

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)  

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carl english
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to pew pew, Apr 6, 2014

Think he was once employed by Practical Photography magazine.

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dwight3
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Re: Lightsphere
In reply to Darren Lee, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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003tvd
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Re: Lightsphere
In reply to dwight3, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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egk4260
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to Darren Lee, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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bruxi
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Re: Lightsphere
In reply to dwight3, Apr 6, 2014

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.

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SushiEater
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Gary Fong's goal...
In reply to dwight3, Apr 7, 2014

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

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bruxi
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Re: Gary Fong's goal...
In reply to SushiEater, Apr 12, 2014

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....

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SushiEater
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Re: Gary Fong's goal...
In reply to bruxi, Apr 12, 2014

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.

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gfspencer
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to bruxi, Apr 12, 2014

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.  

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bruxi
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to gfspencer, Apr 15, 2014

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.

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ThaiM
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Re: Gary Fong
In reply to bruxi, Jul 30, 2014

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.

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