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Shooting in "The Cave" #23337
06/09/09 11:37 AM
06/09/09 11:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
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GLM Offline OP
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GLM  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
Here in North Texas, many agility events are held in indoors at a venue I have come to call "The Cave". I literally go to each obstacle and meter the light in that area of the rings to determine what I can safely shoot and what I can't.

Here's an image from "The Cave" shot at ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/500, 200mm.

Comments welcome.


Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: GLM] #23338
06/09/09 02:05 PM
06/09/09 02:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Illinois
Peggy Sue Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Illinois
What a lovely shot. You did well and the owner should be please.


Peggy Sue
Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: Peggy Sue] #23339
06/09/09 04:13 PM
06/09/09 04:13 PM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Virginia, USA
Looks pretty good to me. Maybe some NR on the back ground.

I have a trick for black dogs that get some noise in the coat . . . I convert them to B&W and mask the areas that need to remain in color.

Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: Jim Poor] #23340
06/09/09 07:54 PM
06/09/09 07:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
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GLM Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
Thanks for the kind words, Peggy Sue and Jim. I appreciate it.

Jim, are you selling at the events as well as online? I spoke to David Ramey a couple of months ago and he told me that I was leaving 90% of the revenue at the show if I didn't offer images for sale on site. Based on my online sales and what I had been forecasting for sales, I believe him. I have since been putting together a system to sell at the events.

- Gary

Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: GLM] #23341
06/10/09 06:11 AM
06/10/09 06:11 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Virginia, USA
Hi Gary,

David is right on the money. Initially what I did (starting at portrait events) was offer pre-paid discounts on packages as well as prints. This increased my sales significantly while letting us avoid on-site proofing at busy portrait events.

These were orders placed without seeing proofs at all and people went for it with no issues. We've only been asked twice now "What if I don't like the proofs?"

For events in places like "the cave", I really didn't want to go that route since the results were less predictable. However, when I offered only online sales after the event sales were pretty blah.

So, my first step was to have my wife and lovely assistant man a laptop and show proofs while taking orders. Sales immediately went up, in some cases WAY up. For folks who didn't have time to select prints, but had time to stop by and at least see that there were enough good ones to choose from, we offered print credits. That way they could get the 10% on-site discount, but still pick their images later.

The next step (starting this weekend after my test run with another photographer a couple weeks ago) is to have prints up to 8x10 available on-site. To do this we need a heavy duty printer that will stand up to being lugged around as well as a fast printer with good quality.

We decided on a Shinko S1245 which cranks out an 8x10 in under 30 seconds with a per-print cost less than using WHCC or any of the other online labs, plus shipping charges go away. The really cool thing is that the printer can turn out prints that range from really glossy to really matte with no change in media.

We've found that with only one computer for folks to view, we have a constant line 3-4 people deep so we'll be adding a couple more soon. For now, we're taking two laptops, but one of them will have to be used to run the printer so it won't be available full time for proofing. Eventually, I'd like one computer for us and four for the clients.

The final solution (at least as I foresee now) will be to have four viewing stations with proofing systems installed that are intuitive enough that we don't have to hand-hold p people through the process. No keyboard access for customers, only mouse clicks. We're looking at two different software packages to get it done. EOS run offline and a gallery template from Lightroom also run off line. If I can ever get EOS set up, I think it will be better in the long run, but man what a pain to get up and running . . .

What system are you putting in place?

Last edited by Jim Poor; 06/10/09 06:13 AM.
Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: Jim Poor] #23342
06/10/09 12:39 PM
06/10/09 12:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
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GLM Offline OP
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GLM  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
Jim -

My system won't be nearly as sophisticated as yours (at least for now).

Following David's advice, I will be setting up a 22" Wide Screen monitor for folks to view the images on.

I will start the day with a looped slide show containing shots from previous events, sort of as a way to draw attention. Within the slide show, I will cycle a title slide which will let people know that shots from the days event will be available for viewing later.

Then as each class finishes up, I will upload the shots from that group to my laptop which will then replace the initial slide show.

These images will loop until I upload the next batch, which will simply be added to the loop. This process of uploading goes on until all the images from the day's shooting are uploaded.

All the shots will be uploaded to a single file folder for the looped presentation as well as to individual folders for each class.

I am a one man show, so I won't have the luxury of a sales assistant "working the booth" throughout the event. I will make images available for sale after the last images for the day are uploaded. David tells me he too is a one man operation and only available to sell images at the end of the day and it appears to work for him.

Of course, I will also have the images available online (at a higher price) for those who wish to purchase them after the event.

Basically, that's it in a nutshell.

I have yet to put this system into play, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

- Gary

Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: GLM] #23343
06/10/09 01:35 PM
06/10/09 01:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Alaska
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DavidRamey Offline
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Alaska
Gary, I am a one man show but only after my son joined the Army. Before that, he ran the computers for 6 years. I can do this by myself, only because my customers have had over 6 years of training on using the viewing stations. My viewing stations are very simple. I use ONE computer (Pentium 4 3.02 GHx) running Windows XP Pro. I have (2) Western Digital 10,000 RPM hardrives, one for the 2 programs I use and the other is for Windows Temp file. I have a Seagate 750GB hardrive that has the photos on it. I have 3.5 GB of memory. Software is Windows XP Pro and Betwin software. Betwin software allows me to set up 4 viewing stations on one computer with each viewing station acting independently of each other. I have 4 video cards, 4 mice and 4 monitors hooked to the one computer. I use the viewer inside of windows for viewing photos. Since 90% of the world uses windows, I do not have to train them on how to use the computer. When I transfer my photos from my processing computer to the viewing stations, I use a Gigabyte network and I only have to transfer to 1 computer instead of 4 different computers. It makes the transfer 4 times faster.
My processing computer is a Intel i7 2.66Ghz quad core
processor installed on an Asus p6T motherboard using an Nvidia video card w/ 512MB of memory, 12 GB DDR3 memory, 2 Western Digital VelocRaptor 10,000 RPM hard drives (one for programs and one for Temp files), 3 Western Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drives for photos. I use a Dell Ultra Sharp 2209WA Monitor. I am using Windows 7RC for operating system, Photo Mechanic for download photos & adding IPTC.

The key to making this work is to use the fastest computers along with the fastest software with an efficient workflow. I use the Omniflash UBMA USB compact card reader and Transcend 8 GB 300x compact flash cards. This downloads my photos faster than 150x 1GB cards on a non UDMA reader.

I build my own computers because nobody makes a computer that fits my needs and I don't need a warranty. If something brakes down in the field, I need to fix it there on the spot or I am out all the business for that weekend.



David Ramey Photography
Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: DavidRamey] #23344
06/10/09 03:03 PM
06/10/09 03:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
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GLM Offline OP
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GLM  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
You got me David. I don't have any of that stuff.


Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: GLM] #23345
06/10/09 03:52 PM
06/10/09 03:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Alaska
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DavidRamey Offline
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DavidRamey  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2006
Alaska
Gary,
The purpose of me posting my equipment was to show you and Jim Poor what to strive for as far as viewing stations. I started off with one computer to do my processing on and then allow customers to view the photos and after each job, I built or added on to my systems. I have found what works fast and what doesn't work fast. My computers are 100% reliable and never crash on me or my customers. My next trailer will be set up to run a minimum of 8 viewing stations as I have found out, the more viewing stations you have, the more sales you will make. My computers & software cost around $5000.00 to build. It allows me to make my living on the sales from the event and my internet sales is then just extra found money.


David Ramey Photography
Re: Shooting in "The Cave" [Re: DavidRamey] #23346
06/10/09 04:15 PM
06/10/09 04:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
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GLM Offline OP
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GLM  Offline OP
Wanderer
G

Joined: Dec 2008
Texas
David -

I was just playin' with ya.

I truly appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and experience in this field we are pursuing. It's trail blazers like you and Jim Garvie who make it easier for those of us who are trying to find a path to follow.

After we hung up on the day you and I talked on the phone, I looked at my call time and we had chatted for 2 hours and 41 minutes. It seemed more like half an hour. I remember thinking to myself, 'Here's a man who knows how it should be done'.

Thanks for all you do to help us.

- Gary

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