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Old 06-29-2015, 10:58 PM
The real Mike Gambino The real Mike Gambino is online now
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The Secret to Success in the landscape Lighting Business

Since no one has asked I will ask myself.

Mike- Mike You are one of if not the most successful landscape lighting designer builders of all time ( tolerate the ego it will be worth your time ) and you don't even go on free product seller sponsored trips each year. Tell us if you had to pinpoint one single aspect of your business that you believe has been most responsible for the massive success in landscape lighting you have achieved what would that be?

Mike- Well Mike , thanks for asking, yeah that's right no free trips for me, that is a tough question but I would have to say photography. Night shots I have taken of my work. It is the center of all of my marketing efforts and also probably what gets the most attention and the first connection to prospects who ultimate buy my systems. It is crucial to get the best, clearest, sharpest and most colorful effective pics you can get.
If you can't master this aspect of your business then you must hire a qualified pro to do this for you.

Mike- What do you think about all of this post production manipulation that goes on with today's sophisticated and powerful photo processing programs and apps that are available and used extensively by some.

Mike- I don't agree with it unless the end result of the manipulation is very close to what is actually on site. Those who are using this trickery (HDR or layering of exposures to place light where it is not or appear brighter or dimmer than the eye sees on the actual project) to make their jobs look better are only fooling themselves. They may get some work from it but they won't have very happy customers if they can't replicate what they saw in their photos. The photos must be a true representation of what one actually sees when they view your work.

Mike- Can you share with us some tips on getting great photos of your jobs

Mike- Sure Mike I'd be happy to. You need to start off with the best camera you can afford and even more important is the lens. I have been shooting with canon (currently 5d) with L glass for so many years although Nikon is very good too. You are going to need a cable release (remote control shutter release) and a sturdy tripod too. I start shooting at what they call happy hour which is twilight or when the sky starts to turn a beautiful color of blue. When the blue turns to black I put the camera away. Depending upon the time of year you have between 15-30 minutes to get your shots. probably only 10 minutes to get the best ones. I set the camera to ISO 100 3000K is the color temperature of my LED's so I set the color balance of the camera to the same. I set the aperature to f8 and start firing away. You can experiment with the aperature size (lower numbers let more light in to the sensor so you will want to adjust your exposures accordingly and vice versa with higher aperatures settings) I will hold the shutter open longer as it gets darker but exposure times vary between roughly 1-15 seconds. I'd rather under expose then over expose because over exposed or blown out shots are usually throw aways. If I am shooting subjects such as light colored walls or statues the exposure times are very short. Darker colored foliage and trees longer it's really all trial and error. I do not use a light meter or a grey card or anything like that.
Even after all of these years shooting probably only 10% of my shots are really good and usable it's just the nature of the beast.

These days I shoot all my jobs with 2 cameras. I man one and I have a friend who is a semi proud who shoots with another. He gets different angles than me and its interesting how he composes his shots and sees my work with a different set of eyes. This way I can double my productivity and get the shots I need.

Mike- Could you attach a photo to this post so others will see that you are probably the finest landscape lighter of all time.

Mike- Sure- But you said the finest landscape lighter of all time thing not me.

Mike- Mike I know you are busy working 99 hours a week on your business and Solecki might be the only one who beats you at 100 hours, and I really appreciate you sharing with us today and I hope we can do this again soon maybe talk about what you do to process the photos once you download them from the camera.

Mike- Mike It is my pleasure, as you know I don't give many interviews but my door is always open to you. I feel a certain connection to you that I can't describe almost like we are the same person. And yes I'd love to do part II of this interview this was a lot of fun. And you may be right about Solecki working harder than me but what you failed to mention is that 50 of those hours are spent on updating his multiple facebook, Instagram, twitter, ebay pages etc.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:28 PM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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Haha, I wasn't expecting the Solecki reference. But that's funny. I hope it's a good humor jab at one another.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:48 PM
The real Mike Gambino The real Mike Gambino is online now
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He told me he works 100 hours a week and I insist I work 99 hours a week on my business. I guess what it comes down to is what one calls work.............
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:19 PM
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Mark B Mark B is online now
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Oh boy this should be a good thread if the mods don't kill it first.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:47 PM
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Michael J. Donovan Michael J. Donovan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark B View Post
Oh boy this should be a good thread if the mods don't kill it first.
and if it remains decent, civil, etc. then we won't need to "kill it"
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:00 PM
The real Mike Gambino The real Mike Gambino is online now
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Originally Posted by Michael J. Donovan View Post
and if it remains decent, civil, etc. then we won't need to "kill it"
There are some nuggets of good information in here if you can separate them from the satire. What an uptight bunch of bananas we have here.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:39 PM
outdoorlivingempire outdoorlivingempire is offline
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Hey Mike my name is Ken I talk to myself a lot can I join your group lol I think a lot of business owners talk to themselves lol... You ought to hear me cuss myself out lol
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Last edited by outdoorlivingempire; 06-30-2015 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:51 PM
outdoorlivingempire outdoorlivingempire is offline
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Do u have to be a licensed electrician in Texas to do outdoor lighting
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:56 PM
emby emby is offline
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Hey Mike my name is Ken I talk to myself a lot can I join your group lol I think a lot of business owners talk to themselves lol... You ought to hear me cuss myself out lol
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Oh look the other group is starting to come out and play...lol
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:10 PM
emby emby is offline
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If I throw a stick will you go away...lol
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