Thursday, November 21, 2013

Conference room art gallery

Conference room art, how refreshing!

Sitting in a conference room waiting for attendees to show up often finds one playing with their mobile device these days or staring out a picture window.  

That is not the case in this meeting room.  One can't help but walk through the room and view the creative photos displayed as if the conference room was an exhibit gallery.  Not only are the photos refreshing to look at, they add color to an otherwise drab environment, as well as great conversation topics.

Hum,  a conference room gallery?  Now that is a Big Idea!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Event Photography

Event Photography is not just about weddings, even businesses should document their "big event" to showcase in a photo album. 

Documenting your corporate / non-profit event or party is a sure-fire way to not only market your business, raise awareness for annual events, and showcase your latest achievements, it is a great source for relationship building interaction between you and your past, present and future clients.

The image pictured here is one of over 36 finalist images submitted for a clients event portfolio.  The event was a wine | beer | mocktail tasting fundraiser.  Shooting the attendees having fun is a no brainer and should fill a good chunk of a completed portfolio, but it is equally important to document the actual event details. These details will vary from event to event, but a good photographer should be able to see the little things that will help show that your event was unique.

When your photographer submits a final event portfolio it should include enough pictures that would take an absentee event guest to a virtual event from start to finish. If by the end of a portfolio viewing one is left without a clear understanding of the event, it purpose, and the mood that was present, then it is time to hire a new photographer.

Consider hiring a photographer for your next event and start building a database of powerful marketing and relationship building pictures.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Legal | Evidence Photography

When you think about photographer's, what type come to mind?  For most it is a wedding photographer, Paparazzi and that awesome guy/gal in National Geographic.  Oh, can't forget the sports photographers too.

There is another area that probable is not to familiar to most, unless you watch a lot of CS shows.  It is what we term Legal Evidence Photography and no, it is not as glamorous as Hollywood makes it to be. It is often photographing  products/equipment, roadways and intersections, home structural damage and the likes. Take the image pictured here.  a simple shot of a ladder, or is it?

This picture may appear as a simple shot of a ladder but that view far from the truth.  There are several elements here both seen and unseen, first what is seen.  Notice the focal length (depth-of-field).  The background is purposely taken out of focus by the photographer not only to avoid potential background distractions but to help draw attention to the ladder.  The focus has also been directed specifically to the instructional area of this image.  With the areas of almost perfect white and black, exposure of the low contrast stamped text was extremely important to capture correctly - on camera.  Altered and photoshopping images for exhibits are a no-no.

Great lead into the unseen portion of this picture - file data.  Did you know that when you take a picture, even with your smartphone, your camera records all sorts of information from the capture? Depending on the camera, it can document the date, time, aperture, shutter speed, lens used, ISO, and even the focal length you used and GPS location.  This captured information is commonly referred to as the meta data.

So why is metadata important?  In legal work it is critical in providing specific facts from specific captures. But can't that be altered?  Sure it can.  But if you are like us, we use built in image authentication for this type of photography.  This enables the authentication of each photo shot by a specific camera, then with the use of special software you can verify if the image has been altered since the time it was captured.

Okay, so why can't someone hack that authentication software?  They sure could, nothing is fool proof.  Heck look at our national security issues.  What we do as photographers is provide all the "firewalls" we can to ensure original authentic images.  Speaking only for the Big Idea Photographers, we follow our personal moral values, not the feelings some follow from the heart but the guidelines given to us long ago by a guy with a staff wearing sandal's and donning what most movember guys dream of. 

Big Idea |  the photography side

Monday, September 30, 2013

Large format wall murals

The digital world keep growing and growing.  The printers are improving performance and output quality.  New printable materials hit the market every year expanding display possibilities.  And, overall material and print longevity continue to amaze us.

The image pictured here was installed this past week at a recruiting location.  It covered 208" x 80" of wall space  The material used on this project was new for us.  It is an adhesive-backed,  fabric-based material that really has superb image quality.  The manufacture states that "it can be mounted to any surface and repositioned countless times while retaining its adhesion without leaving a residue."  After installing, we are not entirely convinced that it is repositional countless of times.  Nevertheless, it performed very well during installation. 

One great aspect of this material is that it has a natural matte finish.  Notice that there are no noticeable reflections from the ceiling-mounted fluorescent lights on the mural. Another key aspect is that the material removes well without leaving residue.  This is a huge value as it allows a business changeable large format marketing opportunities without the need of a frame system, or the hassle of repair/patching/painting the wall each time your marketing program is updated.

Sizing on this and other interior materials does not need to be this large either.  There is a max dimension on one side, the other dimension has yards and yards and yards available. With the ease of installation and promotional effectiveness, the smaller 22" x 28" & 24" x 36" "wall posters" are becoming a popular option. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

photo of the week

"The start of the end"
©Big Idea

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Photo of the week

Reflections at Hazeltine
©Davin Brandt & Big Idea

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Photo of the week

An image from a series entitled:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

White Bear decal giveaway

Want a Free decal?

Many of the folks in our local stomping grounds take great pride in their community.  Some so much so that they just can't help but share their sentiment by displaying the great white bear window decal on their vehicles.

This week we are helping out with that pride promotion by giving away several of the decals for FREE!.  The image displayed here shows the cool looking outline of the white vinyl decal, the black area illustrates the surface color you put the decal on.  So, the catch.  Yup, there is one, you must visit our facebook page and give us a "page like".   You can also like the post, but it is the "page like" that will get you in the drawing for a free decal.  We are giving 7 of these away this month

Here is the link, give us a like today!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Construction Photography

Sometimes even a drab, noisy, maybe even inconvenient construction site can look interesting, even appealing when photographed from a creative eye.

Pictured here is a shot of workers in Downtown St. Paul, MN.  The angle of the photo pictured here was instrumental in producing a picture that scoops up viewers.  Had our photographer shifted away from that painted wall in the background you would have lost a great deal of the color that brightens up this busy photograph.

The composition is also well done.  Most viewers are drawn to the foreground first when viewing a picture.  This image is no different.  Here it is the worker towards in the lower left of the image that draws the first eye.  With a natural left-to-right "read" your eye will follow the road from the foreground to background - right to left.  Eyes then move up and left following the dynamic color image, with a return to the beginning - the foreground.  The flow of a picture that keeps individuals "circling" through the photo several times, is a sign of an effective piece of work.

Construction photography encompasses a pretty wide array of subjects.  Pictured here is what we would call general road construction.  Other areas of construction photography include new real estate construction, community infrastructure, remodeling, site location surveys, even areal imagery.

Getting professional images of construction sites can be a great asset for documenting or marketing a project.  Not only does it help reflect a businesses professionalism, it really can make you and your site look good.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Corporate Event Photography

Corporate Event Photography
St. Patricks Day  - St. Paul, MN 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

What goes into making a vehicle wrap.

Have you every wondered what goes into making a vehicle wrap?  The slide show here will give you a good idea of the material used and the application process to wrap the KARE 11 Fan Van.  What it does not show is the one hour of surface prep time.  This 2013 Sprinter came to us clean from the car wash, but we still prep every inch of graphics area with a special cleaning solution.

We still like to use an older version of the 3M comply vinyl with laminate for the graphics.  It's just plain easier to work with than some of the newer vinyls, and very forgiving under various conditions.  We also try to always install wraps inside, even on those nice 75°f days.  Wind can cause some major problems when installing and should always be avoided.

We hope you enjoy the slideshow.
Music ©Kevin MacLeod

Ranger 621 boat wrap time

Late winter usually means boat wrapping time, but before you go off and get your boat wrapped there are a few tips than can help ensure you end up with quality results and a happy sponsor.

It seems that some less experience sign companies look at boats as just another vehicle wrap. This is far, far from the truth! Most vehicles are relatively flat on the sides. Boats on the other hand have extreme curves. For this post we will talk tips specifically about the boat style pictured here. This is a #Ranger621 owned by a professional walleye angler.

First and foremost seek out a reputable sign company, preferably someone who has wrapped your style of boat, and don't be afraid to ask to see pictures of prior projects.  It is also a good idea to get references, call them and ask about there experience.  Wraps are an investment usually made by sponsoring partners, having a poorly designed or installed wrap is not a good reflection on you as an angler or your sponsor's business

As you are developing your sponsored boat design it is so important to use original vector art.  we just can't stress that enough.  We know getting good artwork can be a challenge at times, but most business with a reputable brand image will have the needed artwork somewhere.  Seek out .ai (adobe illustrator) or .eps vector files.  Make sure all the images are embedded and any fonts are converted from the font to outlines, this step is easy to do in design programs.  Once you have this type of artwork your designer can make all sorts of magic happen. 

Vector art, as opposed to rastered (.jpg, .gif, psd, etc) allow you to scale images without loosing any quality.  Note in the picture here that the original logo was designed and proofed at 8" wide.  Here it is over 9' long and remains in perfect quality.  Those website logos would never be able to produce these professional looking results.  Don't use them on graphic wraps or signs! Just don't.

When your designer is working on your design ask them if they have a design template for your boat.  This template is different than a simple wireframe outline of the side of a boat.  Reminder, boats have curves, sometimes crazy curves.  If the boat curves, so will the graphics.  If the graphics curve the designer better be aware of this and design accordingly.  This is were it gets really technical.  If proper steps are not taken prior to layout, disaster can happen during your install. Ask questions about the design template. 

Another very important tip is to make sure your installer knows what 3M 94 primer is.  If he/she does not this is a red flag.  Boats take a massive pounding, especially on the waterline, 94 primer is used as an added adhesive in key areas to ensure your wrap stays on.  Don't worry about the day when it is time to remove the graphics.  The vinyl will release with a little extra elbow work, and with adhesive remover, the primer will come right off.

The last tip today is keep your wrap colors in high contrast, uses bold text when you can and semi to gloss overlamnate on your printed graphics.  Doing all of this will help maximize the impact and readability of your boat wrap, keeping you looking good and your sponsor smiling!