Category Archives: Photography

Professionally Cheesy: Website for Game Show Company

Dave Ricklin certainly knows how to ham it up for his game show business. He goes by the name “Whip Cheesy.” With a background in radio and television and a passion for game shows, Whip Cheesy started his own traveling game show company called The Original Game Show Live!

Whip Cheesy needed a website that shimmered with all the glitz and glam of the show biz. Think Bob Barker. Imagine Vegas. That’s the effect we wanted.

“It’s not every day you get asked to design something that’s hokey for the sake of it!” said Chris, our multimedia artist. How could we design a cost-effective website that was intentionally over-the-top and yet still sophisticated?

Camera!

We decided to start with a photo shoot of the game show host himself, with all his ham and cheese. Whip Cheesy’s Cheshire grin and animated facial expressions said it all.

To play up the energy even more, we enhanced the photos through visual effects, making them bold and colorful.

DSC_1081-2 before after 1000

We placed his iconic “Vegas” photo on front and center stage. When prospective contestants see Whip Cheesy’s dynamic personality at the top of the homepage, they know they’re in for a good time!

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 2.51.25 PM

Lights!

We wanted to put the host in the spotlight and design the website with some bling. Flashy lights did the trick. Both Whip Cheesy’s image and the web pages are framed with attention-grabbing lights, bringing the theatrical feel to life. The whole website shines with promise of fun and excitement to draw in customers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 2.59.55 PM

Action!

If the hammed up photos and glimmering lights weren’t promotional enough, we also wanted website users to actually feel like they were on a game show. To create that experience, we incorporated several interactive elements throughout the site:

  • Click around and you’ll hear a game show like “ding!”
  • Roll over the menu and you’ll feel like you’re spinning a 3D block
  • Hover over the Game options to see what’s revealed behind the squares

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 2.55.47 PM

Just by exploring the website, you’ll already feel like a winning contestant!

Game On

Now Whip Cheesy has a website that reflects the larger-than-life personality of his game show company. By giving prospective clients a thrilling website experience, it’s a sure way to win more business!

We know not all business is fun and games, but there’s no need to let marketing challenges be a drag. Our professional team of creatives is available to collaborate with you. We want to see you smile as brightly as Whip Cheesy!

Photoshop Class for Designers and Photographers

Announcing a new 6-week class: Photoshop for Designers and Photographers. Co-taught by Ken and Chris, this class is designed as an introduction for beginners and intermediate users. If you have dipped your toe into Photoshop and wanted to go deeper, or want to expand your skills to become more marketable, this class is for you.

Topics

Our project-based curriculum covers:

photoshop

Hands-on training in a small class is the best way to learn at your own pace.

  • File formats
  • Layers
  • Brushes
  • Selection
  • Compositing
  • Filters
  • Effects
  • Digital painting
  • Photo retouching
  • Typography
  • File preparation for print & screen
  • Workflow optimization

Schedule

Wednesdays, 6:30–8:30 pm
January 22 to March 5, 2014 (6 sessions + 1 snow day)

Investment

$190 due at signup. Bring your laptop with Photoshop loaded and ready to go.

Register Now

To sign up, contact us at 410-771-1718.

Update: this class is now half full but we have a few more spots left. Sign up now to reserve your space.

If you don’t have Photoshop CC, you can get a free 30-day trial, or sign up for a monthly subscription at www.adobe.com for $10/month.

Range Rover

The photo shoot should have been a breeze. All our client wanted was an exterior shot of a particular building. No people to herd, no tricky indoor lighting to manipulate. We had enough sun to be helpful, but no so much that it would wash out everything.

Yet Vienna, our photographer, struggled to get a website-worthy shot. If the building looked good, the sky did not, and vice versa. The time had come for a lesson on HDR (High Dynamic Range).

High Dynamic Range

In photography, dynamic range is the difference between the lightest and darkest regions in a photograph. When dynamic range is limited, highlights wash out to white, or shadows deepen into dark blobs. HDR techniques expand the range of a camera to capture shadow and highlight details at the same time.

HDR is accomplished by bracketing shots—that is, taking three to seven shots of the same subject but at different exposure settings. Shots range from overexposed to normal to underexposed. A conventional camera on a tripod can accomplish this. We use the Nikon D800, which has an auto-bracket feature. We then use software like Photomatix Pro to selectively pull the most interesting details from the different bands of exposure to create a single image. All that’s left is to crop and insert a high-quality image into your website, brochure, or video.

See for yourself the difference HDR makes. Too bright: This image shows detail in the building, but loses the details in the bright sky. Click to enlarge:

HDR: too bright

Too dark: Now the sky is nicely textured but the building is dark and murky. Today’s cameras can’t get everything in a single exposure.
HDR: too dark

HDR gives the best of both worlds.
With HDR Techniques

Deepen the Learning

After Vienna saw what HDR technology could do for a business project, she wanted to experiment with its creative potential. She also wanted the benefit of immediately using a new technique to drive home the learning. Here are the results.

Let us show you what HDR can do for your next photoshoot.

How to Shoot a Treehouse

Taking a photograph used to be about film, chemicals, and a dark room. These days it’s about megapixels, ISO sensitivity, and dynamic range. But what all photos have in common is light, and capturing the right amount of light in the right spot is one of the biggest differences between some dude with a camera and a great photographer.

Treehouse in Daylight

The daytime shot is simple enough. Just wait for the right time of day. Natural filtered light shows off the details in the rope, the wood, and even the grass. But one of the cool features of the treehouse is how it’s wired for electricity. To show how it glows in the dark we need to switch to night time.

Treehouse Before

Wired with electricity, this treehouse is easy to light from the inside, but you can’t see the lights in all their glory until the sun goes down. The trouble is that when the sun goes down, you can’t see much of the exterior.

Lighting Plan

Flood lights overhead lit up the left side and some of the leaves. The modeling lights with umbrellas lit the right tree and the ramp. Then, by carefully hanging a strobe light (SB-900) from the back roof and bouncing it off the side of the treehouse we can illuminate the rope bridge and the flag. Finally, a second strobe perched on the far window sill on 1/128 power brightens the yellow turbo slide and the far tree.

Treehouse After

Now we can see the depth of the structure, the texture in the wood, and the playfulness of the entire thing.

Any kids dream!