Zooming In On A Niche
Posted on 23 April 2010
Some time ago I wrote about the fact that it’s harder to be a generalist and it’s much more effective, when attempting to be successful at business, to find a niche and get good at it. Be known for a particular thing and then work on clients who need that particular expertise. Today I thought I’d share a niche that I recognized quite a while ago, but which I have yet to see anyone exploit. It’s called Zoomify.
I though of it again Wednesday of this week when Scott Kelby had a guest blogger, David Bergman, who is becoming known for something called a Gigapan image. He uses a robot controlled camera to take literally hundreds of images and then he stitches them together into a gigantic panorama that can be incredibly zoomed. Specifically, he shot the famous gigapan crowd shot of the Obama inauguration and recently he has been traveling with Bon Jovi and creating gigapan crowd shots. Scott and his son went to the concert in Tampa and we were able to find the image on David’s site and then zoom in enough to make him out in the crowd. It’s really amazing technology, and Bergman sells the images to fans. I guess my Zoomify niche idea is kind of like the Gigapan concept, but the audience I have in mind is different and it doesn’t require the specialty equipment or access to giant crowds of people.
Waaaaaay back in July of 2007, my buddy Terry White did a video tutorial about a built-in technology in Photoshop CS3 called Zoomify. While it’s not as dramatic as a Gigapan image, the concept is the same. You start with a panoramic image (or other large, non-panorama, and then Photoshop generates code to allow you to paste a small version of your image into a browser and then you can zoom in and see great close-up detail of any part of the image. The key here is that you don’t have to be a web-coding guru, just a Photoshop user with a large image that lends itself to Zoomify, and Photoshop creates the code. Besides Terry’s tutorial, RC did a 2-part Zoomify tutorial for NAPP members a year or so ago, and it’s great too.
So the niche idea I had was, if I was a photographer seeking product photography jobs, or vacation destination photography clients, I’d do some fake web sites that feature the Zoomify code and then I’d approach possible clients with a proposal that includes finished web code for fast-loading images that can be zoomed in great detail. Even if you don’t specialize exclusively in Zoomify, it sure should be a trick in the bag of lots of pro shooters.
So there’s a niche for ya. Learn Zoomify and see if that doesn’t open some doors. Oh, and be sure not to mention the word Zoomify. There’s no reason your client needs to know that Photoshop generates web code like this automatically! That’ll be our little secret.
So that’s just one very specific niche. I know there are dozens, if not hundreds of other niches, and I may share some others here in later posts. But until then, start working on Zoomify or a niche of your own creation. - And I’d love to hear from you if you have an unique niche or if you’re willing to tackle the Zoomify angle. Good luck!!