Customer Spotlight – John Gonzalez

Welcome to our sixth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

John Gonzalez is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of John Gonzalez’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from John: 

            I have been fascinated with photography since I was in high school and began bugging my parents for a camera. After finally caving in they bought me my first camera, a Canon EOS RT, and the rest is as they say history. Throughout the years I have had many hobbies but the one that I have always stuck with has been Photography.

            Some of my fondest memories were taking photography in college. I would get to school early to get to the darkroom first. To this day, every time I smell vinegar it takes me back to those mornings. For those of you that have developed and printed you would understand.

            Today, even though I primarily shoot digital, I still love shooting and developing film as well. In fact, I love to collect film cameras that were used in photo journalism. My two passions are wildlife photography and street although I mostly do street photography. To me there is just something special about documenting life as it happens on the streets of New York were characters abound. When I first started doing this I was shy and would shoot with long lenses but soon discovered that the images were just not personal. To quote Robert Capa, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. I have literally taken that to heart and get real close and personal. I switched my strategy and started shooting close, really close! Most of my images today are shot at 28mm with a Leica and none are posed. Most of the time it works out just fine, yet other times you get beer bottles thrown at you. I try to capture everyone in their moment and especially love to play with shadows and contrast.

            To me Bergen County Camera is truly more than a store, it is a family and a gathering place for friends that share a common interest. In a world of mega box stores and on-line retailers, it is refreshing to find a place such as this that embodies the sense of community.

 

Keep shooting and above all else always have a camera with you.

You can find John on instagram, @johngonzalez_photography 

Ellis Island Hospital Walk & Shoot Meet Up Trip

Ellis Island Hospital Walk & Shoot Meet-up

October 22, 2017 at 1pm

 

Join us for a meet-up at Ellis Island for a Walk & Shoot tour of the Southside Hospitals. This unique opportunity will allow you to photograph the un-restored Hospital complex. BCC staff will meet at the information desk at Ellis Island at 12:30pm (1/2 hour before our 1pm tour).  The cost for the tour is $50 per person and reservations must be made in advance.  This is a meet-up trip and does not include transportation or parking.  To reach Ellis Island you will need to take the Ferry from Liberty State Park in Jersey City or The Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan in New York. You can view the schedule and purchase ferry tickets at www.statuecruises.com  This trip is limited to 25 people so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible.

 

Please note:
  • All participants must be 13 years of age or older. Participants under the age of 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times during the tour.
  • These un-restored buildings do not comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements at this time. Participants must be able to climb stairs. We regret that visitors with wheelchairs or scooters are not permitted on the tour at this time.
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Sandals, flip-flops, open-toed shoes and high heels are not permitted.
  • Tripods and lighting equipment are not permitted on this tour.

Tickets are extremely limited, and are able to be purchased here. 

ALternatives Focus Session

An Exploration of Exposures from Pinpoints to Pixels

Join us on August 5th at 9:30am for Alan Schwab’s Focus Session, ALternatives. Al will discuss various ‘alternative’ methods of photography, featuring infrared photography and pinhole cameras. He will bring in various homemade pinhole cameras he has constructed, as well as his infrared converted cameras. 

 

Free Saturday Focus Sessions – August

Focus sessions are Free and take place in our store from 9:30 am – 10:15 am. Focus Sessions are mini classes and discussions and classes about photography. All sessions will allow for questions and answers. Please bring your camera and any images along that you have questions about. Please share your thoughts for future focus sessions in the comment box below. No RSVP – Free for everyone – Please bring a friend!


Hit the “Like Button” to let your friends know. Have suggestions for future focus sessions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s our upcoming Focus Sessions:

July 29th – Why Buy Used Equipment

August 5th – ALternatives: Infrared and Pinhole Photography with Alan

August 12th – Lightroom and Photoshop Tips with Abby

August 19th – New Photo Assignment

August 26th – Macro Photography with Tamron

These are free events – bring a friend along if you’d like. Share with your friends on Facebook – Click the Like button below. Hope you can join us!

Solar Eclipse – August 21st

The next total solar eclipse will occur on August 21st 2017. The path of totality is scheduled to be seen from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Those who are located outside of this path of totality will be able to see portions of the eclipse, in a partial eclipse, with the moon covering a section of the sun’s disk. 

Path of totality, courtesy of NASA

Though New Jersey is not within the zone of totality, we are still located within the zone for a partial eclipse. At the height of the eclipse here, we should see the sun covered approximately 73%. The best time to look out for the eclipse in New Jersey is going to be around 2:45 pm. 

Regardless of a partial eclipse or not, it is extremely important to use eye protection when viewing the eclipse. Looking at the sun at anytime can damage your eyes, especially during an eclipse. Special glasses are produced for the solar eclipse, and should be ISO certified to ensure your safety when viewing this special sight. The only time it is safe to view the sun without glasses is at totality, when the moon completely covers the sun’s disk (this will not occur in New Jersey).

 

Some Tips to Help Photograph the Solar Eclipse

  • Use a telephoto/zoom lens and a tele-converter
  • Never look at the sun through your camera’s lens without proper eye protection
  • Use a solar filter for safe viewing at all times UNLESS the eclipse is at totality
  • You want a focal length under 2000mm on a full frame camera, or 1300mm on a crop sensor (this is to ensure you get the entire sun within your shot)
  • Get a sturdy tripod, and manually focus the camera to infinity
  • Practice, take a ‘test’ shot on a day before the eclipse, shoot various shutter speeds with a fixed aperture (between f/8 and f/16), and look for optimal exposures
  • Show what the solar eclipse does to the environment, find shadows, natural pinholes, and try some wide angle shots

More tips can be found online, like on Nikon’s website here

Customer Spotlight – Joseph DiCara

Welcome to our fifth Bergen County Camera Customer Spotlight. This monthly posting features a customer who’s made an impression on us. They might have grown in their understanding of photography, gained a mastery of the craft and / or have become a strong advocate of our way of doing business in the world of photography. During the next month you will see this customer’s images displayed on our digital signs in store, in our emails, blog posts and social media. We hope you both enjoy and are inspired by this new addition to In Focus and look forward to your comments and suggestions. 

Joseph DiCara  is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Joseph DiCara’s images in the gallery below.

A word from Joseph DiCara:

I have always had a passion for photography. Fascinated how a single captured second in time can convey such strong and diverse feelings. As an Architect I also strive to create environments that also evoke emotions by everyone that experiences my designs.

A sense of texture, lighting, scale, proportion, composition and yes …surprise… are necessary in creating memorable photography and enduring Architecture.

The ability to create something that others can feel and experience is a skill that must be continually nurtured.

Our friends at BCC do just that. They help us, educate us, critique us, and push us in a fun enjoyable environment.

I have seen wonderful examples of diverse photography ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​and improvement in everyone in the group. I know that Paul has pushed me in my photography to always improve, try new things outside my comfort level and strive to be better.

 

Explore, create, fail, yes fail, but never give up.

Remember

“…good enough never is…”

Joseph DiCara

View Joseph DiCara’s photos below:

Where to Photograph Fireworks – Locations and Tips 2017

North Jersey’s parade, fireworks and celebration map

List of North Jersey fireworks, times and dates

Here are some basic starting points

Please let us know if you get some great shots we’d love to see!
Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. Have a great 4th of July Holiday weekend from all of us at BCC.

Find a fireworks display on NJ.com‘s 4th of July celebrations page.

  • Use a tripod
  • Electronic release, 2 second self timer to eliminate shake or by carefully pressing the shutter button to minimize shake.
  • Manually set your camera ISO to 100 (You do not want Auto ISO)
  • Lens Choice – Wide Angle Zoom to frame what you’d like to capture
  • Auto White Balance or Daylight
  • Set your lens to manual focus then focus to infinity (take a test image and make sure things are sharp) Don’t forget to switch back to auto focus when done shooting
  • Method 1 – Set your camera to Manual exposure – Try 5 seconds at f/8 – 16 – this will allow you to capture several bursts
  • Method 2 – Try setting you camera to the “B” setting in manual – keep the shutter depressed at f/ 8 – 16 for several bursts
  • Carefully release the shutter if not using a release to capture from one to several bursts

**Evaluate your exposure – Shorter exposures (or smaller apertures ) will darken the image and capture shorter trails, Longer exposures (or larger apertures ) will lighten the image and capture longer trails.** If necessary make adjustments and take some more shots

If you are using a point a shoot, check your camera’s manual to see if you have a fireworks mode.

Improving Fireworks photos

Shoot with a tripod – it will give a more natural cascade of light.

Shooting the Finale!

The finale is many times brighter than rest of the show. Be ready to choose a shorter exposure or smaller aperture to prevent overexposure. The exposure you need is dependent on the number of simultaneous bursts. In some really incredible finales you may find yourself shooting at 1/4 or 1/8th of a second. Experiment for best results.

Why use a tripod?

Hand-held image above shows motion from camera shake in the burst of light.

The image below is steadied by a tripod, 5 seconds, f/16 at 100 ISO

Other Techniques

Set your camera to B and lock open your shutter – keep the lens covered with a dark hat and remove the hat to capture a burst then recover and repeat to capture several bursts. Just be careful not to bump your camera.
You can even zoom the lens during exposure for some interesting effects

Experiment and best of all have fun.

Happy Independence Day!

Focus session July 22 – Wide Angle lenses with Special Guest Erica Robinson and Tamron

Photo – Erica Robinson

Join us for a special focus session on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 9:30 am with special guest Erica Robinson.

Sponsored by Tamron – Everyone is Welcome – We hope you can join us.

Here’s Erica’s bio

Erica Robinson has always had a strong passion for both photography and travel, but once merging the two together is where she found her true passion. After studying photography in college her first adventure was working as a photographer for a cruise line out on the ships. Trying to pursue a different genre she then worked with talented Boston wedding photographers while learning the technical side working for a local camera store. Photography is an incredible tool that allows us to stop a moment and relive it every time we look at that image. She genuinely enjoys teaching others how to capture that moment in the way it makes them feel, to relive it over and over again.

Free Saturday Focus Sessions – July

Focus sessions are Free and take place in our store from 9:30 am – 10:15 am. Focus Sessions are mini classes and discussions and classes about photography. All sessions will allow for questions and answers. Please bring your camera and any images along that you have questions about. Please share your thoughts for future focus sessions in the comment box below. No RSVP – Free for everyone – Please bring a friend!


Hit the “Like Button” to let your friends know. Have suggestions for future focus sessions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s our upcoming Focus Sessions:

June 24 – Street Photography and Westwood Sidewalk Sale
July 1 – How to clean your camera and why
July 8 – Assignment Review “Bella Luna”
July 15 – Beach Photography
July 22 – Wide Angle Lens with Special Guest Erica Robinson and Tamron
July 29 – Why Buy Used Equipment

These are free events – bring a friend along if you’d like. Share with your friends on Facebook – Click the Like button below. Hope you can join us!

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Free Saturday Focus Sessions – June

Focus sessions are Free and take place in our store from 9:30 am – 10:15 am. Focus Sessions are mini classes and discussions and classes about photography. All sessions will allow for questions and answers. Please bring your camera and any images along that you have questions about. Please share your thoughts for future focus sessions in the comment box below. No RSVP – Free for everyone – Please bring a friend!


Hit the “Like Button” to let your friends know. Have suggestions for future focus sessions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s our upcoming Focus Sessions:

May 27 – Get Steady – Using Tripods and Monopods
June 3 – Taking Great Vacation Photos
June 10 – Outdoor Portraits
June 17 – Fireworks photography
June 24 – Sidewalk Sale/Street Photography

These are free events – bring a friend along if you’d like. Share with your friends on Facebook – Click the Like button below. Hope you can join us!

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