Customer Spotlight – Father Anthony Falsarella

 

Welcome to our tenth 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. 

Anthony Falsarella is this month’s customer profile.

Please enjoy a few of Anthony’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Anthony Falsarella: 

Hi, my name is Anthony Falsarella, and I am a fan and customer of BCC. Photography has been a part of my life since I was about 10 when a second-hand Kodak Brownie box camera was given to me to use in order to occupy my summer time. I enjoyed capturing various things and would spend my weekly allowance on film developing and film. I did not get my own camera until I graduated high school, and that was a Canon Canodate rangefinder camera which I still have and use. Jumping forward into the digital photo age came upon me a bit late and I got involved with it in my regular work as a priest and monastic. My specialty is low-light religious art reproduction either for publication and web use or to document a piece for restorative and conservation purposes. I have done work both in the US and abroad in countries like France, Belgium, Poland, and Belarus to name just a few. I do other things for personal enjoyment so I like to think that most niches I can feel comfortable with.

Now you may wonder why I am a fan and customer of BCC, most times having to make a 125-mile round trip to get back and forth to BCC? The answer is quite simple, customer service and the staff’s dedication to making you a better photographer. BCC has among other things has reignited my passion for the printed photo, which to me is very important. Digital photos are nice, but when the file is printed much more comes out. One of the Canon specials that Paul announced after one Focus Session made me decide to upgrade from my old Epson photo printer. Now I have my own fine art printing lab at my disposal and those special prints are made on that using digital fine art papers.

The outings and educational emphasis of BCC to help make all customers better photographers is for me paramount of coming all the way to this store. Networking with other photographers, gaining that one nugget with each encounter that sheds light on improving your craft, and learning from each other. The staff and all the Saturday morning friends help make this easy.

Each year for the past several years, I have had a series of “photography” resolutions for the new year. These resolutions are more like goals. This past year, all my goals or resolutions were met in part of or with the help of BCC and its friends. I have a series of new ones I just started with, one being more involved with film or analog photography in the coming year. I am sure with the knowledge, the used gear, and the processing that is offered at BCC, that will be a goal that will be definitely accomplished.

For more of Anthony’s work, check out his instagram at @anthony.falsarella

Customer Spotlight – Jersey Dave

 

Welcome to our ninth 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. 

Jersey Dave is this month’s customer profile.

All of Dave’s images are taken on a Yashica T4 Super D, using Portra 400 or Tri-X 400 film. 

Please enjoy a few of Dave’s images in the gallery below.

Here is a word from Jersey Dave: 

“Photography has always been something that’s sparked my interest. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been interested in maintaining memories and have always wanted to do my best to document them.  About four years ago, I started to take my photography more seriously.  I decided to pick up a point and shoot film camera and haven’t put it down since. It was a life changing experience for me; it gave me the opportunity to document people and places most important to me on a daily basis. During these last few years, there hasn’t been a day I’ve left home without it. Having that camera on me has forced me to see the world in a way that most people do not. It helped me find the beauty in every moment, whether good or bad. It has made me appreciate life more than I ever had in the past.  I can’t tell you how many rolls of film I’ve processed throughout these last few years, but what I can tell you, is that Bergen County Camera has been there for me through it all. I’d like to give a big thank you to all the staff at BCC who continually work hard to help me bring my photography into the world for people to see. You guys rule!”

-Jersey Dave

For more of Dave’s work, check out his instagram @JerseyDave01

Customer Spotlight – Andrew Weatherly

Welcome to our eighth 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. 

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

Here is a word about Andrew Weatherly: 

For Andrew, art is a tool for personal and social growth.  He believes that art is a medium he can use to advocate for people with disabilities.  Andrew is a painter, poet and photographer.  He chooses the media which offers him extraordinary avenues for self-expression while sharing his own insight and perspective with the viewers.  Andrew’s work is available through the galleries of Art Lifting, Inc.,(www.artlifting.com) and Heart & Sold, UK (www.heartandsold.org.uk).  Information  and current exhibits can be found at www.andrewweatherly.com.  Andrew does not let the fact that he was born with Down Syndrome deter him from developing his passions.

Recent exhibits and juried art shows  include: ArtsAbility 2017, Malvern, PA,  Bergen Performing Arts Center, Sandy BennettGallery, Englewood, NJ 2017; Arts Unbound, No Limits, Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, NJ 2017; Art Lifting Inc., Starbucks Limited Edition Gift Cards, December 2016; Thin Optics, 2016; ArtsAbility 2016, Malverne, PA,  2016 Leesa Dream Gallery, NYC, 2016 Heart & Sold ~ Salford Museum, England, Morristown Medical Center, Healing Arts, Morristown, NJ 2016, 2015 Heart & Sold, NYC, Arts Unbound, “2016 Winter in Summer”, Orange, NJ; Closter, Ft. Lee and Teaneck Public Libraries,  2014 Kennedy Center’s V.S.A. International Emerging Young Artists, The Journey, Washington, DC, Art Lifting, Inc., Cambridge, MA, Arts To The Avenue – Greenwich, Ct., Belskie Museum of Art & Sciences, Closter, NJ and  Cape Cod Museum of Arts, Brewster, MA.  Andrew’s poetry exhibits include VSA NJ 21st and 22nd Joyce Indik Wordsmith Competition and “Voices of Peace Poetry, Veterans for Peace & Arts Foundation, MA.

In 2014 Andrew was selected as one of 15 Emerging Young Artists for the Kennedy Center’s V.S.A. International exhibit, The Journey, for his painting Winter WorldsThe Journey toured in major cities throughout the country following it’s opening at the Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

Publications include “The Art Beyond A Syndrome”, by Andrew Weatherly and selected poetry in       A Room of Golden Shells, Woodbine House.

Find more of Andrew’s paintings, photos, and poetry at his website, andrewweatherly.com

Customer Spotlight – Don Parenta

Welcome to our seventh 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. 

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

Here is a word from Don: 

“I would like to thank Bergen County Camera for allowing me to feature some of my photography for the month of September. 

I got the photography bug in college in 1975 when I changed my major from Phys Ed to Communications. A required photography class was the start of my love affair with photography.   

Throughout college and for a few years afterward, I made a few bucks taking pictures for several hair salons and wherever else I could talk them into hiring me.  I used a Canon A1 and AE1 with a 50mm and 20mm lens – that’s it!  I also did my own black and white processing in the basement of my parent’s home.  For my nice Italian family, the basement was also where all the cooking happened, so I was always vying for time before dinner, to develop a roll or two of film in my “darkroom”.  Drying prints was a trip. I used the clothes line that ran through the kitchen, and often found myself negotiating with my mother and grandmother to share the kitchen with them, working around the prints drying on the clothes line.  

It turned out that video was the main-focus of my college curriculum and luckily, it became a career for more than twelve years (1977-1989).  I was an ENG/EFP freelance cameraman and ended up at Cablevision in New Jersey where I met my wife Maureen; then on to News 12 on Long Island shooting news and features, aerial videography and shooting for Sports Channel, MTV, Prudential, Howard Stern and other interesting gigs.  In 1989, I hung up my video career because the hours were crazy, and started a career in technical sales.

Moving on throughout the years, video and photography continued to fascinate me but for silly reasons, life got real busy. I put both aside for a while until I bought my first point-and-shoot digital camera in 2000 and that spark re-ignited my interest in photography. Digital plus very active children playing sports got me back into photography.  For nearly 15 years, I primarily shot sports, chasing my children from elementary school sporting events to college football games. 

So, to wrap up this story, today I enjoy an eclectic choice of subject matter with specific interest in scenic photography; my subjects including the antics of raptors (eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey and owls), to buildings and more recently, street photography.  My Nikon and peripheral equipment was all purchased at BCC and includes both Nikon D3 and D4 bodies with prime and zoom lenses to cover most needs.  My darkroom is now filled with two MAC’s, two Epson printers, inks, papers, with not a clothes line in sight.  My favorite scenic locations are the Lake George Region; Island Beach State Park, NJ; and the Delaware River in PA and NY to name a few.  Most weeks, I work in Manhattan a few days and often take my D4 and a short lens just in case I see something interesting to capture and share.  If you ever find yourself in Bolton Landing on Lake George, stop in Trees, a great store on route 9N where my framed prints are on display and for sale.  Enjoy!”

Find more of Don’s photos at his website, photographybydonparenta.com/

Photographing National Parks After Dark with Ken Hubbard

Ken Hubbard, an avid Tamron shooter, shares some of his tips for photographing the night sky in our National Parks.

Pack wide-angle lenses.
This is a no-brainer, since you want to get as much of that jaw-dropping night sky as possible in your photos. The lenses I typically use: the Tamron SP 24-70mm VC G2, the SP 15-30mm VC, and the SP 35mm F/1.8 VC. That prime lens is especially useful because of its fast F/1.8 aperture—it’s desirable to use fast apertures for night sky photos, as you want to reduce the amount of time your shutter is open to reduce star movement. With a 1.8 lens, I can shoot a 10-second exposure instead of 20 or 30 seconds.

There’s a magic number for any focal length you may be using and how long your shutter can stay open before you start getting those streaks in the stars. Although there are some complicated equations, let’s keep it simple. A basic guideline to get you started is the 500 rule: Divide the focal length you’re shooting at into 500; that resulting number will give you the number of seconds your shutter can stay open before you start seeing star movement. So if I’m shooting at 15mm, I can keep my shutter open for roughly 33 seconds. If you see movement in your stars, shorten your exposure.

Determine the optimal time to head out.
Our group tries to venture out during the blue hour, an hour or two after sunset, when there’s still some ambient light to create that beautiful indigo color. You can see an example of that in one of my Sedona photos shown here, where the featured rock formation was also lit up by the quarter-moon that had already risen.

© Ken Hubbard

If you’re going to try for a money shot like the Milky Way, you’ll want to check apps like Sky Guide or PhotoPills to see where and when it will be rising. You don’t want to head out somewhere with a group of people and discover there’s no Milky Way overhead. Capturing it when the skies are darkest—typically between midnight and 2 a.m., depending on the time of year— is ideal. Between April and September provide your best looks: During other parts of the year, the Milky Way either never makes it above the horizon, or it’s too close to sunrise or sunset and will be completely washed out. You’ll barely see it, if at all.

© Ken Hubbard

Research the park you’re going to.
I often start this process months ahead of time, so I’ll know the best times of year to visit, depending on what I’m planning on taking pictures of. Our group will also head out at least a day before a workshop, so we can scout the landscape to make sure it’s everything we were anticipating. You also want to get the lay of the land during the day so when it’s dark you’re not stumbling around with no sense of place.

It also helps to know which parks are rife with light pollution and which aren’t. You can check the International Dark-Sky Association website to see which communities have pledged to preserve the night sky by keeping lighting to a minimum. As far as the national park areas I’ve visited, Sedona is a designated dark-sky community; Zion isn’t too bad, either, and Acadia in Maine is pretty dark, as there aren’t too many towns around throwing off a lot of light. If you do have a park that’s lit up from afar, you can use that light to your advantage (or at least mask it) by using some creative techniques. More on that a little later!

Bring the basics …
A couple of things you’ll definitely need: a tripod, as you’re going to be taking very long exposures (20 or 30 seconds long in some cases). And you’ll want to bring a shutter release cable or some sort of shutter remote. You don’t want to be hand-firing the camera and risk losing images that way.

… and also a flashlight.
One, to see where you’re going, and second for light painting. That’s a terrific way to accentuate your images, like I did in my photo of Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. One tip I have for this type of creative endeavor: Don’t simply throw the light from behind your camera—your subject will tend to look flat. Because I’m usually taking 20- or 30-second-long exposures in these cases, what I’ll do is hit the shutter release, then walk to one side or the other of my camera and throw the light in from an angle, so it adds a little more dimension with shadows and highlights.

© Ken Hubbard

Sometimes other photographers’ light-painting adventures can work their way into your own photos. This image I took of one of the arches in Arches National Park was a happy accident. I was about 20 seconds into a 25-second exposure when someone who was sitting underneath the arch decided to blast it with light. I didn’t know it was going to happen, but it turned out to be a cool picture anyway.

© Ken Hubbard 

Before you start flashing lights everywhere, know the rules of the park you’re visiting.
Workshop leaders need permits no matter what to host groups in most national parks. The group that ran this year’s night sky workshops for us was National Park Trips Media, which took care of all of the logistics.

Some parks outright prohibit the light painting I mentioned earlier, especially from large groups. I can understand that: It can be annoying to individual photographers or nature-gazers in a park, trying to check out the night sky, only to have a bunch of people show up all at once and start blasting light everywhere. Individually, you often can light paint without a hassle, though check with your destination park before you go, as each has its own rules.

Seek out elements in your landscape to enhance your composition. 
Here’s where landscape photography during the day and at night doesn’t differ too much, because you always want some kind of landscape elements to create compelling visuals. That could entail some sort of silhouetted area or foreground visual—either a manmade one, like a building, or a natural one, like a rock formation. 

More often than not, I’ll try to keep those foreground elements in the lower third of the frame, as I’m using them mainly to enhance the night sky I’m trying to show off. And since I’m typically using a wide-angle lens in my night photography, I get up real close to whatever I’ve decided my subjects will be, as those elements will appear very small in a wide-angle photo otherwise. 

Tap into the leading lines of the landscape. 
I use natural lines to draw the viewer’s eye to where I want it to go. For instance, in my Milky Way photo taken in Zion, I positioned myself so the Milky Way descends straight down into the rock formation with the tree sticking out of it. 

© Ken Hubbard

I’ll also use the shape and structure of the landscape to either enhance the photo or mask issues that might be threatening to distract from what I’m trying to show. For instance, in my other photo here from Zion, I used the lights of the town of Springdale in the distance to silhouette the trees in that gap. And in my image of Balanced Rock taken in Arches National Park, the horizon was really lit up from Moab. To work around that, I stood in a spot so that when I took the photo, the Milky Way streamed down toward the horizon—making it appear as if the Milky Way was lighting up the horizon, not the neighboring city.

You can find more of Ken’s work here.

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 

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:

Customer Spotlight – Dr. Kumar Patel

Welcome to our fourth 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. 

Dr. Kumar Patel is this month’s customer profile. Please enjoy a few of Dr. Kumar Patel’s images in the gallery below.

A word from Dr. Kumar Patel:
My passion is nature photography. In my opinion, being close to nature provides the best form of meditation. In addition, I find it fascinating to observe and study animal behavior. I am learning something new all the time.

My photography allows me to share my love of nature with family and friends. In this endeavor, the support and guidance from our friends at Bergen County Camera is an invaluable asset for me.

My website: patelpix.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kumar.patel.5891

Dr. Kumar Patel

Customer Spotlight – Patty Connelly

Welcome to our third 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. 

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

A word from Patty:
I remember developing film at Bergen County Camera when I was in my late teens. I was always so excited to leaf through that little spiral-bound brown notebook full of 4×6 prints. Fast forward many years, and I found myself, once again, drawn to BCC. Shortly after having children, my desire to take better pictures was born and I soon became a regular at the Saturday morning Focus Sessions. I learned SO much going to those sessions and by picking everyone’s brain whenever I could! I think the first digital camera I purchased was a Panasonic point and shoot. After that a used Mark 5 Canon, then a 6D and finally, the 5D Mark III. I love my Canons, but am also having fun with a great little point and shoot I recently purchased. 

I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to turn my passion/hobby into a thriving business and I feel so blessed to be able to call photography my job. The learning never ends … and that is the best part! 
 
Thank you to everyone at BCC for all your time and patience with me. I’m forever grateful.
Patty

Customer Spotlight – Joanne Kennedy

Welcome to our second 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. 

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

A word from Joanne:
My husband, Rich Collins, started attending the Saturday morning Focus Sessions at BCC long before I did. After several years of his gentle coaxing, I finally gave photography and BCC a try! I started out using a pocket point-and-shoot Olympus. BCC taught me so much that I managed to get some amazing images out of my little camera!  After that, I moved on to a Fuji X20, and am currently using my Olympus mirrorless system. I purchase all my cameras and gear at BCC because the team always helps me buy what is right for me and gives me the ongoing support and instruction that has helped me grow as a photographer. I hope you enjoy a few of my images shared here;  most of them were taken on BCC field trips!