Looking for Something to Do? Butterfly Fest Sunday 8/13

Butterfly Fest

Sunday August 13th

Noon – 3pm

Looking for something to do this weekend? Look no further than New Jersey’s own Botanical Garden. Visit the New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands, located in Ringwood, NJ on Sunday for their Butterfly Festival held by the Bergen County Audubon Society. Meet up at the Carriage House Visitor Center, to learn all about butterflies and how to attract them. Butterfly walks will also be led throughout the day. Guests will be able to walk through the Botanical Garden, and identify the butterflies that inhabit the area. 

The Botanical Garden at Skylands is also a great location for birding, and the 1117-acre property also includes a Tudor revival mansion built in the 1920s from stone quarried in the estate. Tours are led of the estate, and self-guiding tours are available of the grounds. Enjoy a stroll through history at the Skylands Botanical Gardens.

More information regarding this event and the Botanical Garden can be found on their website,  www.njbg.org/, as well as on https://www.mybergen.com/bergen-county-nj-events-entertainment-northern-new-jersey-plays-concerts-fundraisers-comedy/butterfl


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

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