A beautiful shoot and some kind words.

A couple of weeks ago I shot a photo session for a client of Just Arrived Photography. The session was nothing out of the ordinary as I was sent to photograph a little girl and her family. Turns out the little girl was quite shy. That is where this short story begins.

You see I have a knack of getting little ones to cooperate. I'll admit some shoots are more successful than others but far more often than not I can bring out the personality in a child and help them to let their guard down.

You see I don't want to be strange person in their home with a big camera pointed in their face, instead I want to be someone who is simply there for a short visit who just happens to have a camera in hand.

This was the case with this little sweetheart. She didn't want anything to do with having her photograph taken so the first 20 minutes or so we talked about princesses, cartoons, and ants. (She was fascinated by ants and how small they were not to mention how they were crawling around her grandmother's deck).

After a few unsuccessful attempts at stomping on the tiny ants she was laughing away and forgot why I was there. She then proceeded to show me around the garden and I was able to grab some beautiful candid photos, I even had her look at the camera for a few posed shots.


That explains the first part of the title to the blog post and the second pertains to a very kind thank you note that was sent to Just Arrived Photography. It reads as follows.


 "I just wanted to write a review and advise you on how wonderful Ron was when he came to my place to take photos of me and my family.  He was wonderful with my 3 year old little girl and took the time to get to know her and befriend her resulting in some amazing photos.  He’s all around a good photographer and very kind.  The photos were processed efficiently and he was able to fulfill a special request in which I got him to edit a photo for me and had it online the next day for me.  He was great and I would definitely recommend him and in the future if I need a photographer I will be giving him a call!"

Thank you,

Amanda Solonynko.





A fall afternoon photo session.

Today I'd like to share a photo session I did for a very nice couple and their kids back in 2012. It was a fall afternoon and a beautiful shoot. Later on this week I'll share some more photos of another shoot I did for the same family this past weekend. 

 

The photos are used with permission of the both the family and Just Arrived Photography whom I am a contract family photographer for.

 

Have a great week everyone and enjoy! :) 

Baby Hannah

Here are some baby photos of sweet little baby Hannah and her new big sister! Special thanks to James P. Sullivan a.k.a. "Sulley" for being such a good sport and posing for some pics with little Hannah. ;-)

 

Backblaze cloud backup service saved the day.

Last week I had the inevitable happen to me. I had a hard drive failure. It wasn’t just any hard drive but it was the drive that houses my Aperture library. For those who may not know the aperture vault is part of Apple Aperture, a photo management and editing program for the professional and amateur photographer.

It also happens to be how I manage and edit my 650+ gigabytes of photos I have amassed over the past 6 years. Had I not had a backup plan in place this situation would have meant the loss of all my work to date.

As the title of this blog post suggests this was not the case. You see I have my work backed up three different ways, The first is the original files on my photo library’s (Aperture) dedicated drive, the second is a “Vault” which is stored on my Drobo. The Vault is Aperture’s own built-in backup system. Once configured, it will back up your library with a single click. This can be in addition to any other backup system you may have, such as Time Machine or a cloud backup system like Backblaze.


Unfortunately for me the first two backups failed. My hard drive crashed and my Aperture Vault inexplicably wouldn’t restore. So enter my last resort to salvage everything. Online or “cloud” backup, namely Backblaze.

I simply logged into my account and ordered a portable hard drive of my Aperture library  that i have had backed up through the service for a handful of years now. Delivery was quick (less than 5 business days) and at a cost of about $220.00 CDN it was a bargain to get my photos back on a hard drive that I could just plug in and copy to the new Aperture drive.

Upon receiving my drive I was back up and running in a matter of hours. The moral of this story is regardless of your skill level be it amateur or pro if you value your photos or any other files you deem precious then both a physical and cloud backup should be a part of your backup strategy.

I’m glad it was part of mine.

Nista magazine shoot

Hi there!

I'm still not quite on a regualr release schedule for my blog posts due to the fact that I am still getting things in order with my day to day life. Also fighting with a flu bug doesn't help either. However I am now able to release a shoot I did a while back for Skylight Model Managment and Nista magazine last month.

Where have I been and what have I been doing?

Hi everyone!

I hope you have all had a great Christmas and have had the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. I'd like to first start by explaining just what I've been up to the last three months or more specifically the last six months.

If you recall you may remember me talking about a baby photography company I have been doing contract work that company is Just Arrived Baby Photography. http://www.justarrived.ca/. (I photograph both baby and family in home shoots for them)

Now that keeps me as busy as I want to be but in addition to the baby and family photography I still am very active doing my own portrait and family photography. Some people would think that is enough but apparently not for me.

I have also recently been doing a few shoots in collaboration with Skylight Model  Management. Things are progressing nicely as I have begun to do a handful of shoots with them. Add to that my regular full time job and the major house renovation that was started back in July I have tried my best to keep up with the weekly blog posts, the social networking and being there for my family life in general has just been a bit overwhelming.

With the Christmas portrait season coming to a close and the house renovation nearing completion I can concentrate on giving my website a makeover and get back to blogging. I'll also prepare for the portraiture/small flash workshop I teach around February. There will be more family and baby photography to do not to mention we'll see where working with Chris at Skylight Model Management takes me.

I should also mention I have bookings made in 2012 for the new year coming up. Coincidentally 2012 was also my most successful year in business yet and I am looking forward to a busy 2013.

To sum things up I'd like to say thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blog posts, and to everyone who has had nothing but encouraging and positive things to say. It is very much appreciated! For the most part I am a one man show but I couldn't do what I do without the many shoulders I lean on every now and again. It means a lot to me.

Take care everyone and have a great new year. Thank you for all  your patronage and I hope to work with you again soon. :)

Sincerely

Ron Gergely.Cheers to all my readers and a nod to a prosperous 2013!

An afternoon with Shaniah

Hey everybody,


Tonight will just be a quick story about a very talented and fun young lady that I had the pleasure of working with this afternoon. Her name is Shaniah and she is a local model who I had the good fortune of getting in contact with recently.


She is a model with Skylight Model Management http://www.skylightmodelmanagement.com/ and amongst other things she is working on, Shaniah has done runways for National Aboriginal Week https://www.facebook.com/NationalAboriginalFashionWeek and not not mention she was also a hair model for Redken in the ABA Hair Competition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDl5ljD6tTk.


After a conversation over a cup of coffee with Shaniah both she and her agent agreed to grant me a chance to do a photo shoot with her.

Accompanied by her friend Jadon we headed off to a rented studio space and I photographed Shaniah for a couple of hours. Turns out she is is a lot of fun to work with and she has a great sense of humor. The time quickly flew by but we agreed that we'd get together for another shoot sometime in the near future. I can't wait!

I thought I'd share a couple of photos with you tonight and there will be more to come as I get around to editing the shoot.

 

simple high key tutoriall

Hi everyone,

This week I have a simple tutorial for you on high key white background photography. It's easier to do than you think! First off what do you think the background is? It’s a speed-light inside a large soft box. Make the big soft box the background, set your camera to manual, expose for the main light at somewhere between 1.5 and two stops darker than the background and you get a blown out background with a properly exposed subject. That's it. Simple right? Well it is!

In this case, the camera was set to ISO 200, using 1/250 second shutter speed, aperture was set at f/2.8 – the soft box which is the white backdrop for this head shot has a speed-light inside set at 1/4 power. The other two speed-lights providing the front lighting are setup with shoot through umbrellas in a clam shell lighting configuration. For those who don't know what "clam shell lighting" is it is simply one light directly overhead of your subject and one directly underneath to form a "clam" on your subject. In this case the light above the model is set at 1/16 power and the light pointing from the bottom up is set at 1/32 power. No ttl metering here just simple straight forward manual flash. The amount of space needed to do this shot was about 50 square feet.

I used the Nikon SU-800 to trigger the three flashes. You can use whatever your brand of flash/speed-light trigger and DSLR camera you have at your disposal. If you only have access to 2 speedlights that is ok to. Use one speedlight to light the sotbox positioned in the back for your white backdrop and use your second speedlight to light the top of the model. Now in place of your third speedlight just use a large silver reflector positioned underneath and as close the subject's face as possible while keeping it out of the camera frame. You'll get near the same clamshell effect. It’s simple, quick, effective and produces reliable results. Try it for yourself. For those of you that are interested in seeing this technique executed in more detail and live I do plan on doing a beginner's strobist style speedlighting workshop sometime early 2013. Keep an eye open on my blog posts or at my Ron Gergely Photography facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ron-Gergely-Photography/132611550143033?fref=ts

Paying it forward.

Hi everyone,

Today I'd like to tell you about a gratifying experience I had yesterday. A friend of mine came over to my house to see what is involved in portrait flash photography. The afternoon started out with pretty standard stuff. I explained the anatomy of setting up for a indoor studio style portrait shoot. We talked about the gear involved and I skimmed over how it all works. After a few shots, Allan (my friend and student for the day) had taken a few shots and came away with a nice portrait if I do say so myself!

What I did not expect was the conversation we had about other things photographic. We compared notes on creativity pertaining to both landscape (which is Allan's passion) and portrait photography which is my own passion. We talked about other things to do with photography, photo editing software, printing your images and sharing them. Now I must admit I had to cut the day short because I had a shoot that day and I had to pack up my gear and get to my appointment. 

Before I left I did offer to send Allan the images he shot to add to his own personal work. He declined saying that he was happy to spend some time with me to shoot and chat. That brings me to the title of this post "Paying it forward". You see I to had someone I liked to talk to and shoot with whenever I got the chance and more often than not he was very patient and helpful. He did not hoard is knowledge but instead he shared that knowledge. It ultimately made me a far better photographer and I saw this as an opportunity to share some expertise with someone else. It is as always a very gratifying experience.

I thought I'd share Allan's image with you for a couple of reasons. Even if he had it I'm afraid it would stay locked up on his computer and never see the light of day. Secondly the image is of my own daughter who has modeled for me many times in the past. So you be the judge and feel free to leave a comment. What do you think of Allan's first crack at a portrait? Personally I think it's pretty darn good!

Till next Sunday take care and we'll talk next week.

Ron

What I have been up to lately.

Hi everyone. I hope you all had a good weekend. This week I'd just like to bring you up to speed on what I've been up to lately. The past couple of months have been hectic ones for me but I am happy to say I've been busy photographically. On top of my own personal work I am also being kept busy with doing contract work for Just Arrived Baby Photographers out of Vancouver.

Besides that I am busy at home running errands with my home renovation and trying to cram my family in half a house. The whole top floor of my house is being redone almost from scratch. I am also proud to say I have been contacted by the Group of Ten Photography Club based out of Limerick Sk. in regard to teaching another "strobist" small flash workshop in February 2013. I had a great time teaching there last year and next year should be equally as successful.

As I write this post tonight I am sitting in a hotel room in Osoyoos British Columbia where I attended one of my best friend's wedding. It was a small ceremony and everyone had a very good time at a get together at the resort they got married in.

That's all I have for you this week so until next Sunday take care and have a great week. I tout I'd leave you with a photo I took of the happy newly weds. Congratulations Dawn and John!

Less is more.

Tonight I'd like to talk about how less can be more when it comes to an image. While taking a picture of an otherwise ordinary object try getting close to your subject. When you think you are close enough get even closer. After you have gotten closer then once again... you guessed it. Get even closer. You may be surprised with what you come up with. 

Now keep in mind I'm not talking about macro photography I am simply saying that when you get really close you see things in a different perspective that we do not normally see in our day to day life. So the next time you are out taking some photos why not try getting up close and personal with your subject?

Till next week take care and enjoy the nice weather. Summer isn't over just yet!

Bailey and Jason's wedding day.

Hi everyone. I have had a busy week and therefore have not had the time to sit down and write something for my blog post this week so I thought I'd share with you a wedding shoot I had the hounor of doing about three weeks back. Next week I'll have a prepared blog post for you so untill then enjoy!

Ron

PS: I'd like to thank Bailey and Jason for giving me permission to share these images with you. To see the shoot head over to http://www.rongergelyphotography.com/bailey-and-jason-wedding-photo.

are your photos backed up?

For this week's post I have a question for you. Are your photos backed up? If not they should be. Not to mention any other file that is important to you. Take a moment to think about what I am asking. If you had a theft, a fire or any other natural disaster would your precious memories exist anywhere else other than the computer that was stolen or destroyed?

The solution to this problem is simple. Backup! It has been said that if your pictures or files don't exist in three different places then they don't exist at all. My own backup strategy is as follows.

- I have my original photo files copy on my computer. That is copy number one.
- I also save a copy of all my images to an external drive attached to my computer. That is copy number two.
- Last but certainly not least I save a copy of all my images to cloud based storage. That is copy number three.

If you implement this backup strategy to all your precious irreplaceable files you'll likely be protected no matter what the circumstance. Cloud based storage can be had for as little as $5.00 a month.For an explanation of cloud based storage I will give you wikipedias thougho and consise explanation. It is as follows:

Cloud storage is a model of networked online storage where data is stored in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties. Hosting companies operate large data centers, and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them. The data center operators, in the background, virtualize the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects. Physically, the resource may span across multiple servers.

Cloud storage services may be accessed through a web service application programming interface (API), a cloud storage gateway or through a Web-based user interface.

Personally I use a service called Backblaze at www.backblaze.com but there are several reputable services out there.

As for the external drive storage you can purchase a one terabyte drive on sale for under $100.00. Isn't that small investment worth months or perhaps years of memories? I think so! Get out and shoot and don't forget to backup.

waiting for the right moment

Hi everyone and thanks for visiting again.

I know I promised more wedding pictures from last week but I am still in the editing process so I don't have anything to share just yet. Instead I thought I'd share a tip on portrait photography or more specifically waiting for the right moment to squeeze the shutter button.

The next time you are taking someone's portrait take an extra couple of seconds or an extra couple of minutes if need be and see if you don't get that expression or moment you are looking for. In the case of this little fella I waited several seconds between shots as his mom and dad tried to get him to make a face. For the record my little subject just studied me for most of the shoot. He wasn't afraid of me but he did keep an eye on me and this was on of the few times he cracked a smile (looking back at his dad I might add!)

My point is you can't wait for ever but a little patience can go a long way to grabbing a precious moment.

That's all I have for you all this week. I have to get back to editing last week's wedding shoot and I still have a couple of other shoots to work on as well so until next week take care and have a great week. :)

A quick sneak peek from a weekend wedding.

Hi everybody!

This week has been hectic between preparing for my wedding shoot I had with a great young couple on Saturday and the ongoing reno of my house I didn't have a whole bunch of time to put together a blog post this week. So I thought I'd say a quick hello and post a picture of the newlyweds along with the groom's new family members. I'll have the whole back story next week along with some fun stories to tell. So till next week take care and enjoy the long weekend!

Ron

Top 5 photography related photography podcasts.

Hi everybody. This week I thought I'd share my top 5 photography related photography podcasts. If you have any photo podcasts you think should be on the list feel free to leave a comment below.

1. TWIT photo.

Twit photo is a internet show that is a part of Leo Laporte's TWIT podcast network. I picked this as #1 mainly because of the shows interesting guests that the show's host Catherine Hall lines up each week. It is not so much a "how to" show than it is a interview type program. Every week is a new guest and with that comes a different take on different aspects of photography from marketing to post processing to main stream photography. As a side note unfortunately the show has been cancelled due to Catherine Hall starting her own show as of this writing. Time will tell if it is of the same quality and production value of TWIT Photo. If you'd like to check out the new show more information can be found here. http://www.photography-unfiltered.com/ As for TWIT Photo there are still 66 episodes archived for you to watch and or listen. All are well worth your time.

2. TWIP

TWIP not to be confused with TWIT Photo is a current event and Q&A photo podcast that has been running since 2008. The mainstay host of the podcast is Fredrick Van Johnson a former military photographer who over the years has become a very talented and well rounded photographer not to mention a very capable host of TWIP. The show has many different co hosts and is very entertaining. If you are into interviews and like current event style audio programming this is the show for you.

3. The Digital Story

The Digital Story hosted by Derik Story takes the number 3 spot in my top 5 photography related photography podcasts. This is a short form podcast (by short I mean each episode runs around 30 minutes) and usually consists of topics of the day in the host's world photographically. Derrick is a pro photographer based in northern California and is a very entertaining and knowledgeable photographer. If you only have a half hour per week to listen to a photogrphic podcast this may be the one for you. In my opinion my #3 and #4 picks could very well be 3A and 3B.  

4. Tips from the Top Floor

As I stated earlier Tips from the Top Floor just as well could have been my number 3 pick and for good reason. Tips from the top floor is THE longest running photography podcast on the web hosted by the great Chris Marquardt. I am biased to Chris but for good reason. I have attended 2 of his urban photography workshops and I have listened to his podcast for a number of years. Chris is a great photographer, media producer, and runs an awesome photo workshop. If you want to listen to a diverse show on both digital and analogue photography then without a doubt this show should be high on your list.    

5. Camera DOJO

The Camera DOJO photography podcast rounds out my top 5 photography related podcasts. It is hosted by Kerry Garrison who is a professional photographer also based in California. His podcast focuses on photography news, reviews, and tutorials. Where the production value lacks the content makes up for the quality of the podcasts by a mile. The information and topics he touches on are more often than not top notch and is quite worth while listening to.

I hope you enjoyed my top 5 photography podcasts. I truly believe that regardless of your skill level these 5 podcasts have something for you and are well worth your time. If you are looking for some entertainment or just want to learn a tip or trick one or all of these podcasts are for you. Until next Sunday take care and have a great week!

A fun pic with Chris Marquardt at the 2010 Toronto Urban Photography Workshop

Back from a short hiatus.

Well happy Sunday everyone! I am happy to be talking to everyone again after a two week self imposed break. These past few weeks have been very hectic for me besides shooting for myself I have also been finalizing contracts for some wedding shoots for 2013 and I've been doing a lot of contract work for Just Arrived Baby Photographers. On top of all of this my house is a bit upside down due to a major renovation. The whole top floor has been gutted! Well now everything is moving along nicely and I again have the time and energy to continue on with my blog.

So setting all that information aside I'd like to talk about this weeks blog post topic. Saturday I went out for a fun shoot with a friend of mine whom I am mentoring to become better aquatinted with photography and how to use her camera. One thing she and other people for that matter more often than not will do is make excuses or pick on their own photos and ultimately blame less than desirable results on their camera not being "good enough or not as good as the next guy's". So I thought I'd do my best to squash that myth. Successful photography is a combination of several pieces of a puzzle but your camera body isn't nessesarily one of them or to put it more gently the body you use isn't as important as you may think.

Case in point I went out shooting today with an "old Nikon D50". Now this is a 6 megapixel camera that does not have a lot of bells and whistles. What I did use in conjunction with my D50 body is what is known as a "prime lens". For those who are not familiar with the term 'prime lens" according to Wikipedia it is as follows. In film and photography, a prime lens is either a photographic lens whose focal length is fixed, as opposed to a zoom lens, or it is the primary lens in a combination lens system. So that said I took a 50mm 1.4 Nikor lens with me to shoot with for the afternoon. I thought I'd share the best shots of the day. Now before you stop reading in order to have a look at the imagesassosiated with this post consider this.

In my opinion the camera lens is a far more important gear related component than the camera body itself. Any prime lens forces you to become more familiar with that focal length and a 50mm also forces you to be a bit more upclose and personal with your subject. Other important aspects of photography are exposure, composition, mood, leading lines, ect. but as far as gear is concerned a good quality lens is more important than the camera body itself. A good quality lens can last you a lifetime but camera bodies come and go. Enjoy the slideshow (they are also part of the products I offer either as a HD download or on dvd) and if you'd like to see the stills of this shoot follow this link http://www.rongergelyphotography.com/a-day-at-the-park.

That's all I have for you this week. Come back next Sunday for another post and if you have any suggestions as far as topics you'd like to have me cover then by all means leave a comment in the comment section and I'll gladly do my best to speak about the topic. Take care and thank you for reading. I really do love what I do in the realm of photography and I take pride in my blogposts. :)

Ron

 

PS: If you like what you see and you'd like a shoot of your own then by all means don't be shy! Drop me a line or give me call. Mention this blog post and I'll discount your total order including the sitting fee by 10% ! On an average order you'll save roughly $30.00. :)

I was in Dryden Ontario and could not post Sunday. Better late than never!

Here is a link to a wedding shoot I was asked to assist with this past weekend in Dryden Ontario. It turns out the newly weds didn't have a wedding photographer Per se and I was asked to help out. As it so happens I did bring along my backup camera body and a 50mm lens.

Although I was not prepared for the shoot I did have something to work with and the groom is my wife Lisa's cousin so I was happy to help. If I do say so myself I'm quite happy with the shoot. Enjoy!

http://www.rongergelyphotography.com/stephanie-and-ben-wedding-day

NOTE: There are over 300 images so be sure to click on all 6 pages on the site url.