Nov 9, 2012

Painting Canada Interview with British Curator Ian Dejardin

"Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven" is a new exhibition at the McMichael of Canadian art seen through british eyes. I had the opportunity to interview the curators and get a preview of the show.

More video at Youtube

Jul 4, 2012

Photos in Beach Business Directory

george Socka Photography The Beach Photo Club was asked to submit images for the Beach BIA 2012 edition of the Beach BIA Business Directory. Two of George Socka's images were selected, for the back cover and for an inside page.

Jul 2, 2012

New Website for George Socka Photographer

I created a new WordPress website has gone live for George Socka Photographer. Based on WordPress, it uses only the pages feature to create static pages of large, bold photos. Based on a Linux shared hosting platform at, it provides better navigation than the previous version running on a Windows hosting platform due to Linux's more adaptable URL re-writing capability

Jun 30, 2012

Toronto in 365 Photos June 2012

Started a photo a day ( or so) project to highlight Toronto

June 2012 Captain Johns Boat Restaurant TorontoJune 2012 Westons Bakery on Eastern Avenue to Become CondosJune 2012 Joffer Caoc and Comrags @ McMichael Fashion as Art ExposedJune 2012 BAPS Shri Swaminarayan MandirHindu Temple TorontoJune 2012 Backside of Toronto Downtown from EasternJune 2012 Beaches Hydro Poles on Queen Street
June 2012 Toronto Downtown and CN Tower looking East from StrachanJune 2012 Monument to jobs lost due to Inglis Plant closingJune 2012 Bridges Highway 407 at 427June 2012 Toronto Irwin Toy Factory now residenses in Liberty VillageJune 2012 Girls of Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean CarnivalJune 1012 Batmobile Tumbler Lands at Yonge Dundas in Toronto HDR
June 2012 Toronto Yonge Dundas Square Looking West on DundasJune 2012 Marilyn Monroe Absolute Building MississaugaJune 2012 TTC Toronto Street Cars Old and New-ishJune 2012 Toronto Harbour Commission Tug William RestJune 2012 Distillery District Historic Industrial Roof GablesJune 2012 Flatiron Building Backside from Berczy Park
June 2012 Historic Flatiron Building with Modern Toronto SkylineJune 2012 One King West Downtown TorontoJune 2012 Double Decker GO Bullet Train Heading into Toronto around the Humber BayJune 2012 Cavalia Odysseo Horse Show Tents on Toronto WaterfrontJune 2012 Cathedral of St James Seen From Front Street in TorontoJune 2012 Palais Royale, Dance Palace Revived on the Lakeshore Toronto

Jun 29, 2012

Fashion as Art [Exposed] video for McMichael

I had the opportunity to shoot interviews with the Group of Seven fashion designers who participated in a fundraising gala at the McMichael, the home of the Group of Seven. This production includes a bit of the behind the scene activities

May 31, 2012

Doors Open Toronto Roundhouse Open Doors

toronto roundhouse doors open
The old railway roundhouse has been well preserved, even with a Leon's furniture store inside where steam locomotives once lived. This image of the roundhouse doors was shot during Doors Open Toronto 2012. Canon 5D II 24-105
More Doors Open on flickr
Toronto Harbour Commission Building LandlockedToronto RoundHouse Doors Open Toronto 2012Doors Open Toronto Harbour Commission Building

Video beats PowerPoint in Las Vegas

Many trade show exhibitors rely on PowerPoint to display product photos. But what could be more boring than death by PowerPoint? VFI's booth at infocomm in Las Vegas will include an attention grabbing video presentation of new products. Based on product photos, stock footage backgrounds, video animation, and green screen techniques, this 3 minute loop will play on one of the HD TV monitors in the booth. Green screen keying is used extensively to show video playing on the video monitors supported by VFI's own furniture. Take that PowerPoint.

May 9, 2012

Video Furniture Tradeshow Video off to Las Vegas

VFI Video Furniture International manufactures high tech furniture for video conferencing, presentation and meeting room applications. They are taking an 80 inch LCD TV mounted on one of their video stands to Las Vegas for the infocomm trade show, and will be playing this video on it. It is amazing how much better HD looks on a huge screen.

The video will be encoded as an mp4 and played off a USB memory key. Much less effort to produce, and much less costly than bringing down, or worse, renting, an HD blu-ray player on site.

The video includes elements shot with a Sony NX5U and a Canon 5D II.

May 6, 2012

Arnaud Maggs, Photographer, at Susan Hobbs Gallery

I had the opportunity to Interview photographer Arnaud Maggs, finalist for the 2012 Scotiabank Photography Award at the Susan Hobbs Gallery in Toronto. Maggs spoke from his "After Nadar" exhibition featuring images based on the 19th century French photographer's work .

Maggs dressed in his signature all black, was shot against the white gallery walls, resulting in an image that was not unlike some of Maggs' own portrait work. This shoot was lit with 2 LED panels.

Another Maggs interview is here on YouTube

Apr 29, 2012

Green Screen Interview of Author Wade Davis

I had the pleasure of interviewing author Wade Davis about his book "Into The Silence". Shot on a portable green screen in the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Mr Davis was lit with 2 600 element LED ights. Background from Digital Juice.

Another Toronto High Rise Condo Apartment Building Photo

Architectural Photo of Condo Building
The building at 628 Fleet Street, West Harbour City, reminds me of the Empire State Building in New York. This photo was taken when Lakshore Boulevard was empty becasue a parade had lanes closed further ahead. Taken with a Canon 5FII with a 24-105 mm lens.

Feb 23, 2012

Toronto Auto Show Mercedes SLS AMG Photo

2012 Toronto Auto Show Mercedes HDR
The Toronto Auto Show is a great place to see exciting cars in an easy to photograph environment. Unfortunately the clutter of the show, with competing manufacturers and photographers makes for a pretty dull image. This image breaks that mould with several versions of a Mercedes SLS AMG roadster convertible composited to create an HDR image, which was then itself composited onto an image of the Toronto skyline taken from a waterfront parking lot. The HDR image was created using layers and layer masks rather than the heavy handed HDR automation of Photoshop. The HDR images were shot with available light ( lots of it but all from above ), at speeds of 1/3 second at f16 and iso ranging from 100 to 250 using a 24-105 mm lens. The bright sunny exterior shot matches the lighting in the show pretty well. The star burst refection of one of the stage lights on the windshield adds sparkle.

Feb 18, 2012

Architectural Photo - Bauer Warehouse Building at Night

Architectural Phoro - Bauer Building at Night
This industrial building was photographed at night with a one second exposure ISO 500 with car lights streaking by.

Feb 16, 2012

Architectural Photography - ORNGE Head Office

Architectural Photography - ORNGE Head Office
I drove by Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and was struck by the bright orange of the ORNGE Air Ambulance Head Office building on Explorer Drive in Mississauga. It is a striking looking building, and recently reported management troubles made it almost voyeuristic photography. I wasn't alone with a camera. Out of the frame was a TV remote truck, and several other photographers shooting the bright orange signage as well. It was a grey day, so I composited in a bluer sky to bring out the white frames of the glass walls. Shot with a Canon 5D Mark 2 with a 24-105 mm lens.

Feb 15, 2012

Interior Photography - King Edward Hotel Toronto

King Edward Hotel Toronto Windsor Ballroom
While taping green screen interviews for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non Fiction, I took a few minutes to photograph some of the old elegance of the 100+ year old King Edward Hotel. The videotaping took place in the lower level Windsor Ballroom, and this photo is of the reception lobby area outside the entrance to the Ballroom. The walls are covered with mirrors, and this photo shows the repeated reflections of the sofa and another sofa behind the camera.

Shot with a 24-105 Canon lens.

Feb 12, 2012

Interior Photography - Trump Toronto Hotel Room

Trump Toronto Hotel Room17-40 mm wide angle lens @ 17 mm

Trump Toronto Hotel Room24-105 mm @24 mmlens

I had the pleasure of staying in the new Trump Toronto Hotel at Bay and Adelaide in Toronto. The beautifully appointed room was amazingly quiet, with recessed lights, leather, heated floor. It is a land locked hotel, next to the Scotia Plaza, with the upper floors to be condos, but the view up Adelaide and Bay Streets was still inspiring from 20 floors up. There is amazing stonework and gargoyles on the upper floors of the old The Canada Permanent Trust Building at 320 Bay Street

These shots were taken with a Canon 5D II, using a very long exposure and just a bit of kick from a flash.

Jan 24, 2012

Residential Interior Photography - Narrow Bathroom

Residential Interior Photography - Narrow BathroomAnother instalment of a residential architectural photography portfolio. This bathroom is about 6 feet wide. The Canon L series 17-40 mm wide angle lens on a full frame canon 5D Mark II provides good coverage of three walls. Lit by a Canon 580 EX-II flash on the camera, and a Canon 550 EX Speedlight with a shoot through umbrella on the floor to the left pf the camera.

Jan 21, 2012

Residential Interior Photography - Tiled Bathroom Shower

Residential Interior Tiled Bathroom and Shower Photo by George SockaAnother part of a residential architectural photography portfolio. Shot with a Canon 5DII, 24-105, with an Elinchrome D-Lite with a shoot through umbrella under the camera and a tiny Opus flash in the sink at right. This bathroom is less than five feet wide, but still gets good coverage from this lens.

Residential Interior Photography - Master Bedroom

Residential Interior Master Bedroom

This photo was taken for a residential architectural photography portfolio with 2 Speedlights and then HDR processing to bring out the highlights. Shot with a Canon 5D II, 24-105 lens. Shot in the winter, the exterior trees seen through the windows were composited into the final image in Photoshop

Jan 17, 2012

Green Screen Shoot for Professional Promo

Theresa Dietrich, owner of People Talking Market Research, wanted a video promo to introduce herself and her methodology to prospective customers and to rekindle relations with past clients.

George Socka green screen shotI shot her on a green screen to allow a variety of backgrounds to be tested to see what works best. In the end she chose plain white, and the keyed out image of her speaking could easily be composited into the presentation exactly as desired.
The studio was lit entirely with cool lights - daylight balanced fluorescents to light up the background, and LED panels to light the speaker. Much better to work under than hot incandescents.

Pegasus Community Project Christmas / Holiday Party Shoot

Pegasus Community Project Marie and Gene
I had the opportunity to photograph a wonderful group of people at the Pegasus Community Project Holiday Lunch in Toronto. They wanted an event photo booth style shoot to let participants keep a memento of the event. I don't ask for testimonials but some people say the nicest things:

"The photos are wonderful. You have captured at least 6 of our participants in the best way I have ever seen and the others are just as brilliant. I am beyond pleased with this work."

Shot with a Canon 5DII, 24-105 lens, white backdrop, 2 Elinchrome D Lites with umbrellas and Skyport wireless trigger.

Jan 15, 2012

Residential Interior Photography - Kitchen Sun Room

Residential interior photo

Another Canon 17-40 workout of a newly renovated kitchen sun room in a 100 year old home. The window and door mouldings replicate the original gumwood trim in the rest of the home.

Shot with a Canon 5DII with Canon 17-40 lens at 17 mm. Lit by two Elinchrom D-Lites, one behind the camera, one at the right of the camera.