C&H Photo fits neatly into its new storefront on Girard Ave. While the store is narrow and long, it is packed full of professional cameras and technical gadgets. The friendly owner, Leon Chow, walked me through his shop this week to discuss many of the exciting features about his business.
Although his shop is a typical camera store, his expertise has become a dying breed. Leon has observed that in this present, rocky economy, people have been more careful about how they spend their money. When people are careful, they are much more likely to seek the professional advice at a specialty camera store than trust Best Buy or online reviews.
“People are starting to remember our purpose on this planet” Leon said, half-jokingly.
Many professional photographers fill the spaces of C&H with their unique knowledge. Frank Canziani is a buyer and the assistant manager; he has very deep experience from his many trips to Africa as a nature photographer. Another expert at the store, Dave Hinkel, specializes in underwater photography. He has a trip scheduled to travel to the Philippines in early November. Dave acts as a guide for a group of 12 to 15 photographers who takes the sea voyage with just a packed a duffel bag full of spare parts, tech manuals and his invaluable experience.
Leon told me that on these traveling trips when packing is stressful and places are strange “it is incredibly productive to have a technical guide on hand to ask questions to right then and there.” As for the Leon himself, his deviation away from his computer science degree and into a photography career turned out to be a smart one. Since the 1990s, when digital cameras became commercially available, the photo industry has been transformed and controlled by technology.
C&H embraces the old with the new. The beginning of each month features a variety of photography workshops from beginners to professionals. Sign up for the classes below by calling 858-729-6565 or visiting C&H Photo on the web.
Oct. 5 “iPhone-ography Workshop” 10am-1pm
with Leland Foerster $50
Oct. 6 “How to Make Better Photos of Your Dog (pet)” 1pm-3pm
with David Veit $65
Oct. 24 “Sensor Cleaning” 6:30pm-7:30pm
with Frank Canziani $35
Nov.17 “Girl Scouts Junior Digital Photographers Badge Workshop” 12:30pm
with Stacey Foster $15
The sensor-cleaning class lead by Frank is for those DSLR shooters who want to get rid of dust on their imaging sensors. Girl Scouts can earn their photography merit badge if they attend the workshop and complete their homework at the end of November. A similar Boy Scout merit badge workshop will be coming soon.
If you have a furry friend, you can learn how to create beautiful pet portraits for your family wall or holiday greeting cards. Bring your best camera gear to this class in order to practice photographing a live model and receive instruction on pet cooperation as well as technical light metering, ISO, white balance and shutter speed basics.
For those whose film expertise goes only as far as their iphone, iphone-ography is the class for you. Lead by Leland Foerster, a UCSD professor, the class teaches aspiring photographers the basics of better photography. The class focuses on the best Apple apps and Android apps with options for adjusting aperture, shutter and film speed on your mobile device.
Also, keep an eye out for Nikon, Canon, Sony and Olympus frequenting the shop around the holidays. These companies often partner with C&H for sales events and demonstrations with technical representatives who can answer your specific questions about their products. Bring your cameras and your curiosities to the experts at C&H Photo.