Interview with Gyula Rusinczky

Interview with Gyula Rusinczky

Just in case you didn’t already work this out, this is the first interview for 2012. It has two new questions which are focused on the post processing side of things which I think should yield some interesting results. On to today’s interview, Gyula is a portrait photographer and friend of mine, who has been helping me out with this new eBook I’m launching on RAW this week (more on that a little later). Let’s get on with it shall we? By the way both Gyula and I would love to know your thoughts so please comment below.

Gyula Rusinczky
Gyula Rusinczky

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Gyula Rusinczky, I am originally from Hungary where I am currently residing, but I used to live in Ireland and England too. My main interest is visual communication using various art forms and the word “impossible” does not exist in my dictionary.

What made you get into photography?

I was rollerblading actively for about 8 years and during that period printed medias like BeMag ( ), Daily Bread and BelieveInOne ( ) what was stuffed with amazing lifestyle and action sport pictures had influenced me a big time, in addition a bmxer friend of mine bought his first digital camera at that time and I helped him to take photos to his new website. All this stuff led me to do photography.

How did you get started?

I quickly realized when I got interested in photography that it’s an expensive game and I couldn’t afford a DSLR camera with fast frame rates for action sport photography so I sticked around portraiture and still life photography. The tons of hours spent on the streets with rollerblading seemed to be useful in photography because street skating is about constantly observing your environment for possible opportunities to do new and unusual tricks on the most unthinkable spots in the urban jungle. So being already a keen observer it didn’t take too much time for me to find “chatty details” around me.

My interest later in web design, typography and graphic design obviously affected my photography and as a result I put a lot of effort in composing my images perfectly using lines, shapes, textures and negative spaces. Everything involved in my frame is done on purpose.
Then there was a stage when I felt that my old bridge camera was holding me back from improving my skills further and I also felt stucked at that time so I decided to move to Ireland in 2007, get a work and save money for a pro DSLR to make sure that technology would not hold me back again in growing for years. So I did. While being there I got into urban and street photography what I continued in the Netherlands and England in the following years and now I am planning to extend my portraiture photo projects to whole Europe in 2012.

What sort of photography do you mainly do?

Portraiture photography is something what I’ve been particularly interested for a while so I wanna focus on it in the future. I am gonna have a fashion&beauty photoshoot in spring in France with a friend of mine from US what is keeping me excited and hopefully it will help me to start to build up a strong portfolio. Other than that I’ve been doing urban and street photography for years.

What gear are you using?

I’ve been using a Nikon D300 along with Nikkor prime lenses (50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.8D, 105mm f/2.8G) and various light shaping tools (Nikon speedlights, Lastolite softbox, translucent umbrellas, Honl Photo Kit, colored gels, etc.). The next addition to my photo gear is gonna be a DIY beauty dish for my upcoming photo projects in 2012. Despite I am absolutely happy with my photo gear, I am curious about the Fuji x100 and Sony DSLRs too.

What’s your favorite lens and why?

My 85mm glass. I’ve always been a telephoto dude and I love the way this glass compresses the scene. But I love all my Nikkor lenses equally cause they are versatile and they produce excellent image quality. After I threw myself into manual focusing in 2011, the experience made me interested in Zeiss and Samyang manual lenses as well.

How are you marketing yourself?

Since word of mouth is still the best marketing tool, I rely myself on it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t talk about myself all the time, I rather build trust and share my knowledge in order to expand my network. If my works are good enough, then people in my network will share it without asking them to do so or flooding their news feed unnecessarily. Take it easy and let your work do the talk!

What’s your favorite photo taken?

After watching Clay Enos video about street photography ( ) back in 2009, I threw myself in the unknown and started to photograph people on the streets of Dublin, Ireland what I never did before. This photo was the first one of my attempts what showed me that I am on the right track and made me continue doing street photography.

What post processing tools do you use?

I completely reorganized my workflow last year and since then I’ve been using only Photo Mechanic and Photoshop along with Adobe Bridge. I use Lightroom for only outputting my images. Photo Mechanic makes keywording, metadata editing, catalogizing and culling my photographs so much easier and faster. I automatize lot of steps in my workflow with it and its ability to give instant JPEG previews from my RAW files is a real time saver – it extracts the embedded JPEGs from the RAW files – when I have to work with hundreds of photographs.

How did you shoot and edit this photo?

Camera Settings: Nikon D300, AFS 50mm f/1.4G @ f/2, 1/80s, ISO800, hand-held

I took this photograph on an evening photo walk in Brighton, England in 2010. Usually I don’t use tripod, because it slows me down. Instead of a tripod I used high-speed burst mode to get one or more sharp shots of this scene. Through the years I pretty much got used to staying still when I shoot hand-held at night so I shot only 2-3 frames to get a sharp shot. I love working with ambient light so I kinda liked the repeating light-shadow pattern on the concrete between the parking cars. I waited till all the people disappeared from the frame, I took the shot and I moved on.

When I started to post-process this photo, I went thru my presets in Camera RAW and the B&W look was the one what my eyes found visually pleasing. So I adjusted my settings to this particular photo including sharpening and there was some mess on the concrete what I cleaned up with the Spot Removal tool. After opening the image in Photoshop as a Smart Object:

1. I got rid of the noise with Noise Ninja

2. I increased the local contrast with Unsharp Mask (Amount: 20%, Radius: 50px, Threshold: 0)

3. I increased the contrast with a duplicated layer (Soft Light blending mode, Opacity: 15%)

4. I added a 50% Grey Fill Layer to add some noise to the image and with that making the image more natural looking (Soft Light blending mode, Opacity: 50%)

5. High Pass Filter (3%) was applied on a duplicated layer for „creative sharperning” (Soft Light blending mode, Opacity: 100%) with a Mask to sharpen certain parts of the image

6. I saved the final image as a PSD

7. I did the outputting in Lightroom as a JPEG (Output Sharpening: Screen, Standard amount)

Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?

Make a difference. Separate yourself from trends. Go against the flow. Learn the art of negotiating. Have a few “outsider” around you, they will provide unbiased opinions about your works. Ignore the so-called experts. Be nice to people. Make sure its fun to work with you even under the most stressful conditions. But most importantly have a clear answer why you wanna be pro!

Visit Gyula Rusinczky – twitter, and blog

5 Responses to Interview with Gyula Rusinczky

  1. Wow! That is a lot of very helpful, easy to understand information. I love the new questions about post processing and how he broke down each step and what tool he used to process the photo of the parking garage. Its almost like its a brand new garage come to life on my computer. Great Interview!

    • Thank you Kathy! I am really glad that you enjoyed reading my interview. I’ve started to teach photography recently and I love every minutes of it. Probably thats what came thru in my answers to the new questions. :)

      Generally speaking if you wanna learn photography and understand why a great photograph looks the way it does, you have to see and understand the entire creative process from the very beginning to the very end. While gear and retouching talks are overdone these days, the ability to analyse photographs is absolutely underestimated and neglected. I do believe that when you can explain what you feel when you look at a great photograph, what emotions are triggered in you, what memories are brought back, what it the first thing what catches your attention, why the composition is great, what elements of the photograph emphasize the message what is supposed to be delivered by the photo, etc., then you are ready to take great photographs too. Because when you have clear answers to all these questions, you fully understand what makes a great photograph.

  2. I liked the interview, but I also really love the last image. I have to agree with Kathy, I like how he broke down his post processing steps. By the way, thanks for sharing, because my photos are saved as .psd as well, but I would save them in photoshop as jpeg if I wanted to share my work with someone. Even though I knew that wasn't the correct thing to do. Now I know I can do this through Lightroom, thanks Gyula! The last image really takes me to graphic design: space, repetitive geometric shapes, direction, vanishing point, etc. It's amazing how a lot of subjects in art interact with each other. Back in the 1950s-60s photography was used to develop type.

    • Deneshia,

      I think there isn't "correct" way when it comes to retouching. There are so many workflow tutorials on the web and I don't like any of them. You need to find a workflow what is simple, well-organized and tailored to your needs. The same applies for post-processing/retouching techniques. The fact that I like a photo doesn't mean that I need to copy its look. Or even if I copy its look, the overall impression of my photograph is different than the original one. While all we have access to the same photo gears available on the market, we are different and that's what makes our photographs unique.

      Personally I don't like to use Photoshop to save my PSD files as a JPEG. Too many steps and its too complicated. Only two clicks in Lightroom (with my presets) and I've got a resized low-res JPEG file what is ready to be emailed or posted on the web. I rename my JPEG files manually after exporting them from Lightroom. If you wanna know more about my workflow and SEO, check out my related comment from last year here:… . My workflow has changed slightly since then and I've also learnt that when web designers design a flash-based website, they also design a html site with the same content to make the site and its content visible for Google search engine. So both flash and html site are uploaded to the server.

      As for the last photo, I did web design years ago, I've read a book about typography and I've worked with professional graphic designers for years so as I mentioned in my interview, everything involved in my frame is done on purpose. When I take photos I look for those simple geometrical elements to "compress" them in my frame. If it's done well, then the magic happens. :)

      Lot of stuff for you to digest. Thanks for the comment!

    • As Gyula says, you need to find your own way. Mine is slight different again, and i'm always trying out new ways. At the moment I have the original RAW file in a dated folder, I then create an edit folder, and save a PSD or PSP depending on what I am using (at the moment i'm playing around with PaintShop Pro). From there I save a high res JPG to a folder called portfolio which I can then use to upload or print depending on what I need.

      My workflow used to be much like Gyula's using Aperture, and i'm sure it will change again but this is working smoothly for me at the moment.

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