Photo shop to open in Monto

Ron Mien­t­jes’ busi­ness to open in March

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

RON Mien­t­jes will soon be open­ing up a pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness in Monto’s old Lizard Lounge build­ing.

The re­tired po­lice of­fi­cer de­vel­oped a pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy as a re­sult of his ca­reer and is look­ing to share that in­ter­est with the com­mu­nity.

“I didn’t have an in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy un­til I be­came a foren­sic pho­tog­ra­pher for the po­lice in 2008,” Ron said.

“We were ev­i­dence col­lec­tors and pho­tographed ev­ery crime scene and we weren’t al­lowed to use the auto fea­ture on the cam­era.

“While I was still with the po­lice I started do­ing pho­tog­ra­phy and I re­ally liked the free­dom of be­ing able to com­pose some­thing and bring it to life.”

The store, named Top Town Stu­dio, is set to open on March 1.

In the past, Ron has pro­vided event pho­tog­ra­phy and pho­tog­ra­phy classes to the peo­ple of Monto.

The new shop will let him turn that ser­vice into a busi­ness.

“I’m go­ing to be able to take fam­ily por­traits, in­di­vid­ual por­traits, an­i­mal por­traits in the stu­dio,” he said.

“I’m also go­ing to have some of my own works on can­vas and other peo­ple from the Monto Dis­trict Cam­era club and other lo­cals who want to dis­play any­thing they think might be of in­ter­est.”

Ron has been pre­par­ing for the open­ing for the last cou­ple of months and has al­ready pur­chased the first piece of equip­ment for it, a pro­fes­sional Nikon D600 stu­dio cam­era.

He’s also pur­chased stu­dio light­ing, props, and a pro­fes­sional drone for aerial pho­tog­ra­phy.

“I can use the drone for com­mer­cial pur­poses, help­ing farm­ers find miss­ing live­stock, do­ing prop­erty sur­veys for real es­tate, any­thing that peo­ple want videoed or pho­tographed from a drone.”

Res­i­dents of Monto who use the lo­cal Face­book groups may have seen Ron put out a call for old sec­ond-hand cam­eras re­cently.

“I got an old cam­era that had been in the shed for a long time and it ac­tu­ally had film in it that was ready to be de­vel­oped, so it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see what’s on it,” he said.

The shop will also be used to hold oc­ca­sional work­shops, con­cen­trat­ing on dig­i­tal SLR cam­eras.

There will be ex­tended cour­ses, as well a classes on spe­cific as­pects, like flash pho­tog­ra­phy or how to ad­just white bal­ance, ISO and shut­ter speeds.

“I’m not a be­liever in post-pro­cess­ing,” Ron said.

“I have done it oc­ca­sion­ally but I re­ally want to teach how to take a pho­to­graph, take the time to set it up and get ev­ery­thing right.”

The cour­ses are ex­pected to start in April, once ev­ery­thing has been set­tled in.

There is still work to be done on the build­ing, in­clud­ing set­ting up air-con­di­tion­ing and mov­ing in fur­ni­ture.

It won’t be open full time; days haven’t been set, though Ron said it’s likely to be week­end days or by ap­point­ment.

Peo­ple who want to book or have ques­tions are ad­vised to con­tact Ron on 0434 332 791.

...I re­ally liked the free­dom of be­ing able to com­pose some­thing and bring it to life. — Ron Mien­t­jes

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

LIT­TLE COWBOY: Har­ri­son Heigh, taken at the Land­care com­plex in Kelvin Street.

Ron’s dog, Ban­dit.

PHOTO: RON BURGIN

Ron Mien­t­jes will share his love of pho­tog­ra­phy in Monto.

From the Bur­nett Auto Club burnout com­pe­ti­tion in 2015.

Wind­mill on Shimke Road.

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