Pin Hole Camera – Make Your Own

Pin Hole Camera – Make Your Own

Pin Hole Camera? What’s that you ask? This is the most simple form of film photography you’ll find. It’s a great way to make your own camera and learn more about photography. If you have kids, they’ll be intrigued also. Remember film is light sensitive, so you have to devise a way to protect your film for handling. Also, film needs to be developed, so you may want to learn how that works also.

This article came through my inbox. It has some photos of other pin hole cameras and “How-Tos”. These are great for black and white film. If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to email, text or call me. Enjoy the read!

tom-szabo.com, tom szabo, jeweler, photographer, scuba instructor

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Scuba Diving In Key Largo, FL

Scuba Diving In Key Largo, FL

Scuba Diving In Key Largo, FL

In March of 2016, my wife Diane and I vacationed in Florida. What a great time to leave NE Ohio!

Out With The Old!

As a photographer, it’s important to use updated camera gear. So when it came time to consider updating my main studio camera body, I was faced with what to do with my camera and housing for my underwater photography? The plan was to upgrade my main camera body to a Canon 70D. My older Canon T3i would become my back up body. Problem: The T3i would not fit my current Ikelite Housing, urgh! I called my good friend and Ikelite rep, Dave Haas (Haas Images).

Dave’s suggestion: Sell both camera bodies (T3i & Xsi) and the Ikelite Housing. Then purchase the Canon 70D, Canon SL1 DSLRs and the housing for the Canon SL1. After evaluating the economics of all this, I made the decision to move forward. In addition, this needed to be done for my trip to Florida. This would be a good chance to try the equipment while diving.

Canon T3i DSLR camera body.

Canon T3i DSLR camera body.

XSi DSLR Body

Canon XSi DSLR Camera body.

Ikelite camera housing

Ikelite underwater housing for a Canon XSi DSLR camera body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problems With Poor Viz!

After arriving in Florida, the first dives were to search for more fossil material for my jewelry line. Diving off Venice, FL means diving the gulf side of Florida. As a result the water temperature was around 66 to 69 degrees and visibility ranged from 1 to 3 feet. Certainly do-able for fossil hunting. Not so great for photography.

After checking out of Siesta Key, we made the drive to Key Largo, FL. Diving conditions improved. Water temps were around 74 to 76 degrees and visibility ran 40 to 60 feet. After getting the new Canon SL1 set up in the housing, a trip to the pool was in order for some testing. Later, it was off to the dive boat. I only had time for 2 days of diving, so photography time was premium. You can see the results by checking out my images from Key Largo.

Anchor Winch

Anchor winch from 19th century vessel in 27 feet of water.

Your comments are welcomed!

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Light, It’s All About The Light!

Light, It’s all about the light.

Light! My wife Diane and I like to vacation at Siesta Key Florida. The beach has the softest and whitest sand you’ll see anywhere. During our walks on the soft powder white sand, Diane gets tired of my commentary on the people taking photos with their cell phone cameras. It generally goes something like this “there’s another photo that won’t turn out very well!”

Even though she gets tired of listening to me, I’m right. Two major problems I see: Stop putting the sun at your subjects back! Number two, move in closer. So let me spend some time again talking about lighting. Why my comment about sun placement? Camera sensors don’t have the capability that our brain does. Sensors can’t adjust the image we see through our eye and correct the exposure. Don’t believe me? Take the scenario I just described and experiment. Put the sun behind your subjects back. Look at their face. I’m sure you’ll see the detail in the face. That’s because our brain and eyes work together to adjust the lighting and see the detail. Now take the picture. How much detail do you see in the near black orb called the face. Almost none.

So how do you fix this problem. You have to train your eye to evaluate scenes for lighting. Look for the highlights and the shadows. Make slight adjustments in subject positioning to reduce the amount of shadow in the subject. Take a picture after your adjustment to see the results and continue to adjust your subject. Eventually you’ll begin to learn what works.

Another way to learn is to observe what other photographers do. I’m not saying to copy their technique as much as observe and adjust. Evaluate the lighting of the scene and subject to see how they work with light. Look at what award winning photographer Irene Chen has accomplished in her photography. Although she uses studio lighting for the award winning images, see how she uses control over lighting to work her magic. Read more about her work.

You’re welcomed to ask me questions. Or just give me your comments.

Film used in family portrait photography. Light.

Portrait photographers strive for detail in their final prints.

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Photo Phuss – So What?

Photo Phuss – So What?

Photo Phuss is created by professional photographers. Nope, it’s not a new technique. It strictly involves money! Photographers make money by creating pleasing images and $elling them. With the proliferation of cell phone cameras and photo based websites, images are considered fair game for sharing and theft.

Example: You’ve taken what you think is a great photo of your baby and posted it on Instagram. At your next visit to the baby isle at the store you see your adorable baby on the disposable diaper packaging. Here’s a multi-billion dollar company making millions of dollars of profit off your child’s image without your permission or without any compensation to you. Imagine your child’s college fund going down the toilet. Is your response going to be – wait till me friends see my picture on the package? Probably not. You’re going to want some form of compensation – like a lot!

This is the same issue photographers face everytime someone scans one of their prints then goes to the discount store to print an 8X10. It’s the same lost revenue to the photographer. Or expecting a photographer to simply give you a free copy of a digital image file. Check out what Chris Gampat has to say about Instagram. Let me know your thoughts.

Portrait of baby

Don’t you think I’m cool?

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Film Photography – Dead?

Film Photography – Really?

Film, remember that stuff? With the explosion of digital cameras today, most of you would likely wonder why shoot on film? Let me back you up a bit. Before digital, you had to put more thought into your photography based on the type of shooting and light conditions. You selected film to support your planned shooting.

Cameras were available in varying sizes. The size concept was based on the physical size of the negative you were shooting. Real photographers would argue the benefits of shooting 35mm, 2-1/4, 4X5 and 8X10. Who cares, you say. Well it all boiled down to the larger the size of the negative, the sharper and more detailed the print. Speed was also an indication of the density of the film. The better the density of the negative, the better the image quality. So if you could record an image on a larger negative size, then you could get incredible detail in your print. That is what photographers would strive for.

So here comes this photographer, Pali Kalsi. He started photographing on the larger formats and got intrigued by the results. To the point where he decided to build an 11X14 camera. Those of you who still remember film cameras and negatives, think back to the negative size for a 35 mm camera. Now imagine a negative 11 inches by 14 inches. The detail in an 11X14 print would be simply amazing.

For more details and to see some of Pali Kalsi’s work, check out this article. As always, let me know your thoughts!

Film used in family portrait photography.

Portrait photographers strive for detail in their final prints.

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Scuba Season Around the Corner!

Scuba Season Around the Corner!

Scuba – If you are a diver in Northeast Ohio and you’re looking for a dive buddy, let me know. My schedule permits for a flexible dive schedule, weekdays and weekends. A good place for local diving is Whitestar Quarry.

If you’re interested in diving Lake Erie, consider volunteering for MAST. Members perform archeological surveys of sunken ships. Have fun and help document our maritime history. Check out the MAST website for more information.

You can reach me at the following:

Tom Szabo

440-354-2535 (Office)

440-725-6504 (Cell)

Apex Predator - pacific reef shark. Scuba Dive

Apex Predator – pacific reef shark.

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Lion Fish Inavade Atlantic Ocean

Almost every diver who’s been the the western Pacific Ocean will come home bragging they saw Lion Fish. They are a beautiful species! However, they’ve become a big problem in the Atlantic Ocean. Why? They are considered an invasive species. Lion Fish are very prolific. They can lay upwards of 30,000 eggs every 4 to 5 days.

Lion Fish live on the small reef fish and their numbers are dwindling. That means  the juvenile fish needed to maintain fish populations could be gone. The smaller reef fish eat algae which keeps coral healthy.

To help combat the problem divers have taken to spear fishing Lion Fish. In a lot of locations the season for them is wide open. In fact many restaurants welcome the fish for their menu.

Cayman Islands has announced this weekend will be a Lion Fish hunting weekend making a big event out of it. So if your in the Cayman Islands this weekend, get your spear ready, dive in and  go hunting.

Lion Fish, tom-szabo.com Vieques 11 057

Lion Fish have hypodermic like venomous spines.

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Scuba Divers Set World Record

How cool is this? 173 scuba divers in Italy set a new world record for the longest underwater chain of divers. They even have a video showing it happening. I’d love to do this!

 

Italian Scuba Divers Break Guinness World Record For Longest Underwater Human Chain

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School Pictures And Special Deals

School Picture Business

School pictures are a real tradition for families. People often ask if I provide that service. My answer: well I’d like to. I learned a long time ago this is a very difficult market to break into. Schools have told me they are under contract with large photography studios for the service and in addition, the school gets a cut of sales. One of the biggest contract term that’s a barrier for me is the no competitor clause. These contracts often prohibits another photographer from suppling promotions to students within the school.

In fact, the picture business made the news in Washington, D.C. on the local News Channel 4 report. Please don’t think I’m angry or upset about their practices. I just wish I could participate on some level.

tom szabo, jeweler, photographer, scuba instructor. tom-szabo.com

This high school senior portrait uses 3 colors, skin tone, white and red.

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Jewelry – What’s In A Name

Jewelry – Name Needed!

So many of you may be aware of my new line of jewelry. The line is based on fossilized shark teeth, whale bone and manatee bone. There’s a couple photos to show some samples of my work.

Here’s the question. I don’t have a name for the jewelry line. Some suggestions are: Jewels of the Sea, Sea Gems, Sea Jewels, Ocean Gems, By the Sea, Long Islands, Bite Me, Ocean Secrets. One of my thoughts was “Ocean Sands”, especially since the materials are found in the sand on the bottom of the ocean.

So do any of you have any suggestions? OR vote for one of the names listed above. I’m curious about your thoughts!! To learn more.

Jewelry, Necklace - Tiger Shark tooth fossil with turquoise stone.

Tiger Shark fossil tooth with Turquoise stone pendant on silver chain.

DU3WB1

Whale Bone hanging from 3 Manatee bone segments on a gold plated chain

Jewelry, Megalodon shark tooth necklace

2-1/8″ Megalodon shark tooth, silver plated wire wrap on a silver plated chain.

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