Light Planning

Light Equals Photography

Light plays a powerful role in photography. In addition, it is relative. A scene/subject will often have varying degrees of illumination. These are commonly know as highlights and shadows. Both highlights and shadows can be a creative tool.

Your job as a photographer is to understand the it, evaluate it creatively and control how the camera captures it. Wildlife photographer Taylor Glenn does a great job of controlling how his wildlife portraits are lit. He often photographs captive animals in studio where he can plan and control the scene. To learn more.

Photography, Portrait, Pet, Cleveland, Northeast Ohio

Not all wildlife need be wild!

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Diarrhea Photography

Crappy Photography

There’s no doubt that cell phone cameras have changed they way we approach taking pictures. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve heard me talk or rant about being smarter than the camera. With everyone walking around with a cell phone camera we’ve been allowed to take a lot of images that, well frankly are pretty crappy. The speed of which we generate all these bad images make me think of the term “diarrhea photography”

I really want people to discover the beauty of what they can “create” using their camera. So I’ve tried to bring you information to challenge your creative side and learn how to use the camera you have in your hand.

To that end check out this video showing how Jaanus Ree created his really cool winter action shot!

Give me your comments.

Photography - Male Portrait

No diarrhea photography here!

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Light – Composition For Photography

Use Light and Composition

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you’ve heard me comment about understanding light in order to improve your photography. In the article attached to my post, I’d like you to examine the photographs of the artist – Vivienne Gucwa. First, notice how her images evoke a mood. Whether it’s the night scene or a snow storm. It sets the mood for the subject.

Secondly, when you look at her images do you notice your eye moving through the image. That’s her use of light combined with composition to accomplish that. Next time you pick up your camera think back to Vivienne’s images for inspiration. What are your thoughts?

Mount Rushmore Light Show

Electric lighting on Mount Rushmore at night.

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Golden Hour Photography?

Golden Hour vs. Mid Day

The Golden Hour as referred to by photographers as the hour around sun up or sundown. The sun and atmosphere combine to give the photographer unique and colorful lighting. Photographers often avoid shooting mid day. Why? The more direct and overhead sun causes a lot of shadows, a lot of contrast and deep dark shadows.

So do you put the camera away during mod day? Absolutely not. This is where you have to be a photographer not a “snap-shot-er”. Huh? Yes, spend the time looking at the scene obviously for composition but also for lighting. Can you position your subject in a location where the lighting is softer and away from dark shadows? Can you shoot in an area that is in shade? Of course you can. You may have to think a little bit and take the time to find a location that gives the light you want.

Take a look at what Chris Gampat has to say on this topic. At the same time look how He controlled the light in his images.

Golden Hour vs. mid day photography

Choose an environment that offers soft light. If needed, add fill flash.

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Portrait Creativity

Portrait Photography And Creativity.

Portrait photography can be the the most intimidating art form. It intimidates the photographer and the subject. Often you’ll hear subjects ask “what should I do?” and photographers themselves will wonder how to pose and work with the subject.

Often I’ll look at other photographer’s work for inspiration. Not to duplicate mind you but to  get inspired. Sometime I get a sense of WOW – and others I may just scratch my head wondering.

Well, I came upon this post illustrating the work of Denise Kwong. In my mind, it was a mixed bag of WOW and HUH?. Tell me what you think.


Portrait photography

Traditional head shot for a graduating high school senior.

Portrait photography

Relaxed portrait pose for a high school senior.


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Scuba Diver Brave, Stupid Or Lucky.

Scuba Diver Touches Shark!

I caught this scuba diver article on my FB feed. The image was of a diver reaching out from a shark cage to touch the snout of a great white shark. Brave, Stupid or Lucky?

Apparently the cage was baited to attract the animal(s).  I tend to disagree with feeding as a way to attract animals – well except maybe birds. I’ve seen animals become very friendly with divers who feed them regularly. While this is cute, I’m not sure it’s geed for the animal.

Every critter in the food chain has a purpose. Maybe it’s population control, eliminating the sick or injured or keeping the environment clean. I believe associating humans with a food source is not in the animal’s interest. Anyway, read the article and check out the picture. Then give me your thoughts!

scuba diver, tom szabo,, scuba diving instructor, sharks

Shark Feeding? Your thoughts. Image by Tom Szabo.

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Portraits – Duck Lips & Selfies, OUT? Let’s Hope!

Portraits are to become more creative and to speak more about the individual(s) according to report of what’s trending in photography for 2016. So, to become more creative in your photography, does that mean you may actually understand how to be creative? Gee do you think! In addition your images should speak to who is your subject?

Gee this sounds like what Professional Photographers have been doing and want to continue doing. Sorry folks, but it really is about Art. Check out the original article.

Portraits,, tom szabo, photographer

What can you learn about this young man from his portrait?

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This Portrait Video Will Make You Think About Lighting

Portrait Photography And Lighting.

Portrait photography requires that you always think about lighting. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a boat-load of studio equipment or a cell phone. I found this short video demonstrating 3 different lighting set ups. These lighting set ups will demonstrate how you can change the result using some minor tweaks of lighting.

Obviously you’ll notice how much equipment a professional photographer uses. That’s not the point. The point here is when taking a picture of another person or persons, you have to open your eyes to the lighting and plan your shot accordingly. I hope you find the video helpful! Feel free to post your questions, comments or thoughts.

tom szabo,, portrait photographer for families, high school students and executives

Notice how the lighting is very controlled in this portrait.

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Scuba Divers + Underwater Gardens

Scuba Divers have begun to plant gardens underwater.

I suppose if certain aquatic plants will do well underwater, than why not vegetables. Using huge bubbles in 26 feet of water, they have started growing lettuce. The whole project has been going on for 3 years. Seeds and soil need to to be brought down in sealed containers. Scuba divers are able to work in the air filled bubbles without wearing a mask. You can read more in the full article.

scuba diver

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Think About The Colors To Enhance Your Portraiture

Do you really love your family? Silly question right? Because you love them, why would you share them through lousy pictures? Today with the proliferation of smart phone camera technology, it’s too easy to shoot without thinking. I suggest taking about 3 seconds to examine your subject and their surroundings before you start snapping away. Of course think about the lighting, but don’t forget about the colors in the subject and scene. The color scheme should compliment the subject not cause conflict. Check out what Chris Gampat has to say on this topic.

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