PRODUCT NEWS

NEW PRODUCTS

Product Update!

I hope you enjoy my announcement about the expansion of the tom-szabo.com online store! Two new product departments have been added.

NOTECARDS

Customers have encouraged me to add a line of notecards to the store. The first series released is based on the iconic buildings on the square in Painesville Ohio. The cards are A7 size, 5″X7″ on 80 lb. stock with a 4″X6″ photo of the subject. All cards are hand made and include an envelope.

Home Town Notecards showing iconic points in Lake County Ohio.

Iconic buildings of Painesville, OH are the subjects of new notecard line.

You can purchase the cards individually or there is a special catalog number for a collection of all 6 as shown above. In addition, you’ll see a card listed illustrating the 2016 Christmas Tree that was on display in downtown Painesville.

I hope you find them enjoyable and worthwhile. You can soon choose from other local scenes. They’re not ready yet, I’m in the process of creating images as we speak. Please feel free to offer your comments and suggestions for other local iconic sites in northeast Ohio.

FLIGHTS

Many of you who follow me on social media may have heard my wife and I joined some friends to journey to the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. If you get the chance to travel there, allow plenty of time to do some “sippin”. When you do, you’ll notice the different ways samples are served to you.

Now you can enjoy your samples in Elegant and Grand style. Check out the new Elegant Flights in the store. The flights are hand made from select hardwoods (Oak and Walnut for now). The flight tray is cut into the shape of a bottle with milled recesses to nest the four 1-1/2 oz. sample glass. Glasses are included. The tray is finished using a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax. The finish helps protect the hardwood from spills and highlights the details of the hardwood.

Elegant Flights from select hardwoods to sample your favorite liquors.

Sip carefully with your friends!

So if you want to share your tasting experience with friends, this is the perfect accessory for you. Of course, please serve and enjoy responsibly!

To learn more about the new products offered by tom-szabo.com, please visit the STORE. Of course if you have any questions or have a custom need, please contact tom-szabo.com using the “CONTACT” page.

Earrings Added To Store

Earring(s)!

Ocean Sands Earrings made from prehistoric manatee bone.

New Manatee Bone earrings. 11.o grams of prehistoric bone suspended from a marquis ear wire.

The Ocean Sands earring inventory has been increased in the tom-szabo.com jewelry store. The new pieces are made using prehistoric Manatee Bone. This specimen material dates back to 2.5 to 26 million years ago.

Material Recovery

Specimen materials are discovered while diving off the gulf coast of Florida off the city of Venice. The material is brought back to the studio where it is cut, ground, polished and turned in to jewelry. In this case, earrings. The manatee bone material is suspended from a Marquis ear wire. Each marquis ear wire is hand made by Tom Szabo. Next the ear wire and specimen are attached, ready to be packaged and put up on the online store.

Due to the uniqueness of each specimen, no two pieces are the same. To balance the earrings, specimens are selected based on size appearance and weight. Although all of the earrings appear similar, they can never be duplicated. If you see some thing you like in the online store, don’t expect to have an identical pair made. It just can’t happen.

To see more earring selection, check out the Ocean Sands online jewelry store. For questions or request, contact Tom Szabo by email: or by phone: 440-725-6504.

Events in The Area

EVENTS – It’s August 2017. You may be thinking it’s time to prepare the kids for school. Oh no, there goes the checking account! Let’s take your mind off that for a while and think about some fun things to do. Consider:

 

August 19, 2017 – Art In The Park. Come meet local artists and find some great deals. Events for kids, Food trucks, Entertainment and more. tomszabo.com will have a booth again this year. Check out Tom’s line of Ocean Sands jewelry, portrait photography special, and the new line of blank notecards.

August 26, 2017 – 3 On 3 Basketball. If you love to play basketball, put your team together and signup.

September 7, 2017 – The Taste. Come enjoy the food from local restaurants, food trucks and enjoy the entertainment.

September 15 to 17, 2017 – Fish Festival/Fish Tournament

You can register the kids for a fishing tournament. For the adults there is a stealhead fishing tournament. Meet local boat charters and bait/tackle shops. Lots of FREE clinics. Live bands daily and appearances by Jungle Terry!

September 30, 2017 – Painesville Farm & Flea. The Downtown Painesville Organization (DPO), will be hosting the second Painesville Farm & Flea on September 30, 2017, at 177 Main Street, Painesville, Ohio. The Flea hours are from 9 AM to 2 PM. Enjoy live entertainment and food trucks as you experience area handmade, vintage, farm, food, and artistic vendors. For more information or how to receive an application, call or email at 440.352.6004, lisa@mainstreetpainesville.org or david@mainstreetpainesville.org. The DPO is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

tom-szabo.com will have a booth at this event. Come check out Ocean Sands jewelry and learn more about Tom’s photography services.

Advanced Notice: October 28, 2017 – Haunting In The Alley! More info to follow.

tom-szabo.com business card

New Day Cleveland Features Ocean Sands Jewelry!

New Day Cleveland –

I hope by now you know that my jewelry line Ocean Sands has just been featured on a local TV show, New Day Cleveland, local channel Fox 8. I really had a blast working with the production crew. they made this whole process easy and FUN!

So this morning my wife Diane and I sat anxiously watching the show live. Each time they came back from commercial to begin announcing the next segment, I thought NOW? Nope. Then finally it was my turn. So here’s the segment featuring Tom Szabo, tom-szabo.com and Ocean Sands Jewelry.

To learn more you can go to my web site: tom-szabo.com and you can purchase from the on-line store. Ohhhh paleeze consider a purchase – LOL.

 

 

Prehistoric shark tooth necklace

1.8 gram prehistoric shark tooth surrounded by a 1.6 ” diameter Pectin Shell with a quartz chip on an 18″ silver plated chain.

TV Comes To tom-szabo.com

TV – Holy Crow, this is exciting news! New Day Cleveland filmed at the Painesville Farmer’s Market recently. The producer stopped by my booth so we could talk about my jewelry line: Ocean Sands. That discussion turned into a recent visit by New Day Cleveland to the studio of tom-szabo.com. I was interviewed and they filmed the process of making Ocean Sands jewelry. The Fox 8 producer for New Day Cleveland has scheduled my segment to air on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 during the 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. slot. Sorry, I can’t give you a more specific time.

During the program you’ll learn more about how I find my materials while scuba diving, cut, grind, polish and mount these creations. Having the New Day Cleveland staff here was a hoot, great people. The whole process was fun!

So mark your calendar, set your DVR or whatever you have to do to see me on the TV. Then of course if you get really enthused, check out my on line store at www.tom-szabo.com.

tom-szabo.com business card

Networking – Grow Your Business

Network.

Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce

Here in Lake County Ohio, we have a couple great resources to help grow your business. The first is Eastern Eastern Lake County Chamber Of Commerce. Especially important, if you think paying your membership dues will cause your sales to jump; You’re wrong. You will have to get out of your office and work the chamber through participation.

Meeting new business leaders and build relationships with them is especially relevant. Hence, events such as Business After Hours, Luncheons and Coffee Contacts are available cover a time period that suits your schedule.  Referrals and new business come as a result of people getting comfortable with YOU!

Your invitation is below. Print out the coupon and present it to attend an event for FREE. Not sure about being the newbie, call me I’ll join you.

Network - ELCCC referral coupon

Events: Business After Hours, Luncheons and Coffee Contacts.

 

 

 

Eastside Business Group

Lake County has another networking opportunity. I belong to Eastside Business Group. We meet every Tuesday at 8:00 A.M. tie 9:00 A.M. for coffee and/or breakfast at Favored Flavor Family Restaurant (1945 Mentor Ave, 44077). Members of this group have grown to be friends first, then business associates. Again, the best part of this group is the referrals.

  • Membership is limited to one business per industry.
  • No referral quotas are required
  • Coffee is part of your annual dues.
Network - EBG invitation

Friends first and business associates afterwards.

To learn more about EBG, contact me. You will be my welcomed guest for FREE coffee! OK, I’ve given you all you need to know about growing your network. In conclusion, the next step is up to you. So come learn more!

 

Mixed Light Selfie On The Beach

Mixed light photography

My wife Diane and I love the beach at Siesta Key, Florida. Anyone who has been to this beach raves about the white powder sand. As a photographer, I’m often left out of pictures. Which is OK. However, this particular trip caused me to think about a photo of my wife and I. Especially since we enjoy Siesta Key beach as we do. I’m always telling Diane, I want to create our portrait on the beach.

So one evening after we’d gotten cleaned up and had dinner, I told Diane; OK, let’s do the portrait on the beach thing tonight. The first words from Diane were; OK, let me fix my hair!  Imagine that. I told Diane, I want to get my camera set up, so I’ll head out and you can catch up.

The problem with this type of photography at this time of day is the low light levels and mix of light sources. With the sun setting or after sunset, you need a long exposure in order to capture the ambient light. To insure the light on the faces is correct, means you need to add some flash. Now you have a mixed light source. So how does this work?

First you need to make the giant leap of faith and shoot in manual! I  can hear you out there now: OMG – shoot in manual, what’s an f-stop? Yep, you will need to know your f-stop from shutter speed. The quick answer is to use the lens aperture to control the flash exposure. Then find a shutter speed to control the ambient exposure. After that, it’s just an issue to get the pose right. In this set up, I didn’t want to drag extra strobes, light stands, camera and tripod onto the beach. Although for you I’d make sure the extra lights are used. One other handy item was the hand held remote for the camera.

So after was all said and done, Diane and I chose the image below to have printed. OK, I’ll admit I did enhance the night sky a little. Let me know your thoughts!

We have this wonderful body of water here called Lake Erie. So if you’d like to have your family photographed in a setting like the one shown, contact me.

Mixed Light - night portrait on the beach

Diane and Tom on the Siesta Key Beach at dusk.

Shell Enhances Prehistoric Shark Tooth Necklace!

Shell Enhances Shark Tooth!

Sometime prehistoric shark teeth can look a little bit lonesome. On my last visit to the Gulf side of Florida, I started picking up some nice shells on the beach. My mind started to wonde;r how could I incorporate these shells into my jewelry line Ocean Sands? Answers to questions may not always pop immediately into my head. After I returned home a thought came to mind. Why not nest a shark tooth inside the shell? In addition, why not cut the shell to allow the view to go through the back of the shell?

So I grabbed a couple of the “not-so-good” shells and headed over to the grinder to begin grinding away the back side of the shell. After a couple of attempts, I had a new addition to the shark tooth necklaces.

Shark tooth and sea shell necklace

Pectin Mollusk shell surrounding a prehistoric shark tooth with a quartz crystal accent. The pendant is on an 18 inch silver necklace.

Here’s a sample of an early design. By removing the back side of the shell, whatever the pendant is against will be seen. Whether it’s your neckline, top, or t-shirt, it will show through the necklace. These shells are similar to the shark teeth in that no two are the same. Each necklace design is unique. The odds of duplicating this piece are slim to almost NONE!

Add a pair of prehistoric shark tooth earrings and what a set! As of this post, I’ve made only seven necklaces of this shell style. I have more shells, so I will be adding more to the collection.

You’ll notice that some of the necklaces include one or more pearls to enhance the design in addition to the quartz crystal ships.

Below you will see the other necklaces in this style. They vary as to leather or chain necklaces and different lengths. The chains or leather lengths include 22″, 30″ and 34″ lengths. They should give you a different look to fit the style of your clothing and the look you want. I hope you like the new style. These pieces are all in the on-line store and available for purchase. Let me know how you like them and give me your thoughts or design suggestions!

Earring – New Designs

New Earring Designs

I decided to add earrings to the Ocean Sands line, so then I purchased a small packet of “fish hook” style wires. This seemed like the easiest way to see how my fossils might look as earrings. (See photo1.)

shark tooth earrings

Photo 1 – Shark Teeth earrings using “fish hook” style wires.

After creating several pair of earrings in both gold and silver, I noticed how the fossil teeth might appear a little close to the ear lobe. Not that it was a bad thing. After more research on designs, it became obvious that: “One size does not fit all”.

In order to give the fish hook style earring a longer look meant other fossil items or gems would need to be added between the tooth and the wire connection. At some point I’ll experiment with that idea.

Along the path of my research, I came upon the Marquis style of wire (see photo 2.) The Marquis wire did not seem readily available commercially. Next my “Engineering background” kicked in. Out to the shop in the garage I went to make a

Earring on silver Marquis wire.

Photo 2. – Shark tooth hanging from a 2″ Marquis wire.

fixture. The fixture was designed to form the connecting loop and bend the wire to form the final shape. The final marquis wire is 2″ long. The length and shape gives the final product an elegant look.

Prehistoric shark teeth and bone materials have a dark color to them. Colors range from dark charcoal, gray, burgundy, brown to chocolate/tan. Since I can’t change the color, I like to incorporate other gemstones into the design. Gemstones like pearls, quartz crystals and amethyst. My favorite being turquoise, especially on silver wire.

As I looked at the 2″ marquis wire, it seemed by adding too many other gems, the final earring length could get excessive. Back to the marquis fixture I made to make some minor

Shark tooth earring with 1" marquis wire.

Photo 3 – Prehistoric shark tooth earring with turquoise beads on 1″ long marquis wires.

modifications. The modifications allow me to form a 1″ marquis wire. This new wire length compliments the addition of multiple gems to the prehistoric shark tooth. The additional strand length also provides an elegant look while not laying on the wearer’s shoulder.

Now the earring line is more complete, allowing the perfect fit for everyone and giving a variety of looks.

With the array of design options available, it’s back to the bench to create more earring designs.

The earrings shown in this post and others are now available for sale in the online store on this web site. I hope you like them enough to consider making a purchase. When you do purchase a set, please post a photo of yourself so we can see how they look.

If you have any design requests, please contact me with your suggestions. I’m always interested in what you have to say.

 

Archeology – Learn About It

Archeology? Think about the adventures of Indiana Jones. How many of you recognize the name Jaques Cousteau?? In case you don’t, Jaques was a diver and environmentalist that dove all over the world and brought us some of the worlds first underwater video. So imagine if Jaques and Indiana had a brother? Good chance he might be an underwater archeologist.

People often ask me are there many wrecks in Lake Erie? That’s a big you betcha! Followed by; Can you see anything down there? I’ll be honest, some days the visibility is better than others. So anyway onto the topic at hand. I belong to the Maritime Archeology Survey Team (MAST). MAST members conduct surveys of the wrecks of Lake Erie. This means taking measurements of wreck features, their location and inventorying the items on the wreck. Remember Jaques and Indy? That’s a MAST Member.

archeology scuba diver archeology MAST diver archeology MAST diver

MAST routinely holds classes to teach divers the basics of underwater archeology. Got any guesses as to what might be coming up? That’s right, the Nautical Archaeology Workshop. Here you can learn the basics of ship design and construction, the legal aspect of artifacts, measuring and documenting findings.

The training involves listening to speakers on all aspects of ship wreck archeology, land based measurements and an in-water practice session this summer. Students must be at least 16 years of age.

By this time your thinking more, more, more info. No problem. You can check  the LINK to the MAST web site for class information and registration materials. Want more first hand information about wreck diving and underwater marine archeology – invite me out for coffee. Just joking, sort of, send me an email with questions. Maybe I’ll see you at the class.

Professional HeadShot

In Lake County, Ohio we have a lot of marketing/communications professionals. Many of them belong to a local organization know as Lake Communicators. Every year, the organization publishes a directory of members (yes, some folks still like hardcopy) and list them on the web site. To make it easy for members to have a professional headshot, one of the photography members will agree to create member headshots. As Tom Szabo is one of the few remaining photographers in the group, he returned this year to conduct the photo shoot.

Prior to the luncheon meeting, Tom comes in early to set up a portable studio. The studio consists of camera, tripod, main light with a 7 foot diameter umbrella, back light, back drop, stool and light stands. Each member needing a  new/updated head shot steps in front of the camera working with Tom to create a suitable image. Subjects do have the opportunity for a quick review of the image(s) and where requested, re-takes are provided.

Portraits can sometime make people a bit nervous. However, most members know Tom and He works with them to relax. The result is a headshot that appears confident and reflective of the persons personality.

Since the photography service is available before and after the luncheon meeting, there’s not a lot of time for casual conversation. However Tom finds a way to break the ice and ease members in front of the camera. These are professionals with busy schedules and not a lot of time. So most are sit down, a couple of quick words, pose direction, shoot and go on to the next person. That means all set up and lighting checks must be completed and finalized before members arrive.

Below is a gallery of this years work. For those of you photographed this year tom-szabo.com wishes to thank you for your time and hope you are pleased with the results.

UPDATE – Hey Guys, You’re Not Forgotten!

UPDATE – Since this post was released, the Megalodon Tooth Necklace inventory has been expanded. An additional 4 pieces have been added. All the new pieces are large in size and include some on leather. Happy shopping!

Hey Guys, you’re not forgotten! I know that guys can be iffy when it comes to jewelry. Some like to wear jewelry and others – NOT! But for you guys that have wondered if a piece of Ocean Sands jewelry is for you, I just put up a couple of the first larger pieces in the on-line store that might be of interest.

Each of these teeth are wire wrapped using 14 wire gage corrosion resistant aluminum wire to match the hefty size of the tooth. The chain is a 7mm wide curb style and 20 inches long. It provides plenty of mass to compliment the tooth yet have a beefy appearance to it.

Both teeth are pretty weighty in spite of the missing portions. Imagine the weight of these teeth complete – WOW!

The smaller 31.0 gram tooth is amazing with the missing enamel. The missing enamel exposes the inner composition of the tooth. Which is something not often seen is Megalodon teeth.

So if you’re wondering why there are only two necklaces in stock, teeth this size are more difficult to find. Larger teeth can be much more susceptible to damage. You’ll notice the damage to the two teeth shown in this post.

In addition, it took some time to find a chain that would compliment the mass of these larger teeth and wouldn’t break-the-bank. There are more of these larger teeth to be released. They’ll be worked on soon. So don’t despair there are only two!

This should give you a good reason to keep checking the on-line store in case one of these Meg’s doesn’t suit your fancy. These two are now in stock ready for purchase. You don’t have to wait for your very own Ocean Sands Megalodon Shark Tooth necklace. Happy shopping!

Pieces, NEW For Ocean Sands!

Pieces, NEW For Ocean Sands!

Tom’s fingers have been poking away at the keyboard here at tom-szabo.com. At this point, the on-line store for Ocean Sands jewelry has the following categories:

  • Bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Manatee Bone Necklaces
  • Shark Tooth Necklaces
  • Whale Bone Necklaces

There is inventory ready for sale in each category, that’s good for you. A great selection to choose from. Remember, these featured fossil materials date back to the Miocene and Pliocene era, about 2.5 million to 26 million years ago!

In preparing the store, some new concepts have been introduced. There are two necklaces with a sea shell ground to form a ring around a prehistoric shark tooth, suspended from pearls or a quartz crystal. If these may not be exactly what intrigues you, there are more shells in inventory. That means more variations will be on the way.

Featured in the Earrings section is the NEW tear-drop shaped Marquis wire. These new wires are 2 inches long. They provide a real long elegant look. Plans call for a 1 inch long Marquis Wire. That will allow for more and longer embellishment to the shark teeth used.

Of course these new and exciting pieces are for the near future. But don’t sit back and wait. Check out the current inventory so you don’t miss anything. I need to get back to the store. I’m looking at some nice sized Megalodon Teeth hanging from a rugged chain, They need to get put into the  store. You shouldn’t have to miss anything!

Ocean Sands Jewelry by Tom Szabo.

Ocean Sands Jewelry by Tom Szabo.

Earrings

Earrings

Ocean Sands On-line Store

I am truly excited to announce the opening of the Ocean Sands On-Line store by tom-szabo.com. You can go directly to the store at: https://tom-szabo.com/jewelry/shop-ocean-sands/

At this time you can view and purchase Necklaces and Earrings. The first lot of inventory has been put up for sale. More inventory will follow. Please take some time to look over the jewelry available and please invite your friends to come shopping. If you encounter any problems with the store function, please let me know right away. I cycled through most all functions with no problems – but you never know.

tom-szabo.com, Ocean Sands, jewelry, photography, scuba instruction.

tom-szabo.com, Ocean Sands, jewelry, photography, scuba instruction.

Thank you,

Happy shopping!

Tom Szabo

Infant First Portrait Session

Infant Portrait Session.

So there’s this girl, NO, NO, NO, not like that! Shannon belongs to the same networking group as I. Gosh we’ve known each other for years and years. I feel like her brother. I can’t say Father since I know him also and he’s a pretty cool guy.

Well Shannon and her husband Travis recently had their first child. Let’s call him say, Mike. I’ll use my brother’s name. Mike is now almost four weeks old. So Mom and Dad brought him into the studio for his first sitting. You’ve heard the description of newborns; eat, poop and sleep. That’s what makes them so cool to photograph. You can put them in almost any healthy non harming position, photograph them and they sleep through the entire session.

Well, not little Mikey! Midway through his session, he woke up. I think he just didn’t want to miss anything! In any event, Mikey was a trooper. We put him in all of his poses and he just stayed their for the most part.

Typically, in these sessions, infants are often photographed in the suit they were born in. Of course it was then that Mikey decided to leave his mark on the fleece posing cloth.  Good job, Mikey. But no problem that’s what washing machines and bleach are for!!

So here’s a few images of Mikey for you to enjoy. Oh by the way, can you tell Mikey’s dad is a deer hinter?? Mike was a pleasure to have in the studio. Love you Mom, Dad and Mikey!

Infant in camo.

Get ready all, I’m waking up!

Sleeping infant

Aren’t I just so cute while I’m sleeping?

Infant boy in black and white.

Our little guy in black and white.

 Mom and Dad with infant son.

Don’t Mom and Dad look so happy?

If you’d like more information about infant photography or any other services offered by tom-szabo.com, check the studio website for contact information.

Sea Shell, Shark Tooth Necklace With Pearls

A sea shell beautifully surrounds a prehistoric shark tooth necklace with two white pearls by Tom Szabo. This Ocean Sands necklace is new to the line of jewelry by tom-szabo.com. Here are the details:

  • Prehistoric shark tooth weighting 1.1 grams
  • Tooth measures 13/16 inch long
  • Wrapped using silver plated 20 ga. round wire
  • Two 4mm diameter X 8mm long cultured grade C pearls
  • 1-3/4 inch Pecten sea shell with center cut out and purple accent coloring
  • 18 inch long 2.2 mm silver plated chain with clasp.

Typical of tom-szabo.com jewelry, the shark tooth and shell have been recovered while scuba diving and the set is hand made by the artist. This prehistoric tooth dates back to the Miocene and Pliocene eras, 2.5 to 26 million years ago. This is a piece of archeological history!

To learn more about jewelry by artist Tom Szabo, please visit the studio web site www.tom-szabo.com. Consider purchasing Ocean Sands jewelry? Contact Tom Szabo for more information and purchase by:

Phone: 440-354-2535 (OFF) or 440-725-6504 (CELL)

Email:

 

Shark tooth necklace inside sea shell

Prehistoric shark tooth necklace with 2 pearls inside a shell with cutout. Price $57.95

New Design Earrings – Shark Tooth, Now Available

NEW DESIGN Earrings!

tom-szabo.com announces the release of a NEW earring design. The initial set is made of:

  • 2 – Prehistoric shark teeth, approximately .6 Gms each.
  • Tooth length: 11/16″ to 3/4″
  • Mounting: 20 Ga. round silver plated wire
  • Earring Wire: 20 Ga. round silver plated wire in a 2″ Marquis form

Tom Szabo recovers prehistoric shark teeth and other materials while scuba diving off Venice, Florida. These prehistoric items are found in 25 to 30 feet of water. The shark teeth in this pair of earrings came from his “haul”. Tom hand made this new design pair of earrings in this new design. His studio is located in Concord Township, Ohio, . More inventory will be made available soon.

The new design earrings compliment tom-szabo.com’s Ocean Sands line of jewelry. Ocean Sands jewelry also includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The featured center pieces are from prehistoric: shark teeth, manatee and whale bone from the Miocene and Pliocene eras. These eras date back 2.5 million to 26 million years ago.

The Ocean Sands line of jewelry can be seen on the website: www.tom-szabo.com and at https://www.etsy.com/shop/tomszabo. To purchase Ocean Sands jewelry, contact tom-szabo.com at 440-354-2535 or visit the website. Locally, Ocean Sands jewelry can be purchased at Craftsmiths in Perry Township, Ohio and Starfish And Coffee in Painesville, Ohio. This new set retails for $31.95 + tax.

Prehistoric shark tooth earrings

NEW DESIGN, ST1.2 ER MA-2 S; Prehistoric shark tooth earrings (.6 Gm each, 11/16′ to 3/4″ long) on 20 Ga. Silver Plated Marquis wires.

Hints: Best Photo Tips Ever!

Hints: Best Ever

If you’ve my blog posts regarding photography, you’ve heard me almost if not full on RANT about the flood of marketing hype on technology vs art. I’m a firm believer that buying a new set of paints, brushes, canvas and an easel does not make one an artist. The same holds true for photography. You can purchased the biggest, best, camera; the latest apps, the latest software and it won’t make you a photographer. It’ll just make a big dent in your bank account.

You’ve heard me go on and on about exposure, composition, lighting and knowing camera limitations. I like other photographers would be more than willing to answer questions, offer how-to’s and hints, coach those interested in the medium as an art form.

It makes me think about time I was at an event talking with another photographer, when an acquaintance came up to me. The person was there to photograph the event. Their images we way over exposed. The photographer (well actually, picture taker) asked for my help to figure out the problem. My problem was I was handed a Nikon camera when I shoot Canon. I had to figure out the menu navigation in order to help solve the problem. The photographer (picture taker) couldn’t even navigate the menu.

After getting the “picture taker” situated, it dawned on me; This person is the Official Event Photographer? Are you kidding me? Hey why not, the person has a “big camera”, they must know what they’re doing.

Anyway back to the original idea behind this post. I have a “Google Alert” set for portrait + photography, so interesting articles come in to my inbox. The other day, there it was. The article that summarized every really cool photography hint to the non-photographer. Guess what, no special camera/phone, no wiz-bang app, no marketing hype, just good-ole photography basics. The best advice anyone could give a wanna-be and good reminders for the seasoned photographer – like me! So I decided to include the article for  your benefit.

http://www.telegram.com/entertainmentlife/20170102/avoid-dull-snapshots-tips-for-taking-stunning-pictures

Please look it over. In fact, book mark it as you may want to go back to it again. I have to hurry up and finish my post so I can go back and read it again. Afterwards, take a moment to give me your thoughts on the hints. Remember the goal is not to make you a National Geographic staff photographer, but to help you improve your photos on Facebook. Let me know what you think. You can even post your questions for more discussion. Happy shooting!

tom-szabo.com logo

tom-szabo.com; jewelry, photography & scuba instruction.

Starfish And Coffee – Welcome!

Starfish and Coffee is now a new retailer for the tom-szabo.com Ocean Sands line of jewelry located in downtown Painesville. Bethany Homrighaus the owner of Starfish And Coffee is very excited about her new location (the former Your Vine Or Mine) at 154 Main Street, Painesville, Ohio. Her main business is her line of jewelry and jewelry gems. Bethany also offers fabric creations, cards and other artworks. Oh yeah, you can order from an assortment of fresh ground coffees. So order a cup of hot coffee and snoop around the store. You can learn more about Starfish And Coffee at:

https://www.facebook.com/starfishandcoffeeshop/

The Ocean Sands line of jewelry is  based on the fossilized shark teeth (megalodon and others) and mammal bone dating back to the Miocene and Pliocene eras ranging from 2.5 to 25 million years ago. Tom Szabo recovers the materials from the gulf waters off Florida while scuba diving. He then cuts, grinds, polishes and mounts the creations, then offers them for sale.

Purses, jewelry and cards

Purses, jewelry and cards available for sale.

gems and minerals

Assortment of gems and minerals.

Scarves and purses

Colorful and unique fabric designs.

jewelry case

Unique gift items available.

Starfish and Coffee

Starfish And Coffee, 154 Main Street Paiensvillee, OH.

So please stop in at Starfish And Coffee for coffee and look over their interesting items offered for sale. Also, ask Bethany to show you her collection of Ocean Sands jewelry by tom-szabo.com. I’m sure she would like it if you bought one of them – chuckle, chuckle! Don’t forget to tell her how you heard about the store – Tom Szabo’s post.

 

More Pre-Historic Jewelry!

tom-szabo.com releases four more pieces of jewelry from the Ocean Sands line. Releases include pre-historic whale and manatee bone and two shark tooth necklaces. All four have 18 inch silver plated 2,2 mm cable chain necklaces. They range in price from $31.95 to $49.95.

These pieces create a fun, sporty, beach look. Ideal for adults, teens, sports enthusiasts, scuba divers, archeologists, teachers, dentists and that “hard to buy for” special person!

For more information, visit: www.tom-szabo.com.

Shark Tooth Necklaces, For Christmas!

Shark Tooth Necklace

Take a BITE out of your Christmas shopping with these new additions to the Ocean Sands line of jewelry. tom-szabo.com is happy to announce the addition of some new pre-historic tooth necklaces.

Until now, most of the teeth available on Ocean Sands necklaces were 1/2 inch to 1 inch.  Shark tooth necklaces are now available in lengths over 3 inches, weighing in at over 75 grams, due to recent finds by scuba instructor Tom Szabo. All of these teeth come from various sharks that roamed the waters during pre-historic times. These pre-historic eras date back from 25 million years to 2.5 million years ago. This period is known as the Cenozoic era. The Cenozoic era started late in the Miocene era and ended in the Pliocene era.

As with all Ocean Sands materials, the new larger teeth were recovered by Tom himself while diving off the gulf coast of Florida. The teeth are cleaned from their ocean borne deposits. They are then polished, wire wrapped, and matched with a necklace to enhance the tooth. All this work is performed by Tom himself in his studio.

Here are samples of the new additions to the Ocean Sands line of jewelry:

The Ocean Sands line was designed to be attractive for men, women and children. That’s why you’ll see a range of pendant size and chain selection. In addition, wrist and ankle bracelets are available along with ear rings. The beauty of Ocean Sands jewelry is that no two pieces will ever be identical. That’s good news and bad news. If you like a particular piece, waiting may cause you to loose out!

To see these and other selections, contact tom-szabo.com. A select inventory is also available at the first retail outlet – The Craftsmiths in Perry, Ohio.

Commitment to Craft

Commitment To Craft

Those of you who know me are probably aware of my commitment to my craft – Photography. I’m willing to help people solve a problem. I use this medium to share tips and techniques. Yes, I’ll give you suggestions/critique on your work. It doesn’t matter to me if you use a DSLR or a cell phone camera. Although I have my opinion about cell phone shooters – chuckle!

It’s been my expressed opinion that people often fall into the trap of believing high-dollar corporate marketing about their technology vs individual skill. Meaning buy our product and you can create like the pros. If that were the case, our entire golfing population would be on the pro tour because they bought expensive golf clubs. Now we all know the truth behind that one.

To be a good – not necessarily award winning photographer, takes time, effort and knowledge. Time spent experimenting with your tools. Effort to work at your craft. Learning about your camera, exposure, composition and lighting. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect you to get a degree in photography. However you need to learn enough to achieve the results you desire. Buying the latest and greatest technology doesn’t do that.

You may have heard my comment: A poor image with an Instagram filter is still a poor image. Can filters and special effects enhance your results? Bet your media card it will. It all starts with a well done image and that happens using the skills I mentioned above.

A great way to begin understanding what makes good photography is to study those recognized for being a master of their craft. Why do art students spend so much time in class and places like art museums? They’re studying the masters. It doesn’t mean you copy them, but you need to recognize what makes them a master and try the studied technique.

On occasion I’ve offered a link to a photographer I feel has a “Good Eye”. This link just came across my inbox: https://www.theguardian.com/music/gallery/2016/nov/16/patrick-harbron-intimate-rock-photography

Take a look at Patrick Harbron’s work. Most of it seems was created during the age of film photography. You’ll see how He uses composition, lighting and equipment to get his results. If you’d like a discussion about what film teaches us, that’s another topic. Does Mr. Harbron get special access at events? Probably. But might you’ll be able to get special access at your child’s next performance or sports outing? Maybe – give it a try and let me know about your results. Oh yeah, be sure to check out Mr. Harbron’s work.

tom-szabo.com logo, commitment, craft

tom-szabo.com; jewelry, photography & scuba instruction.

Black Friday – 2016

Black Friday 2016

Holy Cow, Are you kidding me? Black Friday is almost here. Where did summer go? I know it’s the middle of November, but I’m still hanging on to summer by wearing sandals. I know at some time I’ll have to convert to socks and shoes.

So do you have a plan to take advantage of the specials for Black Friday? You could try waking up real early to get to the big-box store right at opening. Maybe you could leave at 12:01 a.m. after Thanksgiving Dinner to get a jump on things.

Once you fight your way through the front door, then what? Maybe you have a specific gift in mind for that special person or family member or maybe not. My luck would be I have a great idea only to find the store has just sold out – urrgh! You may be stuck wandering the isles aimlessly looking for a hint. I’ve done that. Ask my wife and she’ll tell you She knows she’s difficult for whom to buy.

Here’s a good one for the guys. You find just the perfect outfit for your girlfriend or wife. Get just the right gift wrapping paper. Only to find out – that great outfit doesn’t fit!

So here’s a suggestion. Buy some fun and an heirloom. I’ve got the solution. On Black Friday you can call me while enjoying your morning coffee (Let’s say after 10:00 A.M.) and purchase a certificate good for a 1-1/2 hour studio sitting, an 8X10 color print  and save big money. Normally an $85.00 purchase. But for Black Friday you can get the package for 50% OFF. Hey for that price you can purchase a second to give to another friend or family member for the price of one gift. You’ll look like a hero!

This offer is good only for Black Friday, so don’t hesitate! A sample of the certificate is shown below.

Black Friday - 50% OFF Portrait Package

Relax, have your coffee and get your shopping done! One-size-fits-all.

NEWS: tom-szabo.com At Craftsmiths!

NEWS:

Jewelry Outlet Announcement

tom-szabo.com announces the Ocean Sands line of Jewelry is now available through CraftSmiths in Perry, Ohio. Artist Tom Szabo turns his hobbies into business opportunities. In addition, the photographer and scuba instructor has added jewelry to his portfolio of businesses.

Most noteworthy, pre-historic materials are the basis for Ocean Sands jewelry. These materials are pre-historic shark teeth, manatee and whale bone along with others. Because Tom is a scuba diver all of these materials Tom finds himself. While in his studio, he cuts, grinds, polishes and mounts his specimens to make unique jewelry creations.

So, CraftSmiths now has Ocean Sands necklaces, ankle bracelets and ear rings on display and available for purchase. While CraftSmiths is located at 3708 S. Ridge Rd., Perry OH, 4408, more information is available at www.craftsmiths3708.com.

Manatee Bone on Gold Necklace

4 Manatee Bone segments, 9.1 gm total fossil weight, On 18 in. gold color necklace. Item number: MB4-09.1-18G
Price: $49.95 + tax & shipping

Health Or Scuba – Which Came First?

Health is certainly an issue in scuba diving. As a scuba instructor, I’ve heard people claim they’re too old for the sport. I say you’re never too old. Yes you need to be healthy, but isn’t that important for life in general?

So what to do? First, assess your general overall health. Not strength but fitness and health. This has to do with the mental and physical aspects of the sport. Any scuba training requires the completion of a medical statement. This is a good opportuntity to evaluate yourself. Should you have a “Yes” answer to any question on the questionnaire, you need your physician to sign off on that issue. This is a good time to discuss your physical condition with your doctor. Let him any questions you have and help you understand the requirements of scuba diving.

In order to be successful in your training, you want to have a high level of comfort with your instructor or the dive center you’re using. Take your concerns to them, to better understand the sport and why certain physical or medical conditions are important and how to address them.

To give you some sense of diving and age, check out this article. It’s about Ray Wooley. He recently completed his personal challenge to complete 29 dives. Why 29? The number is the reverse of his age. Yes, Ray completed his challenge at 92 years of age. Now you really have to read the article don’t you!

MAST diver

Sun – For One Light Portraits

Sun: A very interesting portrait video came across my feed today. I wanted to share it with you.

First of all most Facebook photography I see has one thing in common – Bad Lighting! Please stop and think for a minute; where does your outdoor light come from? Of course the sun. So that means you have a single source for your photos. In this video photographer Aaron Anderson talks about shooting portraits using – guess what: 1 light. Think of his one light as the sun. I know, what a concept – LOL.

In the video you’re going to see a lot of studio equipment. Yes, but pay attention to the main tools he uses, a strobe, a camera and a reflector. That’s it. What Aaron does do however is CONTROL the illumination. Don’t have a big DSLR? no problem use your cell phone camera. Remember his main light placement and position your subject using the sun in the same relative position. Oh you don’t have a white reflector card? How about the side of a building, a newspaper, a blanket. Look at what’s at hand that you can use.

You may not have Photoshop to make the post process editing. Don’t worry, you’re not a pro trying to sell your work. Paying attention to your subject position will get you better results than what you have been doing.

Watch the video and pay attention to what Aaron is doing with his 1 light (like the sun). Enjoy and feel free to post your thoughts and/or results. I’d like to see your results.

 

Portrait photography tom-szabo.com

Relaxed portrait pose for a high school senior.

Earrings – Shark Teeth & Turquoise

Earrings

Fossilized Shark Tooth Pierced Earrings.

Fossilized Shark Tooth Pierced Earrings. Total shark tooth weight of 2.6 gms. with 8mm diameter Turquoise beads and silver wire. Price: $59.50 + tax.

Fossilized Shark Teeth Pierced Earrings are here! They delicately suspend 2.6 grams total weight shark teeth dating back as far as 25 million years ago. Tom Szabo finds shark teeth, whale bone, manatee bone and other fossilized bone and teeth while diving in the Gulf Of Mexico off the coast of Florida. He is a jeweler, photographer and scuba instructor.

An 8mm Turquoise bead compliments the charcoal colored teeth and silver plated wire. Tom designed and made this set by hand. Treat yourself or that special someone in your life with jewelry that are one-of-a-find. Because of the rarity of these shark teeth, there can never be a duplicate set. Another pair might be similar, but they will not be identical.

This pair can be yours for $59.50 plus handling and shipping. You can learn more by exploring the web site at: www.tom-szabo.com. Contact Tom directly for other jewelry items and custom pieces.

Your Rights – Public Photography

Your Rights

Often photographers will ask about their right to photograph people in public? Do I need a release? Let’s start by asking where are you? Legal rights vary from country to country. They may even vary from state to state or city to city. With technology being what it is today, you might start out on Google. Some countries may say OK, but some cultures there may say NO!

Generally here in the states, I will compare my situation that of a photo-journalist. What do they do relative to photographing in public? Often, they will record names and location to identify the subject in print. You don’t see the photographer asking someone in public to sign a release. The time spent getting their subject’s name allows time to discuss usage and any problems publishing the photograph. This may not necessarily address any legal issues, but it sure gives the subject the right to ask not to have their image published. You might also use this time to offer to send a print as a “thank you”.

Here in northeast Ohio, we have a big event coming to town, the Republican National Convention. There will be a lot of people here in town, offering lots of photo opportunities. You may even spot some celebrities. With that in mind, you might want to learn more about your rights and the subjects rights. A panel discussion is being put on by the National Press Photographer Association (NPPA) at Cleveland State University. You will need to register for this free event.

Musician playing banjo on stage.

Workin’ a bad banjo!

Photographing Flowers – Easy?

Photographing Flowers!

In a recent article by Hana Tavener for I-News – The Essential Daily Briefing, she listed five suggestions to help you photograph flowers.

1 – Get Close

2 – Focus/Depth of Field

3 – The Whole Wide World (or field of view)

4 – Timed To Perfection (Time lapse)

5 – Vary Your Conditions

You can learn more by reading the entire article.

Let me suggest that you look over the 5 topics listed above. Do you see anything that says walk up to a flower and push the button? Of course not. To create good photography, you need to to use the gray matter between your ears – your BRAIN. Learning a little about photography also helps. That means reading to learn about your camera, exposure, composition and of course shoot and shoot and shoot some more. You can’t create art by buying the most expensive camera and simply point it at a subject.

First of all let’s get down to basics – your smart phone is NOT smart! You are a “Human” with the power to learn and think. That also means applying what you’re thinking and learning. So by all means, read. Then go out and apply what you read by shooting. That’s how you become a better photographer (vs. a “pitcher-taker”).

In addition, search for well known photographers. read what they write and study their work. It really helps. Good luck and keep shooting.

purple cone flower

Purple Cone Flower shot in author’s back yard.

Underwater Archeology Site

Archeology

Diving archeologists have been working on a site in a Florida river. The results are helping to dispute that the Clovis group were the first humans to be in the area. The sire has exposed an ancient butchering site for Mastodons. To learn more, read on……

If your interested in underwater archeology, please check out the Maritime Archeological Survey Team (MAST). The group provide basic and advanced classes in underwater archeology. Specifically related to shipwrecks. Or contact Tom Szabo via this site’s Contact page.

MAST diver

A diver records details for a MAST underwater archeology class.

Photography As Therapy!

Therapy – Ahhhhhh.

Photography as therapy?

Ask any photographer and they’ll tell you they started out as a “pitcher-taker”. After all the gear, classes, workshops and pulls of the shutter, they’ll tell you how now they now spend more time concentrating on creating their art. In fact, they may tell you how therapeutic their art is for them. You can’t worry about things in your life when you’re concentrating on creating something.

Chris Gambat explores this concept in his article: Photography as a Form of Personal Therapy. Give it a read. If you start to use photography to relax, maybe you’ll notice your work becoming creative art. That’s not a bad thing!

Anchor Winch

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

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

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!

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.

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?

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.