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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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 set ups. These 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 and plan your shot accordingly. I hope you find the video helpful! Feel free to post your questions, comments or thoughts.

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

Notice how your eye is drawn to the subject in this image?

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.

Photographers – We All Were Beginners!

As a photographer and a Scuba Instructor, I often tell beginners: “We all started as beginners”. It’s a thought we should all remember. We need to be reminded that we had to work to get where we are today. Here’s an interesting blog post that talks about the road we travel to improve as photographers:

A Declaration Of Love To All Our Crappy Shots

Enjoy!

Why Does This Photo Look So Bad?

Cell phone, point-n-shoot or DSLR camera, it doesn’t matter. A bad photo is still a bad photo. As I said before, A bad photo with an Instagram filter is still a bad photo, it just has an Instagram filter! Do you even recognize that you’ve taken a bad photo – maybe, maybe not.

Many unsuccessful photo are the result of not paying attention to lighting. I created a short video to demonstrate one of the major outdoor lighting problems and a couple hints to help correct it. I hope you find it helpful. As always, let me know your thoughts.

Portrait Photography Help Video

So how do begin to understand a photographer’s thought process? The best way is to spend time talking with a photographer. Most of us do not get the opportunity to speak with world renowned photographers. So here’s the next best thing, read an interview. Lauren Halligan of the Saratogian News, speaks with Sarah Pezdek-Smith about her work. See if you can pick up a helpful hint.

http://www.saratogian.com/general-news/20150401/five-questions-for-sarah-pezdek-smith

 

Photography Tips

The tips in this article should help you to open your mind when you look at the cell phone camera screen. Although I follow the author’s comments under the section “Avoid Using Flash”, I’d suggest using flash. The reasons cited are valid for the pro photographers, but the people I see using cell phone cameras might not even notice the problems mentioned. I’ve seen too many pictures ruined by not using flash vs the down side noted in the article. So read on!

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/lff2EpQRe0r6hLsYFDCtZI/Tips-for-pictureperfect-photographs.html

People Photography – Your Eye Is Key

If you’re not looking at your subject and visualizing the resulting photograph, chances are you’re DOOMED! That’s right take a quick look at the surrounding elements and the subject then ask yourself: How will this look when finished? For People Photography, the first thing you should check is whether the face is in shadow or not. If the face is in shadow, then move to illuminate the subjects face. In addition, what background elements are there to add or distract to the surrounding environment. Want to improve your photography? Read, Practice; Read, Practice; Read, Practice; then repeat.

Check out this article to see what I mean.

Portrait Photography Projects

Photographer Asks: What’s Your Beef?

I want to try something different with my Blog.  Part of the maturation process involves learning to make decisions.  If you’re an adult you’ve gone through the process.  Some of us more successful than others.  If you’re a teenager, well the process may still be ahead of you.  Yes, that is a generalization on my part, but it’s my blog and I allow myself to do that! (Chuckle)

So here’s my first question to adults and teenagers alike:  What is it about your child or parent that drives you nuts?  Please feel free to post your thoughts.  Then feel free to comment about the thoughts posted.  Adults and teenagers please offer comments on the other views. Offer some helpful hints and insights to the issues posted.

There are sone requirements:  No swearing.  No name calling.  No berating anyone.  I will exercise editorial license if I feel necessary.

Child Photography

 

If you’re a Parent, and you want to see how much energy your toddler/young child has, schedule a studio portrait session!  As a photographer it just amazes me how much energy kids have.  If only we could bottle that energy and sell it! 

This energy can be an advantage or a hindrance.  Fortunately RJ’s Mom and I tried to use his energy to our advantage. My studio is in my home.  So this provided plenty of space for RJ to run, and run, and run, and run – Get my point?  In between all this running, Mom and I managed to get RJ to sit still a few moments for some portraits.  As you can see we even managed to get him to imagine himself flying through the air.

 As I go through the image files to prepare the web proof page, I use a “Not Used” folder for sorting.  A session like this generates a lot of images in that folder!

Photograph of young child

“I can really cause you some trouble”!

Child studio photography with props

“I’m flying”!

A Suggestion Made About My Recent Photography Studio Newsletter!

In the A Thomas Image studio E-Blast for October 2012, I mentioned a new brick backdrop.  A friend of mine asked: “Why didn’t you include a picture of the new backdrop”?  I actually thought about doing just that, but I was in such a hurry to get the announcement out, I omitted the image.  Well, “duh” on me!

 Today, I acquired another muslin backdrop.  It dawned on me this might be a good time to announce the muslin backdrop, include a photo showing it and update everyone on the brick backdrop.  The muslin backdrop is a dark charcoal in color with some splashes of purple and tan.  It’s large enough to drop from the studio ceiling and cover the floor.  It should work very well for the right portrait photography sitting.

 

Photograper announces portrait backdrop

Tom Szabo of A Thomas Image is posed with the newest studio mulin backdrop.

 

Some portrait clients might like a warehouse or loft theme for their sitting.  The new brick backdrop will accommodate that very nicely.  Lighting can be adjusted to give the appearance of being outdoors in an alley or indoors near a window.  It’s neat for that “urban” feel.  With a little creativity, graffiti can be added to the image.  Graffiti can be customized to include client names, graduation year, special announcements or the name of your band.

 

Brick wall background for portrait photography

Brick texture for that urban look.

 

 So now I just need someone to schedule a sitting where we can use these backdrops.  Any takers?  I also hope this blog post helps redeem me from my e-blast photo blunder, he said sheepishly!

Birthday Party Celebration And Underwater Photography

Take a special event like a child birthday, a swimming pool,
a hot summer day and what do you have?  A
great opportunity to photograph kids underwater.  I recently photographed one such birthday
party.

 

I arrived in advance of the party.  This gave me time to assemble my scuba gear
and set up the digital camera in the Ikelite underwater camera housing with 2
underwater strobes.  After explaining to
all the party-goers the plan, I dropped down on the bottom of the pool and
started shooting away.  The gals were
just as hammy as they could be.  They
really had a good time.  On a hot summer
day, I enjoyed the time on the bottom of the pool also!

Swimming pool and underwater photography.

Ashley's birthday party!