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

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.