Jim Szabo

This month’s featured member is Jim Szabo. Jim has been a member of Corio Bay Camera Club since January 2008, but his interest in photography goes back to his high school days when he took “Photography” and “Advanced Photography” in Year 10. This involved black and white film that that he had to load into canisters, develop and print himself. His first camera was a Kodak Disk Camera. “Very easy to use”, he says, “however it wasn’t the epitome of good image making. Still I enjoyed taking photos and getting the pictures back from the chemist to see what they looked like.

When he was 16 Jim saved up and bought a second hand Canon A-1 SLR – “manual focus and limited auto anything else. I took this everywhere and took rolls and rolls of film.” With this camera he became the family photographer and was relied on to bring his gear to any family event and take pictures. “It cost me a fortune in developing costs but it did teach me one very important thing and that was to look at the entire photo you are taking through the lens and don’t just concentrate on the subject.” This camera lasted him for more than 15 years, with a few additions such as a motor winder, zoom lens and flash.

Jim’s introduction to digital photography was a 1 megapixel Kodak. “It was terrible and chewed through batteries like you wouldn’t believe”, says Jim, “but I still enjoyed the technical side of image generation. I also liked the immediacy of the feedback on whether or not the photo was any good. I also liked the fact that it didn’t cost anything to get at the images, in soft form anyhow.”

After this he invested in a more upmarket point and shoot, a 5 megapixel Pentax, pretty much in the first week they were released, but “I was still a Canon boy at heart so again I saved my pennies and got myself a Canon 20D and some lenses.”

Jim has a keen interest in motorsport and one day while pit-crewing for a friend he had the opportunity to take some photographs of him racing out on the track and had a great time doing this. He has now been to quite a few race tracks around the state and really enjoys organising to be a freelance photographer with the organisers and going out and taking pictures. He has also set up a website for people to see and buy his pictures too www.digitaldepictions.com.au.

Someone he knew saw his website and asked if he did weddings as he was getting married later in the year. He did the wedding and this has led to him shooting about 8 wedding so far. “I really enjoy taking the trip through the wedding day with the happy couple.”

Jim shoots a range of subjects but his favourite subjects are his family, cars and motorsport.  He shoots mainly for his own enjoyment, “and if others like them too then that’s a bonus”. He currently uses a Canon 5D Mark 2 and some L series prime and zoom lenses.

When asked which is his favourite among his own pictures he said “Probably my favourite picture is of Grand Prix driver Mika Häkkinen at the Adelaide Grand Prix. I took it over the shoulder of a marshal and through the fence. The detail still amazes me; you can see the driver’s eyes deep in his helmet. This was taken with my A-1 in 1994”.

Jim’s first encounter with Corio Bay Camera Club was when he was at Bunnings one day and the club was doing the sausage sizzle fund raiser. He thought that this would be a fun thing to do, so he came to the next meeting as a guest and joined at the meeting after that. “This way I had even more excuses to get behind the camera” he said.

Below is a selection of Jim’s images with his comments (click on the images to enlarge).

Our family goes camping on my parents’ property each Easter and the Moon is always at great subject at that time of year

“Falls” I love waterfalls and I took this one on a walk in the Otways. Don’t forget your tripod!

Little River. I had seen the river next to the freeway one still morning on the way to work and thought I should get a photo. I got up early next morning and parked off the freeway to get this shot.


Masks. I was in Italy for work and we had a Sunday off. I spotted this at a market in Venice and thought it would make a nice picture.

Melbourne at Night. The rest of the family were away in SA so I drove into Melbourne to take some photos and came away with this. I really like the colours in the reflections and the sky.

New Year’s fireworks. Fireworks are a bit hit and miss, though I enjoy taking them. Just have to remember to enjoy them on the night too.

Peekaboo. We occasionally get out my studio strobe lights for a family photo session. This came from one of those.

Riley splashing. My son loves jumping through puddles and I love taking his photo. What more reason would you need?

Skyline fire. Taken at a historic meeting at Sandown. It took me a few goes to get a good shot of the flames coming out of the exhaust.

Web Tap. I also take the family to the Botanic Gardens for photo shoots and spotted this while we were there.

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