RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog en-us 2005 - 2017 Copyright Ronald Zincone Photography (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:10:00 GMT Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:10:00 GMT RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog 120 90 More tips and techniques..... Here is a buffet of various tips and techniques you can apply when pursuing photography and/or astronomy!

In normal daytime photography, remember to stop down your lens one or two stops from wide-open or the fully closed down position.  This allows you to avoid lens diffraction and obtain more resolution.  Every lens has a "sweet spot."

With "astrophotography" you would want to keep your aperture "wide-open" in order to suck in the most amount of light (photons) because we are trying to exposure for very dim celestial objects at extreme distances.  Now, it is still a good idea to close down your lens aperture one-stop from wide open to decrease optical abberations but you must remember that you may need to balance it out by increasing your ISO by one stop.

For captures of deep-space objects like galaxies, nebulaes, star clusters, comets and the milky way, it is best to shoot from the darkest site you can find away from any light pollution.

Learn how each of your lenses work.  What are their "sweet spots"?  Learn each lenses angle of view and focal length.  Learn the pros and cons to prime lenses versus zooms.  

Always invest your money into your optics.  Purchase a good camera but the most affordable high-end lenses you can find.

Shoot in RAW mode over JPEG.  RAW allows you to capture all the exposure data and gives you the best resolution and full editing control of your images in post.

Learn the basics of weather and how to anticipate weather changes so that you will be ready to capture that stunning atmospheric skyscape weather it be severe weather or a beautiful cloud formation.

When doing night-sky photography, always used "red" light in order to preserve your "night vision" and so that it helps preserve everyone elses night vision and does not interfere with photographer's exposures as white light does.

Long exposures require a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release.

Use different colored lights to illuminate the landscape to add visual interest to your celestial skyscape.  This is called "painting with light".


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art artist astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography camera canon celestial cosmos dslr lenses night optical optics photo photograph photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:09:42 GMT
How to become a Skywarn Storm Spotter What is Skywarn?

The United States is the most severe weather-prone country in the world. Each year, people in this country cope with an average of 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,200 tornadoes, and two landfalling hurricanes. Approximately 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, causing around 500 deaths each year and nearly $14 billion in damage.

SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program developed in the 1960s that consists of trained weather spotters who provide reports of severe and hazardous weather to help meteorologists make life-saving warning decisions. Spotters are concerned citizens, amateur radio operators, truck drivers, mariners, airplane pilots, emergency management personnel, and public safety officials who volunteer their time and energy to report on hazardous weather impacting their community.

Although, NWS has access to data from Doppler radar, satellite, and surface weather stations, technology cannot detect every instance of hazardous weather. Spotters help fill in the gaps by reporting hail, wind damage, flooding, heavy snow, tornadoes and waterspouts. Radar is an excellent tool, but it is just that: one tool among many that NWS uses. We need spotters to report how storms and other hydrometeorological phenomena are impacting their area.

SKYWARN® spotter reports provide vital “ground truth” to the NWS. They act as our eyes and ears in the field. Spotter reports help our meteorologists issue timely, accurate, and detailed warnings by confirming hazardous weather detected by NWS radar. Spotters also provide critical verification information that helps improve future warning services. SKYWARN® Spotters serve their local communities by acting as a vital source of information when dangerous storms approach. Without spotters, NWS would be less able to fulfill its mission of protecting life and property.

Who is eligible?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

How can I get involved?

NWS has 122 local Weather Forecast Offices, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN® program in their local area. Training is free and typically last about 2 hours. You’ll learn:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety
]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) atmosphere hurricane meteorology national ronaldzinconephotography service severe skywarn spotter storm tornado weather Sun, 12 Nov 2017 21:39:41 GMT
Astronomy Clubs Hello friends!

I attended my local astronomy club -- (Skyscrapers Inc.) -- last evening and I would just like to say what a joy it is to be a member!

I have been active in astronomy clubs since the late 1990's.  I am so glad I decided to take the plunge because being a member of an astronomy club is truly life fulfilling.  Let's face it -- amateur astronomy is the best hobby, pastime or profession there is.  Ok, photography is a close second IMHO.  I have met so many wonderful people in the astronomy community who are willing to share their knowledge, passions and humor.

Astronomy clubs, much like photography clubs, offer you the chance to socialize, make friends, share knowledge and your passion with other colleagues and take part in fun events.  Clubs are well known for presenting programs with guest speakers (many of whom are top names in the field), set up fun events like holiday parties, pot luck events and star parties.

Astronomy clubs are both formal and informal.  Every club is different.  Something else wonderful about an astronomy club is that there is always time put aside for celestial viewing among fellow members, if the skies are clear.  Clubs also present public viewing nights with many clubs having their own club telescopes in which the public can view through.  Annual star parties are also very popular among the members and the public.  These events take place during the warmer months and is much like camping under the stars at specific sites that are far from light pollution.  

Joining an astronomy club is a great way to learn more about the night sky, science, astronomical and photographic equipment, your fellow members, getting closer to nature and what I like best -- to share your passion of the night sky with other human beings!  What are you waiting for?

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) amateur art astro astronomer astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial club cosmos members nature night photo photographic photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky universe Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:31:35 GMT
Variables in Photography So you want to be a photographer?  Ok, then you better be ready to encounter lots of variables while you are learning the art and science of 35mm photography.

Variables?  The majority of my students are surprised to learn just how much art and science goes into photography.  There is a huge difference between a "point-and-shoot' photographer and a "creative photographer."  Most of my students never heard of the 18% gray rule.  The "Exposure Pyramid" aka "The Photographer's Triangle" - what is that?  

To become a skilled craftsmen of this visual art, you must learn the art and science that makes up photography.  This is a steep learning curve but like any other profession, rewards don't come without challenges and very hard work.  In the days of film photography, it was both easier and harder to master your skills and create award-winning artwork.  In film photography, more emphasis was put on the film technology and the artist had to master the "the exposure pyramid" - especially, aperture and shutter.  The photographer had to learn and master composition techniques.  The advantage with film cameras was that they were mainly fully mechanical, fully manual machines that were straightforward to learn and use.

Today, technology is rapidly advancing in our "digital age" and although digital technology has been a boom to photographers and artists in many ways, it has and continues to hinder us due to the very nature of the technology itself.  For example, instant preview and editing.  Now, with the digital sensor as our medium, we can all be trigger or shall I say "shutter-happy" and click away because we no longer have to pay 39 cents per lick.  This leads us to want to shoot faster and not really slow down and think about our compositions as we did with film.  In the days of chrome photography (slides), it was WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and you, as the artist, had to be dead on when capturing your exposure because slide photography allowed no room for error.

Our "shutter-happy" society also leads to capturing and storing 1000's of images in a very short period of time which leads to now only more editing and processing time but also storage issues and how essential it now is to create and have an efficient work flow in place.  Variables?  Here are just a few:

Storage space, archiving, electrical and digital technology versus mechanical, digital cameras dependent on battery use, memory cards versus film, lighting, atmospheric conditions, dew, wind, motion, depth of field, clutter, strong composition, exposure, design elements, file format, aperture, shutter, exposure compensation, ISO, pixels, megapixels...and the list goes on.  

Everything in photography is a balance -- a give and a take -- and it is a lot of hard work.  But there is nothing like working hard for something you love to do and become a master craftsmen at it and reaping the rewards!

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm aperture art balance battery camera card chrome clutter compensation composition depth design dew digital england exposure field file film format light master mechanical memory motion new of photo photographer photographer's photography pyramid ronaldzinconephotography science shutter slides southern techniques triangle variables wind Sun, 29 Oct 2017 19:35:17 GMT
Light is Everything! There are a great many variables in photography.  With that said, one of the most important elements is "light".  

The "light" we capture our subjects in truly is "everything".  As visual artists, we must learn what "light" is and be able to recognize good quality light for our captures.  There are four types of light quality that we must learn to "see" and pre-visualize in our compositions.

The first and probably the most sought after "lighting" is what we call the "magic hour".  This type of light is natural light from our Sun and can occur just before and after "sunset" and "sunrise".  The Sun will be very low in the eastern or western horizon just before sunrise or sunset.  This light is a beautiful golden yellow that casts long shadows upon the landscape.  Also known as "side lighting" or "textured light", this light brings out texture in your subject whether it be grass on a landscape or shingles on a roof.  This type of light is the most sought after light by photographers and composing your subjects in this light will really bump up your photography to another level.  Subjects that do well in this light are landscapes, wildlife and architecture.  This light occurs during the dawn and dusk hours and changes very quickly so you must be prepared beforehand.

Another form of light is back light.  Sunlight is a natural light and if your source of light is behind your main subject, your subject will be back lit and a "silouhette" is created.  The rules of photography tells us that one of our main goals is to capture a "proper exposure".  Not doing so will render your main subject too dark (underexposed) or too bright (overexposed).  Either one will cause definition to be lost in your subject.  Back lighting your subjects will cause the front of your subject facing the camera to be totally under exposed and you will not see any definition but this is ok if your intent was to create a "silouhette" of your subject which can be a beautiful form of art.  Subjects that work well would be people, statues, lighthouses, churches with steeples, architecture and any other subject that would give an visually interesting shape when back lit.

There is also "soft" light which you will learn to recognize on days that are cloudy and/or overcast.  This light is spread out or "diffused" much like a diffuser that is placed over a flash to soften the light on your subject.  In outdoor photography, the Sun at mid-day becomes our "flash strobe" and the clouds act as the diffuser to spread out the harsh light.  This type of light is great on portrait subjects, wildlife and flowers.  Subjects that display color do well in this soft light because it brings out or warms up the colors in your subject.  For portraiture, soft light helps to prevent people from squinting and the softness of the light helps to smooth out the skin tones.  One tip:  Don't capture too much of the sky when shooting on overcast days.

The last type of light is "front lighting".  This is the least attractive form of light because the light source illuminates your subject from the front and thus a more flat lighting which limits definition and structure to the subject.  This form of light can still be used effectively if you know how to do it.

There are many qualities to light such as intensity, color, angle, quality, etc. and learning all about "lighting" both indoors and outdoors, bad and good, is essential if you want to create and capture stunning compositions!



]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) angle art artwork bright color dark diffuse diffusion flat intensity light lighting photo photography quality ronaldzinconephotography side silouhette soft textured visual warm Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:04:25 GMT
Twenty Years of Astrophotography Hello friends!

Tonight I will be presenting "Twenty Years of Astrophotography" at this year's annual "Astro Assembly" conference hosted by my astronomical club "Skyscrapers Inc."  

This is a wonderful yearly October event that begins on Friday evening, 10/13, at 7 pm at the Skyscraper's Seagrave Observatory in North Scituate, Rhode Island.  The Friday evening event is a series of presentations on anything astronomical from both local members and non-members.  This will be my second Astro Assembly conference as a new member and the first time I will be giving a presentation.

Speaking of which, I decided to title my presentation "Twenty Years of Astrophotography".  I will be showing some of my best captured images of celestial subjects over the past twenty years as an astrophotographer.  There will also be several other presentations in the agenda.  I hope you will be able to make it to tonight's programs.

Tomorrow, Saturday, 10/14, is the all-day Astro Assembly agenda featuring speakers, raffles, astrophotography contest, the Starlight Grille, swap table and so much more!  Be sure to register for this event and be prepared for a full day of astronomical delights and making friends!

Here is the link to the Astro Assembly conference:

Astro Assembly 2017 link


Hope to see you at Astro Assembly!



]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) amateur art assembly astro astronomer astronomy astrophotographer astrophotography celestial cosmos island nightsky party photography presentation rhode ronaldzinconephotography seagrave sky skyscrapers space star Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:42:06 GMT
Quick tips and techniques in beginning astrophotography Astrophotography a.k.a celestial photography, astronomical imaging, night-sky photography is both a challenging and yet rewarding "unique" form of photography.  It is unique in that astroimagers must capture a properly exposed and technically sharp image of a celestial subject that is a point of light in the night sky.  These astronomical subjects such as planets, stars, galaxies, etc., are billions of miles and often light years away!

Imagine trying to successfully capture such an object during night-time conditions when the lighting is extremely low.  Night-sky photography is no doubt the toughest test on your optics.  Astrophotography involves shooting long exposures in extreme low-light conditions on a point of light source.  Below are some tips and techniques to help you get started in this exciting and rapidly-growing field:

1.  Use a standard 35mm DSLR camera on a sturdy tripod to start out.

2.  Be sure to use a remote (electronic) shutter release (in order to eliminate camera movement).

3.  Be sure that your camera has a Bulb or "B" mode as well as Tv, Av and M modes.

4.  Be sure to use fast lenses a.k.a. as "fast glass".  The best lenses are "prime" lenses where each lenses focal length and widest-open aperture is constant.  For example, a 50mm f1.2, f1.4. f1.8 and f2.0 are fast prime lenses.  The more wide open the "aperture" (lens opening" the more light (photons) can be absorbed by the camera's sensor (chip).  In astroimaging, everything is about "more photons".  

5.  Wide-field lenses such as 50mm and less will be great for wide-field astrophotography which is great for earth and sky photography, constellations, meteors, comets, auroras, the moon with a landscape, planetary conjunctions, etc.  Again, prime lenses are better because they are usually faster, sharper and are cheaper in cost.

6.  If you want to get into more magnification on your subject then prime lenses beyond 50mm are a good choice.  These lenses will not only be great for landscape photography but also when you want to zoom in on the moon, galaxies, nebulaes, comets and earth & sky captures.  Again, use "fast primes".

7.  Do you best to image from a dark-sky location where there is little or no light pollution.  The darker your sky, the longer your exposures and the more celestial objects your sensor can capture.  Dark-sky sites also make it easier to visualize the beautiful night sky especially the milky way, comets, auroras and meteor showers.

8.  Start out with the basic form of astro imaging which is camera on tripod that is untracked.  A good start on settings is f2.8 or lower for your aperture and keep your exposure times no more then 25 seconds.  The "500" rule is a good guide to help you determine correct exposure times when using your focal length lenses.  This rule says to divide your lenses' focal length into 500 and this number will be the maximum number of seconds that you can expose for.  For example, a 50mm lens:  divide 500 by 50 and you get a maximum exposure time of 10 seconds.  Any exposure of a star field past 10 seconds will run the risk of capturing star trails.  The more wider angle the lens, the longer the exposure can be before trailing occurs.

9.  Start out with untracked exposures and use the 500 rule.  Tracking and guiding takes you into the deeper end of the pool.

10.  Make your first photoshoot be the Moon.  Our moon is big and bright and has lots of detail in relief along its terminator line which is best seen and captured on half phase.  With the moon being bright, you will also be able to use your camera's shutter priority mode (Tv or S) since more light will allow for exposure times in fractions of a second.  You would need at least a 400mm lens minimum but 500 and 600 is even better to fill your camera's viewfinder and capture those wonderful lunar details.

11.  One of the best times to capture a full moon is when it is rising in the east along a flat horizon.  Look for the "moon illusion" when the moon appears extremely large due to our earth's thicker atmosphere along the horizon.

12.  Be sure to make it a habitat to clean the front and rear optical elements of each of your lenses before you put them on your camera.

Enjoy the night sky!



]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotographer astrophotography camera canon celestial cosmos dslr lens low-light lunar moon night photography prime ronaldzinconephotography sky space Fri, 06 Oct 2017 19:23:05 GMT
ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography has a new look!  Check out his new online portfolio at

Ronald is an artist, student and teacher from south county, Rhode Island.  He specializes in 35mm photography instruction and teaches his students how to get off the "auto everything" modes and learn to obtain hands-on, creative control of their digital cameras.  The artist teaches the basic foundation of skills that every photography student must learn and apply.  Zincone specializes in educating the art and science of photography and how each of us must learn their cameras and lenses as important tools in creating their artwork.  Ronald has a passion for 35mm photography, astronomy and extreme weather!  He has been in business since 2005 and a lifelong learning teacher since 2006.  His "niche" is astrophotography and he is an award-winning photographer!

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm art artistic astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography award-winning camera canon classes county digital extreme instruction instructor island learn learning lessons lifelong photo photography rhode ronaldzinconephotography science south teacher teaching tutoring weather Sat, 30 Sep 2017 03:38:13 GMT
2017 Hurricane Season is NOT connected to climate change No doubt this year's hurricane season has been deadly and destructive but in no way, in my opinion, is it connected to climate change / global warming.  2004 and 2005 were also very active and destructive years.  People need to do their research before they start pointing towards global warming as the culprit.  

The earth is a living biosphere.  Our planet has geologic and atmospheric processes that help it stablize.  When tropical storms form and move northward from the tropics and eventually either making landfall or spinning themselves out over the ocean, it is nature's way of cooling and stablizing our living and breathing planet.  

If you look into the historical records of tropical meteorology, you will find records indicating that very large hurricanes have formed and made landfall.  The intensity of past hurricanes have reached category 4 and 5 on numerous occasions.  Records show that more then one hurricane has hit the same region within a very short timespan.  Records will indicate that past storms have intensified swiftly in just a short period of time such as we have seen this year with Harvey, Irma and Maria.

People get spoiled.  People forget and get complacent when it comes to weather and other natural disasters.  This year's active and deadly season is directly connected to the return of La Nina where the SST's in the pacific are cooler then average and this usually leads to less wind shear in the Atlantic and warmer SST's.  From 2006 through 2016, we have seen more wind shear and cooler SST's due to a pronounced El Nino.  This year's season is no different from many past seasons and I am talking about going back more then 100 or 200 years.  Now we have all the pro-climate change experts pointing fingers and saying "I told you so".  If climate change is such a big player in this year's activity then why was June through the first half of August so quiet?  Why was there so much dry air, wind shear and Saharan dust in the early part of the season?  Where was global warming then?

Why didn't the A through G storms all become hurricanes and maybe major hurricanes?  Why did tropical storm Lee a dud forming in the same region as Irma and Maria?  Why did Irma weaken from a category 4, 3 and 2 as the eye crossed the keys and headed up the west coast of Florida?  The SST's in that area are certainly ripe to maintain a hurricane's power.  Why is Jose weakening over cooler SST's north of Cape Hatteras?

People, such as the media and other agencies need to be concentrating on educating the public about how to prepare for hurricanes if you live in a coastal zone or inland from a coastal region between Texas and Maine.  We should be proactively teaching the public about what has happened in the past and what WILL happen in the future if we continue to build and live along coastal zones.  People need to be prepared by June 1st each year.  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!  We need to stop putting so much emphasis on the number of storms we can expect each season and concentrate more on how to prepare for the ONE storm that may make landfall in your area.

One of the most concerned regions is the Northeast, where I reside, because most of the population in this area has never experienced a major landfalling hurricane.  The last category 3 storm to make landfall in southern New England was Carol in 1954 and that was 63 years ago!  Just ask some of the few survivors from that historic storm what it was like.  Our benchmark storm, our "Katrina" was the 1938 Long Island Express hurricane which killed over 600 people and caused billions of "today's dollars" of destruction.  Most of the survivors of that hurricane are past on now but go do some research and read the books about that storm such as "Sudden Sea" and "A Wind to Shake the World".  Read "The Fort Road Tragedy".  And if people's words don't make you a believer of what a real "major" hurricane can do here in the Northeast, do a search with google "1938 Hurricane images" and I guarantee your jaw will drop to the floor when you look at the destruction a category 3 hurricane did to our region.

Let me be blunt here - folks.  Gloria in 85 and Bob in 91, our last two landfalling hurricanes were weak examples compared to the 1938 and 1954.  If people think that Gloria and Bob represented the best nature can bring to our area -- think again.  It is just a matter of time before another "major"- meaning category 3 - hurricane similar to the 38 and 54 repeats history and strikes our region.  This time around -- the destruction and property damage in dollars will be staggering and with the population growth in our coastal region since 1954 and the inexperience of our new generations is a set up for disaster.



]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) atmosphere extreme harvey hurricane hurricanes irma maria meteorology ronaldzinconephotography severe storm tropical tropics weather Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:54:34 GMT
Top 10 tips for better photography Hey friends,

Here are my top 10 tips to improve your photography skills:

1)  Be sure to clean both your front and rear optics of your lenses -- a dirty lens can ruin your image.

2)  Use a tripod for stability and a remote shutter for hands-off camera operation.

3)  When your subject does not allow for a tripod, be sure to use proper hand-holding techniques for good stability, 

      be sure to turn on your lenses' stabilization mode and use the focal length / shutter formula in order to set the

      proper shutter speed to prevent camera shake.

4)  Double up on everything!  This includes batteries and memory cards.  If you shoot for reputation and money,

     be sure to have a second camera, tripod, flash, etc.

5)  Capture your images during the "magic hour" also known as textured or side-lighting.  This is the most beautiful

     light to shoot in.

6)  Be sure that your camera is set to capture images at the highest resolution of your camera's sensor.  This would

     be the "default" setting.  Not doing so would lose you resolution since your settings has downsized the image.

7)  Bracket, Bracket and Bracket more!  This means taking a minimum of three images at three different settings!

8)  Learn and apply the three rules of composition -- Find your subject, focus attention on your subject and 


9)  Your main goal as a photographer is to capture a "proper exposure" and a "tack sharp image".

10)  Practice, Practice and Practice some more!  Photography is a "visual art" and literally "hands-on"!


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm art artist bracket camera canon capture composition dslr exposure film hour image instruction instructor lens lenses magic photo photographer photography ronaldzinconephotography teach teacher visual Sat, 16 Sep 2017 01:00:48 GMT
Hurricane Season prepardness As we are currently seeing - the 2017 Hurricane Season has turned out to be a "deadly" season and it's not over yet.  What started out to be an early season with some activity in May, June and July indicating a possible high number storm count much of the beginning of August was active but the tropical zones were not primed for intense activity.  Much of this was due to Saharan dust and hostile winds.  As we have seen, the climate in these tropical regions can change rapidly!

We have already set some tropical season records with Harvey as a land falling category 4 hurricane in Texas and now Irma as a land falling category 4 hurricane in Florida.  In addition, as of this blog date, hurricane Jose is also a category 4 in the Atlantic.  We are only half way through the season but now at its peak.

For anyone living along the Gulf and East Coast of the United States, it is vital that you make a "hurricane plan" and have one in place by June 1st of each year - the hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.  Every family, especially those who reside along the immediate coast, should have a "emergency disaster kit" ready.

You can buy one from the American Red Cross reasonably priced at this link:

American Red Cross emergency kit

NOAA weather radios are something every family has to have no matter where you live in the United States.  Severe weather can occur anywhere.  Here is the link to the Skywarn weather store:

Skywarn weather store

Living in an age where most everyone now has a cell phone -- instant weather alerts can be received immediately so that you can take the proper steps to protect yourself from harm and your property from damage.  As we continue to see and hear, many people still DO NOT take nature's power seriously.  People continue to go into dangerous flood and storm surge zones to capture photos of the waves and wind.  People continue to believe that their cars can turn into boats with the flick of a switch and end up being sweep away by flash flooding or submerged in a road -- TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN!!!!

People wait too long to evacuate their residences and head into shelters or leave for a region that would provide more safety.  People don't think it will happen to them.  People don't listen, understand or take seriously the National Hurricane Center's projected hurricane path and its CONE.  If you are living in an area that is within the 5-day cone of projection, you need to be preparing for the worst and have a plan in place to get out.  How many lives have been and will be lost between Harvey and Irma due to reasons that are within our control.  

Be sure you check your homeowner's insurance policy and that it is paid and up to date.  Have a copy of this policy in your emergency kit.  Most important, if you live in a coastal region or an inland region that is subject to flooding not only from storm surge but inland river flooding or seepage, you MUST have FLOOD INSURANCE.  It is worth every penny!  I know from experience.  My research indicates that FEMA also pays out $30,000 to cover damage to residential home owners and pays out NOTHING to businesses.  

Below are some valuable links to help aid you during the hurricane season:

National Hurricane Center

Weather Underground

Facebook Atlantic Hurricane Season

Accuweather hurricane page




]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 2017 accuweather center extreme flood flooding harvey hurricane hurricanes irma jose national nhc noaa season service severe skywarn storm surge tropical tropics underground weather Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:17:18 GMT
2017 Hurricane Season As we have already seen these past couple of weeks, the 2017 Hurricane Season has now entered the record books with Hurricane "Harvey" becoming the costliest natural disaster in the United States.  Category 4 "Harvey" has been more costly then "Katrina" and "Sandy" combined.  Wow!!!  It has been some time, actually since 2005, that a major landfalling hurricane has hit the U.S.  We are now entering the peak of the hurricane season which is around September 10th and, sure enough, we have category 3 hurricane "Irma" progressing across the Atlantic Ocean and forecast to strengthen.

Time and time again, we see the same kind of coastal destruction due to storm surge which, by the way, is the #1 killer in a hurricane.  But yet we continue to build along the coastal areas of the U.S.  We continue hear about people losing their lives because of ignorance or just not making wise decisions.  If you are told to evacuate because you are in a flood zone, the DO SO!  If you are not in a flood zone but are not sure if your homestead will protect you in a tropical system -- LEAVE ANYWAY!!

How many times do we need to hear that people have loss their lives due to driving on flooded roads and thinking that they can turn their cars into boats with the push of a button?  TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN!  Human beings are "egotistical" by nature (no pun intended) and think that nature is less powerful then them or that it can't happen to me.  WRONG!  How many times do we need to experience a KATRINA or HARVEY before we heed the warnings?  If you live anywhere from Maine to Texas -- you need to be prepared BY JUNE 1ST with a disaster kit, a disaster plan and you need to know if you are in a flood zone.  Would you need to evacuate?  Where are the nearest shelters?  You also need to stay tuned to the tropical weather forecasts from June 1st to November 30th each year.

A tropical storm / hurricane is one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces and one which you MUST take seriously!  HARVEY will now join the retired names along with KATRINA, SANDY and IRENE.  Let's hope IRMA does not join that list.  PREPARE FOR THE WORST AND HOPE FOR THE BEST!  The greatest cost of life in a hurricane is due to:

1)  Storm surge

2)  Inland flooding from torrential rains (as we have just seen with Harvey)

3)  Wind

4)  Hurricane-spawned "tornadoes"

Do some research and learn more about these forces of nature, how to prepare for them and how to stay tuned in to the best sources of tropical weather information and not just hype.  

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) damage extreme flood flooding harvey hurricane hurricanes ronaldzinconephotography season storm surge tornadoes tropical tropics weather wind Sat, 02 Sep 2017 01:58:25 GMT
Historic images of the major New England Hurricanes To all of you who are native Rhode Islanders, and from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, the general public and those of you who are passionate about extreme weather specifically New England Hurricane landfalls and their impact on our region - you can view my database of hundreds of historic photos of all the major New England hurricanes!  Scroll down to the bottom half of my home page and click on the photo galleries for each storm.

I would love your feedback on my feedback page and go ahead and sign my guestbook!!!!


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) England New connecticut extreme hurricane hurricanes island massachusetts meteorology rhode southern storm storms tropical tropics vermont weather Wed, 05 Apr 2017 20:00:12 GMT
Technology overkill? Hello students of photography:

It is my opinion that there has occurred, over the past decade or more, an alarming trend for overkill in technology.  Whether it be computers, cell phones, cameras, lenses, etc..Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  Sometimes less is more.  In regards to photography, I find that there is this constant push by the major camera brands to pump out the next greatest camera to the consumer.  In many cases, these camera models are only slightly improved -- maybe in a few more megapixels or the addition of a few more focus points, etc...What we do see is a price jump and just another camera brand model on the market and pasted on magazine page ads for the consumer or prosumer to try to digest and decide if this is the camera they should buy?  

One of the negative drawbacks to the digital age has been and continues to be the flooding of the market with all things digital because this type of technology makes it easy to produce and tweek and mass produce.  I find with many of my students much confusion with digital technology in general never mind all the countless varieties of camera brands and models and designs.  The introduction and push to mirrorless cameras and also cell phone cameras had added even more confusion and mind-boggling choices.

During the age of 35mm film and the fully mechanical SLR, we didn't have these issues due to the type of technology involved and therefore visual artists could concentrate more on the art and science of photography and how to use their simple light boxes to capture and create great artwork.  It is unfortunate, today, that much of what we see on the market, I consider "overkill", is being motivated by profit and competition.

Remember students, what is most important in photography is to learn the art and science of 35mm photography, buy a descent 35mm DSLR but also invest your money in the optics (lenses).  The rest is up to you.  It is the violinist and not the violin.


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm Canon DSLR SLR art artist arts camera digital photographer photography science visual Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:26:49 GMT
How to get started in backyard astronomy! Do you often look up at the night sky and stare in amazement of all those countless stars (suns)?  Does it send chills up your spine?  It does for me....since my young teen years and still to this day!  Getting started in backyard astronomy is simple and affordable.  All you need is a good set of binoculars in the 10X50 range.  Binoculars allow you to see more magnification and maintains a wide sweeping view of the milky way.  What does 10X50 mean?  The first number, 10 in this case, is the magnification of the optics; 10X power.  The second number, 50, is the "field of view" FOV in millimeters (mm).  The larger the first number is, the more magnification you get on your subject.  The larger the second number, the more your FOV is.

10X50 binoculars are ideal because they are not too heavy to carry and would not require a tripod for stabilization.  In this way, you can easily hand hold your optics while you visually sweep across the amazing cosmos.  Binoculars in the 10X50 range won't break the bank and are a great jumping off point from naked-eye visualization to the use of telescopes.  The amount of detail you will see with a pair of binoculars is amazing and, actually, could bring you a lifetime of enjoyment!  A good pair of binoculars can be used for nature and bird viewing, landscapes and the night sky.  Many companies make various types of binoculars such as Nikon, Canon, Orion, Zeiss, Kowa and many more.  Be sure to do your research when searching for and purchasing a pair of binoculars!

One caveat is "collimation".  It is not uncommon to order a pair of binoculars and upon arrival in the mail find that the optics are out of collimation meaning that the optics are out of alignment and you see a double image of your subject.  Sometimes this occurs because the optics are bounced around in transit due to either poor packaging or rough handling.  It many also occur from improper collimation at the factory or poor quality control.  You may want to think about going to a camera / optics store where you can touch and feel, ask questions and check for collimation before you purchase and walk away.

Be sure to purchase binoculars with good optical quality and have lenses that are fully multi-coated.  For the night sky, binoculars are great for wide-sweeps of the milky way, meteors, asteroids, auroras, constellations, satellites, the moon and, of course, terrestial viewing.  I use a Celestron Cometron 12X70mm binoculars.  You can also get giant astronomical binoculars that go up to 25X100mm or 25X125mm, but these are much more expensive and would require adequate stablization on a tripod due to their excessive weight.  A good name in this range is Oberwerk (Garrett).  Binoculars also give you the advantage of being able to view with both eyes, (bino), instead of one as you would with a telescope.  So, get yourself a nice pair of 10X50's and see what you have been missing both on our planet earth and beyond.

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotographer backyard binoculars celestial cosmos extreme night optics photo photographer photographic photography science sky space weather Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:47:10 GMT
Being Prepared for the Hurricane Season! We are now in the "heart" of the 2015 hurricane season which began on June 1, 2015.  Each hurricane season begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th and so it is important that you prepare for each and every tropical season by June 1st.  Although the "heart" of the season and when most activity occurs is in the months of August and September, especially for us in New England, you must be "tropical storm ready" by June 1st of each year.  Remember, all it takes is ONE STORM to ruin your life.  Below are some official links that will give you all the necessary and vital information to learning how to become hurricane prepared.  Also, stay tuned to my brand new course and seminars "New England Hurricanes: Past, Present and Future" coming next Spring 2016!


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) checklist cross disaster education hurricane hurricanes learning photography prepardness readyness red ronaldzinconephotography season storm storms tropical tropics Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:18:59 GMT
Tips and Techniques on Capturing Lightning! To learn more about how I capture spectacular daytime and nighttime lightning read my new Blog post at:




]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) AdWords Adwords Amazon Blog Camera Canon Depot England Google Institute Island Kingston Lens National New Photographic Photography Post Rhode Ronalds Service SkyWarn Society Spotter Weather aStore adult affiliate amazon associate astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography blog bolt camera canon celestial cosmos depot digital ecommerce education expert extreme google hurricane instructing instruction instructor learning lens lenses lifelong lightning lunar moon night nightsky of optical optics photo photographic photography post ronald ronalds ronaldzinconephotography satellite science severe sky solar southern storm system teach teacher teaching telescope traveling trigger tropical weather zincone Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:00:13 GMT
Learning and Understanding "The Crop Factor" by Todd Vorenkamp Click on the link below to read a great post explaining the confusion behind "The Crop Factor" by Todd Vorenkamp:


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 1.5X 1.6X 35mm APS-C camera canon crop digital factor lens lenses nikon optical optics photo photographic photography ronald ronaldzinconephotography sensor size zincone Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:24:17 GMT
10 Tips to help you select a proper lens by Ronald Zincone Selecting a proper lens for your DSLR can be confusing and overwhelming but with some basic information and guidance, lens selection can be exciting, less confusing and save you money!  Here are 10 quick tips you need to know:

1)  Selecting a lens or lenses should be based on what type of photography you do.

If you are into capturing sports, wildlife and high magnifications of landscapes and the moon, you would need a telephoto lens and/or super-telephoto lens.  This can be anywhere from 100mm to 600mm or more.  For scenics and travel, a lens in the wide-angle to normal range, or say 12mm to 35mm range is a good choice.  If you are trying to capture travel scenes with people in it then a normal 50mm lens is good.  Portraiture requires a focal length range 85mm to 135mm with 85mm and 100mm being the "sweet" spot. 

2)  Prime lens or Zoom lens?

There has always been two camps (Prime and Zoom) - even with today's advancements in optical technology, "prime" lenses are still a tad bit sharper, weigh less and cost less.  These lenses are easier to engineer optically and have less optical elements.  They are better for your budget and are lighter then zooms.  "prime" lenses also tend to be faster, meaning that their apertures (len's opening) open wider to let in more light (an advantage for low-light photography) for example, f2.8, f2.0, f1.8, f1.4, f1.2   Another advantage is that wide open apertures give you, the photographer, more softer backgrounds (less DOF (depth of field) also known as Bokeh.  Disadvantages are that selecting "prime" lens means that you will need to interchange them more often and you would have more lenses in your camera bag.  "Zoom" lenses, on the other hand, are more flexible in the field.  Zooming your lenses, say 24-105mm, allows you to instantly "crop" your composition and eliminate distractions aka "clutter".  With zooms, you carry fewer lenses, your camera bag is lighter and in some cases, purchasing what is known as an "all-in-one-lens" (16-250mm) allows you to keep just one lens on your camera all the time.  Disadvantages are that "zooms" are more costly, weigh more and are a little less sharper.

3)  "Kit", Intermediate or Pro lens?

So what quality lens should you invest in? 

"Kit" lenses are designed for the novice and those on a strict budget.  There ok to use if you are first starting out and they will give you decent images.  Your best choice is to upgrade to an intermediate lens say in the $400 to $600 range.  The saying is "You Get What You Pay For" and so this certainly applies to photography.  Better quality lenses give you sharper optics and more robust lens construction meaning that when using your lenses in harsh conditions, the weather-sealing in your lens design will help you.  Pro lenses such as the Canon "L" lenses (with red stripe) and Nikon's "Nikkor" lenses are the most expensive but you get the best in optical engineering for high resolution images and weather-sealing that will hold up to the harshest conditions.

4)  Purchase a "protection" filter for your new lens.

It is a low-cost investment but a vital one to purchase what is called a UV/Haze or "protection" filter to cover ALL your lenses!  Be sure to purchase a filter that is of the same diameter as your lens, e.g., should buy this filter and place it on your lens before you start taking photos.  You do not want to get dust or scratches, dings, dents, liquids onto your new lens.  The more you pay for your lens, the more important it is to have a "protection" filter on.  

5)  What quality filters should I purchase for my lenses?

The quality of your lens filters are just as important as your len's quality.  You would not want to buy a $20 filter to put on your $1,500 Canon "L" Pro lens.  Matching good quality filters with high quality lenses are important to good resolution and protection of your lenses.  Some good filter brands are Tiffen, Hoya, B&W, Schneider, Heliopan.  Be sure to look for a filter that is "fully multi-coated" FMC  If you are purchasing the highest quality lenses then you should be buying the highest quality filters.  The only needed filters in today's "digital age" are the "protection or UV/Haze", the Polarizer and you may want to invest in a Neutral Density or Graduated Neutral Density filter.

6)  Use the lens hood that came with your lens.

Higher cost and therefore higher quality lenses usually automatically come with a lens hood.  Lower quality lenses may not so you would need to buy one.  Either way, putting that lens hood (shade) on your lens is just as important as using a "protection" filter.  The lens hood does three things:  1) protects your lens optics from stray light; 2) protects your lens from damage; and 3) acts as a rain shield from when you are shooting in "misty" or "drizzle" conditions.

7)  Pros and Cons of "IS" aka "VR" "VC".....stabilization.

Plain and simple....if you are hand-holding your lenses most of the time, purchasing a lens that has built-in Image Stabilization (IS) is crucial.  Nikon calls it vibration reduction (VR) and other brands use other terms.  Look for a switch on the lens that indicates stablization or IS, VR, VC, etc....if your not sure, ask your photo dealer.  This stablization technology helps prevent obtaining "blurry" images due to camera shake and this technology works wonderfully but it is limited.  A lens with stablization technology will cost you several hundred dollars more but is well worth it.  It has become more standard now for camera companies to include "IS" on many of your bundled "kit" lenses.  e.g., 18-55mm.

8)  For those of you who  may be more advanced in photography or find that what you do involves making lots of prints and enlargements, "resolution" is king.  Resolution is how much detail you can capture in your subject.  If you are using a full-frame camera you would most likely benefit from using Pro quality lenses.   This matching between the camera's processing unit and quality of sensor (digital chip) with Pro quality optics makes for high-resolution imagery which is vital when enlargements are needed.

9)  Lens 101:  Always keep your optical glass elements (front and rear) clean and cover with caps.

You should make it a habit, before you shoot, to clean your front and rear lens optical glass.  You would not want anything on your optics such as stains, dust, show up in your images.  After your photoshoot is over, immediately cover your front and rear elements with your lens caps.

10)  Lastly, try to keep your lenses (and camera) away from beach areas where sand and salt is deadly to your photographic equipment.  If you must photograph at the beach, keep your gear (especially your lenses) protected.

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Canon Nikkor camera digital lens lenses optical optics ronaldzinconephotography Mon, 03 Aug 2015 13:46:50 GMT
Announcing ronaldzinconephotography's new digital photography lens store! Announcing my new digital photography store at At my store, you will be able to search and shop for the best products in digital photography directly from for all your photography needs! Discover the 100% customer service and satisfaction from Amazon and ronaldzinconephotography and don’t forget to check out my online portfolio at]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Amazon USA amazon digital lens lenses photographic photography store Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:51:54 GMT