RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog en-us 2005 - 2018 Copyright Ronald Zincone Photography. All Rights Reserved. (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:06:00 GMT Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:06:00 GMT RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog 120 90 10 Tornado Safety Tips to Keep You Safe Before, During and After a Storm According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH):  follow these tornado safety tips to help before, during, and after a tornado strikes:


  • Have a family tornado plan and know where you can safely take shelter.
  • Closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio
  • Install a tornado safe room or storm shelter built to FEMA 320 guidelines or the ICC/NSSA 500 standard. Always use a licensed contractor to install a safe room within, adjacent to, or outside of your home.
  • View this video playlist to find out Which Tornado Safe Room is Right for You.


  • Take refuge in a tested and approved storm shelter, safe room, or a community shelter labeled as an official tornado shelter. Community shelters may include stores, malls, churches, even airports.
  • If no shelter is available:
    • Are you indoors? Go to the lowest floor, to a small, central, interior room, under a stairwell, or to an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch down as low as possible to the floor, face down, and cover your head with your arms. Cover yourself with a blanket, mattress, helmet, or other thick covering. Wear footwear with thick soles to your safe location.
    • Are you in a mobile home? Get out. Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe as a sturdy building. Go to a nearby permanent structure. Do not seek shelter under an overpass, bridge, or in a drainage ditch. If you cannot safely exit your vehicle, park it out of traffic lanes. Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on. Put your head below the windows and protect it with your arms and a blanket, coat, or other cushion.
    • Are you outdoors? Shelter in a sturdy building. If no shelter is available, lie face down on low ground protecting the back of your head with your arms.


  • Keep your family together in a safe location and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Stay away from power lines, downed trees, and puddles that could hide live wires.
  • Watch your step to avoid sharp objects.
  • Stay out of heavily damaged structures, as they may collapse.
  • Do not use matches or lighters in case of leaking natural gas or fuel tanks.
  • Listen to your radio for information and instructions.


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:05:55 GMT
Passion or obsession? Who cares? I love it all! Ok, I'll admit it.  I am obsessed....oops, I mean passionate about three things:  astronomy, weather and photography!

Since I was a young boy, I have always been fascinated with the night sky and the natural world around me.  When I think back it is easier to understand now why that was.  Many of my most fond moments were with my Tasco 50X telescope, instamatic 110 film camera and my chemistry set.  I even have a photo of my Tasco telescope taken at the time.  Not sure who took the photo, probably myself, but glad I did.

My biggest obsessions were with the night sky and weather....especially extreme weather!  I remember my first NOAA weather radio made by General Electric and guess what?  I still have it.  I also loved to track tropical storms and hurricanes on weather maps and record all the weather stats on the storm.  My first weather record was of Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.  I was just 10 years old at the time.  My astronomical telescope allowed me to go on a nightly journey into outer space.  It became my time tunnel or a bridge back in time to allow me to see fascinating celestial objects like the moon and planets.

I still remember the large lunar map I had.  My brother and I use to spread the map out on our father's car along with my telescope mounted on a raggerty table top tripod to observe and locate the lunar landmarks.  As we located each target, we would color code the feature on the lunar map.  I still clearly remember observing Saturn with its glorious rings with my little Tasco.  Believe it or not, I still have that telescope!  Now, it isn't the "actual" one I had as a kid, but I did find the same brand and model scope at an antique fair several years back.  Wow, talk about flashback and coincidence?  

I still remember my brother and I finding any way we could to obtain optical glass and eyepieces so that we could jury-rig it to our little 50X Tasco in order to improve it magnification.  Sometimes it actually worked!  I used that telescope for more then astronomy.  I also used it to look at airplanes and to see how far I could magnify and view the distant terrain.  I would often climb the stairs up to our 3rd floor so that I could get higher up.  It was like having my own little observatory.  

I also became fascinated, like many kids, with UFO's.  I even started a UFO Club in elementary school.  What a geek!  Anyway, my passion, I mean obsession, continues and I see no way of stopping it nor do I want to.  It all gives me too much joy!


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotographer canon celestial digital education england fine instruction instructor island kingston learning lifelong new night rhode richmond ronaldzinconephotography sky southern teach teacher teaching traveling west Fri, 09 Feb 2018 19:46:04 GMT
Our Moon - A great target for observing and lunar imaging! Our natural satellite - our Moon - is truly spectacular!  Without the Moon, our species would have never come to be as we know if today.  The Moon's gravity influences our tides and helps lock the earth's rotation at a rate of spin which is just right.  Our Moon gives us "moon light" which is light reflected from the sun and from our own planet creating "earth shine".

As we stare up at our Moon in the night sky, it reminds us of mankind's greatest achievement -- the Apollo Program -- and our first footprints on another planetary body outside of earth.  I highly recommend that you put some time aside and check out the videos on the American / Soviet space race and our Apollo program during the 1950's and 60's.  It is truly a remarkable piece of history and scientific accomplishment.

Starting your own journey to the Moon is as simple as using a 7X50 or 10X50 binoculars.  Binoculars is a great way to start out in observing and learning the night sky.  These optical wonders provide a nice wide field of view and bright images.  With the Moon being so large and bright, looking through binos is truly amazing.  The best time to observe our Moon is when the Moon's terminator line is present.  The terminator line is present when you see the contrast between the brightly lit side and the dark side meet.  It is at this separation of bright and dark that we call the "terminator" and this is the area to concentrate on when observing with binoculars and/or a telescope.

At the terminator line, you will see an amazing variety of lunar detail such as mountains, craters, rilles, peaks, valleys and so much more in "relief".  The play of light and dark along the terminator line really makes the lunar detail "pop" and if you were to bump up your magnification, it would seem as if you are flying over the lunar terrain in your own lunar spacecraft!

Although lunar imaging is a step up on the learning curve, our Moon makes for an excellent "first target" for budding astro imagers who want to obtain some instant gratification and ignite the astrophotography bug.  Lunar observing with or without lunar imaging can provide a lifetime of joy and amazement as well as education.  Here is a fun project:  Want to find and observe the Apollo lunar landing sites?  Check out this book on amazon:

Apollo Lunar Landing Sites

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) apollo astro astronomical astrophotographer astrophotography celestial imaging instruction instructor island kingston landing line luna lunar moon night-sky race rhode richmond ronaldzinconephotography satellite sky space teach teacher terminator Fri, 02 Feb 2018 15:22:39 GMT
New photography toys on the market A new lens company named Irix has entered the market with some new ultra-wide perspective lenses.  Available for Canon, Nikon and Pentax mounts, the Irix 11mm f/4 Blackstone lens is a rectilinear wide-angle prime that offers an expansive 126-degree angle of view.  This manual-focus lens is housed in an aluminum-magnesium alloy body with weather sealing at the focus ring and lens mount for durability in outdoor use.  It can focus as close as 10.8 inches and features an engraved focus scale with UV light reactive paint markings.

Len's cleaning kit called LensPen has an expanded set of lens and filter cleaning tools that use a carbon compound to safely remove dust and fingerprints from your optics without the need for fluid cleaning solutions.  These are very popular because they're compact and easy to use.  The DSLR Pro Kit includes the Original LensPen for your lenses, the FilterKlear pen for filters and the MicroPro for your camera's viewfinder, all in a microfiber pouch that is useful, too, for cleaning your camera's LCD, smartphone screens and more.

Framed on Gitzo is a Gimbal Head that is crafted for wildlife photographers and balances heavy equipment perfectly and provides smooth movement of the head for convenient handling throughout the shoot.

Create Midday Magic with the Lee Filters Super Stopper.  This is a 15-stop glass neutral-density filter that allows you to dramtically cut the light reaching your sensor to enable creative techniques such as long exposures to blur moving water or to use larger apertures than would otherwise be possible.  It's available for Lee 100mm, Seven5 and SW-150 filter systems.

Achieve Perfect White Balance with the ExpoDisc.  Speed up your post-processing workflow by eliminating the need to correct white balance in software with the ExpoDisc 2.0  Great for both stills and video work, it attaches to your lens like a filter and allows you to set a precise custom white balance for the ambient light.  It can also be used to meter for an 18-percent incident exposure and to map dust on your sensor in a few simple steps.



]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm adult art astro astronomer astronomy astrophotographer astrophotography blackstone camera canon class digital dslr education england expodisc filter gimbal gitzo instruction instructor irix island landscape learning lee lenspen lessons lifelong nature new night-sky nikon outdoor pentax photographer photography rhode richmond ronaldzinconephotography science session southern stopper student super teach teacher teaching Sat, 27 Jan 2018 02:20:05 GMT
Are we losing the art and science behind photography with digital? It concerns me greatly that the trend has been and continues to move at warp speed towards marketing of digital cameras for the sake of competition and money.  Do all these camera corporations (you know the ones) really need to be pumping out so many new glitzy digital cameras in which there has been just a few upgrades?  Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Leica, Zeiss and so many more are competing fiercely to what end?  This is one of the major drawbacks to the digital age. 

This trend, which started early on when the digital revolution began in the early 2000's, has become disturbing.  Everyone wants to be the "big boy" on the block -- being on top for most sales, best digital product, most power, control and greed.  What is even more disturbing to me is that with the invent of the digital camera and the revolution that followed more and more of the technology is concentrating on the science and technical aspects behind the technology itself and not the art.

Photography is an art and science and something that is a craft to be learned, honed and used.  These camera giants seem to be inventing and incorporating more and more digital camera technology that is creating more confusion and fear to novice photographers.  These new "auto-everything" and "do-everything" cameras have and are becoming so sophisticated that it seems they are more marketable to serious and professional photographers and not the consumer market.  Also, even more troubling, is that with the focus (no pun intended) on the "do-everything" and "auto-everything" and "mega-sensor" cameras, less and less of the art of photography is being used.

Sure it is nice to have 50-megapixel sensors, 165 dual cross-type focus points, 5-axis camera stabilization, super-fast AF, articulated screens, EVF's, and so forth...but all of this, although very helpful to a photographer depending on his/her needs, don't mean much unless the "art" is learned first.  Every budding photographer MUST learn the foundation of photography - the art and science - and what is known as "The Photographer's triangle" or "The Exposure Pyramid".  This is key to learning "aperture", "shutter", and "ISO".  Once this foundation is mastered, then it is next important to concentrate on building your lens kit.  Your optics will "bam" your photography up to a new level more then your camera will.  Yes, purchase a good camera that will soot your needs but invest in your "glass" and by all means, don't buy into all this marketing hype about the next greatest digital do-it-all camera to come down the pike....learn the foundation of photography, master it and you will have mastery of your craft to become a successful visual artist!

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art artist astro astronomical astronomy canon celestial digital education england instruction instructor island kingston learning lifelong new night-sky photo photographer photography rhode ronaldzinconephotography science sky southern teacher traveling Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:05:35 GMT
Teaching Photography Hello friends!

I would like to talk about my passion of teaching photography!

It is no surprise that my three obsessions...oops, I mean life are astronomy, extreme weather and photography.  Let's add another one - teaching photography!  Back in 2006, I started on a whole new and exciting journey by opening a door that led me to teaching photography in the lifelong learning sector.

Here it is 12 years later and I am currently an independent contractor providing instruction in photography, astronomy and extreme weather at 10 different educational institutions.  Overall, I have taught at over 15 institutions.  I love teaching photography because -- well, I have a passion for photography and being in front of a classroom full of students is challenging, exciting and most rewarding.

There is nothing like educating a student of photography.  Making a difference in a student's life and even the world.  It is exciting and exhilarating to be an expert in a subject and pass along that information to fellow students who have caught the photography bug.  Teaching in "real time" allows me to educate my students "live" with verbal instructions and answers as well as "hands-on" learning which is most vital in the visual arts.

I also enjoy learning new things from my students as we share information.  To be able to defuse the confusion and fear in a student's mind as is often the case in today's digital age is so rewarding.  To learn more about me and what I teach and how I have become southern New England's #1 traveling teacher of photography, astronomy and extreme weather, go to

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 6d adult amateur art astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography canon celestial digital education england enrichment extreme high-resolution image instruction instructor learn learning lifelong new photo photographer photography ronaldzinconephotography southern teach teaching traveling teacher weather Fri, 12 Jan 2018 15:55:37 GMT
Top Ten Tips when pursuing astrophotography Hello budding astroimagers!

Here are my top ten tips for getting started in astrophotography:

1)  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:  As in real estate, location is everything.  If you are not lucky enough to already be living in a "dark-sky" area, be sure to find the nearest dark-sky site where light pollution is at its lowest.  Dark skies, void of light pollution, not only enable you to see the Milky Way and countless stars, nebulaes and galaxies above you, it also presents the astro imager with the ability to use longer exposure times and therefore be able to absorb as many photons as possible leading to capturing more celestial objects.

2)  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE:  As with everything else, the more you do it, the more repetition, the better you become.  Even basic astrophotography has a learning curve and can be challenging so "repetition" is vital.  As you climb up the ladder of difficulty, such as through-the-telescope imaging, everything becomes more challenging.  There is no replacement for hands-on practice!

3)  Before an astro shoot, be sure all your lenses are cleaned both on the front and rear elements.  It is also a good idea to clean your camera's viewfinder and LCD screen.

4)  Be sure you are using a lightweight but sturdy tripod such as those made from carbon fiber.  You may find yourself shooting in windy conditions or you may be using a long lens and other accessories that add on weight to your setup.  The tripod's mount is vital to stability just as a telescope's mount is.  Stability is even more crucial in night-sky photography because of the long exposure times and extreme low-light conditions.  Always be sure to get a mount that is rated for weight bearing that is more then your current setup.

5)  ALWAYS use a red light to protect not only your night vision but other group member's night vision.  If you do not want to get stoned "by rocks that is" then never turn on a white light while pursuing amateur astronomy and/or astrophotography.

6)  For stability, the second best friend you have after the sturdy tripod is a remote shutter release that fires your shutter electronically and therefore avoiding camera movement which will blur your images.  You can also fire your shutter wirelessly.

7)  Your workhorse lenses for celestial photography range in focal length between 4.5 mm and 75mm, especially if you are pursuing basic, camera-on-tripod wide-field astroimaging.   For lunar photography off a tripod, telephoto and super-telephoto lenses are then used or you can just use your telescope with methods known as prime-focus, eye-piece projection and webcam imaging.

8)  With camera-on-tripod wide-field astroimaging, try to connect the celestial sky with an iconic landscape subject such as "delicate arch", "Devil's Tower", "The Acropolis" in Greece or the "Pantheon" in Rome.  This is what we call "Earth and Sky connection" and not only does it "bam" up your photo's composition but it also makes it more marketable.

9)  Be sure to double up on everything.  You will be shooting in extreme conditions such as cold temps, wind, extreme low-light, humidity, and dew.  It is vital that you bring an extra memory card, a fully-charged battery, spare camera, remote shutter release and maybe even a spare tripod.  

10)  Take lots of images because "digital" allows you to and be sure to "Bracket" your images.  Do not put all your eggs in one basket and this is especially important in this unique, often challenging and specialized form of photography known as astrophotography.

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astroimaging astronomer astronomical astronomy astrophotography camera canon celestial cosmos dslr night photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky space Sat, 06 Jan 2018 00:27:35 GMT
The Tornado Hunters I have become a big fan of "The Tornado Hunters" - Greg Johnson, Chris Chittick, and Ricky Forbes!

This is a Canadian team of individuals that have really made an impact on the world of severe weather and tornado forcasting!  I have just recently seen the complete Netflix series and I have read their book "Why is the Sky Green?" and I just started reading their other book "Blown Away!"

Greg, Chris and Rick are very professional and passionate about what they do.  I am especially fond of Greg and his story of how he become a storm chaser and how it changed his life.  Greg is an awesome photographer, dedicated to capturing severe weather and documenting it.  This team is passionate about not only collecting scientific data in the field to help the weather forcasters predict severe weather and create a more efficient "early warning system" but they are also caring individuals.  They are not the type of people who just storm chase for the thrill and not want to help people who have been effected by these devasting storms.

Greg's imagery is truly spectacular!  I can really relate to what they do, the language they speak, the emotions they feel and the mission they are on.  Although I am not a storm chaser like them, I have a passion for weather, especially extreme weather and, I, too, love to image these events.  I guess I can say that I, too, have that genetic makeup.  Today, I am a Certified Storm Spotter for the National Weather Service and a professional photographer as well as a teacher of 35mm photography, astrophotographer and amateur astronomer.

I highly recommend that you check out "The Tornado Hunters" at:




]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art atmospheric canada canadian chaser chittick chris forbes forcasters funnel greg hunters johnson meteorology photo photographic photography rick ronaldzinconephotography science severe storm tornadic tornado twister weather Fri, 29 Dec 2017 14:18:14 GMT
A New Year to Look Forward To As of this writing blog, 2018 is only 9 days away!  

For me, this opens up a new journey into what nature will truly bring us.  For me, my passion of capturing what I refer to as "on the edge" moments is limitless.  I am truly passionate, ok, maybe even obsessed, with observing, experiencing and capturing those moments when life and the natural world we live in come together.

Whether it be severe weather, astronomical events or nature's grandest displays, I want to see it, capture it and archive it.  Raw nature fascinates and humbles me.  My pursuit and capture of these "on the edge" moments excites me but also helps me keep things in perspective.  Nature talks to us and shows us how insignificant we human beings are.  This connection to the natural world gives me serenity and hope.  Astronomy in particular, the oldest science, soothes me because as Carl Sagan once said, "We are 'star stuff' "  When I am under the night sky and see the milky way above me with its countless stars, there is only the sense of wonder and being humbled that overtakes me.

It truly doesn't matter if I am imaging the cosmos, looking through a telescope at Saturn's rings or naked-eye observations of the milky way, the feeling is the same.  To be instantly transported back in time as I observe this celestial object and knowing that all possibilities are open.  Most important is that these moments take me to another place and time and away from the stressors of life here on earth.  Although nature can be violent both here on earth and in the cosmos, I find it very exciting to be able to document, archive and learn from these events so that we can improve life on earth.  Whether I am capturing an auroral storm or a severe thunderstorm's lightning, it is truly exciting for me to be able to contribute to science and art.  

I truly do have the best "gig" I could ask for -- photography, astronomy and extreme weather!  Looking forward to another year of spectacular and inspiring events! 

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astronomical astronomy celestial cosmos extreme imaging photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science space weather Fri, 22 Dec 2017 15:32:15 GMT
Basic astrophotography "Astrophotography" aka night-sky photography, celestial photography, astronomical photography in its basic form can be and is easily done.  Don't get me wrong, photographing the night sky can be really challenging but in its basic form, anyone can accomplish it!

To start out in what we call basic camera-on-tripod astro imaging, all one needs is a sturdy tripod that when extended will reach your height.  This is important because if the tripod is not the correct height, you will find that you would need to raise the "center column" and this causes instability and turns your tripod into a mono pod.  I also highly recommend a "ball head" as opposed to a pan head mount.  The "ball head" is nice because it will allow you to angle your camera in all directions, even at the zenith.  Lastly, be sure you purchase a tripod mount that comes with a "quick-release plate".  This will allow you to swiftly mount and unmount your camera when needed for those important shots.

For a camera, it is a must that you use a 35mm DSLR and preferably a Canon.  Canon has always been the forerunner in optimizing their cameras for astrophotographers.  Nikon is also good but they are more expensive.  The 35mm DSLR will give you the most creative options, a powerful quantum-efficient sensor, low-noise and high ISO technology and so much more.  A full-frame sensor DSLR which is your equivalent to a 35mm film camera in format is the best choice.  

For lenses, optics in the range of 4mm to 55mm is best for most basic camera-on-tripod images because these lenses capture a wider angle of view of the night sky.  Just as these lenses are workhorses for your daytime landscape work, these optics are ideal for capturing a wide expense of the night sky for celestial subjects such as constellations, planetary conjunctions, meteor showers, auroras, moonlit landscapes, the milky way, star trails, etc.

Lastly, a remote shutter (electronic cable release) is the second most important tool after the tripod when it comes to camera stability and to avoid blurry images.  Since astrophotography is a unique form of imaging that involves extremely low-light and celestial objects that are light points and often very dim, it is mandatory that you keep your entire kit rock steady especially since celestial photography involves very long exposures!

So, in a nutshell, the kit you use for your daytime photography is mainly all you need for astrophotography.  This humbling and awe-inspiring astronomical photography is challenging but most rewarding.  If you are going to pursue a journey into astro imaging, start out with the most basic and easiest form -- camera-on-tripod.


]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography canon celestial cosmos imaging night-sky photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science Sun, 17 Dec 2017 02:55:08 GMT
What I love about astronomy Hey friends!

There's no doubt that I am an astronomy/space/weather addict and there is no cure!  I am truly blessed that my three obsessions...oops, I mean passions have been with me since childhood.  Astronomy, weather and photography.

There are many things that I love about these passions and when it comes to the "nature" part of it, I find that observing and experiencing something that is 100% nature and not the "hand of man" so to speak is most joyful.  A great example of this is when I am outside observing through one of my telescopes, or binoculars or even just with the naked eye.  The optical device transports me like a spaceship or a time tunnel to that celestial wonder whether it be Saturn, Lord of the Rings, or Mars, the red planet.  I know that I am being transported off our earth and away from the human condition.  No greed, politics, hate, war, bigotry, etc....

Observing those countless stars (suns) and knowing that there are countless exo-planets around those suns within our Milky Way or outside our Milky Way really puts things into perspective.  Humans are so insignificant and yet there is the possibility that our life form could very well be the most intelligent throughout the entire universe.  Nature, but Astronomy in particular, is so soothing and serene to the soul.  For those brief moments looking through my eyepieces or with my own eyes, I am on vacation from humanity and all its troubles and this gives me eternal hope!



]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Fri, 01 Dec 2017 23:27:30 GMT
What can ronaldzinconephotography do for you? My name is Ronald Zincone DBA

I have been in business since 2005 as a traveling teacher of photography.  I guess you could say that I am like one of those old fashion doctors who made house calls to those who were sick.  In my case, I am an independent contractor who specializes in 35mm photography and I, too, make house calls to my students.  It's like "Have Camera, Will Travel."

I have been teaching in the lifelong learning sector since 2006 at locations throughout southern New England!  I have a passion for teaching the art and science of photography both in the classroom and in one-on-one private sessions.  My private sessions can take different forms.  First sessions tend to take place at a local cafe with a nice atmosphere such as Panera Bread.  Further sessions can then be indoors or depending on the skill level and needs of the student, outdoors, on location.  The best way to learn the art and science of photography is by doing because photography is a "visual art" and consists of hands-on learning with lots of repetition.  I also offer to meet my students at their home location for convenience.

My two main goals when instructing students of photography is to teach them the art and science of 35mm photography and to instruct them on how to get off the "auto everything" mode and learn to use their cameras creatively!  Some of my classes include outdoor workshops where we apply what we learned in the classroom -- hands-on!  In other cases, my entire class may be set up as an one-day workshop or maybe a series of outdoor sessions.

My premier course is called "Learn Your Camera's Creative Modes and Say Goodbye to "Auto"

This one course will teach you the skills you need to learn the secrets of becoming a master photographer and you will learn the basic but most important foundation of photography.  Whether you are interested in bettering your photography skills for everyday photography, as a hobby, a painter who paints on canvas from photos, or maybe your goal is to make some money -- this is the course for you!

So check me out -- southern New England's #1 traveling teacher of 35mm photography -- at ronaldzinconephotography oh, and by the way, I also teach basic astronomy and an outreach course "New England Hurricanes:  Past, Present, Future".

]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art artist astronomy auto bread camera canon classes creative england enrichment hurricanes instruction instructor learning lifelong new panera photo photography private ronaldzinconephotography session southern teacher teaching traveling visual Sat, 25 Nov 2017 04:00:40 GMT
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