RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog en-us 2005 - 2021 Copyright Ronald Zincone Photography. All Rights Reserved. (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Thu, 19 Mar 2020 14:43:00 GMT Thu, 19 Mar 2020 14:43:00 GMT https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/img/s/v-12/u421237431-o749247924-50.jpg RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog 120 90 Our Precious earth and the joys of Life! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/3/our-precious-earth-and-the-joys-of-life Hello fellow humans. We are all together living in these trying times and it is important to remember that we as a human race will get through this pandemic together. Do the right thing! Each of us, as a member of our civilization, must be responsible and do everything we can to support each other and keep each other safe. Yes, you must start with yourself and take the precautions to keep safe and healthy. You must also do what is needed to set a good example and keep other humans safe. This is not the time to be selfish. Think about how precious our planet earth is and how we as a civilization and species were given the chance to enjoy our "one life"! In saying this, I hope to leave you with an image each day to draw inspiration and hope from and to allow you to be humbled and put things in perspective and that life on earth is worth fighting for no matter who or what the enemy. enjoy and peace! Ronald

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) beauty blue civilization dot earth earthlings humans humble inspiration life love pale peace planet precious ronaldzinconephotography species https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/3/our-precious-earth-and-the-joys-of-life Thu, 19 Mar 2020 14:42:55 GMT
2020 State of Rhode Island Art Exhibition https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/2/2020-state-of-rhode-island-art-exhibition

Hey friends -- You can now see three of my night-sky photography images -- "The Northern Lights over Rhode Island", "The Total Lunar "Red Sox" World Series Eclipse timelapse from October 27, 2004", and the "Summer Milky Way over Arcadia National Park, Maine" -- these are currently hung at the 2020 Rhode Island State Employee Art Exhibition. This exhibition runs from February 24th through May 1st at the Atrium Gallery, One Capitol Hill, Providence. I invite you to visit the Exhibition and enjoy all the wonderful creative talent of Rhode Island's State Workers!

This annual exhibition is sponsored by the State of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts! The State Employees Art Show is one of the year's most popular shows in the State gallery, since it showcases the often-hidden artistic talents of State workers.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 2007 arcadia art astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora borealis celestial eclipse geomagnetic island lights luna lunar maine milky moon nightscapes nightsky northern red rhode ronaldzinconephotography science series sox storm summer timelapse total way world https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/2/2020-state-of-rhode-island-art-exhibition Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:03:39 GMT
Welcome to my new Youtube Channel https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/2/welcome-to-my-new-youtube-channel Hello friends:

Introducing and welcoming you to my new Youtube Channel at:

Ronald Zincone Photography's Youtube Channel

On my Channel, I will educate you on 35 photography, astronomy, astrophotography, extreme weather as well as the digital workflow, post-processing your images, business marketing and much more!  I invite you to "subscribe" to my Youtube channel and please be sure to click on "Ronald's Website Portfolio" link to learn more about me and what I do.  I invite you to leave me feedback both on my Youtube "comments" section under each video or under "Discussion" or just send me an email at ronald@ronaldzinconephotography.com

Nice to have you onboard and welcome again!

Ronald

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art business camera canon channel digital educate education educator learning lifelong marketing media network photography post processing ronald ronaldzinconephotography science social teach teaching workflow youtube zincone https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/2/welcome-to-my-new-youtube-channel Thu, 06 Feb 2020 01:02:00 GMT
Top Tips for Photography in Low-Light! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/1/top-tips-for-photography-in-low-light Hello friends,
Here are some top tips for photography in low-light!

  1. Analyse your images:  There are many factors that could reduce the sharpness of your images.  Always review them thoroughly at 100% magnification.
  2. Experiment with metering:  Don't forget to try changing the metering mode if you are experiencing exposure calculation problems.  It can make all the difference in tricky lighting.
  3. Think like your camera:  Assess low-light scenes for elements that will challenge your camera.  Think about each system (AF, Exposure, NR) in turn.
  4. Watch the Highlights:  When shooting in near-darkness it is easy to forget above overexposure risks.  Keep a close eye on your histogram.
  5. Don't be scared of ISO:  We are often taught to avoid high ISO at all costs, but using ISO 6400 can reveal new opportunities.
  6. Set minimum shutter speed:  Prevent nasty surprises by capping shutter speed at a hand-holdable setting, in order to avoid unexpected camera shake and detail deterioration.
  7. Compose with Care:  Exclude large areas of black sky or blocked-up shadow to create a balanced frame with little wasted, empty space.
  8. Shoot and shoot again:  Always assume the worst and shoot more frames than you need to help guarantee you have at least one sharp frame.
  9. Use the Extremes:  To achieve the most dramatic results, try using ultra-long exposures and also shoot either wide open or using a very small f-stop.
  10. Remember IS modes:  Don't neglect the lens' image stabilizer setting.  Remember to select the tripod mode if it's required, or another mode to suit the current shooting condition.
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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial education England enrichment imaging Island Kingstown learning lifelong low-light New North photography Rhode ronaldzinconephotography science weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/1/top-tips-for-photography-in-low-light Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:28:36 GMT
Thin crescent moon with Venus conjunction over frosty drew observatory https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/1/thin-crescent-moon-with-venus-conjunction-over-frosty-drew-observatory Hey folks,

Just a quick blog post showing you my recent celestial capture of the thin crescent moon with our sister planet "Venus" in the evening sky over the frosty drew observatory!  This spectacular conjunction of our "sister planet" a.k.a. "evening star" with the crescent moon was less then 2-degrees apart!  I added a nice foreground landscape showing the astronomical icon of our frosty drew observatory.  I light painted the observatory to make it pop and balance the light.  Planetary conjunctions make for very photogenic subjects and celestial captures and the addition of the thin crescent moon only adds to the celestial event.  The closer the two celestial subjects are to each other the more spectacular the event and capture.  Some of the most spectacular conjunctions are with Jupiter and Venus, although planets, are our two brightest stars in the sky!

Enjoy!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art astro astronomical astronomy blue celestial charlestown conjunction crescent dawn drew dusk education england enrichment evening frosty hour imaging island learning low-light luna lunar moon morning new night nightscape nightsky ninigret observatory park photogenic photography planet planetary planets rhode ronaldzinconephotography science sister sky star twilight venus https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2020/1/thin-crescent-moon-with-venus-conjunction-over-frosty-drew-observatory Sun, 05 Jan 2020 01:51:35 GMT
Mercury's transit of the Sun https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/11/mercurys-transit-of-the-sun Hey folks,
Mark your calendars for next Monday, November 11 (Veteran's Day).  Beginning at 7:34 AM, Mercury, our closest planet, 1st rock from the Sun, will "transit" the Sun.  Although not as rare as Venus transits, Mercury transits occur about 13-14 times per century.  The last one was in May of 2016 (see my image below).  The event will begin at 7:34 AM EST and end at 1:03 PM EST.  

Don't miss out on this wonderful celestial event because the next one visible here in the United States won't be until 2049!

If you are interested in learning more about the upcoming Mercury transit and how to "SAFELY" observe and/or image it, click on the links below.  Also, if anyone is interested in joining me in observing and imaging this transit, weather permitting, you are welcome to join me at Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, RI.  I plan on being there and setting up at 6 AM.

Please be sure to click on the links below to educate yourself about this transit and email me if you plan on joining me in Jamestown.  Wishing you all a happy Mercury transit and let's hope for clear skies on November 11th.

Ronald
ronald@ronaldzinconephotography.com

 

Link to Mercury transit 2019 information #1

Link to Mercury transit 2019 information #2

Mercury transits the Sun with sunspot 2542 on 5/9/16 copyright ronaldzinconephotographyMercury transits the Sun with sunspot 2542 on 5/9/16 copyright ronaldzinconephotography
 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art astro astronomical astronomy celestial education imaging Island Kingstown learning lifelong Mercury North photography rare Rhode ronaldzinconephotography science sol solar sun transit weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/11/mercurys-transit-of-the-sun Tue, 05 Nov 2019 19:30:22 GMT
Another destructive and deadly hurricane season https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/9/another-destructive-and-deadly-hurricane-season The 2019 Hurricane Season, which ends on November 30, has become the third successive tropical season to turn destructive and deadly in the tropics.  This year, September has especially been active, destructive and deadly which could be due to the weakening El Nino in the Pacific.  Our fourth storm, Dorian, will be another tropical entity that will go down in history and the name retired.  Dorian was catastrophic and its devastation complete on the northern Bahamas as it approached from the east as a category 4 and ramped up to category 5 quickly and, unfortunately, stalled for 36 hours over these islands.

Dorian peaked at 155 mph sustained winds with gusts over 220 mph!  Dorian leveled the island of Grand Bahama and Great Abaco and it is estimated that over 2500 people have perished.  These islands were leveled.  Dorian also continued towards the U.S. southeast coast but, fortunately, sparing Florida.  The outer banks of North Carolina and some coastal areas of South Carolina were also impacted.  Dorian continued its punishing journey by slamming into Halifax and Nova Scotia as a category 2 storm which was very unusual.

Of course, as usual, when weather-related disasters such as Dorian happen people cry "global warming" or "climate change".  My take on it is that climate change is real BUT it has always been happening even before humans inhabited our earth.  Our planet is a living and breathing entity and global cooling and warming is our planet's way of cooling and heating and balancing.  The real problem with climate change is not climate change itself but how climate change will impact humans because of humans.  Do humans contribute to the levels of CO2, yes we do.  But climatology and statistics show that CO2 levels and Oxygen levels have been much higher in our planet's early history.  Once humans were created by evolution and inhabited the earth, climate change has become a major issue because it's more then how climate change effects nature but even more so, humans.

Dorian and other retired historic storms, tropical or non-tropical, are constant reminders that human beings, by nature, our human condition, are ego maniacs by nature.  We are untouchable and indestructible.  It won't happen here.  It won't happen to me.  Once again, we hear of the ignorance, politics and "life is cheap" mentalities.  Here's my idealistic idea:  let's get the United Nations to pass a global law to make it illegal for any human to live and occupy a zone within 100 miles of coastal areas located in major hurricane zones.  This would also include islands.  A case in point would be the Carribbean islands, Florida, the Gulf Coast and the entire East Coast of the US.  Too late isn't it.  But imagine creating a buffer zone of 100 miles along the entire Gulf and East coasts of the US.  Sure, damage would still be catastrophic to the natural land areas, which is bad enough, but, at least, cities, towns and people would be better protected.  Think about how this would save human lives, avoid rebuilding towns and cities, bring down insurance rates, etc.  

The northern Bahamas should NOT be rebuilt.  Keep them natural preserves.  It would be easy to do so now that Dorian has pretty much leveled those areas.  Look at what just occurred, again, after Harvey in 2017, with tropical storm Imelda.  Southeast Texas, Houston, southwest Louisana once again got devastated with 20 to 40-inch rainfall causing catastrophic flooding.  The same setup, the same pattern.  If we had that 100 mile coast zone buffer in place, only nature would take the hit and I am not downplaying nature here but our planet earth goes through these cycles as part of its living and breathing entity.  We can't stop a category 1, 2 or 3 hurricane from becoming a cat.4 or cat.5 and stall over an area for 36 hours or a tropical storm forming suddenly very close to coastal areas and stalling or creeping while dumping 50-inches of rain but we can remove or relocate "humans - life" and the infrastructures we build in our society to less high-risk zones.  Think about it.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult dorian education hurricane imelda learning lifelong meteorology photography prepardness ronaldzinconephotography safety storm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/9/another-destructive-and-deadly-hurricane-season Sun, 22 Sep 2019 15:53:27 GMT
The heart of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/8/the-heart-of-the-2019-atlantic-hurricane-season Hey friends,

Well we are into the first week of August 2019 which means that we are now entering the heart of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.  We have already had three early disturbances with one being named, the first name on the list, which made landfall in the Gulf as a category 1 hurricane.

Now is the time to watch the tropical forecasts closely and re-check your family disaster kit and your Hurricane Safety Checklist.  Remember, the numbers don't mean much.  All it takes is one landfalling tropical storm or hurricane to make the season deadly and destructive!

For us here in southern New England, August and September our the most threatening.  Research and you will notice that just about all of our major landfalling hurricanes have occurred in these months.  This is no coincidence.  The reason is that certain weather patterns can set up that makes SNE vulnerable to landfalling storms.  Our "hurricane pattern" is a unique one that even though may be less frequent, but just as deadly and destructive!

Latest forecasts are now trending towards a more active season, but again, don't let the numbers fool you.  Below is the link to the American Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist and Flood Checklist.  Stay tuned, stay safe and be prepared!

American Red Cross hurricane safety checklist

American Red Cross Flood Safety Checklist

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art education England extreme flood hurricane learning lifelong meteorology New photography ronaldzinconephotography science severe southern storm surge tornado tropical weather wind https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/8/the-heart-of-the-2019-atlantic-hurricane-season Wed, 07 Aug 2019 18:20:48 GMT
50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/7/50th-anniversary-of-the-apollo-11-moon-landing       Mark your calendars folks!  July 20, 2019 @ 10:56 pm marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing -- when mankind first left earth's atmosphere and set foot on another celestial body!

      On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon. About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he set took his first step, Armstrong famously said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The third astronaut, Michael Collins, command module pilot, orbited the moon and made ready to dock with the lunar module once Armstrong and Aldrin blasted off from the moon.

     The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy (1917-63) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.  It was the Mercury and Gemini programs that got us to Apollo and then onto the moon but Gemini was especially significant!  The Space Race was bitter-sweet.  It was unfortunate that our number one goal was beating the Russians to the moon and the whole communist Cold War thing but, on the other hand, it did get mankind off of earth and land on another celestial body.  Additionally, we did get some moon science done and learned a lot more about our satellite and earth's formation.

     So, this year, 2019, but especially this month, many special events are happening around the world to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions and especially Apollo 11.  I have been doing my part by setting up my telescope for public outreach and educating the people and especially the kids.  Of course, the moon has been my primary target.  So, get out their folks -- on the internet, at public events, museums and find a way to celebrate the take part in mankind's greatest adventure!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 11 adult aldrin apollo armstrong art astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial cold collins courses education england enrichment gemini imaging learning lifelong luna lunar mercury moon new night photography race ronaldzinconephotography russians science sky southern space war weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/7/50th-anniversary-of-the-apollo-11-moon-landing Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:40:28 GMT
National Hurricane Prepardness week 2019 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/5/national-hurricane-prepardness-week-2019 This is national hurricane week and I just attended the 2019 East Coast Hurricane Awareness tour that took place at Quonset Point in Rhode Island.

The 2019 hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th.  We all remember how devastating the last two seasons have been, especially in Puerto Rico, Texas and North Carolina. 

My area, southern new england, is a high risk zone mainly because we are overdue.  Our estimated average is one major landfalling hurricane in 25 years.  Our last landfall, Bob, was in 1991 -- that's 28 years ago.  You do the math.

Here is some further information to seriously think about:  (source "The ProJo" May 10, 2019)

"In the years since the 1938 and 1954 (Carol) hurricanes, sea level rise and development along the coast have exacerbated the threat to people and property in southern New England, according to public safety officials."

"Hurricanes don't have to make a direct hit or pack as much wallop as the Hurricane of 1938 and Carol to wreak havoc on the region.  Hurricane Bob hit Rhode Island as a Category 2 hurricane in August 1991.  Hurricane Sandy was a post-tropical cyclone when it hit land at Atlantic City, New Jersey in October 2012, but the storm surge was powerful enough to ravage much of the Rhode Island coastline."

Here are some preparation tips from the experts:

"Find out if you live in a zone that's likely to flood.  You can check on the National Hurricane Center website."

"Put together an emergency kit and check emergency equipment such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters."

"Make and review a family emergency plan.  Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do."

"Get more information on making a plan at the Department of Homeland Security's website."

"Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property."

"Consider flood insurance and remember water damage can happen well away from the coast."

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 1938 1954 Carol cyclone disaster EMA england Express extreme FEMA flood hurricane Island Long meteorology new NHC NOAA NWS Rhode RIEMA ronaldzinconephotography southern storm tropical weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/5/national-hurricane-prepardness-week-2019 Fri, 10 May 2019 19:17:52 GMT
Important links and information https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/4/important-links-and-information Hey friends!

Here are some important links to some great information that you can use as a quick reference, especially in times of emergency.  These links cover photography, astronomy and weather:

 

Ken Rockwell photography reviews

BH Photo and Video

Agena AstroProducts

National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service

The Weather Channel

DP Review (digital photography review)

Spaceweather

Frosty Drew Observatory

LADD Observatory

Margaret M. Jacoby Observatory

Seagrave Observatory & Skyscrapers, Inc.

Thunderstorm Safety Rules - ARC

Thunderstorms & Lightning safety rules - ARC

Tornado Safety Checklist - ARC

Hurricane Safety Checklist - ARC

Flood Safety Checklist - ARC

Winter Storm safety checklist - ARC

Cloudy Nights (astronomy community)

 

 

 

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) agena astro astronomical astronomy astroproducts bh celestial drew england flood frosty hurricane jacoby ladd margaret meteorology new nhc nws observatory photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science seagrave severe skyscrapers southern spaceweather storm thunderstorm tornado twc weather winter https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/4/important-links-and-information Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:32:59 GMT
A new season upon us! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/3/a-new-season-upon-us Hello!  Well, spring is here finally.  Goodbye to winter.  Along with the blooming of flowers, spring is a season which brings lots of changes.  It is at this time that the weather patterns converge and do battle.  Spring is moving in but winter is still trying to hang on and so you have the clash of warm, moist air with cool, dry air.  This frequently leads to severe weather.  As I write this blog entry, one such event is in the stages of forming -- A "Bomb Cyclone".

Not uncommon for us along the east coast during March.  Last March 2018, we had four nor'easters and one of them was a "bomb cyclone"!  A "bomb cyclone" or "Bombogensis" is a storm that undergoes rapid strengthening. However, it is not the lowest pressure that defines bombogenisis but rather how quickly the pressure within the storm plummets.  When the barometric pressure falls at least 0.71 of an inch (24 millibars) in 24 hours, a storm has undergone bombogenesis.

This time of year also gives nature photographers the chance to capture other atmospheric subjects such as rainbows, halos, sundogs, sun pillars, fog, severe thunderstorms and lightning, even tornadic activity depending on where you reside.  Macro photographers also love this time of year because flowers start to bloom and nature wakes up. 

I know I am excited because the winter has ended and the spring invites warmer temperatures that allow for more pleasant conditions to photograph in.  So keep an eye to the sky, the daily weather, be safe and get out into nature and look for those "On the Edge" subjects!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art blog bomb bombogensis cyclone educate education england extreme fog halos instruction lightning new nor'easter pillars rainbows ronaldzinconephotography science severe southern spring sun sundogs teacher thunderstorms traveling weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/3/a-new-season-upon-us Thu, 21 Mar 2019 16:49:10 GMT
Countdown to spring, warmer temps and photoshoots! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/2/countdown-to-spring-warmer-temps-and-photoshoots Spring 2019 is only four weeks away and this means warmer temperatures and more diversity in the weather!  I really look forward to this time of the year because I hate the cold so much.  I tend to hibernate during the main months of Winter and only venture out on a photoshoot if the event or subject is rare or spectacular.

Once spring arrives, we have the onset of a battle between winter and spring, cold and warm and so the weather often turns more turbulent and severe in nature.  This means thunderstorms, nor'easters, bomb cyclones, and also atmospheric events like rainbows.  Spring then leads to summer which means hot temperatures and increasing humidity often leading to severe weather, especially in July and August.  Summer then leads to fall which also flips the weather pattern into a battle between warm and cold, once again. 

Although the official hurricane season is from June through November, for us here in southern New England, our main months are August and September.  Along with photo opportunities capturing and recording severe weather, I tend to go a little crazy this time of year with the tropics and closely (ok, obsessively) monitor the tropics for impending tropical storms.  If I had ever decided to pursue a career in meteorology, I would have specialized in tropical weather for sure.

So for me, March through October is my main season where I am often served a buffet of image subjects to chase after, capture and archive.  Tropical storms, bomb cyclones, nor'easters, severe thunderstorms, lightning, rainbows, sun and moon halos, aurora borealis, the moon, the summer milky way, constellations, planets, meteors, fireballs and let's not forget general nature photography such as landscapes and macro.  Oh my!  The fun is about to begin....

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography bomb Canon celestial cyclone digital education hail halo hurricane imaging learning lifelong lightning lunar meteorology moon night-sky nor'easter photo photography planets rainbow ronaldzinconephotography science severe sky storm sun thunderstorm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/2/countdown-to-spring-warmer-temps-and-photoshoots Mon, 18 Feb 2019 19:13:19 GMT
Total Lunar Eclipse of January 20-21, 2019 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/2/total-lunar-eclipse-of-january-20-21-2019 Mother Nature played a trick on us here in New England -- but this time, for the better!  I am talking about the astronomical event of January 20-21, 2019 when our earth comes between the sun and the moon creating a total lunar eclipse!

2018 was a terrible year for us here in the northeast with more cloudy nights and rainy weather than usual.  Many of our astronomical events were cancelled or not observed.  We were hoping that 2019 would not continue the pattern.  The predictions for the last total lunar eclipse visible here in the northeast until 2022, weatherwise, was not good starting out.  The beginning of winter started out tranquil and then, of course, a winter storm was forcasted for the evening of the eclipse and then followed by a blast of artic air that would send temperatures down into the single digits!

But, we got lucky this time.  The storm started late at night on the 19th and had moved out by the evening of the 20th allowing for mostly clear skies but bitter cold temperatures for the eclipse.  Normally, I would set up my telescope with my 35mm DSLR attached for prime focus photography but the eclipse started late at night and continued into the early morning hours and the temps were in the single digits.  I had no motivation to set up my rig in those extremes so I opted for a quick lunar imaging session by setting up my camera on tripod with a 35mm Canon 6D and Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L lens on tripod with remote shutter.  I was just happy that I was able to observe this celestial event and be able to capture a few images.

I captured several images showing the beginning partial phase and "totality".  After review, editing and processing, I was pleased to see that my images were sharp, detailed and well exposed.  Although, I did not have the focal length I needed (at least 400-600mm) or more, I was happy with what I captured.  At last, we got a much deserved break from the cloudy nights and now waiting until 2022 for the next TLE won't seem as bad.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm adult art astro astronomical Canon celestial digital DSLR eclipse education EF england EOS learning lifelong lunar moon new partial phase photo photographic photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky total totality https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/2/total-lunar-eclipse-of-january-20-21-2019 Wed, 06 Feb 2019 19:26:55 GMT
Accuweather's Real Impact scale for Hurricanes https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/1/accuweathers-real-impact-scale-for-hurricanes Accuweather has announced the introduction of a new important scale to help people and businesses better understand the full impact of hurricanes. Called the AccuWeather RealImpactTM Scale for Hurricanes, this innovative new scale is based on a broad range of important factors and is designed to provide practical and critical information people can use to evaluate the threat posed by a hurricane or tropical storm and take the appropriate steps to stay safe and protect property. The Saffir-Simpson scale which has been used by meteorologists for decades classifies storms by wind speed only. To learn more click on the link below to read the full story!

 

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/accuweathers-new-realimpact-scale-for-hurricanes-will-revolutionize-damage-predictions-for-greater-public-safety/70007111

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art atmospheric extreme hurricanes meteorology photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky storm storms tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/1/accuweathers-real-impact-scale-for-hurricanes Thu, 10 Jan 2019 19:47:16 GMT
A New Year and a new total lunar eclipse! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/1/a-new-year-and-a-new-total-lunar-eclipse Hey - it's 2019.  Welcome to a New Year of exciting astronomical and weather-related events!  What better way to start the New Year then with a spectacular total lunar eclipse.  Those of us in North and South America will get to observe this cosmic event in its entirety.  Thank you very much.  Whether or not the "weather gods" will line us up for "clear skies" is another matter.

I, for one, am prepared to do some travelling, if need be, to observe and image this eclipse especially since we would have to wait until 2021 for the next one.  Of course, the middle of January is not really the ideal time to have such a celestial event since skies have a 50/50 chance of being clear and even if they are, the temps are usually frigid.  We might get lucky yet.  I have never observed a total solar eclipse (on my bucket list) and so can't compare it to a total lunar one but I must say that I really enjoy TLE's.  To be able to see "totality" for such a long period and to witness all the colors of all the sunsets and sunrises on earth at once during "totality" is fascinating and a total "geek out" experience.

Just some tips:  Stay warm.  Dress in layers and have some hot drinks like hot chocolate, coffee or cider on hand.  Be sure to wear a hat.  If the temperatures are way too cold, at least make an effort to go out and observe the "totality" phase.  If imaging and temps are cold, you may want to think about fast setup and take down rig such as a 35mm DSLR, tripod and super-telephoto lens.  Don't forget to use a remote shutter release.  If you can bear the temps or if the temps are warmer, think about a rig consisting of an astronomical telescope to image at prime focus along with your 35mm DSLR and camera adapter.  Again, don't forget the remote shutter release.

Remember that shorter exposures will be needed during the partial phases and longer exposures of the "totality" phases.  Bracket your images and be sure to obtain "critical focus", especially if your rig is NOT tracking.  Use a lower ISO for better resolution and less "noise".  Partial phases will most likely be in fractions of a second and "totality" captured with one second or more exposure times.  Use your camera's "live view" mode and magnifying options to zoom in and obtain "exact focus" that is tack sharp before you press the shutter.  Preview your images to confirm critical focus and then bracket.

If you don't have a super telephoto lens, try obtaining a "grab-and-go" telescope.  These are lightweight, easy to set up and take down, carry, and tend to have wide-field and fast optics.  Use a barlow lens to increase the magnification if you want the moon to be bigger in your telescope's field of view.  Just remember that the more you magnify the more you magnify the atmosphere's turbulence and the more critical you must be with "focus" and the stability of your mount and tripod.  Ok, let's hope for clear skies and enjoy the New Year eclipse!

Here is a link to the January 20/21 TLE:

January 20/21 TLE information link

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astronomical astrophotography blood celestial cosmos eclipse lunar moon night partial photography red ronaldzinconephotography science sky space total totality https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2019/1/a-new-year-and-a-new-total-lunar-eclipse Mon, 07 Jan 2019 20:16:23 GMT
Looking forward to a New Year 2019! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/12/looking-forward-to-a-new-year-2019 Here we are in the major holiday season and rounding the corner to head into the New Year 2019!

I, for one, am looking forward to a better New Year in 2019.  At this time of the year, I tend to "hibernate" due to the cold temperatures, snow and ice.  As passionate, (ok obsessed) as I am for photography, astronomy and extreme weather, only thing keeps me away from my passions -- the cold! 

As we get into March and especially April, the weather improves and I come out of my cocoon.  The early spring, summer and early fall seasons are my "prime time" for outdoor photography, astronomy (astrophotography) and extreme weather.  I will also be teaching outdoor workshops, venturing on my own travel and photo shoots and playing and using all my new astro and photo toys purchased at Christmas 2018 and early 2019.

I also continue to conduct private sessions in photography with students as well as teaching in the Lifelong Learning sector throughout southern New England.  I will be venturing on many travel destinations throughout New England this coming year photographing new places and building my portfolio and reputation.  You will never know where I might pop up -- so keep an eye out for "southern New England's #1 traveling teacher of photography"!

Happy Holidays!

Ronald

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art arts astro astronomical astronomy canon celestial digital education england extreme fine learning lifelong meteorology new photo photographic photography ronaldzinconephotography science southern space visual weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/12/looking-forward-to-a-new-year-2019 Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:06:32 GMT
Comet 46P/Wirtanen https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/11/comet-46p/wirtanen Look for a nice naked-eye comet to visit our December 2018 skies.  Learn more information on the Spaceweather.com site by clicking on the link below:

Comet 46P/Wirtanen

 

Happy Comet hunting!
 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 46P/Wirtanen astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography comet nightsky ronaldzinconephotography science sky https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/11/comet-46p/wirtanen Wed, 21 Nov 2018 17:43:49 GMT
Extreme weather photography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/11/extreme-weather-photography Hello folks,

Well, you all know I am obsessed, passionate even fanatical about "extreme weather".  Sure, I love weather in general, but my heart races, my adrenaline increases and I get really excited when mother nature is at its worst!

Here in southern New England, we have our four seasons and so we get a taste of everything.  Most of the time, the weather is pleasant or at least not severe, but, we do get our bouts of severe weather - whether it be hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, blizzards, bomb cyclones, northeasters and occasionally, a twister -- well, this year we saw more frequent tornadoes.

Some of the best photography is captured during extreme weather events in which you find yourself in dramatic events of nature I call "On the Edge."  This is what I love to track, record and photograph.  Of course, SAFETY IS FIRST!!!  During high wind events, be careful driving, if you have to, and watch for any falling trees or tree limbs.  If heavy rains and flooding is occurring, watch for flooded roads, especially at night when it is difficult to see, and remember TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN.  In extreme winter weather, be on the alert for extreme cold and wind chills that could cause frost bite and hypothermia.  With blizzard-like conditions, watch for the extreme cold, high winds, white-out conditions, and heavy snow that can get you stranded.  Watch for falling trees and limbs, bitter-cold temps that can cause frostbite and hypothermia, zero-visibility with white-out conditions.

In severe thunderstorms, watch for extremely dangerous and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning that can heat up the surround atmosphere to 50,000 degrees.  Torrential rain, flooding and the treat of tornadoes are also something to be on the lookout for.  Supercell thunderstorms are especially dangerous since some of these can produce rotation that can lead to tornadoes.  Supercell thunderstorms can also cause straight-line winds and microbursts that can be just as destructive to homes and people with winds that can reach 100mph or more.

Be prepared for each hurricane season staring June 1st and ending November 30th.  Have your family emergency disaster kit all set and in place by June 1st.  Have reference to the Hurricane Prepardness Checklist so that you would know what to do and when.  There are checklists on line (Red Cross) is one of them, that you can search and print out for all extreme weather.  Always hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

Now, saying all that, severe weather events are "On the Edge" nature events that can offer you some of the best dramatic photographic compositions.  Just before and as the storm is moving in and as the storm departs can often lead to dramatic and wild colors, lighting, cloud structure and what seems like "doomsday" skies.  Have a weather radio in your home and in your car so that you are prepared for severe weather alerts and to be in the loop as to when and where severe weather is occurring so that you can get into position (chase) to image these events but, I say again, SAFETY FIRST!!!!

Train yourself to frequently look up at the skies -- this is not only a good habit for weather photography but for all forms of nature and landscape photography, especially astrophotography.  So, be SAFE, be PREPARED and let's get ready for future extreme weather events and some "On the Edge" photography!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astrophotography bomb Canon cyclone dramatic edge extreme fine hurricane imaging lightning mesocyclone NOAA noreaster northeaster on photography ronaldzinconephotography rotation safety severe sky storm the thunderstorms tornado twister weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/11/extreme-weather-photography Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:37:52 GMT
And yet another??? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/10/and-yet-another Ok, southern New Englander's....the second "unprecendented" severe weather outbreak with severe rotating thunderstorms, tornadoes and waterspouts in southern New England within one week in the month of October!  This time occurring early in the morning with severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings issued for southern Washington County including Block Island, RI, and also  parts of the Cape including Falmouth, Barnstable, Mashpee, Tillsbury, Sandwich, Bourne, etc.  There was reported damage in North Stonington and at Fisher's Island.

In all my years of following, tracking and recording extreme weather events in southern New England, this is the first time I can recall extreme weather of this rarity occurring this frequently and at this time of the year in our area.  It is very interesting in that this all comes off a very active, damaging and costly Atlantic and Pacific hurricane season.  I am seeing a definite "uptick" in extreme weather globally in 2018 as well as in our local area.

Stay tuned!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) block bourne cape cod extreme falmouth fisher's hail hurricane island lightning mashpee massachusetts rhode ronaldzinconephotography sandwich season severe storm thunderstorm tillsbury tornado tropical tropics waterspout weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/10/and-yet-another Mon, 29 Oct 2018 18:59:22 GMT
Extreme weather events in southern New England in 2018 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/10/extreme-weather-events-in-southern-new-england-in-2018 Hello friends,

Is it my imagination or does there seem to be an uptick in extreme weather events here in southern New England?  In this year alone, we have had five major nor'easters last winter.  Four of these were in March 2018 with one occurring each week that month.  One was the "Bomb Cyclone" event of March 2 and we also had an earlier "Bomb Cyclone" on Jaunary 4th.  In May 2018, we had the unusual severe weather outbreak where four tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down in Connecticut.  On July 26, there was another severe weather outbreak with a confirmed tornado(s) in Massachusetts and just this week on October 23, we had another severe weather outbreak of severe thunderstorms with hail, wind and two confirmed tornadoes.

What makes the October 23 event so unprecendented is that one of the supercell thunderstorms developed and dropped an EF-1 intensity tornado on Lincoln and then over to North Providence, Rhode Island.  An EF-1 tornado was also confirmed over Norton, MA and this may have been from the same supercell storm and also may have crossed over Sandwich, MA and out over the Cape Cod canal as a waterspout.  If this is the case, this would be the first confirmed tornado/waterspout over the Cape Cod canal since 1977.  Also, to have two tornado touchdowns in Rhode Island is extremely rare.

Something is definitely happening in our atmosphere.  Now whether you can argue climate change and the "hand of man" or some other variables, well, the jury is still out.  But, having been following, tracking and recording weather and extreme weather since the early 70's in this region, I can say that the "pattern" has changed and maybe for the worst.  The weekly nor'easters of last March is a good example.  I don't ever recall experiencing four nor'easters, one each week, in one month...ever!  Tornadoes in October?  It is also interesting re: the timing of this latest October 23 severe weather outbreak since I had just attended the annual southern New England Weather Conference in Foxborough, MA on Saturday, October 20.

"Real Time" observational reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service and to CoCoRaHs is vital.  On the ground, "real time" observational reports help the National Weather Service in their warnings and helps to get the warnings out to the public in an expedited manner which saves lives.  So, consider becoming a Skywarn Storm Spotter for the NWS and join the CoCoRaHs Network.  Both are volunteer and training is provided.

Skywarn Spotter Training

CoCoRaHs Network

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) atmospheric canal cape cocorahs cod extreme island lincoln massachusetts meteorology national north norton providence rhode ronaldzinconephotography science service severe skywarn spotter storm supercell thunderstorm tornado tornadoes waterspout weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/10/extreme-weather-events-in-southern-new-england-in-2018 Fri, 26 Oct 2018 14:17:03 GMT
The 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/10/the-50th-anniversary-of-apollo-11 "The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will commemorate the 50th anniversary of NASA's Apollo 11 mission with a week-long "First Moon Landing Celebration" in July 2019.


Museum officials on Wednesday (Sept. 12) announced the celebration and plans for a series of events and exhibits to lead up to the anniversary beginning in October. The Smithsonian includes in its collection the spacecraft, spacesuits and much of the equipment that astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins used to achieve the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969.

"We see the Apollo 50th anniversary as an opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to what happened during our lifetimes," said Valerie Neal, space history department chair at the National Air and Space Museum. "The majority of our visitors now were born after 1969. They know the story secondhand, but they don't have that visceral experience of it."

"We're hoping to use this occasion to spark that kind of excitement and start thinking about what can we do in the 21st century that is comparable, whether we do it in space or we do it here on Earth," Neal told collectSPACE.

The Smithsonian's five-day First Moon Landing Celebration is scheduled for July 16 through 20, 2019, such that it coincides with the 50th anniversaries of the Apollo 11 launch, lunar landing and moonwalk. Details will be announced at a later date, but activities are planned for inside the museum and on the National Mall in Washington, DC."

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 11 50th anniversary apollo celebration eleven landing lunar moon ronaldzinconephotography smithsonian space https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/10/the-50th-anniversary-of-apollo-11 Tue, 09 Oct 2018 13:31:56 GMT
80th anniversary of the 1938 "Long Island Express" New England hurricane https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/9/80th-anniversary-of-the-1938-long-island-express-new-england-hurricane Today marks the 80th anniversary of the 1938 "Long Island Express" New England hurricane!  

This was New England's "Katrina" -- our "benchmark" storm at Category 3.5    Although most deadly and destructive, taking over 600 lives in New England and causing millions of dollars in damage, the story behind this storm and the people who both perished and survived is fascinating.  Not sure if there are still survivors after 80 years, and if there are, they would have been very young kids at that time.

Many books have been written about this "perfect" storm telling of its track, intensity, origins, impact on geography, impacts on regional economics and especially the lives it changed and the damage it caused.  Be sure to check out these publications but also be sure to google this hurricane and you will find loads of information.  Best of all, try to catch the annual showing of PBS's "Wake of 38" documentary -- it is definitely one not to miss!

Check out my website gallery on the 1938 Hurricane at this link:

Images of the 1938 Hurricane

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 1938 art england express extreme hurricane island long new photography ronaldzinconephotography science severe storm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/9/80th-anniversary-of-the-1938-long-island-express-new-england-hurricane Fri, 21 Sep 2018 13:56:30 GMT
Highly recommended links to websites and companies https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/9/highly-recommended-links-to-websites-and-companies Hello friends:

Below is some of my favorite go-to links to reputable companies that I often do business with when it comes to photography, astronomy and extreme weather.  I highly recommend these dealers and websites:

B&H Photo and Video

Agena AstroProducts

Zenfolio

EyepiecesEtc

ebay

amazon

Stepping Stone Products LLC Lightning Trigger

CloudyNights

SkyWarn Anything Weather store

 

 

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) agena amazon art astro astronomical astronomy bhphoto celestial cloudynights ebay extreme eyepieces photography products ronaldzinconephotography science sky skywarn stepping stone store video weather zenfolio https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/9/highly-recommended-links-to-websites-and-companies Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:36:34 GMT
Yearly tropical hype, drama and confusion? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/9/yearly-tropical-hype-drama-and-confusion Hello folks,

Once again for the 2018 tropical Atlantic hurricane season, confusion, misinformation, hype, drama, etc., etc., once again rears its ugly head.  As I write this Blog, the peak of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is upon us and it seems that we may be seeing another active and "possibly" deadly season like 2017.  

What continues to bother me most is the lack of accuracy, miscommunication of facts, drama and hype and much more just for the sake of ratings.  Furthermore, it is my opinion that these pre-season hurricane predictions on number of storms is just ridiculous and not needed.  "It only takes one storm to ruin your life".  It really doesn't matter how inactive the season is because it only takes ONE landfalling major hurricane to cause millions of dollars in damage and loss of life.  You don't even need a "hurricane" for this to happen, even a tropical depression can stall inland for days and cause catastrophic flooding!

For example this 2018 season.  Early forecasts were predicting a large number of storms and a very active season.  Then August 2018 came and went and forecasters seem to wonder why August, being notorious for tropical activity, was so quiet.  In fact, talk was that the lack of seeing one major hurricane form was record breaking?  Talk was that it was linked to an El Nino pattern that had set up in the Pacific which usually causes an uptick in Pacific hurricane activity and a down tick in the Atlantic and this is what we saw and continued to see until we entered the peak of the season -- September.

So now we have 3 hurricanes in the Atlantic basin - Florence, Issac and Helene.  Florence is predicted to become a major landfalling hurricane, possibly Cat.4, on the US southeast coast next week and Issac may follow a track towards the Carribbean.  Hawaii has also seen historic landfalls this year with Lane and now Hurricane Olivier is forecast to hit them with more flooding rains.  So, what happened to El Nino?  Does this mean that we will be soon hearing from the experts that the "numbers" must, once again, be raised?

We need to focus on educating the public and especially the people living in the poorer regions of the Earth such as the Carribbean.  We need to educate people on how to prepare for the annual hurricane season by June 1st of each year.  Educate people on the how, what, when and why of tropical storm threats.  How and when to evacuate.  Educate the public on inland flooding threats, tornadoes spawned by landfalling tropical systems, how to prepare a family disaster kit, the serious threats of storm surge and so much more.  Why are certain organizations and people concentrating on the annual numbers?  

It is my opinion that every individual living in a hurricane zone needs to take a basic Weather 101 and Hurricane 101 course and have a NOAA Weather Radio.  These should be done for free so that money and poverty does not play a role in someone's decision not to take the course or purchase the NOAA Weather Radio.  Let's petition the powers that be to STOP making annual hurricane forecasts based on the "number of storms".

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) florence hurricane meteorology science storm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/9/yearly-tropical-hype-drama-and-confusion Sun, 09 Sep 2018 00:10:57 GMT
Sidewalk astronomy https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/8/sidewalk-astronomy      Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Sidewalk astronomy is alive and well!

For the past 2 months of our summer season, I have been on a mission to educate the adult and especially the young adult population on astronomy and the night sky!  The idea came to me by reading and learning about the legendary John Dobson who had invented the "dobsonian" telescope design and became famous for sidewalk astronomy in San Francisco.

In addition, being active in several local astronomy clubs and attending public outreach star parties and participating in joining other sidewalk astronomers, I had decided to go solo and set up my one-man-band (telescope) and share my knowledge of the cosmos with the public.  The location I chose, The Bridge at Pawtuxet Village in Pawtuxet, Rhode Island, I became acquainted with by two other astronomy colleagues.  

The Bridge at Pawtuxet Village is a wonderful and ideal spot to set up my telescope because the sky is open to the east and west.  Additionally, it is a very public location on Main Street that brings lots of tourists in the summertime.  It is also very nice in that The Bridge overlooks the water and there are restaurants galore!  I make it a goal to setup at Pawtuxet Village at least twice a week depending on the weather gods.  

It has truly been a wonderful experience in that I have met so many interested people of all ages who were interested and motivated in seeing the spectacular celestial objects I had in my eyepiece as well as learning more about the night sky, astronomy and even wanted to learn more about my astronomical setup.  I even encountered a couple of UFO buffs!

It was encouraging to me that most people were friendly and willing to take a few minutes of there time to see something that they may have never seen before.  Since I am a moon and planets guy and the location is light polluted, my celestial targets have been the moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.  I really wanted to get the kids interested in the night sky, astronomy, my telesccope and, well, just to LOOK UP!  Some people just looked briefly and said thank you while others stayed longer, asked questions, had length conversations and maybe took an extra peek or two through the eyepiece.

Many people were truly blown away of what they saw and some said - "You made my night" and that "Made my Night" at The Bridge in Pawtuxet Village.  It was amazing, but not totally unexpected, how many people didn't know what those bright stars (planets) were in the evening sky.  Education is Power and when it comes to the sciences like Astronomy, it is more important then ever to educate the public on the night sky, light pollution and nature in general.  With the current age of digital and social-media everything, less and less people are going outside and enjoying nature and looking up!  

It is my mission to continue my sidewalk astronomy as long and as often as I can because one person and one telescope can make a difference in not only our world and society in general but to be able to ignite the spark in one of our new generation kids who may then be influenced to pursue higher education and learn STEM, maybe go on to NASA or even become THE ONE who first walks and leaves humanity's first footsteps on Mars!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography Bridge celestial Cranston Jupiter Mars Moon nightsky Pawtuxet photography ronaldzinconephotography Saturn science solar STEM system telescope The Venus Village https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/8/sidewalk-astronomy Fri, 24 Aug 2018 18:26:16 GMT
Most active part of 2018 Hurricane Season upon us https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/8/most-active-part-of-2018-hurricane-season-upon-us      We are now entering the most active part of the annual hurricane season.  There is usually an uptick in tropical cyclone activity around mid-August and into September with the peak being September 10th.  Another uptick in activity tends to occur in October but none of this is written in stone and it is not an exact science.  Every year as hurricane season approaches, we receive all kinds of forecasts regarding the number of tropical systems and their intensity but remember "all is takes is one storm to ruin your life".

     Once again, as sometimes happens, the seasonal forecast is changed as we get closer to August 1st due to weather events, sea surface tempertures, El Nino or La Nina and other changing patterns around the globe.  Here is the link to the latest information and 2018 Hurricane Season forecast below.  As always, be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.  Be sure to be "hurricane ready" by June 1st of each year.  Be sure to click on the links below for quick access and reference to all severe weather preparedness checklists.  Stay safe and remember -- TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!

 

Latest 2018 Hurricane Season forecast

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Flood Safety Checklist

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) cyclone extreme flood flooding hurricane ronaldzinconephotography severe storm surge tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/8/most-active-part-of-2018-hurricane-season-upon-us Wed, 15 Aug 2018 18:16:30 GMT
2018 Hurricane Season almost upon us https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/7/2018-hurricane-season-almost-upon-us The 2018 Hurricane Season is almost here.  Starting August 1st and ending around November 30, if you have not already prepared yourself by June 1st, it may already be too late.  Tropical storms can spin up real fast as we approach the main part of hurricane season when the SST's start to peak.  But it is not too late if you take action now to prepare yourself and your family and your property for anything mother nature hands you this season.

We all should remember what a destructive and deadly year 2017 was for the Atlantic and Gulf hurricane season including the Carribbean.  Now, this doesn't mean that this year will be a repeat but the latest weather predictions for this year are indicating an up tick in frequency and intensity.  Here are the links to the latest 2018 tropical season forecast prediction:

http://earthsky.org/earth/noaa-predicts-near-normal-2018-atlantic-hurricane-season

https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/2018-05-31-hurricane-season-forecast-colorado-state-university-late-may

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2018-atlantic-hurricane-outlook-how-active-will-the-season-be-following-alberto/70005036

Remember folks, it only takes one storm to ruin your life so always be sure to prepare for every hurricane season no later than June 1st.  Below are some severe weather prepardness checklists that you can reference any time of the year so be sure to keep them handy and use them!  It could save your life!!

https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240231_WinterStorms.pdf

https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/5f/b7/6c29a6c2400c9690a653808f33a7/family-home-preparedness-kit-checklist.pdf

https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/83/e1/edc1a0844428ba04016be989e1e3/be-in-the-know-about-lightning.pdf

https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/79/30/66ec19c04deeb6331526b413ff04/lightning-safety-tips.pdf

https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340128_Flood.pdf

https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340177_Tornado.pdf

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409003506195-52740fd2983079a211d041f7aea6b85d/how_to_prepare_tornado_033014_508.pdf

https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/91/03/305ed9474f5d84ada994289e6b9f/hurricane-preparedness-checklist.pdf

 

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) checklist emergency flood hurricane lightning prepardness ronaldzinconephotography season severe storm thunderstorm tornado tropical tropics weather winter https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/7/2018-hurricane-season-almost-upon-us Sat, 28 Jul 2018 01:33:29 GMT
My trek to capture the summer Milky Way at Arcadia https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/7/my-trek-to-capture-the-summer-milky-way-at-arcadia Downeast Maine is home to the most beautiful National Park in the Northeast -- Arcadia National Park.  Located on Mount Desert Island, it encompasses most of Mount Desert Island, and several smaller islands, with a total of 47,452 acres of land. East of the Mississippi River, Acadia NP was the first National Park to have been established. Originally the park was named Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916.

Arcadia is also one of the darkest sky sites in the northeast!  I had visited the area years ago and I was itching to go back and capture what I call "diamonds on velvet" starscapes and especially the summer Milky Way.  My first destination was Bass Harbor Light which is located in the southwest portion of Mount Desert Island and marks the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay.  I had visited this spot years ago and it turned out to be my favorite spot because it was ideal for my astrophotography.

Finding a nice overlook area, I was able to view and capture images of the summer Milky Way, which was like milky thick clouds stretching across the sky and the celestial skyscape.  The spectacular southern portion of the milky way's sagittarius region and the teapot was very prominent over the Atlantic Ocean low in the southern sky.  The inky-black skies with protruding "diamonds on velvet" stars, constellations and planets were truly a sight to remember.  Mars was glowing at -2.5 mag and casting a golden glitter path across the water.  The sounds of the wildlife, the waves and the buoy bell as well as the historic Bass Harbor's red light turning and flashing once every four seconds made for a special moment where earth and sky connected and one of my most memorable astronomical and astrophotography experiences.

The automatic revolving and flashing of the Bass Harbor lighthouse "red light" allowed for painting of the landscape in "night vision astronomy red" and further enhanced my earth and sky images. The history of Bass Harbor Head Light dates to 1855, when it was determined that there was sufficient reason for a lighthouse at the mouth of Bass Harbor. In 1885, the U.S. Congress appropriated $5,000 for construction of the lighthouse. In 1876, construction was completed on a fog bell and tower, since removed. A much larger 4,000-pound (1800 kg) bell was placed inside the tower in 1898. The house of the lightkeeper remains in its original configuration with the exception of a 10-foot addition that was added in 1900. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Bass Harbor Head Light Station on January 21, 1988, reference number 87002273.

In 1902, an oil storage house constructed of brick was built 205 feet northwest of the lighthouse.  Bass Harbor's fifth order Fresnel lens was replaced in 1902 with a larger fourth order. This lens was manufactured by the French company Henrey-Lepaute. This lens remains in service today.

I was also fortunate to meet a nice family from Fairfield, CT who had come down to my overlook spot at Bass Harbor Light.  After explaining to them my agenda for the night in which I would be camped out the entire night pursuing night-sky captures, they were intrigued and decided to hang out with me for an hour or two.  They had their teenage kids with them and I was more then happy to answer their questions and educate them on astronomy.  

My second night's destination was Otter Point Cliffs located at the southeastern region of Mount Desert Island.  After walking down several layers of stone steps, I found another nice overlook area perfect for my gear and camp out.  Once again, the view towards and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at this altitude was amazing and I was able to connect the earth and sky with my eyes and through my astroimaging.  Here is some information about Otter Point Cliffs:

Otter Cliff, in Arcadia National Park, Maine, is one of the most spectacular sights along the North Atlantic Seaboard. On the east side of the Park Loop Road, about .7 miles past Thunder Hole, is the famous 110 foot high Otter Cliff - one of the highest Atlantic coastal headlands north of Rio de Janeiro. Just before Otter Cliff is a beautiful spot called Monument Cove. Right after this, the road begins to curve to the left. To the right is a small parking area with portable rest facilities. On the other side of the street is a path that leads to the cliff.

I plan on making this trek to Arcadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine, yearly, and feel free to check in on my website at Ronald Zincone Photography to see my spectacular celestial images from Arcadia National Park!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) arcadia art astronomical astronomy astrophotography bass celestial cliffs desert harbor island light lighthouse maine milky mount national nightsky otter park point ronaldzinconephotography science summer way https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/7/my-trek-to-capture-the-summer-milky-way-at-arcadia Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:55:22 GMT
Astronomical public outreach at the Pawtuxet Valley Bridge https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/7/astronomical-public-outreach-at-the-pawtucket-valley-bridge Hello friends!

Teaching adults and, especially kids, the night-sky is so important today with the new generation being stuck in front of their electronic devices either gaming or pursuing social media.  We need to get our new generations off their butts, out of their bubbles and back into nature and the outdoors!  We especially have the responsibility as educators and mentors to teach our kids and the general public our night skies and astronomy!

Recently, I started setting up my 6-inch ES AR152 refractor telescope at a great location that brings both cool river breezes in the summer, lots of tourists and local residents and shops. This location is the Pawtuxet Valley Bridge in Pawtuxet, Cranston/Warwick, Rhode Island.  On clear night opportunities, I head out and set up my gear around 8 PM and immediately get stares and wow's from people.  My goal is to not only educate about the night sky and astronomy but also how to use a telescope and other astronomical gear.  

So far, the experience has been a great one!  This is not new to me since I am a member of Skyscrapers Inc., our historic astronomical club in Rhode Island.  I have done outreach before but never as an one-man band, so to speak.  I have had the pleasure to do the following:

Show the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars through my telescope.

Explain and demonstrate how my telescope works and is used.  

Answer general questions on the night sky and how to get started in backyard astronomy.

Give out information re: local astronomical clubs, events and information about myself.

     The people, for the most part, have been very friendly, cooperative and amazed to what I am doing and what they are observing in my telescope!  Seeing their smiles, enthusiasm and excitement, especially from the young ones, is what's most rewarding!  The late great John Dobson was legendary for this kind of "sidewalk astronomy" and I would hope to see more amateur astronomers donate their time in such an endeavor.

To learn more about the Pawtuxet Village go to:

Pawtuxet Village Association

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astronomical astronomy aurora borealis bridge celestial comets cosmos fine lights meteors moon night northern outreach pawtuxet planets public refractor ronaldzinconephotography science sky solar stars sun system telescope the valley village https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/7/astronomical-public-outreach-at-the-pawtucket-valley-bridge Sun, 01 Jul 2018 19:36:26 GMT
A Lunar Observer's tool kit https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/6/a-lunar-observers-tool-kit For all you "luna fanatics", here is the some information and vital links that would be very helpful during your lunar observations and imaging!

The Modern Moon by Charles A. Wood is a book rich with insight and detail.  Mr. Wood combines a deep understanding of lunar geology with a backyard astronomer's enthusiasm and makes for a great guide to our closest neighbor!

Sky & Telescope's Field Map of the Moon is a large-format, laminated chart that features the skilled cartography of the late Antonin Rukl.  One of the map's unique aspects is that each 30-by-30 centimetre (12-by-12-inch) quadrant can be viewed individually, or the map can be opened to show any two adjacent panels or all four at once.

21st Century Atlas of the Moon by Charles A. Wood and Maurice J.S. Collins, makes use of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images to present the entire earth-facing disc of the moon in 28 individual charts.  The spiral binding enhances the book's utility at the telescope as well.

LROC QuickMap (http://quickmap.lroc.asu.edu/ is a great online resource that presents LRO image data as a zoomable map with great detail!  At its highest setting, QuickMap has enough resolution to show hardware left behind by the Apollo astronauts!  You can also select from several different data sets and overlays to enhance your understanding of lunar geology.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astronomical astronomy celestial geology lunar moon night ronaldzinconephotography science sky solar system https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/6/a-lunar-observers-tool-kit Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:38:25 GMT
Does sensor size still make a difference? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/6/does-sensor-size-still-make-a-difference      An article on DPReview published on May 28, 2018 is worth a read.  Here's the link:

     Does Sensor Size Make A Difference?

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/6/does-sensor-size-still-make-a-difference Fri, 01 Jun 2018 18:42:33 GMT
How active will the 2018 Hurricane Season be after Alberto? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/how-active-will-the-2018-hurricane-season-be-after-alberto Here is an article posted on the accuweather site which gives some head's up information about the upcoming 2018 Hurricane season which starts June 1st:  Click on the link below

2018 Hurricane Season outlook

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) alberto hurricane meteorology ronaldzinconephotography season storm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/how-active-will-the-2018-hurricane-season-be-after-alberto Sat, 26 May 2018 22:16:53 GMT
Severe Weather Prepardness and Safety! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/severe-weather-prepardness-and-safety      With the recent severe weather outbreak in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvannia, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, it is extremely important that you stay tuned to NOAA emergency weather warnings pertaining to severe thunderstorms that can produce and create severe lightning, hail, straight-line winds, macrobursts (microbursts), Derecho events and tornadoes.  April thru June is the main season for severe weather in Tornado Alley and for areas to the east, such as the east coast, May thru early September.  

     The recent event was especially damaging in Connecticut with the National Weather Service now confirming that four (4) separate tornadoes and one (1) macroburst hit the State.  In all my years of severe weather tracking and recording, this seems unusual and maybe another indicator of climate change.  The National Weather Service also confirmed that four (4) tornadoes hit New York State and one (1) tornado hit Pennsylvania from this severe event.

Here are some links:

http://www.wwlp.com/weather/weather-news/2-tornadoes-confirmed-in-connecticut-4-in-new-york/1184431658

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-macroburst-storm-aftermath-20180516-story.html

Family/Home Severe Weather Prepardness Checklist Kit

Lightning Safety

More Lightning Safety Tips

Flooding Safety Tips by American Red Cross

Tornado Safety Tips by American Red Cross

Tornado Prepardness Checklist by FEMA

Hurricane Prepardness Checklist from Accuweather

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) accuweather checklist damage derecho hail lightning macroburst mesocyclone meteorology ronaldzinconephotography safety severe storm thunderstorm tips tornado weather wind https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/severe-weather-prepardness-and-safety Fri, 18 May 2018 15:37:15 GMT
This is my season! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/this-is-my-season      This is my season!  Once our variable spring weather begins to improve and warm up, the atmosphere starts to perk.  As for weather here in New England, the daily journey towards the summer solstice means warmer temps, cold fronts and instability.  Especially as we head into June, July and August, our chances for severe weather increases mainly in the form of thunderstorms.  I am planning on doing more "chasing" and "storm spotting" this season and hopefully capture more lightning events, using my Lightning Trigger, then I have in the last couple of years.  I purchased and downloaded a new radar app for severe weather called RadarLoop which was recommended by legendary storm chaser and imager Jim Reed.  Once we get into August and September, my focus (no pun intended) will shift towards tropical weather.  

     May through October is also the season for observing and imaging the night sky.  This year we have three solar system planets coming into opposition with earth.  Jupiter, currently, and by June, Saturn.  The red planet, Mars, will be our main event as it comes almost as close to earth as it did in 2003 giving us spectacular views of the planet's surface details.  This opposition is set to occur at the end of July 2018.  Don't miss it!  Also in the cosmos is the fantastic summer Milky Way arcing across the sky and the grand summer Triangle consisting of the bright stars Altair, Deneb and Vega.  And don't forget to get to a dark-sky site to see all of these cosmic wonders including satellite flybys, meteors, space stations, zodicial light, auroras and much more!  With the more comfortable, warmer temperatures, I begin my seasonal telescope observations and records and my astrophotography.  This year I have a full schedule and plan to attend 2 star parties, astrophotography in Arcadia National Park, Maine, and my annual weather conference.

     Of course, in between all of this will be my pursuit of outdoor nature photography with landscape subjects and any other "On the Edge" atmospheric events.  I am also planning on creating a photographic portfolio of Cape Cod's best sunset locations with a series of 19 outdoor, hands-on workshops at different locations on the Cape.  This is open to all my students and you can learn more about these spectacular workshops by going to my WORKSHOPS page, signing up for my email or contacting me directly by email.  

     Overall, it should be a fun-filled and exciting season for me and my obsessions!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) adult art astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography atmospheric cape celestial class cod cosmos edge education england imaging learning lessons lifelong lightning mars new night on opposition photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science session severe sky southern storm sunset sunsets teach teaching the thunderstorm trigger weather workshop https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/this-is-my-season Mon, 14 May 2018 15:23:19 GMT
Fundamentals Remain the Same https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/fundamentals-remain-the-same      I just read an interesting editorial article from Matt Bennett who is the editor of Digital Photographer magazine.  It was there 200th issue!  Here is what he said:

     "Wow -- Digital Photographer has reached its 200th issue!  I started on the magazine while issue 121 was in progress, and I can distinctly recall wondering what the photography industry, and of course the magazine itself, might look like when issue 200 rolled around.

     Back then that milestone seemed a long way off but time passes quickly and, to be honest, things aren't all that different, in many respects.  Cameras have naturally improved, with greater dynamic range and more megapixels, and more photographers are now stepping beyond stills and exploring video.  But the fundamentals remain the same and the things that we all love about photography endure, no matter what technological innovations appear on the scene.  Photography itself is timeless...At the end of the day, photography is photography and always will be."

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm adult art artist artistic canon digital education film learning lifelong photo photographic photography ronaldzinconephotography science teach teacher https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/5/fundamentals-remain-the-same Mon, 07 May 2018 15:52:07 GMT
Meyer-Optik Goerlitz unveils 'world’s fastest' 75mm F0.95 Nocturnus lens https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/4/meyer-optik-goerlitz-unveils-world-s-fastest-75mm-f0-95-nocturnus-lens From an DPReview news update article:

German lens manufacturer Meyer-Optik Goerlitz is expanding its range of F0.95 aperture lenses with the release of the Nocturnus 75mm. The lens will have the world’s widest aperture for the focal length, according to the company, and will offer sharp detail even when used wide open.

Like the Nocturnus 50mm F0.95 lll, this full-frame lens will be available in mounts for Leica M, Sony E and Fujifilm’s X series cameras, and will feature a 15-bladed iris that Meyer says will help to create bokeh ideal for portrait work. The aperture will be click-less to allow silent operation for filmmakers, and will close steplessly to F16.

The hand-made lens uses only five elements in five groups, and will have a closest focusing distance of 0.9m/35.4in. It will take a 82mm filter, will weigh about 750g/26.4oz and can be ordered in a black or a silver finish.

Meyer says it expects the lens to be delivered in December this year at a price of €4,000 (~$4,900 USD), but those ordering before 20th May will be able to get it for €1,900 (~$2,300 USD). For more information, visit the Meyer-Optik Goerlitz website at:  Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz

Nocturnus 0.95/75 mm becomes world’s fastest 75mm lens with 15 aperture blades

Available for Leica M, Sony and Fuji X

Again Meyer optic reaches for the next big step. But this time it’s a big one: the creation of the fastest 75mm lens worldwide causes a stir

  • sharpness with aperture of 0.95 - 16
  • the fastest 75 mm lens of the world
  • with 15 aperture blades
  • a Bokeh ideal for portrait photography in difficult light conditions
  • a lens that creates a three-dimensional appearance separating the subject from the background in a characteristic manner
  • compatible with Leica M, Sony E and Fuji X
  • clickless aperture ring
  • Made in Germany
  • Highest requirements for the glasses used

Expected launch: May 2018

Special Early Bird Price until 20.05.2018: 1899 €, expected MSRP €3499 
Available camera mounts: Leica M, Sony E and Fuji X

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 75mm art dpreview fine gear goerlitz kit lens meyer nocturnus optical optics optik photo photographer photography ronaldzinconephotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/4/meyer-optik-goerlitz-unveils-world-s-fastest-75mm-f0-95-nocturnus-lens Fri, 27 Apr 2018 15:11:46 GMT
NEAF 2018 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/4/neaf-2018 I will be attending my 5th NEAF (Northeast Astronomy Forum) the world's greatest and largest astronomy and space exposition this weekend in Suffern, New York.  To say I am excited is an understatement!  I still remember the first time I attended NEAF.  I felt like a kid in an astro toy store and totally "geeked" out!

NEAF is hosted and organized by the Rockland Astronomy Club founded in 1958.  RAC is one of the East Coast's premiere astronomy clubs and non-profit space, science, and astronomy education organizations.  The Club hosts outstanding events, lectures, workshops, star parties, planetarium shows, children's programs, and much more.

The Northeast Astronomy Forum was started in 1991.  Every April, for two jam packed days, nearly 4,000 enthusiasts will descend onto the gear buyer's paradise with nearly 90,000 square feet of astronomy equipment and accessories to explore, plus amazing world class speakers, workshops, Pro/Am classes, daily solar viewing and much more.  Approximately 120 vendors and exhibitors set up yearly at this exposition.

I have met so many legendary amateur astronomy and astro imagers whom I only read about such as Al Nager "Uncle Al" of Televue Optics, Robert Gendler (astroimager), Jerry Lodriguss (astroimager), Wally Pacholka (astroimager), Jason Ware (astroimager), Christopher Go (astroimager) and many more!  

If you are into space, space travel, astronomy, astrophotography and science -- NEAF is one for your "bucket list"!

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial club convention cosmos forum neaf night northeast rockland science sky space https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/4/neaf-2018 Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:23:01 GMT
2018 Hurricane Season forecast prediction https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/4/2018-hurricane-season-forecast-prediction 2018 Hurricane Season expected to be more active than usual, CSU
forecasters say.  Here is the link to the video:

2018 Hurricane Season Forecast from CSU

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) astro extreme forecast hurricane meteorology ronaldzinconephotography season severe sky storm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/4/2018-hurricane-season-forecast-prediction Fri, 06 Apr 2018 14:16:59 GMT
Tips and techniques on photographing and capturing lightning https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/tips-and-techniques-on-photographing-and-capturing-lightning I love to photograph and thereby capture lightning but this can be a dangerous hobby and/or profession as an extreme weather photographer.  A lightning storm is unpredictable and therefore dangerous so you must be fully prepared and educated about this wild subject.

Capturing lightning or any other kind of extreme weather is also challenging and rewarding!

Here below are some tips and techniques:

1) Safety first!  Find a good cover -- staying inside a building, a car or any other object that can protect you from a direct impact is the best.  DO NOT photograph from an OPEN AREA especially if there is water, tall trees or structures nearby.  Stand at least 50 feet away from water and tall trees/buildings.

2)  Prepare your equipment -- a DSLR with a tripod and remote shutter release is a must!  Long shutter speeds between 3 and 30 seconds are mainly used if you are shooting without a lightning trigger.  A tripod is a must to prevent shake at these long shutter speeds otherwise you will get blurry images.  Long exposures will work better for night-time lightning since the sky is already dark.  Long exposures used for daytime lightning will possibly over expose your images and so a multi-stop neutral density filter may be used or a lighting trigger.  Wide-angle to normal prime lenses work best and so do wide-angle to mid-telephoto zooms.  This allows the photographer to compose for a wide area of the sky.  Set your aperture to around f5.6 and check your exposure.  Made adjustments as necessary.  Be sure to establish an earth and sky connection with a landscape.

3)  Use instant radar apps on your cell phone or tablet to watch potential thunderstorms develop.  Thunderstorms that reach "severe" levels are the best to chase and photograph since they will have the more photogenic and also more lethal "cloud-to-ground" lightning.  "Super Cell" thunderstorms are the deadliest and are the ones that most produce tornadoes.  Use the radar apps to see forecasts, intensity of the storm, direction so that you can plan to either wait for the storm to approach your area or you may need to "chase" the storm. 

4)  Be observant of hail, straight-line winds, micro bursts and the possibility of tornadoes!  Today's apps give you all kinds of data.

5)  Use a special camera cover or make one yourself to keep your camera as dry as possible from the rain.  A large zip lock bag may work.  You would need to cut a hole for the front lens.

6)  Set your camera to manual focus and focus to "infinity".  Do a test shot to look for image sharpness and exposure.  You would need to manually focus your camera.  Night-time lightning makes this much tougher so be sure to manually focus using the LCD screen while there is still some light in the landscape.

7)  Set ISO to your lowest value - usually 100 for the best resolution, less digital noise and more colors.

8)  Set your camera to full manual mode so that you will have total creative control of aperture and shutter.  Where you set your aperture and shutter will depend on, first, what time of the day you are capturing lightning -- day or night?  For daytime lightning, a specialized "lighting trigger" is the best!

9)  A standard rule is to compose for 60-80% of the sky and 20-40% of the foreground.

10)  Be patient and take many shots if you are not using a "lightning trigger" and above all, SAFETY FIRST!!!

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astrophotography burst cell damage extreme fine hail lightning meteorology micro photographer photography ronaldzinconephotography science severe sky storm straight-line super thunder thunderstorm tornado trigger weather wind https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/tips-and-techniques-on-photographing-and-capturing-lightning Fri, 30 Mar 2018 15:10:04 GMT
Field Test of the Vixen HR Eyepieces https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/field-test-of-the-vixen-hr-eyepieces Vixen came out with a new line of what they call "high resolution" HR eyepieces for lunar and planetary visual observations and imaging.  Bill Paolini, author of the popular book "Choosing and Using Astronomical Eyepieces", part of the Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series, reviewed these eyepieces in October 2016.  Paolini has been actively involved in optics and amateur astronomy for 45 years!  Here is a summary of what his review had to say:

"The new Vixen HR line of eyepieces certainly turned out some surprising performances during my tests.  Given the very high magnifications they will produce in most telescopes, observers need to be aware that precision optics, precise collimation, and above all excellent seeing and transparency are an absolute necessity for them to perform.  Lunar observing however, is a bit of an exception as this target is close enough for rich details, and its surface is so bright and highly contrasted that one can easily get away with lesser seeing and still be treated to impressive results.

Overall, after owning and using more than 300 different eyepieces and conducting numerous reviews, I have not been as thrilled with a planetary eyepiece since my first encounters with the Pentax XO.  After these field tests, I now consider the Vixen HRs as a new best-in-class minimum glass planetary eyepiece.  While their very short focal lengths and smaller 42 degree apparent field of view do not make them appropriate for general observing, they are an excellent specialty eyepiece for lunar, planetary, and extremely tight double star observing.  Cruising the lunar surface with the 1.6mm HR, and exploring the planets with the 2.0mm and 2.4mm HRs was an experience I will long remember as they made me feel more like I was there rather than viewing from afar.

It has been a long time since anyone has produced a precision minimum glass premium planetary eyepiece, and with the Vixen HR lineup they have in my opinion definitely created serious contenders for some of the best specialty planetary eyepieces ever produced.  Their high precision build, over-the-top attention to light suppression and scatter and contrast, comfortable eye relief, very positive focus snap, and uncompromising views make it, in my humble opinion, an optical and engineering work of art.  With a little luck, perhaps one day we will see Vixen offering these precision gems in some longer focal lengths as well.  One can only hope."

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) astro astronomical astronomy celestial engineering eyepiece glass high hr light lunar moon optic optics planetary planets resolution ronaldzinconephotography science specialty vixen https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/field-test-of-the-vixen-hr-eyepieces Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:49:09 GMT
10 tips on pursuing astronomy, photography and extreme weather! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/10-tips-on-pursuing-astronomy-photography-and-extreme-weather #1  Start off at the shallow end of the pool.  Don't overwhelm yourself!  Learn by the "baby steps" approach and then take the time to master each section.  There is a lot of art and science, equipment, skills to learn and safety rules to learn.

#2  When pursuing the capture of "lightning" in severe weather, be sure to follow all "lightning safety" rules by referencing and reading these rules before you chase and capture.  You MUST respect the forces of mother nature!

#3  Be also aware and follow safety rules when encountering hail, wind and heavy rains that accompany severe weather!  If out chasing and capturing, your car will provide you with some safety but there are limitations!

#4  Find the darkest sky site away from light pollution when pursuing and capturing your astrophotography.  Dark skies are usually found close to the ocean/coastal areas or far inland away from major population areas!  The darker the skies, the longer you can expose your images and the more detail you can capture!

#5  Be sure to pack a "kit" and have with you the following items:  NOAA weather radio, batteries, emergency glow sticks, extra memory card, lenspen, optical cleaning cloth, Zeiss wipes, rocket blower, "lightning trigger" if you are capturing lightning, sturdy tripod, remote shutter release, cell phone, cell phone or computer for radar images, proper clothing, snacks, water, ID card, etc.

#6  Be prepared each year by June 1st (Hurricane Season) to have a "family emergency disaster kit", an escape route to your nearest shelter, home owners insurance and flood insurance policies, non-perishable food, plywood, generator, transfer switch, chain saw.

#7  Be sure that all your photographic lenses are covered with UV/Haze "protection" filters, each have lens hoods and a lens cap.  Be sure to clean all your front and rear optics of your camera lenses before each photoshoot.

#8  For those of you beginning "astrophotography", start out with basic "camera-on-tripod" night-sky photography and use the Moon as your first astro imaging target.

#9  DO NOT drive across flooded roads!!!  TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN

#10  Starting each June 1st thru November 30th, be sure to track tropical systems and pay close attention to any "watches" or "warnings" by the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center.  There are lots of digital apps and software available for free and many weather sites such as "accuweather" and "The Weather Channel" have tracking software.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm accuweather art astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography canon celestial center channel chase dslr extreme fine flood hail hurricane lightning national night-sky photo photographic photography rain ronaldzinconephotography science season service severe skywarn spotter storm the thunderstorm track tropical tropics warnings watches weather wind https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/10-tips-on-pursuing-astronomy-photography-and-extreme-weather Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:22:05 GMT
Humans versus Nature https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/humans-versus-nature Some people just don't learn when it comes to nature's fury!  How many times are we going to see on the news people who continue to not heed the warnings of severe weather?  Inland flooding!  People continue to believe that their cars can turn into boats as they are determined to drive across a flooded road.  The result:  loss of life or the individual having to be rescued.  Here is a link to help educate on in-land flooding:

TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN

 

What percentage of our U.S. population still does not own an official NOAA weather radio?  This is the most essential item that "every" individual should purchase and have in their home no matter where they live.  Sure, we now receive emergency weather messages on our cell phones but cell phones don't always maintain strong signals and, without power, cannot be recharged.  Weather radios work on batteries and as long as you have a supply of batteries stocked, your good.  Here is the link to the SkyWarn Store where you can find numerous emergency prepardness items as well as official NOAA weather radios:

SKYWARN STORE

 

How about generators?  Another no-brainer.  Every person living in the U.S. should own an emergency generator for power outages.  It is one of the best investments you can make and you should also consider installing a "transfer switch" when you buy your generator.  Transfer switches are installed in your basement next to your main electrical panel and make it really easy and much safer to turn on power to your main appliances.  Here is a link to learning and purchasing a generator:

GENERATOR BUYERS GUIDE

 

What percentage of our U.S. population don't have easy-reference emergency prepardness checklists available at home or business.  Here are some links to these checklists:

WINTER STORMS

FAMILY & HOME PREPARDNESS KIT CHECKLIST

BE IN THE KNOW ABOUT LIGHTNING

LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

FLOODING PREPARDNESS CHECKLIST

TORNADO SAFETY CHECKLIST

TORNADO PREPARDNESS CHECKLIST

HURRICANE PREPARDNESS CHECKLIST

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) blizzard coastal cyclone disaster emergency extreme flood flooding generator hurricane kit ligntning meteorology noaa photo photographer photography radio ronaldzinconephotography severe storm thunderstorm tornado warning watch weather winter https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/humans-versus-nature Mon, 12 Mar 2018 19:08:34 GMT
Extreme Weather Emergency Prepardness Checklists https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/extreme-weather-emergency-prepardness-checklists  

Hello friends:
With all the stormy weather currently occurring here in New England and the fact that we are rapidly approaching severe weather season and also the 2018 Hurricane Season starting June 1st, I have inserted PDF links below to valuable emergency preparedness checklists that you can download, print and keep as a handy reference in storm emergencies! Hope you like these and please stay safe!  Ronald


Winter Storm Checklist

Family & Home Preparedness Kit Checklist

Be In The Know About Lightning

Lightning Safety Tips

Flood Safety Checklist

Tornado Safety Checklist

How To Prepare For A Tornado

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) blizzard damage disaster emergency extreme flood flooding funnel hail hurricane kit lightning prepare ronaldzinconephotography safety storm thunderstorm tornado tropic tropical tropics twister weather wind winter https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/extreme-weather-emergency-prepardness-checklists Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:57:46 GMT
Hurricane Prepardness Checklist https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/hurricane-prepardness-checklist Hello friends!

The 2018 Hurricane Season, believe it or not, is only 3 months away and therefore it is important that you prepare now.  We all know what a catastrophic season 2017 was for Texas, Florida and the Carribbean islands.  Once again, severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, in-land flooding from heavy rainfall, hail, lightning and wind damage is not to be taken lightly.  We all witnessed and observed the unbelievable property damage and loss of life from last season's tropical storms.

Remember, too, that we don't have to have a tornado or hurricane to cause death and destruction!  Powerful Noreaster's like the recent "Bomb Cyclone" of March 2-3, 2018 along the east coast of the US is a prime example of what even a power coastal storm can do to property and loss of life.  I believe very strongly and highly recommend that every person living in the United States has or obtains a NOAA Weather Radio.  Sure, we are now able to receive emergency weather updates through our cell phones, but cell phones can lose the signal and cell phones need to be constantly recharged.  What if you lose power?

An NOAA weather radio will give you 24-hour weather updates and emergency information.  All you need to do is be sure you have a fresh supply of batteries for it.  Next, a "generator" and even better, a generator hooked into a "transfer switch" -- should be on every owner's top priority list.  Especially, if they live in rural areas and in winter regions.  This is also mandatory for anyone living in tornado alley and along the coastal hurricane zones of the gulf and atlantic coastlines.

Below is a great Hurricane Prepardness Checklist from Accuweather.  Please print this out or click on the HURRICANE PREPARDNESS CHECKLIST LINK and keep it posted for quick reference!  Stay safe my friends,

Ronald

HURRICANE PREPARDNESS CHECKLIST

 

BE PREPARED FOR TROPICAL STORMS BY KNOWING THE FACTS

• Ensure you have a way to receive warnings-a NOAA weather radio, the AccuWeather app on your phone or the radio/television. Sign up for alert notifications that are specific to your town or region.

• Know your local hurricane evacuation route(s), as well as shelters outside the evacuation zone.

• Make sure your vehicles are in good working condition and able to make the potentially several hundred-mile trip.

• Put together a “go bag” for each member of your family, including pets, that includes clothes, toiletries, medicines and anything else needed to survive comfortably away from home for several days.

• Put together a general emergency preparedness kit. Water (1 gallon per person per day) Battery-powered weather radio with extra batteries Non-perishable food Flashlight First aid kit Cash Whistle to signal for help if trapped in debris

• Know the difference! Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours. Stay tuned into alerts and look over evacuation route. Double-check emergency preparedness kit. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. If in the evacuation zone, it is time to evacuate to a safe shelter outside the evacuation zone with your family and pets. Stay in contact with family and friends using phones or social media to let them know you’re safe.

• Preparing your home before hurricane season starts: Take pictures of your property, inside and out. This will come in handy if/when talking to insurance companies about storm damage. Purchase a generator and make sure it works ahead of time as electricity can be out for weeks after a hurricane. Cut down any trees or branches that could fall or be blown into the house. Store bottled water in case water becomes polluted or unavailable.

• Before evacuating: Clear out drains and gutters to keep them from flooding when it rains heavily. Bring inside any outdoor objects that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds. Unplug electronic devices and turn off utilities as directed to do so by authorities before evacuating. Large pets or livestock that cannot be taken with you when evacuating should be evacuated well ahead of time, so it’s important to have a plan in place for this. Board up all windows to prevent broken glass. 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) accuweather alerts class emergency evacuation extreme flood flooding generator hail hurricane hurricanes instruction instructor lessons meteorology nhc noaa prepardness prepare radio ronaldzinconephotography season session severe storm storms surge switch teach tearcher tornado transfer tropical tropics weather wind https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/hurricane-prepardness-checklist Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:36:48 GMT
Severe weather season is upon us! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/severe-weather-season-is-upon-us Ok folks, we are now heading into spring and what is our severe weather season.  This means that severe weather such as severe thunderstorms, hail, straight-line winds, micro-bursts, and, unfortunately, tornadoes will be on the increase.  The main months of activity are April, May and June.  

The main regions under threat are the mid-west and southern states.  The threat of severe weather is especially high over the region known as "tornado alley" which includes:  Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, and Minnesota.  Here is a link to learn more about "tornado alley":  Tornado Alley facts

Here are some Youtube links to tornado alley video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpms8khX5mE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl_CM6wlry0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G3r6o2eTSw

A study of 1921–1995 tornadoes concluded almost one-fourth of all significant tornadoes occur in this area.  No state is entirely free of tornadoes; however, they occur more frequently in the Central United States, between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. Texas reports the most tornadoes of any state due to its large size, in addition to its proximity to Tornado Alley. Kansas and Oklahoma ranked first and second respectively in the number of tornadoes per area, per data collected through 2007, however in 2013 statistics from the National Climatic Data Center show Florida ranked first. Although Florida reports a high number and density of tornado occurrences, tornadoes there rarely reach the strength of those that sometimes occur in the southern plains. Regionally, the frequency of tornadoes in the United States is closely tied with the progression of the warm season when warm and cold air masses often clash.

In Tornado Alley, warm, humid air from the equator meets cool, dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountains. This creates an ideal environment for tornadoes to form within developed thunderstorms and super cells.

Here is a link to reference for tornado safety:

Tornado safety tips

So if you live in one of the high-risk states of severe weather or any state in the USA, please refer to this information and these links to help better inform yourself.  Remember that it is not just tornadoes that are most threatening, in-land flooding from heavy rains, hail damage, wind damage from straight-line winds and micro-bursts, lightning strikes, etc...are all threatening cause damage to property and loss to life.  

Stay tuned to an future Blog as we approach the 2018 Hurricane Season starting on June 1st.

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) alley art atmosphere atmospheric burst cell damage england extreme flooding funnel hail heavy instruction instructor kingston lessons lightning meteorlogy meteorologist micro new photo photograph photographer photography rain richmond ronaldzinconephotography science session severe southern straight-line super supercell supercells teacher teaching thunderstorm thunderstorms tornadic tornado tornadoes traveling weather wind winds https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/3/severe-weather-season-is-upon-us Fri, 02 Mar 2018 14:21:14 GMT
Cape Cod Sunset photo workshops for 2018 ronaldzinconephotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/cape-cod-sunset-photo-workshops-for-2018-ronaldzinconephotography Hello friends, students and fellow photographers:
I have added this link so that you can go online to learn more about some of the destinations we will be travelling to and conducting our hands-on workshops! Photos are included.
http://capecodonline.com/cape-cod-top-10-sunset-spots/

We will be learning the basics of the art and science of 35mm photography and how to use our 35mm digital camera as a tool to create and capture our artwork. We will learn about "seeing" and "capturing" the best light, applying the 3 rules of good composition, which lens(es) to use and why, why and how to use a tripod and remote shutter release, when to choose aperture or shutter priority, white balance, ISO, photographic accessories, and so much more! All your questions will be answered with my goal, as your teacher, to boost your artistic and technical skills and gain more confidence in the field. We will specifically learn how to capture a stunning Cape Cod sunset - which will be our primary goal on these weekly workshops. Along with our photographic goals we will be enjoying some of the most beautiful sunset locations on Cape Cod as well as the scenery, local shops, restaurants and let's not forget -- we are going to have fun, socialize and even make some friendships!

I hope you have had the chance to check out my online portfolio to see my artwork and learn more about me at: Ronald Zincone Photography
Check out my "guestbook" comments and see what other students have said about my photography instruction.
I have already started to receive registrations and each workshop has a limitation of 3 so don't wait and book early! In addition, I am also teaching photography, astronomy and extreme weather courses at various locations throughout southern New England and I also offer private, hands-on lessons indoors at a local Panera Bread or outdoors, on location, in the field. Private sessions are $25/hour. Below is my list of my "Cape Cod Sunsets" weekly workshops:


I am announcing my 2018 spring/summer/fall series of 19 one-day outdoor photography workshops titled “The Best of Cape Cod Sunsets”.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts has some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises on the East Coast and you don't want to miss the opportunity to see and capture them! The Cape is truly one of my favorite places to visit and create art and I am very excited to be offering these hands-on photography workshops!

Below is my list of locations and dates. Times: TBA

Workshop cost of $125 covers my instruction, time, equipment and transportation to and from our destination. We will meet at the commuter park & ride located at 1701 Wilbur Ave, Somerset, MA 02725 and I will provide transportation from that point to our destination. Limited seating of 3 per trip otherwise you would have to register for one of my other weekly workshops or set up a private session with me.

Lunch and/or dinner is not included in the cost but we will have time to eat and sight-see before sunset. Please be sure to bring your photo gear including 35mm DSLR camera, tripod, remote shutter release and your lenses. You also have the option to learn using my equipment. Please be sure to dress for the weather and bring items such as bug spray, sunglasses, sunscreen, money, meds, etc.

These popular workshops book fast and seating is limited so register early! Please indicate which workshop by number, e.g.,(#9) you want to sign up for. You can email me with any questions you have on any of the workshops. There is no better way to learn the art and science of 35mm photography then to actually "do-it" hands-on with your instructor and with a stunning Cape Cod sunset to boot!

To register and pay by PayPal, send payment of $125 to my PayPal address: ronald@ronaldzinconephotography.com
or by mailing a check made out to:
Ronald Zincone Photography
P.O. Box 3063
Kingston, RI 02881

Please send me your email address so that I can confirm your registration and receipt of payment. Payment is due no later then 14 days before workshop date! Once your seat is confirmed, there is no refund unless due to an emergency.

To learn more about me go to:
http://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com

2018 “The Best of Cape Cod Sunsets” workshops:

Workshop #1: May 20 – Gray's Beach, “Bass Hole”, Yarmouth, MA

Workshop #2: May 27 – Mayflower Beach, Dennis, MA

Workshop #3: June 3 – Herring Cove, Provincetown, MA

Workshop #4: June 10 – Duck Harbor, Wellfleet, MA

Workshop #5: June 16 – Skaket Beach, Orleans, MA

Workshop #6: June 24 – Race Point, Provincetown, MA

Workshop #7: July 1 – First Encounter Beach, Eastham, MA

Workshop #8: July 8 – Rock Harbor, Orleans, MA

Workshop #9: July 22 – The Knob, Falmouth, Quissett Harbor, MA

Workshop #10: July 29 – Paine's Creek, Brewster, MA

Workshop #11: August 5 – Chapin Beach, Dennis, MA

Workshop #12: August 26 – Old Silver Beach, Falmouth, MA

Workshop #13: Sept 2 – Sandy Neck Beach Park, Barnstable, MA

Workshop #14: Sept 16 – Mattakeese Wharf, Barnstable, MA

Workshop #15: Sept 23 - Crosby Landing, Brewster, MA

Workshop #16: Sept 30 – Harding's Beach, Chatham, MA

Workshop #17: October 7 – Cook's Brook Beach, Eastham, MA

Workshop #18: October 14 – Nobska lighthouse, Wood's Hole, MA

Workshop #19: October 21 – South Sunken Meadow Beach, Eastham, MA

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm art artist barnstable bass beach brewster camera canon cape chapin cod cove creek dennis digital dslr duck encounter falmouth fieldtrip first gray's harbor herring hold hole island kingston knob massachusetts mattakeese mayflower neck old orleans paine's park photo photographer photography point provincetown quissett race rhode richmond rock ronaldzinconephotography sandy science silver skaket sunset the wellfleet west wharf workshop yarmouth https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/cape-cod-sunset-photo-workshops-for-2018-ronaldzinconephotography Sat, 24 Feb 2018 20:31:51 GMT
10 Tornado Safety Tips to Keep You Safe Before, During and After a Storm https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/10-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:

Before

  • 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.

During

  • 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.

After

  • 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.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/10-tornado-safety-tips-to-keep-you-safe-before-during-and-after-a-storm Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:05:55 GMT
Passion or obsession? Who cares? I love it all! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/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!

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/passion-or-obsession-who-cares-i-love-it-all Fri, 09 Feb 2018 19:46:04 GMT
Our Moon - A great target for observing and lunar imaging! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/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

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/2/our-moon---a-great-target-for-observing-and-lunar-imaging Fri, 02 Feb 2018 15:22:39 GMT
New photography toys on the market https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/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.

 

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/new-photography-toys-on-the-market Sat, 27 Jan 2018 02:20:05 GMT
Are we losing the art and science behind photography with digital? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/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!

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/are-we-losing-the-art-and-science-behind-photography-with-digital Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:05:35 GMT
Teaching Photography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/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 passions....in 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 http://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/teaching-photography Fri, 12 Jan 2018 15:55:37 GMT
Top Ten Tips when pursuing astrophotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/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.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astroimaging astronomer astronomical astronomy astrophotography camera canon celestial cosmos dslr night photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky space https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2018/1/top-ten-tips-when-pursuing-astrophotography Sat, 06 Jan 2018 00:27:35 GMT
The Tornado Hunters https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/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:

http://tornadohunter.com/greg-johnson

 

 

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/the-tornado-hunters Fri, 29 Dec 2017 14:18:14 GMT
A New Year to Look Forward To https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/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! 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astronomical astronomy celestial cosmos extreme imaging photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science space weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-new-year-to-look-forward-to Fri, 22 Dec 2017 15:32:15 GMT
Basic astrophotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/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.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography canon celestial cosmos imaging night-sky photo photography ronaldzinconephotography science https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/basic-astrophotography Sun, 17 Dec 2017 02:55:08 GMT
What I love about astronomy https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/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!

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/12/what-i-love-about-astronomy Fri, 01 Dec 2017 23:27:30 GMT
What can ronaldzinconephotography do for you? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/what-can-ronaldzinconephotography-do-for-you My name is Ronald Zincone DBA ronaldzinconephotography.com

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".

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/what-can-ronaldzinconephotography-do-for-you Sat, 25 Nov 2017 04:00:40 GMT
More tips and techniques..... https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/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".

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) art artist astro astronomical astronomy astrophotography camera canon celestial cosmos dslr lenses night optical optics photo photograph photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/more-tips-and-techniques Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:09:42 GMT
How to become a Skywarn Storm Spotter https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/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
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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) atmosphere hurricane meteorology national ronaldzinconephotography service severe skywarn spotter storm tornado weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/how-to-become-a-skywarn-storm-spotter Sun, 12 Nov 2017 21:39:41 GMT
Astronomy Clubs https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/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?

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) amateur art astro astronomer astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial club cosmos members nature night photo photographic photography ronaldzinconephotography science sky universe https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/11/astronomy-clubs Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:31:35 GMT
Variables in Photography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/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!

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/variables-in-photography Sun, 29 Oct 2017 19:35:17 GMT
Light is Everything! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/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!

 

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/light-is-everything Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:04:25 GMT
Twenty Years of Astrophotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/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

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/twenty-years-of-astrophotography Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:42:06 GMT
Quick tips and techniques in beginning astrophotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/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 

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/10/quick-tips-and-techniques-in-beginning-astrophotography Fri, 06 Oct 2017 19:23:05 GMT
ronaldzinconephotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography has a new look!  Check out his new online portfolio at ronaldzinconephotography.com

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!

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/ronaldzinconephotography Sat, 30 Sep 2017 03:38:13 GMT
2017 Hurricane Season is NOT connected to climate change https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/2017-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.

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) atmosphere extreme harvey hurricane hurricanes irma maria meteorology ronaldzinconephotography severe storm tropical tropics weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/2017-hurricane-season-is-not-connected-to-climate-change Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:54:34 GMT
Top 10 tips for better photography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/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 

     simplify!

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"!

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/top-10-tips-for-better-photography Sat, 16 Sep 2017 01:00:48 GMT
Hurricane Season prepardness https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/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

Weather.com

Accuweather hurricane page

 

 

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/hurricane-season-prepardness Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:17:18 GMT
2017 Hurricane Season https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/2017-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.  

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) damage extreme flood flooding harvey hurricane hurricanes ronaldzinconephotography season storm surge tornadoes tropical tropics weather wind https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/9/2017-hurricane-season Sat, 02 Sep 2017 01:58:25 GMT
Historic images of the major New England Hurricanes https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/4/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!!!!

 

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Technology overkill? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/3/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.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm Canon DSLR SLR art artist arts camera digital photographer photography science visual https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2017/3/technology-overkill Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:26:49 GMT
How to get started in backyard astronomy! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/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.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotographer backyard binoculars celestial cosmos extreme night optics photo photographer photographic photography science sky space weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/how-to-get-started-in-backyard-astronomy Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:47:10 GMT
Being Prepared for the Hurricane Season! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/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!

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) checklist cross disaster education hurricane hurricanes learning photography prepardness readyness red ronaldzinconephotography season storm storms tropical tropics https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/being-prepared-for-the-hurricane-season Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:18:59 GMT
Tips and Techniques on Capturing Lightning! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/tips-and-techniques-on-capturing-lightning To learn more about how I capture spectacular daytime and nighttime lightning read my new Blog post at:

http://www.ronaldzinconephotography.net/blog-post/tips-and-techniques-on-capturing-lightning/

 

 

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/tips-and-techniques-on-capturing-lightning Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:00:13 GMT
Learning and Understanding "The Crop Factor" by Todd Vorenkamp https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/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:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/understanding-crop-factor?BI=4906

 

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(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 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/learning-and-understanding-the-crop-factor-by-todd-vorenkamp Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:24:17 GMT
10 Tips to help you select a proper lens by Ronald Zincone https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/10-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., 58mm....you 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, etc...to 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.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Canon Nikkor camera digital lens lenses optical optics ronaldzinconephotography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/10-tips-to-help-you-select-a-proper-lens-by-ronald-zincone Mon, 03 Aug 2015 13:46:50 GMT
Announcing ronaldzinconephotography's new digital photography lens store! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/announcing-ronaldzinconephotographys-new-digital-photography-lens-store Announcing my new digital photography store at www.ronaldzinconephotography.net At my store, you will be able to search and shop for the best products in digital photography directly from Amazon.com 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 ronaldzinconephotography.com]]> (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Amazon USA amazon amazon.com digital lens lenses photographic photography ronaldzinconephotography.net store https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/8/announcing-ronaldzinconephotographys-new-digital-photography-lens-store Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:51:54 GMT southern New England Photography Meetup group https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/4/southern-new-england-photography-meetup-group  

Be sure to check out Ronald's "southern New England Photography" Meetup Group at:
 
http://www.meetup.com/southern-New-England-Photography-Meetup/
 
 
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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) Canon England Meetup New Photography camera classes digital education educational england group instruction instructor learn learning meetup new photographer photographic photography ronald ronaldzinconephotography southern teacher workshop workshops zincone https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/4/southern-new-england-photography-meetup-group Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:40:19 GMT
Lenses https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/4/lenses I tell my students to invest in their lenses more so then there cameras.  Why?  The kinds of lenses that you buy -- brand, focal length, fast or slow, zooms or primes and optical quality all play a major role in capturing high-resolution imagery.  The 35mm DSLR camera is the camera to own if you are serious about getting creative and building your portfolio.  The DSLR also allows you to build an arsenal of optics - lenses -- your tools in your tool bag so to speak.  When it comes to lens selection, there are many things to weigh up before you decide to spend some of your hard earned money.

Which brand?

You can base your lens choice on the camera brand that you own, such as Canon or Nikon.  Matching the camera brand with the lens brand can be good since the technology is matched.  This may lead to better performance and fewer issues but may be more costly.  Think about other named brands such as Tamron, Tokina, Rokinon and Sigma.  These brands offer good optical performance and will save you quite a few dollars.  Just be sure that the lens you buy indicates that it is for your particular brand of camera.  For instance, "Tamron 18-200mm lens for Canon".  Do plenty of research on the lens you are thinking about purchasing and be sure to check out the reviews.  You would need to consider not only the brand and any cost savings on your budget but also focal length, fast or slow glass, zooms versus primes and optical quality.

Which focal length?

The lens focal length choice is based on what kind of photography you are pursuing.  Short focal length lenses usually stay within a range from 10mm to 55mm.  Most of your "kit" lenses are 18-55mm.  These lenses are optimized for "scenic" photography because they cover a wide field of view but will give you less magnification.  Lenses below 35mm will give you a wider field of view and thus more coverage and less magnification.  The downside is that you will have to deal with more expansive distortion.  This distortion is seen in your subjects as curved lines which become more pronounced the closer to the edge of your image.  This type of distortion is caused by the curvature of the lens and the lower your focal length, such as 8mm or 14mm, the more curvature and distortion you get.  The 35mm focal length is on the borderline between wide-angle and normal.  This focal length is very nice to shoot with.  The 50mm or 55mm on a "kit" lens is what is called a "standard" or "normal" lens because the optics give you a view that is very much like how you see things with your eyes.  The 50mm was, back in the film days, known as the "nifty fifty" and is a great focal length for composing environmental portraits and also great for travel and night-sky imaging.  It is also a very nice landscape or night-sky lens since it gives you a nice field of view without expansive distortion.  The focal length range of 70mm - 135mm is ideal for shooting portraits and, as a medium telephoto range, can be ideally used for travel and landscapes subjects.  As we get into longer focal lengths not only do we increase magnification but our image subject is compressed within the frame.

If you are shooting wildlife and sports, then the 200mm or higher focal length is for you.  These lenses are much longer focal lengths and will compress your subject even further.  These lenses are longer and heavier and so you must also think about the weight you will be carrying and the space in your camera bag.  The 200mm range is also very good for portraits, travel, landscapes as well as wildlife and sports.  Once again, remember that optical quality, zooms vs primes and the speed of your lens will determine weight and cost.  The 400mm and above focal length is now getting you into "super telephoto" territory.  These lenses can be much heavier to carry and to hand-hold and will take up more space.  The 400mm is a very popular focal length for imaging wildlife and sports.  The 400mm can also be used for magnifying on scenic landscapes and for celestial use. 

Remember that you must consider all the various factors before you purchase your optics.  Are you hand-holding or using a monopod or tripod?  Which subjects do you mostly photograph?  Do you need "stablization technology" on your lens?  Do you need a zoom or prime lens?  Is a "Kit" lens sufficient or do you need higher quality such as the Canon "L" or the Nikon "Nikkor" lenses or maybe a mid-range quality lens?  How wide open does the aperture go?  There is usually quite a cost difference between a lens that opens to f2.8 as opposed to f4 or f5.6

STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT BLOG ENTRY WHERE I WILL COVER FAST VS SLOW AND ZOOM VS PRIMES LENSES!

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/4/lenses Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:10:51 GMT
ronaldzinconephotography's outdoor workshops https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/ronaldzinconephotographys-outdoor-workshops Hello students of photography!

After a brutal onslaught of winter weather, let's get ourselves excited about the upcoming spring, summer and early fall 2015.  This is the time of year when I introduce my hands-on, interactive outdoor workshops in 35mm photography.  Go to my website page "Workshops", contact me or sign up for my email newsletters.

These outdoor field trips take place at various scenic locations throughout southern New England, April to October, and will give you, the student, a great opportunity to apply what you have learned in my class.  Photography is part of the "visual arts" and we must "literally" do it hands-on.  It is the best way to learn and having me, as your instructor, by your side expedites the learning process.  So, stay tuned to blog entries or sign up for my email newsletters.

Hope to see you soon!

ronald

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/ronaldzinconephotographys-outdoor-workshops Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:56:51 GMT
Basic camera-on-tripod astrophotography tips and techniques https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/basic-camera-on-tripod-astrophotography-tips-and-techniques Astrophotography aka "night-sky photography" in its most basic form starts out with your everyday 35mm DSLR camera, a tripod and a remote shutter release.  In today's 'digital age', everyone can attempt and be successful at celestial photography!

Below are some tips (the do's and don'ts) on how to get started in this specialized, unique, challenging but very rewarding type of photography!

 

#1    Your basic 35mm DSLR camera is all you need to capture some stunning celestial images of the cosmos.

#2    A light but sturdy tripod is a must for stability which is crucial in this type of photography.

#3    A remote shutter release is also a must when you mount your camera onto a tripod.

#4    Start out shooting celestial subjects such as constellations, star trails, planetary conjunctions, meteors and the the moon.  These subjects are easier to capture.

#5    As with daytime nature photography, try to combine a nice landscape with your celestial subject in order to create a visually interesting composition.  For example, a planetary conjunction of bright Venus and Jupiter in the western twilight sky along with a nicely positioned tree in the foreground.

#6    For simple camera-on-tripod mounted astroimaging, keep your image exposure times below 30 seconds so that you don't create star trails unless that is what you are going after.

#7    The best time for astrophotography is when the atmosphere is settled usually late at night or during the early morning hours before sunrise.

#8    When setting up your camera and tripod, watch for any stray light that can ruin your images such as your neighbor's motion lights, car headlights, airplanes, etc.

#9    Try to image at a dark-sky site away from light pollution.  The sky will be darker and your exposures can be longer.

#10   If you are in the rural areas, be sure to have a partner with you or let someone know where you will be.

#11  Be prepared!  Bring a first-aid kit, cell phone, flashlight, extra batteries and memory cards, mosquito repellent, warm layered clothing, water and hi-protein snacks.

#12  Astro imaging during the winter months in cold temperatures are especially problematic since you will have to alert for hypothermia and dehydration.  Camera and cell phone batteries can also drain faster during the cold temperatures.

#13  Be patient, diligent and be willing to sacrifice sleep.

#14  Use the "preview" on your LCD screen to analyze and review your images in order that you may tweek them for better results.

#15  Digital is cheap so don't be afraid to take a lot of images.

#16  Bring all your lenses with you.  You will never know what astronomical subject will appear.  Many "keeper" images are a result of being in the right place at the right time -- luck!

#17  Keep an eye on your lens's front objective for any "dew".  Dew formation on your optics will shutdown your imaging session.  Use a portable hair dryer to remove the dew.  Do not hold the dryer too close to your optics.

#18  Keep an eye on all parts of the sky.

#19  Keep extra batteries in your pockets so that they stay warm from your body heat.

#20  Be optimistic and have fun under the stars!!!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/basic-camera-on-tripod-astrophotography-tips-and-techniques Mon, 16 Mar 2015 18:12:45 GMT
Off-camera Shoe Cord -- Part 2 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/off-camera-shoe-cord----part-2 From an article "Off-camera flash photography" pg. 60, EOS Magazine, January-March 2015

 

"Taking a Speedlite off-camera means that you need to find a way to trigger the flash to fire in synch with the shutter being opened.  There are several methods available.

The most straightforward is to use a Canon Off-camera Shoe Cord OC-E3.  This is a fully dedicated cable that links the camera hotshoe to the Speedlite flash retaining full automatic controls and settings.  However, the coiled cord is only 60cm long when fully stretched, so there are limited options for using the flash creatively.

The earlier Off-camera Shoe Cord 2 is similar, but lacks the moisture and dust resistance (with weather-proofed cameras) of the current cord.

The original off-camera shoe cord was designed for the Canon T90 camera and Speedlite 300TL and is not compatible with EOS cameras.

Canon also offers a Speedlite Bracket SB-E2 that comprises a flash bracket and the OC-E3 cable together.  This allows the Speedlites 430EX, 430EXII, 580EX, 580EXII and 600EX-RT to be securely attached and complete automatic functions to be retained."

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/off-camera-shoe-cord----part-2 Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:49:39 GMT
Off-Camera flash (Part One) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/off-camera-flash-part-one (from an article in the January-March 2015 EOS Magazine)

 

Using a Speedlite as a creative light gives a new depth to images.  With a Speedlite on the camera hotshoe, or the built-in flash, the angle that the light hits the subject is flat and the result is often quite stark.  Moving the Speedlite off the camera hotshoe allows a photographer to position the light to create shadows that give depth and texture to pictures.

On-camera flash aimed directly at the subject often creates unflattering red-eye in human subjects, and green-eye in cats and other animals.  Using an off-camera flash will usually eliminate this.

A single Speedlite flash on the camera is a small sized light source.  Softer more flattering light is created by comparatively larger light sources, though there is a physical limit to the size of diffuser for on-camera flash.  It is not just the softening effect, but also the direction of the light that is important.  Light from the side creates shadows and highlights texture too.

Many current Speedlites have a flash head that tilts, allowing ceilings and walls to be used as large reflectors to create more diffuse light sources and directional light.  However, fractional repositioning of the camera or lack of nearby walls or ceilings limits this approach.

Flash is often used not only because a scene is dark, but also to balance shadow elements in a scene with the ambient light.  Canon cameras can expose the ambient and the flash elements in the picture automatically.  If the results are not as expected there are separate controls for exposure compensation and flash exposure compensation on the camera.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/3/off-camera-flash-part-one Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:07:53 GMT
Canon news https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/2/canon-news Canon has announced the new EOS 5DS and 5DS R Digital SLR cameras.  With a 50.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, the 5DS and 5DS R have just become the highest-resolution full-frame DSLR cameras on the market.  Designed with the still photographer in mind, these cameras will deliver the absolute best in image quality with a variety of built-in features for photographers to take control of all aspects of their shooting.  Where they differ is the 5DS R's low-pass filter (LPF) effect cancellation that allows photographers to squeeze every last bit of resolution from the sensor.  The only downside of this is the greater potential for moire and other color artifacts.  Otherwise, the EF-mount 5DS and 5DS R share the same features, including Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors for handling the vast amounts of information produced during image capture and an ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded to 50 or 12800. 

5DS -- Body Only $3,699.00        5DS R -- Body Only $3,899.00

 

Canon has also come out with the new Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens

Ultra-wide-angle lenses have seen a renaissance of sorts with numerous manufacturers updating and adding to their line.  Just last year, Canon released a new 16-35mm lens and is now introducing the even wider EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens.  The full-frame L-series lens has an impressive starting focal length of 11mm that will allow users to capture a seriously wide field of view.  Also, the constant f/4 aperture guarantees consistent performance and light transmission throughout the zoom range.  Price: $2,999.00

 

Canon has also released the EOS Rebel T6i and T6s Digital SLR cameras

The cameras are variations on the same basic form, but the T6s features a topside LCD panel in addition to the 3.0 inch rear LCD, a Quick Control Dial, an integrated Horizontal level and Built-in HDR in movie mode.  Also announced are new Rebel T6i and T6s kits bundled with zoom lenses.

Prices:

T6i -- Body Only  $749.00

T6i -- w/18-55mm STM lens @ $899.00

T6i -- w/18-135mm STM lens @ $1,099.00

T6s -- Body Only @ $849.00

T6s -- w/18-55mm STM lens @ $1,199.00

 

Canon has announced the super compact ELPH 350 HS and the long-zoom SX410 IS cameras.  Entry-level shooters will appreciate the ELPH 350 HS, with its 20MP high-resolution CMOS sensor, 12x zoom lens, full HD video, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, which makes it compatible with the CS100 Connect Station.  The SX410 IS, on the other hand, expands upon the range of its predecessor with a 24-960mm equivalent 40x optical zoom lens, as well as intelligent IS for blur-free imaging.

ELPH 350 HS  $209.99

SX410 IS    $279.99

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/2/canon-news Mon, 09 Feb 2015 15:07:29 GMT
Working in the Cold https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/2/working-in-the-cold From an article in the February 2015 issue of Outdoor Photographer, page 54:

"Years ago, cameras had to be taken apart and prepared for cold weather or they would fail.  That's no longer true.  All cameras today can function just fine to temperatures well below zero, except...

Batteries quit working as the temperatures drop.  They will work fine again once they warm up.  I keep extra batteries in a pocket in my jacket with a handwarmer.  You could keep an extra battery in a pocket next to your body, but exchanging batteries will be painful.

Condensation is a big problem with cameras, so never keep the camera next to your body.  Even in winter, your body puts off a lot of moisture, which will condense on a cold camera body.  Also, never bring an exposed cold camera inside a house or a warm car because serious condensation can occur, which can mean camera failure and shipment to a repair location.  Put your camera away inside a sealed camera bag or a plastic garbage bag until it warms up.

A cold camera is a good thing when it's snowing because the snow can be brushed off without it melting.  But never blow off snow with your breath or you'll add a layer of condensation, which is really a problem if that happens to be on your lens.

Warm clothes in layers are key, along with good, insulated boots, flexible gloves and a warm hat.  Warm, insulated boots are very important because, as a photographer, you'll be standing a lot as you set up shots and wait for the light.  Cold feet will send you home quickly.

For gloves, check out hunting stores.  Think about it, a hunter needs gloves that are both warm and flexible, plus they usually have some sort of gripping material to allow you to grip things (such as a camera and its controls).  Growing up in Minnesota, I never found "half" gloves or mittens that exposed fingers useful.  Cold camera bodies and tripods were way too brutal for bare skin.

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/2/working-in-the-cold Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:34:56 GMT
10 Tips for Moon watchers https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/1/10-tips-for-moon-watchers From an article published in "Welcome to Astronomy" by Astronomy Magazine:

 

"The Moon offers something for everyone.  It's visible most nights, its ever-changing face has features one night not seen the previous night, and it doesn't take an expensive setup to enjoy it.  To help you get the most out of viewing the Moon, follow these 10 tips, and you'll be on your way to a lifetime of lunar observing."

To start, don't use optics

The best way to begin your journey as a lunar observer is to learn the Moon's major features.  Head out with a simple Moon  map, and use just your eyes to identify our only natural satellite's top attributes.  Once you know a few, you can add binoculars.

The Full Moon is bright

Contrary to what you might think, Full Moon is not the best time to observe our natural satellite.  When the Moon is Full, the Sun lies behind Earth (as we face the Moon), shining directly down on the lunar surface.  Shadows are at their minimum lengths, so you can't see much detail.

View at "prime time"

Two intervals during the lunar "month" (from one New Moon to the next) are best for observers.  The first begins shortly after New Moon and continues until two days past First Quarter.  On these days, the Moon lies in the evening sky.  An equally good observing period starts about two days before Last Quarter and ends when the Moon lies so close to the Sun that it's lost in the morning twilight.  During both intervals, shadows are longer and features stand out in sharp relief.

The terminator is great

During the two prime-time periods, aim your scope along the line that divides the Moon's light and dark parts.  Astronomers call this line the terminator.  It's where sunrise (or sunset) is happening.  You'll see the tops of mountains protruding just high enough to catch the Sun's light while surrounded by lower terrain that remains in shadow.  Features along the terminator change in real time, and during a night's observing, the differences you'll see through your telescope are striking.

The best Moon scope?

Nearly any telescope will do to observe lunar details.  Observers with several options (but not a permanent observatory) usually pick a scope they can set up many nights in a row.  Observing on successive nights makes it easier to follow the terminator's progress.

Cut down the moonlight

Many observers use either neutral density filters or variable polarizing filters to reduce the Moon's light.  The latter lets you change how much light the filter transmits.  Two other methods to reduce the Moon's brightness are high magnification and an aperture mask.  High powers restrict the field of view, thereby reducing light throughput.  An aperture mask causes your telescope to act like a much smaller instrument, but at the same focal length.

Turn on your best vision

Some years ago, an observer found a better way of observing the Moon:  Turn on a white light behind you when you observe between Quarter and Full phases.  The light should be moderately bright (in the 60-watt range), but neither your eyes nor the eyepiece should be in direct view of the fixture.  The addition of white light suppresses the eyes' tendency to dark adapt at night.  Not dark adapting causes the eye to use normal daylight vision, which is of higher quality than dark-adapted night vision.  So, you'll see more detail because you're viewing with a better part of your eye.

Work from a list

A great way to learn the Moon is to undertake an observing project.  In the United States, the Astronomical League offers one such project, the Lunar Observing Club.  You'll learn a lot about our satellite as you work through a list of 100 lunar features.  To receive a certificate, you must be a member of the league, either individually or through an astronomy club.  For details about the club, see www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/lunar/lunarl.html.

Dig for the details

Of the 1,940 named lunar features, 1,545 are craters.  Challenge yourself to see either how small a crater you can detect or how many you can observe in a given area.  You'll need a Moon map for this project.  For the second challenge, you can choose a lunar sea, but usually a large, flat-bottomed crater works best.  For example, if you search the large crater Plato, you'll find four small craters on its floor.  Lunar observers consider seeing these craters a test for a 6-inch telescope.

Shoot the Moon

How can a celestial object that's so easy to photograph be so difficult to photograph well?  The Moon is large and bright, and you can use any camera connected to any size telescope to image it.  That's the easy part.  But the Moon also contains vast areas of low contrast that have little color differential.  Recording those regions so they look like what your eyes see is the hard part.  Luckily, we live in the digital age.  It costs nothing extra to take 200 images instead of just one.  Examine them, delete what you don't like, change one or more parameters (including the techniques you used to process the images) each time, and shoot some more as you perfect your techniques.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/1/10-tips-for-moon-watchers Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:55:46 GMT
Be an observer in 10 steps https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/1/be-an-observer-in-10-steps From "Welcome to Astronomy" guide, a supplement to Astronomy magazine:

1.  Learn the sky basics

Earth rotates once a day, so sky objects rise in the east and set in the west.  It orbits the Sun once each year, making different constellations appear in each season.

The sky is a celestial sphere.  It has a north pole, an equator, a south pole, and two sky coordinates: Right ascension is like longitude, and declination mimics latitude.

The moon first becomes visible as a thin crescent low in the western evening sky.  Each night thereafter, it appears to grow and move eastward until Full Moon, after which it lit part shrinks to invisibility.

2.  Dive into the subject

Check out Astronomy magazine.  It features a combination of science and hobby stories.  "The Sky this Month" is an up-to-date guide to the current sky.  And more is out there.  Your public library and bookshops offer many observing guides.

3.  Try before you buy

Don't purchase a telescope without first viewing through it.  One way to test drive a scope is to attend an observing session or a star party hosted by an astronomy club.  Take your time, ask lots of questions, and you'll soon enjoy a lifetime of viewing pleasure through your very own scope.

4.  Pick your site carefully

If you'll be content with bright stuff, pretty much any location will do.  To see faint, diffuse objects like nebulae and galaxies, however, you'll need a dark site.  Some things to consider are how light-polluted the observing location is, the driving distance, how portable your telescope is, safety (do you get cellphone service?), and weather factors, including how generally clear the sky is and how steady the air above you is.

5.  Double your observing time with the Sun

The Sun beckons beginning observers because it's big, bright, and full of features that change daily.  Put safety first by using a filter, and even a small scope will deliver high-quality views.  Be sure to get a filter that fits correctly over the front end of your telescope.  A good solar filter will not transmit harmful ultraviolet or infrared radiation.  It also will drop the Sun's brightness to a viewable level.

6.  Comfort is everything

Comfort means a lot more than staying warm in the winter.  So, sit.  When you are comfortable at the eyepiece, you'll see a great deal more.  Many amateurs use adjustable chairs sold specifically for observing.

7.  Photography:  rewarding but time-consuming

Here's the good news:  You can take pictures of sky objects.  Here's the other side:  It takes practice, and there is a learning curve.  Producing a high-quality picture involves two stages.  First you acquire the data, and then you process it with appropriate software.

8.  Keep a log

A simple log contains the date and time of your observation, the name or names of the objects you looked at, and a brief description, like, "Saw spiral arms!" or "Really blue, but no details visible."  Once you get the hang of it, more detailed log entires might contain information about the telescope, eyepiece(s), sky conditions, and the faintest star you could see with your naked eye.  Observers call that quantity the sky's "limiting magnitude."

9.  Get social

Visit a planetarium.  Attend a star party.  Observe with other amateur astronomers.  Get on the Internet and chat in one of Astronomy.com's forums.  Without question, the best step you can take is to join a local astronomy club.  This will place you with a group of like-minded individuals who can answer your questions.

10.  Observe everything!

You may hear, "I'm a lunar observer," or "I only observe galaxies."  Really?  Are these observers saying they'd pass up watching a total solar eclipse, a bright comet, or a rich meteor shower?  The Moon has hundreds of targets on its ever-changing face, and even a small instrument will show most of them.  The planets spend lots of time in the early evening sky.  A trip now and then to a dark site may yield dozens of galaxies.  While you take them all in, you'll surely marvel at the magnificent universe above and the richness of the hobby you have chosen.

 

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/1/be-an-observer-in-10-steps Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:37:47 GMT
Lights Out, America! We need new strategies to bring back the night. https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/1/lights-out-america From a Focal Point article by Bob Guzauskas & Colin Henshaw published in the Sky & Telescope magazine on page 86:

 

"We need your help to change America's nighttime experience.  As most S&T readers know, light pollution is excessive or inappropriate light at night.  Speakers often lecture astronomy clubs, and writers sometimes rail against light polluters on the internet.  Their audiences generally applaud politely, but then it's over.  Surprisingly, the most apathetic audience is our own astronomical community.  Amateur and professional astronomers rarely get involved.  They complain about light pollution but don't act.

Is the problem apathy or lack of leadership?  Astronomers tend to avoid rocking the boat -- sometimes to their own detriment.  This must change.  Light pollution affects couch potatoes as much as everybody else.  But the two of us won't sit by and do nothing.

Light pollution is a serious and well-documented problem that goes far beyond astronomy.  Scientific studies show a higher incidence of breast cancer in light-polluted areas.  Like smoking, light pollution doesn't induce cancer in everyone.  But like smoking, light pollution increases the incidence of cancer, which means it can kill human beings (S&T: Sept. 2011, p.86).

So get involved.  Act as if you're trying to save your own life.  For 20 years the International Dark-Sky Association has called for better light fixtures to reduce light pollution.  The IDA's strategy  has had limited success in a few areas, but light pollution continues to worsen across the U.S.  So let's do what France is doing.  The French government has asked its citizens to turn off all unnecessary indoor and outdoor lights between midnight and dawn.  In its first year, this Lights Out initiative has reduced France's energy consumption from nocturnal light pollution by a reported 9%.  To reduce America's light pollution, turn the lights out.  Let's do it now!  Here's how:

First, make alliances.  Enlist others to our cause so the campaign won't be construed as a tyranny by a minority of elitist astronomers and tree huggers.  Tie our message to broader concerns about energy costs, the environment, and climate change.  The public is sympathetic.  People understand waste, pollution, and environmental damage.  Show them the pictures and the numbers.  Light changes nocturnal ecosystems and harms migratory animals.  Be prepared to address public concerns about safety and security.  Inform people that criminals need light at night.

Second, let's get on the airwaves with short, high-impact messages about light pollution's cost in dollars, disease, and environmental damage.  Spread the message on local network television using 15-second commercial spots.  It's inexpensive and it works.  Model commercials on those aired by anti-tobacco forces.  The consequences of light pollution are shocking:  light pollution kills people, harms animals, and degrades ecosystems.  Spread the message far and wide.

We can win the day and bring back the night.  Light pollution is one of the easiest environmental problems to cure: simply turn off unnecessary lights (meaning almost all of them), and properly shield the rest.  This is not about plunging communities into the dark, but creating a better, healthier world for every living thing.  Educate the people and they will act.  If the French can do this, so can we."

For more information, visit our website, LightsOutAmerica.net

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2015/1/lights-out-america Tue, 06 Jan 2015 15:47:47 GMT
Best cameras of 2014 for Nature Photographers https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/12/best-cameras-of-2014-for-nature-photographers This month's issue, December 2014, of Outdoor Photographer has listed the best cameras of 2014 for Nature Photographers.  They are:

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II -- the long-awaited successor to 2009's EOS 7D APS-C DSLR - was picked as favorite APS-C nature DSLR of 2014.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 flagship Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera is also good for nature photography.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera -- picked as a favorite for nature photography.

The Nikon D750 -- was choosen as the favorite nature camera in the full-frame DSLR category.

For Medium Format fans, 2014 will be remembered as the year CMOS arrived.  Some favorites are the Hasselblad H5D-50c, the Pentax 645Z, and the Phase One IQ250.

The Samsung NX1 -- the new flagship model was picked for the top APS-C mirrorless camera for nature photography.

The year 2014 also saw the introduction of a number of larger-sensor fixed-lens compact models with good features for nature photographers including the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, the Fujifilm X100T, the Leica X-E Typ 102, the Sigma dp2 Quattro and the Sony RX100 Mark III.

The Sony a7S was voted as best full-frame mirrorless camera of 2014 for nature photography.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/12/best-cameras-of-2014-for-nature-photographers Mon, 29 Dec 2014 12:53:20 GMT
Geminid Meteor Shower! from a EarthSky post by Bruce McClure https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/12/geminid-meteor-shower-from-a-earthsky-post-by-bruce-mcclure The peak night of the 2014 Geminid meteor shower will probably occur on the night of December 13 (morning of December 14). The night before (December 12-13) may offer a decent sprinkling of meteors as well. Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night. A last quarter moon will rise around midnight, but Geminid meteors are bright! This shower favors Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, but it’s visible from the Southern Hemisphere, too. If you’re at a temperate latitude in the Southern Hemisphere, try waiting a little later – until close to midnight – to see the beginning of the Geminid shower.

Moonlight a factor in Geminid shower in 2014. The December Geminids are a particularly reliable and prolific shower, one of the finest of the year. In a year when moonlight doesn’t obscure the viewing, you can easily see 50 or more meteors per hour on the peak night of the Geminid shower. However, the waning moon might somewhat dampen this year’s display in the peak viewing hours, which is centered at about 2 a.m. local time, no matter where you are on the globe.

Don’t let the moonlight discourage you. A good percentage of these yellow-colored Geminid meteors are quite bright, and may well overcome the moonlit skies.

Of course, you can always watch this shower during the evening hours before moonrise. The moon will rise quite late on December 13 and 14, creating a window of darkness for watching the Geminid shower in the evening. Keep in mind that the moon will rise about an hour earlier on December 13 than it will on December 14.

Even as the moon rises, however, it will be sitting low in the east. If possible, find a hedgerow of trees, a barn or some such thing to block out the moon. Sit in a moon shadow but at the same time, find an expansive view of sky. Or simply look away from the moon. The key to watching meteors is to find an open sky, away from pesky artificial lights. Lie down in comfort, perhaps snuggled up in a warm sleeping bag, and look upward.

The Geminid meteors radiate from near star Castor in Gemini.

Why are these meteors called the Geminids? If you trace the paths of the Geminid meteors backward, they all seem to radiate from the constellation Gemini, hence the reason for the meteor shower’s name.

In fact, the radiant point of this meteor shower nearly coincides with the bright star Castor. However, the radiant point and the star Castor just happen to be a chance alignment, as Castor lies about 52 light-years away while these meteors burn up in the upper atmosphere, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

You don’t need to find the constellation Gemini to watch the Geminid meteor shower. These medium-speed meteors streak the nighttime in many different directions and in front of numerous age-old constellations. It’s even possible to see a Geminid meteor when looking directly away from the shower’s radiant point. However, if you trace the path of any Geminid meteor backward, it’ll lead you back to the constellation Gemini the Twins.

Painting of 1860 earthgrazer fireball by Frederic Edwin Church. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Painting of 1860 earthgrazer fireball by Frederic Edwin Church. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

An earthgrazer meteor possible at early evening. You won’t see as many Geminid meteors when the constellation Gemini still sits close to the eastern horizon. Even so, the early evening hours present an opportune time to try to catch an earthgrazer meteor.

Earthgrazers are rarely seen but prove to be especially memorable, if you should be lucky enough to catch one. An earthgrazer is a slow-moving, long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across the sky. As the constellation Gemini, the radiant point of the Geminid meteors, climbs upward throughout the evening hours, the meteors will cross the sky less horizontally and will rain down from a point that’s higher in the sky.

Once Gemini make their appearance, they’ll be out for rest of the night. The Gemini stars Castor and Pollux reach their highest point for the night around 2 a.m. local time. As a general rule, the higher the constellation Gemini climbs into your sky, the more Geminid meteors that you’re likely to see.

Orbit of Asteroid 3200 Phaethon, parent of the Geminid meteor shower

The orbital path of asteroid 3200 Phaethon, and the four inner planets of the solar system: Mercurio (Mercury), Venere (Venus), Terra (Earth) and Marte (Mars). Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

What causes the Geminid meteor shower? Every year, in December, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of asteroid 3200 Phaethon, a mysterious body that is sometimes referred to as a rock comet.

In periods of 1.43 years, this small 5-kilometer (3-mile) wide asteroid-type object swings extremely close to the sun (to within one-third of Mercury’s distance), at which juncture intense thermal fracturing causes this rocky body to crack and crumble, and to shed rubble into its orbital stream. Annually, at this time of year, the debris from 3200 Phaethon crashes into Earth’s upper atmosphere at some 130,000 kilometers (80,000 miles) per hour, to vaporize as colorful Geminid meteors.

How to watch the Geminid meteors. Why not give the Geminid meteor shower a try? You need no special equipment – just an open view of sky away from pesky artificial lights. Sprawl back in a hammock or a pile of hay, and look upward to witness one of the finest sky attractions of the year: the Geminid meteor shower!

Be sure to give yourself at least an hour of observing time. It takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark, and moreover, meteors often come in spurts which are interspersed by lulls.

Bottom line: Despite the drenching moonlight in 2014, the reliable Geminid shower is sure to add to the holiday lighting on the nights of December 12-13 and 13-14!

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/12/geminid-meteor-shower-from-a-earthsky-post-by-bruce-mcclure Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:57:56 GMT
December 2014 Celestial Sky highlights https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/12/december-2014-celestial-sky-highlights December 5th:  Observers in the Americas can see Aldebaran very close to the almost-full Moon.  Binoculars may also show some of the bright Hyades stars.

December  11-12:  DAWN:  The waning gibbous Moon passes below Jupiter halfway up the southwestern sky.

December 13-14:  ALL NIGHT:  The Geminid meteor shower peaks this night.  The best viewing will probably occur shortly before the last-quarter Moon rises around midnight.

December 15:  EVENING:  Algol shines at minimum brightness for roughly two hours centered at 10:22 p.m. EST.

December 18:  EVENING:  Algol shines at minimum brightness for roughly two hours centered at 7:12 p.m. EST.

December 21:  THE LONGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR:  in the Northern Hemisphere.  Winter begins at at the solstice, at 6:03 p.m. EST.

December 22:  DUSK:  An extremely thin crescent Moon floats to the right of Venus very low in the west-southwest shortly after sunset.  This is a challenging observation; bring binoculars.

December 23:  DUSK:  Look for Venus well below the Moon.

December 24:  EVENING:  Mars shines to the left of the waxing crescent Moon.

December 28:  LATE EVENING:  Uranus is very close to the Moon, with an occultation visible in Japan and parts of the Arctic.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/12/december-2014-celestial-sky-highlights Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:40:03 GMT
10 Tips for better wildlife photography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/10-tips-for-better-wildlife-photography Willdlife photography is not my "cup of tea" so to speak but here are 10 valuable tips to better wildlife photography for those of you who do pursue it:

 

TIP #1   Know Your Gear

The really great action-packed moments in willdlife photography last on average between 5 and 20 seconds.  If you are not intrinsically familiar with the settings of your camera or the abilities of your chosen lens, you will either miss it or blow the images you do manage to capture.

  • Know what the minimum shutter speed is at which you can obtain a sharp image with your camera/lens combo;
  • Know the added margins that the in-camera or in-lens stabilization gives you;
  • Know how to quickly toggle between focus points or focus modes;
  • Know how high you can push your camera's ISO setting and still achieve acceptable results

 

TIP #2   Know Your Subject

  • Be able to somewhat predict your subject's behavior beforehand;
  • Knowing your subject can make the difference between being ready and prepared for capturing that "golden moment" and watching it fly by you in agony.
  • There is only one way to get to know wildlife...spend time with them.

 

TIP #3   Know the "Rules" / "Break the Rules"

  • Understanding proper exposure and the use of the histrogram and proper "composition" using a guideline like the "rule of thirds" are all important aspects to ingrain in your subconscious and to incorporate in your ability to instantly capture that fleeting moment properly.
  • In this genre, much is made about eye contact with the subject, as this gives "life" to the image.
  • Once you know the "rules" and the guidelines, and once you know when and how to apply them, it's time to start breaking out from them.  Test the boundaries a bit. 

 

TIP #4   Work the Light

  • Capture the "golden light".  This means "dawn" and "dusk" and well known as "The Magic Hour"!
  • You need to know how to use the light to your best advantage.
  • Backlighting (the subject is lit from behind) and "soft" light (when the skies are cloudy and overcast) also make for great light!

 

TIP #5   Shoot Wider / Shoot Closer

  • Don't get fixated on using giant supertelephoto lenses.  Challenge yourself to shoot at a wider angle to give the viewer a better idea of where you took the image and where your subject has to carve out a living in the wild.
  • Then, shoot really CLOSE like get-in-your-face close by moving your position or by changing effective focal length by using a longer lens or with optional teleconverter.  This will help you create different and interesting studies of the animals/birds you photograph.  This will also help you think in terms of more abstract compositional arrangements

 

TIP #6   The More, The Merrier

  • The more wildlife there is, the more interaction!

 

TIP #7   How Low Can You Go?

  • How you portray your subject can make all the difference in the world.
  • Try to get an eye-level perspective.  This brings the viewer of your image right into the scene and confronts them with the view of the world from your subject's perspective.
  • Always bear in mind the constraints of your environment.

 

Tip #8   The Content

  • Does great content trump a technically great image with average content?
  • Look for great opportunities regardless of species when the light is good.
  • Learn to see the potential in the mundane to create amazing photographic moments.
  • The ideal image has "great content", "great light" and shot with the "right settings"!

 

Tip #9   Patience is a Necessity

  • Nature is "unpredictable".  Anything can happen at any time.  It is vital that you be patient...very patient.
  • Observing your subject, getting to know their behavioral patterns, requires a great deal of patience.

 

Tip #10   Be there and enjoy it!

  • Not just physically show up but you need to be at the right place at the right time!
  • Be in the moment!  Don't worry so much about the technical issues and concentrate more on the "moments" you are witnessing while out photographing wildlife.
  • Be mindful of the privilege of spending time in nature and being places where the hand of man hasn't quite exerted its full force yet.
  • Enjoy what you are doing!  Have fun doing it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/10-tips-for-better-wildlife-photography Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:40:02 GMT
Limiting Factors (from Outdoor Photographer, November 2014, page 37. https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/limiting-factors-from-outdoor-photographer-november-2014-page-37 The following blog entry is quoted from George Lepp's "Tech Tips" section of the November 2014 issue:

 

Question:  With present technology in DSLR sensors and lenses, what's the limitation in sharpness, assuming good technique.  Is it the lens, or is it the sensor?  Or are other factors more important?

Answer:  "Even assuming good technique, the photographer is the most limiting factor and must take necessary measures to eliminate camera movement and achieve precise exposure:  use of a tripod, control of internal camera vibrations, avoiding blown-out highlights or pixelated, underexposed shadows, working with the lens' optimum aperture, and employing expanded depth-of-field strategies such as focus stacking.

Sensors in professional-level cameras are so capable these days that they're somewhat of a given.  Some of the manufacturers have been a bit slow in introducing lenses that make full use of those high-count full-frame sensors, and that has created a market for very high-end lenses from Zeiss, Leica and Sigma with mounts for Sony, Canon and Nikon bodies.  But there's a limitation to how many pixels you can put on a full-frame (24X36mm) sensor, the old film format.  And that's the reason why medium-format has had a resurgence in the form of digital cameras with up to 60 megapixels (that is, not only more, but bigger pixels); it's easier to build high-resolution lenses for larger sensors, so this is the combination to have now if you seek ultimate sharpness and have unlimited dollars to spend.

The answer to your specific question regarding the relative importance of lens vs. sensor is, therefore, dependent upon the particular sensor/lens combination you're asking about.  Technique, sensor characteristics and the ability of the lens to resolve enough information to take advantage of a sensor with more pixels all play a part.  And perceptions of sharpness, are, of course, greatly influenced by a number of post-capture factors, such as the quality of an electronic display, the dpi resolution of a printer and the size of the print, the native resolution of a projector and, not least, the standards of the viewer."

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/limiting-factors-from-outdoor-photographer-november-2014-page-37 Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:29:08 GMT
astrophotography tips: First Photos https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/astrophotography-tips-first-photos First Photos

Preparations:

  • Make sure the battery is fully charged and the memory card offers enough space.
  • Reduce the brightness of the camera display to minimum. This helps to keep / maintain the night vision.
  • Mount the camera on the tripod.

 Shooting:

  • Choose your object
  • If possible set your camera to the highest ISO speed.
  • Manually focus to infinity.
  • Set exposure delay to 2 (or more) seconds.
  • Set exposure time (Tv) to 5 sec.
  • Take your first test shot. You can see if the object is framed right and the image is in focus.
  • You might need to play with ISO speed and exposure time to optimize image exposure.
  • Once done and you are satisfied, take a series of at least 10 images of your object (recommended 30-50). 

Note: photos of stars look always quite dark in the camera monitor. It is often advised to increase the brightness of the image later during post processing.  

Post processing (very basic):

This following description is for images with stars (not applicable for moon shots).

  • Load your images to your computer and inspect every single image
  • Sort out wiggly images, and such that have unwanted artifacts like plane or satellite trails
  • Stack the remaining images with DeepSkyStacker (DSS) – setting: average
  • Once DSS has created an image, optimize it with the build-in post processing tool

The advantage of stacking a series of astro-images (rather than using just one image), is that the noise portion will be significantly reduced, and the lunimance and saturation of the actual objects (stars) are emphasized. Since we are working usually with high ISO speeds, noise is much more present in astro-images than it is in daylight images.  

Further reading

  • Catching the Light - Great site on Astrophotography with a DLSR by Jerry Lodriguss. Noise reduction in astronomy images
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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/astrophotography-tips-first-photos Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:45:12 GMT
astro-imaging for $100 (from an on-line article) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/astro-imaging-for-100-from-an-on-line-article Astro-Imaging for $100
  • Astrophotography on a Budget - Orion Image captured with Canon SX120 (10 exposures, 4 seconds each, ISO400)
  • Constellation Orion - Image captured with Canon SX120 (10 exposures, 4 seconds each, ISO400)

Is is possible to make astro-images with entry level digital point-and-shoot cameras?

The answer to that question is a reluctant “somewhat”. With a basic camera it is indeed possible to shoot decent astro-images but the objects are rather limited: the moon and star constellations. 

It is not about pixels

Basic astrophotography is not about Mega-pixels. Good images can be taken with cameras of 4 MP, or even less.  What is important are three vital camera features, without them astrophotography will become a gamble. These features are:

  • Manual focus
  • Capability to preset exposure time (Tv)
  • Capability to delay exposures. 

Another component is of great importance: a solid tripod. The magic word here is “solid”.

Manual Focus

Manual focus is important because of the way cameras perform auto focus. Some compare contrast changes. Sharp images have more pronounced contrast changes between adjacent pixels, unsharp images deliver more gradual changes. Other cameras compare bit patterns in specials sensors (phase detection). The patterns are shifted when the image is out of focus.

Either way, both methods are not really helpful when imaging a quasi black dark sky. Furthermore, if there is any contour visible in the image (f.e. a tree in the foreground), automatic focus will jump right at it, putting the  actual celestial object out of focus. Astrophotography objects need to be focused manually to infinite.

Manual Time Setting (Tv)

  • Moon
  • Moon – Image taken with Canon SX120, post-processed with GIMP

Time setting is important because the amount of light gathered by the CCD is only a tiny fragment compared to that of daylight images. This means, the exposure time need to be long. Typical exposure times for imaging stars are between 1 second and 30 seconds.

Tripod – Solid

A solid tripod will keep the exposing camera steady in position. With long exposure images, any vibration will be clearly visible in the images. The camera has to be absolutely still.  For noise reduction purposes we need to take a series of at least 10 images, ideally 30-50. More on this subject later.

Exposure Delay

Even if the camera is firmly mounted on a tripod, pushing the exposure button will cause slight vibrations. The result is star streaks in the image. Exposure delay prevents this effects. Many cameras have a built in 2 seconds or 10 seconds delay. When the button is pushed, there are still initial vibrations, but the delay allows mount and camera to stabilize. The result will be significantly sharper images.

Zoom – Better Not

Some cameras have a zoom feature. Unless you are shooting the relatively bright moon with a very short exposure time – just forget the zoom feature of the camera. Why? Because the Earth rotates. This will show badly in the images in form of elongated stars. Please try to follow the short calculation below - it is indeed eyeopening.

The earth rotates once in 24hours, one rotation equals 360 degrees. That means, in one hour the rotation angle is 360/24=15 degrees, and in one minute it is 15/60 = 0.25 degrees, right?  A quarter of a degree does not sound a lot.

True, but… Lets say we want to expose a the constellation Orion for 12 seconds. The angle the earth moves during this period is 0.25/5=0.05 degrees. A 10x zoom would increase the apparent angle by the same factor of 10. Within 12 seconds the image would shift by 0.5 degree.

One might think, that still seems negligible. Does it really have an effect?  – Yes it does, and very much so. Picture the moon. The angle of the moon is, well, 0.5 degrees. That’s right, within 12 seconds exposure using 10x zoom, stars in our image would become as long as the diameter of the moon is; definitely not what we are looking for.

So, how are images with a high power telescopes possible?

Astrophotography with high power telescopes requires special mounts; they are called German Equatorial Mounts (GEM). These mounts have gear and electronically controlled motors that move the telescope exactly so that it perfectly compensates for the Earth’s rotation.  You have probably guessed it: these mounts are rather expensive. Price depends on their carrying capability and accuracy. Entry level models that can be used for basic astrophotography start at about $500  ($300 used), and with growing demands, mounts can reach quickly true astronomical prices.

 

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/11/astro-imaging-for-100-from-an-on-line-article Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:18:48 GMT
The art and craft of photography https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/the-art-and-craft-of-photography This recent article, "the art and craft of photography" is from a photography magazine:

"The first question to address is whether photography is an art or a craft.  In 'our' view it can be both.  A person taking snapshots of their children is not going to claim that the results are works of art.  An enthusiast who  devotes time to mastering the features of their EOS camera is probably a craftsman, rather than an artist.

If the craft side of photography is mostly about the techniques employed, then photo editing (which we assume to mean digital manipulation) is just another means to an end.  If you take an image and edit it digitally, it could become art, but mostly does not.

Photo editing has been around almost since the birth of photography.  A popular technique among Victorian photographers was to take several different images and merge them into a single photograph.  In the 1930s and 40s photographs of film stars were rountinely, and often heavily, retouched to make the subjects appear perfect.  Often it would be a large-format negative that was worked on, so that many perfect prints could be made.  Some political regimes would edit discredited colleagues out of group photographs.

Many of the techniques now available to photographers in imaging software can be traced back to the photographic darkroom.  The difference is that what used to take a skilled photographer hours, or even days, to achieve in a darkroom can now be done in minutes using software.  The problem is that many photographers do not have the skills needed to use the software effectively and in some cases the results are actually worse than the original.

So, no, photo editing is not destroying the art of photography.  Most photographs taken are not art and no amount of photo editing will change this.  Digital cameras can help to improve exposure and focus, but they offer no creative input.  However, a person with a strong vision can provide a creative input which might produce art by photographic means.  Sometimes all the work is done before the exposure is made and the result needs no further editing.  Sometimes the exposed image is just the starting point for manipulation in a darkroom or with imaging software (often known as a digital darkroom).

It is very difficult to describe what photographic art might be, but not too difficult to recognise it when you see it.

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(RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/the-art-and-craft-of-photography Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:46:20 GMT
Eyepiece Projection methods part 2 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/eyepiece-projection-methods-part-2
  • Jupiter is the fifth and largest planet in our solar system. It is a gas giant which is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium (very similar to our sun). Jupiter may also have a rocky core of heavier elements.
  • Jupiter – Image taken with eyepiece projection technique (telescope: 900/120mm, eyepiece: 20mm)
  • Object Position

    • Take shots at planets when they are high in the sky rather than low at the horizon. Positions high in the sky minimize air refraction distortion. Light that travels through the atmosphere is scattered by aerosol droplets and absorbed by dust. These effects cause diffraction rings and reduce the image brightness. High in the sky, light’s atmospheric path is much shorter, reducing distortion effects significantly.
    • There are also disadvantages of high object positions. Particularly when shooting with a large refractor, the camera position is very low. Also, a large refractor with extension tubes and camera mounted may hit the tripod legs in this position. Make sure enough space is left when moving the telescope to the desired object.

     Computer

    • Remote controlling the camera with a computer is strongly suggested, particularly with a large refractor. Looking in upright position at the computer screen is simply much (!) more convenient than crawling on the ground trying to peek in the – very low hanging – camera screen or finder.
    • The image on a much larger computer screen allows more precise focusing.
    • Take your time when focusing. High magnifications combined with moving air layers can make this quite a challenge.

     Imaging

    • Re-check with some test shots that the focus is still optimal.
    • Check the histogram and ensure that neither end (black or white) is clipped. If data is lost (clipped) it is lost for good, and can no longer be used to build the image. Even the best post processing effort can not bring lost information back.
    • Shoot several movie clips. My recommendation is 10 by 10. Ten clips each ten seconds long. Depending on the fps rate this  will provide you 1000 to 3000 single frames, a good base to work with.
    • Some photographers prefer much longer clips to increase the probability of catching better results. With very long clips it is more likely that shake, vibrations and drift errors are introduced as well. CCD chips get hotter and start to introduce additional noise and hot pixels. Besides, long movie clips result in very large files, making processing somewhat cumbersome.

    Post Processing

    • Powerful software like RegiStax (freeware) converts the movie clip (avi) into single images. Furthermore, it aligns the images, selects the best ones and stacks them for best detail. It allows improving the resulting image even more with a great set of post processing features.

    Question for Power

    It is possible to calculate how much more magnification we get with eyepiece projection over a simple prime focus setup. To determine this, we need to know some dimensions: focal length of telescope and eyepiece, and the telescope aperture. Furthermore we have to measure the distance from the eyepiece lens to the camera’s CCD chip.

    The dimensions used in the following example are from an actual eyepiece projection setup that was used when I shot the Jupiter image: Orion EON 120ED refractor with 20mm Eyepiece, 2 extension tubes each 2 inch ( about 50mm) and a Canon EOS T1i DSLR camera.

    Focal length of telescope (FLtele): 900mm
    Focal length of eyepiece (FLep): 20mm
    Distance eyepiece to CCD (Depccd): 100mm
    Telescope aperture (TA): 120mm

    Eyepiece Projection Magnification - Dimensions to calculate magnification

    Magnification over prime focus set up (Mopf)
    Mopf= (Depccd-FLep)/FLep
    Mopf= (100mm-20mm)/20mm = 4
    The image is 4 times larger than that of a prime focus setup.

    Focal Length overall EP setup (FLoEPs)
    FLoEPs = Mopf * FLtele
    FLoEPs = 4 x 900mm = 3600mm
    This setup has a focal length of whopping 3.6 meters (141 inches)! The number shows that eyepiece projection focusing can really be a challenge and has to be done carefully in minute steps.

    Focal ratio overall EP setup (1/f oEPs)
    1/f oEPs = FLoEPs / TA = 3600 / 120 = 30
    The original telescope focal ratio of 7.5 has now become 30. The image will be much darker than that of a prime focus setup. Higher ISO speeds particularly for planetary images may be necessary.

    Is it worth the challenge?

    Most definitely: YES. Eyepiece projection astrophotography is for more advanced star shooters. It is easily among the most challenging processes in amateur astrophotography, not because of the setup but because of the effects that have to be considered and factored in. But with the right equipment and some practice it can be mastered – and the results speak for themselves: clearly visible features of the moon landscape, surface coloration and visible ice caps of Mars or detailed cloud bands of Jupiter make eyepiece projection imaging indeed quite rewarding.

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) England astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial education eyepiece high-resolution imaging photography projection https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/eyepiece-projection-methods-part-2 Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:55:38 GMT
    Astrophotography tips: Eyepiece Projection https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/astrophotography-tips-eyepiece-projection Eyepiece projection (EP) is a great way to take detailed shoots of moon and planets. Photographed objects using EP are considerably larger and show more detail than such taken with prime focus shots. Prime focus techniques replace the camera lens with a telescope OTA (no diagonal, no eyepiece), but eyepiece projection adds an eyepiece into the optical path, increasing focal length and magnification considerably.

    Greater magnification and increased focal length come however at a price.  Higher focal length (at the same aperture) results in a higher focal ratio number (1/f). The higher the focal ratio number the fainter the image becomes. This demands longer exposure times or higher ISO speeds to achieve a decent image brightness. Furthermore, constantly moving air layers diffract incoming light. That means, with stronger magnification distortion is magnified as well. The same is true for any mount and telescope shake or vibration.

    Eyepiece projection imaging with refractor telescope and DLSR camera

    How to do it?

    The following paragraphs describe equipment that is needed and such which is additionally recommended to make photographer’s life easier. I will share some experiences that I had to learn the hard way; it will help you getting good results sooner.

    Mount

    • The mount needs to be strong and sturdy. It has to carry all the weight of telescope, camera and all accessories, furthermore it has to stand steady, even with light breezes.
    • Many manufacturers are quite “generous” when listing weight capabilities of mounts and tripods in their data sheets. Unfortunately, this leads often to unsatisfactory imaging experiences.
    • Never max out a mount load. The old astrophotographers’ rule still applies:  actual equipment weight should not exceed half of the mounts specified load capability.
    • Many astrophotographers do not extend the tripod legs for better stability and minimal vibration.
    • Balance the mount very carefully with camera and all accessories attached.
    • Polar align German Equatorial Mounts (GEM) with great care. It helps “keeping the object in the field of view”, even with highest magnification.

     

    Telescope & Accessories

    • Finder scope and main scope axis need to be perfectly aligned. This helps to “find” the object and framing it in the very narrow field of view (FOV).
    • Screwed accessory connections, like tube extensions, are preferred over slide-in joints. Screwed connections offer better stability, less flex and are less receptive to shake and vibrations.
    • Eyepiece projection requires usually significant focuser back travel, particularly with refractors. The required length can exceed the telescope’s focuser travel, which will render the projection out of focus. One or two 2” extension tubes provide the required additional focusing way. Your telescope may have sufficient travel way but you should still use extension tubes because it keeps the, relatively heavy, focuser tube more inserted. This has the advantage that the telescope’s weight distribution is somewhat closer to the center of the mount (less vibrations).

    Astrophotography: Typical Eyepiece Projection Assembly with DSLR

     

    Note: M42 and T-thread accessories have different threads. While the diameter is the same their thread pitches are different (M42: M42x1mm and T2: M42x0.75mm). Accessories with M42 and T-threads should never be mated.

    The Camera

    • Remote control for the camera is strongly suggested. Pressing the shutter release manually will cause shake and vibrations. If your camera does not have remote capability use your longest shutter release delay, minimum is 10 seconds. Some cameras offer only 2 seconds shutter delay. This time is usually too short because many mounts are still shaking 2 seconds after the shutter button has been pressed.
    • Most cameras allow shooting movie clips (avi). Even if the movie mode may provide less pixel resolution, shoot movie clips, particularly for planetary imaging. Movie clips consist of many single frames and software  like RegiStax convert the movie clip into a string of single images, which can be stacked. With a frame per second rate (fps) of typically 10 fps to 30fps, a 10 second clip results in a large number of single frames. This is important because air movement and other distortions will blur many images. The probability of getting a few good ones increases with the number of available images.
    • Stacking good images helps to pronounce object features and texture.
    • If your camera has no movie (avi) feature take at least 30, better 50 (or even more) images to increase the probability hitting  some really good ones with little of no air movement.
    • DSLR cameras use mirrors that flip up during the exposure. If shooting images (not movie clips) use mirror lock if available. Even if the mirror is very light, the fast movement can create enough momentum to cause shake, which again blurs the image.

    Jupiter is the fifth and largest planet in our solar system. It is a gas giant which is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium (very similar to our sun). Jupiter may also have a rocky core of heavier elements.

     

    STAY TUNED FOR MORE ON EYEPIECE PROJECTION IN NEXT WEEK'S BLOG

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) England astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial education eyepiece high-resolution imaging photography projection https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/astrophotography-tips-eyepiece-projection Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:11:24 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #10 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/digital-mythbusting-10 Cropping is the same as getting closer.  Cropping, in this sense, is about cropping an image when processing, but it also refers to standing in one place and zooming in and out.  When you set up your camera in one spot and zoom, you're essentially cropping your scene.  To prove it, try taking some photos from one spot with your camera on a tripod and shoot a wide shot and then a telephoto shot.  In the computer, crop your wide to match  the composition of your telephoto shot, and you can see that it matches exactly, other than possibly losing some image quality due to the crop.

    Physically moving closer to or farther from your subject changes things that can't be changed by cropping or zooming.  As you move, you change relationships of foreground to background, you alter perspective, and you affect the appearance of space within your photograph.  These things can be significant, which is why the same subject shot with a wide-angle lens up close and with a telephoto lens from farther away will have totally different looks even if the subject is the same size in both photos.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/10/digital-mythbusting-10 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:15:29 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #9 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-9 RAW should be undexposed for highlights.  This is another persistent myth that started early on in digital.  Images always should be exposed as accurately as possible, and that means making bright areas bright in the exposure.  When bright areas are underexposed, everything else in the photograph is underexposed, as well.  All digital sensors are at their worst in the darkest parts of an exposure.  This has to do with the physics of how sensors respond to light.  When an image is underexposed, you're pushing midtone tonalities and colors down into darker parts of the exposure, which is the worst place for them to be recorded by the image sensor.  Even if you process the image to brighten it, you're never working with the best quality tonalities and colors.  Image tonalities always look their best, no matter what processing you do, when they're exposed to hold good detail from dark to bright.  An easy way to check this is to look at your histrogram.  You never want to have a large gap on the right side of the histogram; that means underexposure that's causing problems for your sensor.

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-9 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:09:21 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #8 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-8 You can always crop for a better photo.  Technically, this isn't a digital myth.  Photographers used to do it with film, as well.  With high-megapixel cameras, however, there has become almost a culture of cropping as a way of creating images.  There's nothing necessarily wrong with cropping, and sometimes that's the best thing to do with a photograph.  However, if cropping is always used as a way to improve the image, that means you're not getting the best photo from the start when you take the picture.

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-8 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:18:56 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #7 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-7 Contrast is bad.  With the popularity of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography has come the rather arbitrary idea that contrast is no good.  Consider this:  Photography has always been about contrast.  Contrast in tonality, contrast in color, contrast in texture all help define and structure a composition.  Without contrast, a photograph can look flat and dull.
    It's true that cameras have a more limited capacity -- dynamic range -- than our eyes do.  This naturally results in contrasty images.  That's neither good nor bad except as it affects how you want to protray your subject.  HDR can be ideal for certain subjects because it can be used to reveal elements in a scene that are important and can't be captured by the camera without it.  On the other hand, the drama of contrast can be equally important, and working to eliminate that contrast can weaken a photo.  In the final analysis, contrast is simply a tool to be used by the photographer to control the image and give it the interpretation that works best for your subject and your needs as a photographer.

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-7 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:47:54 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #6 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-6 All noise is bad.  Because cameras today are doing such a good job in controlling noise in digital photos, a rather arbitrary idea exists that any noise in a photo is a bad thing.  To the contrary, noise can be helpful.  For example, an image with even a slight bit of noise often will look sharper than an image without any noise.  This was well known by black-and-white photographers who shot
    TRI-X; when the grain (which is similar to noise) of that film was sharp in a print, the image looked sharp, even if the focus wasn't spot-on.  Also, photo retouchers often add some noise to images that aren't quite sharp because they know viewers then will have something to focus on, thereby making the photo look sharper.

    In addition, noise can add a grittiness to a photo that gives it emotional content that can't be had in any other way.  A photograph of wildlife in extemely bad weather conditions, for example, can look kind of unreal if there's no noise.  Having some noise there adds a feeling of grittiness that adds to the mood.  So consider that noise can give you some creative and technical possibilities.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-6 Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:33:02 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #5 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-5 Sharpness is mainly about the lens and camera. The article "Sharpness: The Deadly Dozen," shows how much sharpness is affected by things like camera movement and your choice of f-stop. (Find it in the February 2014 issue of Outdoor Photographer or online at outdoorphotographer.com.) The best, most expensive lens in the world isn't necessarily going to get you sharper pictures unless you're also paying attention to your craft as a photographer. Cameras and lenses today are extremely good, and if your photos aren't sharp, it's rarely because of the lenses. It's most often because of camera movement during exposure.

    Buy your lenses based on the focal length's unique qualities and on what you can afford. Then hone your craft to get the most out of whatever gear you own, and you'll be surprised at how sharp your images can be.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/9/digital-mythbusting-5 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:20:28 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #4 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-4 RAW isn't processed.  This is one of those myths that has persisted forever.  All cameras do some processing of the image signal as it comes off of the sensor and then again as that signal is converted into a digital file in the A/D (analog/digital) converter.  This processing affects the noise, tonality and color of an image, which is why you can have the same sensor in cameras made by different manufacturers and get different looking RAW files from each.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-4 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:37:34 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #3 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-3 What the camera captures is "real.  The camera sees the world very differently than we do.  Our eyes have far greater capabilities than any sensor on the market today.  Every sensor is restricted in its ability to capture dynamic range, colors and tonal gradations compared to what we see.  In addition, every manufacturer tunes a camera's sensor in a way they feel makes the camera perform better, not more realistic.

    If you want realistic or even naturalistic, you're often going to have to do some processing of the image whether that's something like a RAW file in Lightroom or a carefully setup processing of JPEG files in your camera.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-3 Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:04:27 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting #2 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-2 Auto white balance is great for color.  I hear this all the time:  "I shoot RAW, so I can shoot auto white balance and not have any problems."  While it's true that you can easily change your white balance in any program that processes RAW files, the challenge is that you have to do the processing and you have to have some reference to make sure the processing is accurate or even appropriate.  Auto white balance has two main issues when shooting outdoors.

    First, it's inconsistent.  If you photograph a landscape with flowers in the foreground and shoot with a wide-angle lens, then use a telephoto on just the flowers, you'll discover the flowers have changed color because the camera has changed the white balance.  White balance is designed to change, and that's a benefit indoors where things like fluorescent lights don't have consistent color.

    Second, auto white balance has a tendency to add a slight blue cast to scenes, especially under cloudy and shady conditions.  This blue cast makes neutral colors no longer neutral and damages the saturation of warm colors.  A big problem with this blue cast is the way our eyes look at images on the computer screen.  Our eyes are very adaptable, and unless there's a standard reference to work against, our eyes adapt to that blue cast and think it looks okay even though it isn't, so we don't adjust properly.  Even if you do make the adjustment, you run into the problem of the inconsistency of auto white balance, making it impossible to know which photo is correct.

    Shooting a specific white balance, such as "Sun" for sun, "Shade" for shade, "Cloudy" for cloudy and so forth, locks in your white balance to a specific point and ensures you don't have the unwanted blue cast.  Cloudy white balance is also great for locking in colors at sunrise and sunset that are closer to what we expect from film.

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-2 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:36:47 GMT
    Digital Mythbusting (Outdoor Photographer) Part 1 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-outdoor-photographer-part-1 "Digital photography became popular at the same time that internet access and usage exploded in growth.  The technology behind digital photography was new, and a thirst for knowledge gave rise to rampant misunderstandings and half-truths that circulated like wildfire in the fertile ground of the internet.  In time, many of these myths were debunked, but some persist, and they can distract you from doing your best as a photographer and having fun at something you enjoy.  Following is the top-10 list of digital photography myths that need to be busted.

     

    #1  More megapixels are automatically better.  While there can be plenty of benefits associated with higher megapixel counts, more megapixels don't necessarily equate to better-looking photos.  This myth has been perpetuated because it's a lot easier to take a quick glance at a spec chart rather than the more difficult task of looking at how good the pixels are.  For example, the Mars Rover has a main camera with only 2 megapixels, and it does pretty well.  Megapixels aren't about image quality; they're about image size.  Some of the best sensors in recent years in terms of their rendition of color, tonality and noise have been well under 20 megapixels and from most manufacturers.

    Keep this in mind as you're looking at cameras and what you need or don't need for your particular photography.  If you're getting the photographs you need, never feel intimidated by someone who has more megapixels or manufacturer advertising that claims your aren't enough."

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/8/digital-mythbusting-outdoor-photographer-part-1 Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:32:43 GMT
    Capturing the Super Moon: Part 3 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/capturing-the-super-moon-part-3 Hey folks,

    Welcome to Part 3 of my 4-part series on how to capture the Super Moon or full moon!

    In my first part, I explained how to capture a spectacular moon with a moon-lit landscape.  In Part 2, I

    talked about how to make the Super Moon or full moon your main subject by filling the frame and using

    high magnification to capture detail on the moon's surface.

    In Part 3, I will discuss how to capture the "best of both worlds" so to speak.  As I mentioned in Part 1, it is

    difficult to capture a scene where the landscape is properly exposed and the moon is also because the landscape

    in the foreground is darker then the bright full moon at infinity.  If you properly expose for the landscape, your moon

    will be blown out (overexposed) and if you properly expose for the moon, your landscape will be under exposed.  One way

    to get around this problem is to shoot several images at high magnification using a super telephoto lens or an astronomical

    telescope.  You would want to fill the frame with the Super or full moon and be sure that it is properly exposed and shows sharp

    details of the lunar surface.  You would then need to capture several images of the foreground landscape, again, obtaining

    proper exposure.  Your image captures must be sharp and properly exposed.  Later, you can combine your best two photos

    with an image processing software such as PhotoShop giving you that unique look of a very large and detailed full moon or

    Super Moon rising above a dramatic landscape. 

    Image result for Large Moon over a landscape

    Now, you can also go for a "moonlit" landscape.  Another way of doing

    this capture is to use your super telephoto lens or telescope in which you would capture a very large moon above the

    horizon while also magnifying a piece of the distant landscape.  I am sure you have all seen such images in magazines

    and on the internet.  Remember that it is critical that you put your super telephoto lens and/or astronomical telescope on a

    sturdy tripod and mount, use a remote shutter release and lock up the mirror!  At high magnifications, you lose some light

    through your optics and you magnify your subject but also you magnify any disturbances (camera shake) which will induce

    blurring. 

    Image result for Large Moon over a landscape

    When you are capturing a very large moon over the horizon and then you super magnify it, the foreground landscape will

    automatically become a silouhette creating a nice artistic effect.  As the moon rises, you will notice (due to the moon illusion)

    that the moon becomes smaller and brighter to our eyes but this is just the atmospheric and optical effect of what we see.

    As the moon rises, you will notice that, often, the landscape becomes moonlit and that, too, makes for a nice capture!

    Next week's blog, we introduce Part 4 so stay tuned!

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/capturing-the-super-moon-part-3 Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:27:15 GMT
    The Super Moon!!!! Part One https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/the-super-moon-part-one Hey folks,

    Did you miss the Super Moon last weekend or were you lucky enough to see it?  How about capturing images of it?  I did.  There is suppose to be another Super Moon on August 10.  So, let's get prepared for our next one.  The best time to image a full moon or Super Moon is when it has just cleared the horizon.  At this point, the moon is viewed through the thickest part of earth's atmosphere which not only acts like a filter but also causes the famous "moon illusion."

    The Moon illusion is an optical illusion in which the Moon appears larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky. This optical illusion also occurs with the Sun and star constellations. It has been known since ancient times and recorded by various cultures.[1] The explanation of this illusion is still debated.

     

    The Super Moon, on the other hand, is something different and not as frequent.  The above image shows an example of a Super "Harvest" Moon similar to what appeared on June 12.  Here is some information about the Super Moon:

    A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The term "supermoon" is not astronomical, but originated in modern astrology.[1] The association of the Moon with both oceanic and crustal tides has led to claims that the supermoon phenomenon may be associated with increased risk of events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but the evidence of such a link is widely held to be unconvincing.[2]

    The most recent occurrence was on July 12, 2014. The next and closest supermoon of 2014 will be on August 10.

    There are several ways to image a full moon but we will cover, in this Part One, "Moonscape Photography":

    first, image the moon with a landscape by using a camera-on-tripod setup and preferrably a remote shutter.  Lenses of 50mm and wider are good for this since they are your typical landscape lenses which capture a wide view.  The best time for these kind of moon images is during twilight or also known as the "blue hour" when the sky turns a deep cobalt blue.  The reason being is that there is less contrast at this time, a nice cobalt blue background and still remaining light onto the landscape.  This is better for your exposure and for digital in general.  My goal for moonscape photography is connecting the earth and sky.  Once you know that a Super Moon is due, search out a scenic location with a flat horizon to the east but even better try to find an iconic location such as a lighthouse or famous historic building that will add appeal and the "wow factor" to your composition.  These make your images more unique and marketable! 

    Once you have your location, set up your composition during the twilight period and since you will be shooting in low-light, a longer exposure is likely and therefore the use of a stable platform for your camera, the tripod, is a must!  The use of a remote shutter release is also highly recommended since pressing the camera's shutter only defeats the purpose of using a tripod.  Bracket your images while reviewing them on your LCD screen to obtain proper exposure.  With enough moonlit landscape, you should be able to acquire an good exposure on the landscape but the moon may be overexposed and detail lacking.  Use your exposure compensation mode while bracketing and find a balance where detail can be captured both in the landscape and the moon.  I recommend the use of a 50mm (normal or standard) lens since it will capture a good deal of the landscape while the moon, although small in the frame, will be a little more magnified.  Stay tuned to next week's Blog where I will cover Part Two on how to capture a Full Moon and/or Super Moon!

    ronald

     

     

     

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/the-super-moon-part-one Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:35:02 GMT
    Astro imaging tips! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/astro-imaging-tips Hello all,

    For those of you who have an interest in photographing the "night-sky" below are some tips and techniques for capturing the night sky!

    1) Be sure to clean your optics (front and rear) before starting your photography session.
    2) Be sure that your tripod extends high enough so that you camera is level with your eyes and you won't have to bend over. Avoid extending the center column since this would turn your tripod into a monopod and create less stability.
    3) A carbon fiber tripod with a quick release and ball head is best. Bogen Manfrotto, Giotto, Gitzo and Slik are a few of the best.
    4) A tripod and remote shutter is mandatory for astrophotography.
    5) Focus your lens on "infinity" before it gets dark or you can also put a piece of glow in the dark tape as a marker of your infinity setting.
    6) Use the "mirror lockup" technique for extra stability.
    7) Astrophotography is the toughest test on your optics since we are trying to capture very distant celestial objects in extreme low light while obtaining sharpness and composition.
    8) Be sure to turn your lens stablizer to OFF when on a tripod.
    9) Be sure to set your lens to Manual Focus (MF) when astro imaging.
    10) You can use the shutter priority (Tv) or (S) setting, the Manual (M) or the Bulb (B) setting.
    11) Use red light (to preserve night vision) only.
    12) Star trails can be captured with one exposure if using film but with digital you would need to capture many images about 2 seconds apart and then combine in Photoshop.
    13) The longer the lens focal length such as 300mm as opposed to 50mm the shorter the exposure must be to avoid star trailing on your images.
    14) Use the "500 rule". Divide the focal length of your lens into 500 and this will tell you how long you could keep the shutter open to avoid star trails. e.g., 50mm lens, set for 50mm divided by 500 = 10 seconds
    15) If you want the star trails in your image, set camera shutter using the "500" rule above.

     

    Hope this has been helpful!

    Ronald

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/astro-imaging-tips Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:44:08 GMT
    Resolution and Print Sizes https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/resolution-and-print-sizes From an article in EOS Magazine:

    "What is the largest size print you can make from your image file?  Do a search on the internet and there is no shortage of information.  There are charts and tables, mathematical calculations and countless opinions.  What is rare, however, is a photographer who has actually tested this.

    One such is David Pogue, an American technology writer and television presenter.  For his show "It's all Geek to me", he made three 16 X 24 inch photo prints.  One was from a 13 megapixel file.  He also made prints from the same image, but downsized to 8 megapixels and 6 megapixels.  The prints were hung on a wall in Times Square, New York, and passers-by asked if they could see the difference, the rest made guesses and were wrong.  Only one person correctly ranked the prints in megapixel order -- and she turned out to be a professor of photography.

    There is the temptation to shoot at your camera's highest resolution.  We all do it, just in case we capture the perfect image and want it enlarged to the size of a wall.  However, keep in mind that all EOS cameras allow you to shoot at less than their maximum quality setting.  On the EOS 650D, for example, the 'Large/Fine' and "RAW" settings give 18 megapixels, but other settings will record 8, 4.5, 2.5, or 0.35 megapixels.  You could save computer storage space selecting an appropriate setting."

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/7/resolution-and-print-sizes Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:39:05 GMT
    Metering and White Balance cards https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/metering-and-white-balance-cards Digital cameras use sophisticated exposure systems with a choice of metering patterns to suit different lighting situations.  The systems work on the assumption that the area of the scene being metered is a mid-tone, or 18% gray to be precise; the average if all dark, light and mid-tones were mixed together.  It's the basis of all metering patterns and works surprisingly well, but can render incorrect exposures when the overall scene or subject is considerably lighter or darker than 18% gray.  For example, very dark areas can fool the metering system into overexposure, as the light meter will take a reading that renders it as a mid-tone.

    As a camera is trying to render an image 'gray', it's your job to ensure you compensate to keep the tones true to life.  You can do this by either using one of your camera's exposure override facilities, such as exposure compensation, the AE-Lock button or by metering from an area of the scene that has a mid-tone.  And that's where our gray card comes in.  Using it is very simple.  The key thing to remember is that you need to place the gray card in similar lighting to your subject, for instance, don't place it in a shaded area if your subject is bathed in sunlight.  Also, make sure that the card fills the metering area -- we would recommend you use spot or partial metering as the card won't need to fill the entire image area -- but any is suitable.

    You can either lock the exposure using your camera's AE-Lock facility or note the aperture and shutter speed, then switch to manual mode and dial in these settings.  This latter method isn't suitable on days where lighting is variable.  The card has AF reference lines to help your camera's autofocus lock on to it.  However, you don't necessarily need it to be in focus to work correctly.  The gray card (as well as the white card) can also be used to take a custom White Balance reading from, too.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Artists Astronomical Beavertail Boston C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Connecticut Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National New PPA PPARI Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Report Rhode Ronald SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The Weather Zincone adult art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography aurora award better binoculars borealis camera canon celestial class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment eye-piece field film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong light lighthouse lightning lights low low-light lunar macro magic meteor meteorities meteors moon night-sky nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe shower skywarn solar space teacher teaching trip trips weather winning your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/metering-and-white-balance-cards Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:49:48 GMT
    Shooting Flowers https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/shooting-flowers From "The Essential Guide to Close-up Photography":

    Flowers are a favorite close-up subject.  Not only do they create vibrant and interesting images, but they are also easily accessible to all.  Whether you're photographing wild flowers like foxgloves, snowdrops and poppies, or cultivated species like lilies, orchids and tulips, the approach and technique are generally the same.

    Weather is a key consideration.  Still days are best as flowers will sway in windy weather, making it nearly impossible to focus and compose images precisely.  If you have no choice but to shoot in windy conditions, try steadying flowers using a clamp or windbreak.  Overcast light is well-suited to flower photography, as the lower levels of contrast will allow you to faithfully capture color and fine detail.  A polarizing filter can remove glare from reflective petals or foliage, helping restore natural color saturation.  Early morning and late evening light is warm and attractive and will complement flowers.  Backlighting your subject will create atmospheric results, highlighting the translucency of petals and leaves and creating attractive rim lights around your subject.  If you have no choice but to shoot in the middle part of the day -- when the overhead position of the sun results in quite harsh, high-contrast light -- keep a reflector close to hand.  This will enable you to "fill" dark shadow areas by bouncing light onto your subject.

    When photographing flowers, a shallow depth-of-field will often create the most artistic-looking results.  Opt for your lens's maximum aperture -- normally f2.8 or f4 -- and focus on a key area of interest or detail; for example, the flower's stamens or the tip of a petal.  With depth-of-field being so shallow, everything but your focal point will drift attractively out of focus, directing the eye to your chosen point.

    Pay close attention to the subject's background.  Simplicity is key.  Normally, a nicely diffused, out-of-focus backdrop -- free of mess, clutter or distracting elements -- is best.  To create a flattering background, only photograph flowers that you can easily isolate from their surroundings.  Look for flowers taller than the ones around it, or which are a good distance from the background.  Remove distracting grasses or twigs using scissors or flatten by hand.  If possible, position yourself so that other out-of-focus flowers form the background, creating a pleasing wash of color.

    Of course, you don't have to photograph flowers outdoors.  You can bring flowers in from your garden, or pop to a local florist for a handful of blooms.  Shooting indoors allows you more control over lighting and background color.  You can position sheets of colored card or fabric behind your set-up to form a simple contrasting background.  Window light is a great form of illumination, so place your flower on a table where it will be bathed in natural light.  The light can be diffused if necessary by hanging muslin over the window.  By shooting indoors, you can capture great floral close-ups whatever the weather.

    Finally, remember to only photograph pristine subjects -- in close-up, even the smallest imperfection will be highlighted.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE Artists Astronomical Society of Southern New England Beavertail Boston Museum of Science C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Photographic Consultant Connecticut ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Leonid Massachusetts NASA NatGeo National Weather Service New PPA PPARI Professional Photographers of America Rhode Ronald Zincone Photography SLR SkyWarn The Planetary Report adult adult education art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomical photography astronomy astrophotography aurora award winning better your photography binoculars borealis camera canon celestial celestial photography class classes classroom closeup comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment enrichment courses eye-piece projection field trip field trips film flower flowers google hands-on high-resolution high-resolution imaging high-resolution photography hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong lifelong learning lighthouse lightning lights low light photography low-light low-light photography lunar macro magic hour meteor meteor shower meteorities meteors moon night-sky photography nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe skywarn solar space teacher teaching weather https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/shooting-flowers Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:09:42 GMT
    Essential Photography Equipment https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/essential-photography-equipment Hello students!

    You know, we all have friends in our lives.  Some are more closer to us then others.  There are friends and there are "best friends".  As photographers we own many accessories.  Lens cloths, hoods and filters are friends.  So are camera bags.  But our "best friends" should be two pieces of vital equipment -- the tripod and the remote shutter release.

    The tripod provides stability and a better way to accurately compose your subject.  Use of a tripod (even a cheap one - any tripod may be better then none) prevents you from having to hand-hold your camera especially problematic if you have a long lens attached to it.  Other accessories such as a battery grip can also add weight which only makes it more difficult to hand-hold your camera.  Instability leads to camera shake which leads to blurry images.

    Another great advantage in use of a tripod is that with the camera stablized, you can now select aperture priority mode (Av) or (A) and concentrate on depth of field (DOF) when capturing landscapes.  With landscape subjects, the subject doesn't move and so the only movement you need to prevent is from hand-holding your camera.  Landscape subjects require closing down the aperture and the sweet spot is usually around f8 to f11.  Ok, no problem.  Just be sure to capture a proper exposure!

    When you try to capture a landscape scene hand-holding the camera, you need to prevent camera shake and blurry images by turning your len's stablizer (if you have this) to ON and then set a high enough shutter speed using the (hand-holding / shutter speed) technique to stop any camera shake for a  clear image.  Now, imagine, based on the light in the scene, that you needed, say, to set a shutter speed of 1/250sec based on your focal length set to 250mm.  Your camera's software will automatically set an aperture that is wider open say around f4 for this example.  At f4, you may not have enough depth of field to give your scenic foreground to background sharpness.  By hand-holding your camera on non-moving subjects such as landscapes, you are forcing yourself to use shutter priority mode (Tv) or (S) and now your at the mercy of the camera's software to set the aperture.  What to do?  Use a tripod!

    Your second "best friend" should be a remote shutter release.  I like the ones with the cable.  Why would you set your camera up on a tripod for maximum stability then decide that you are going to push the shutter button on the top of the camera.  When you push that shutter button, you are touching the camera and possibly inducing vibration which can lead to blurry images.

    These are the two main ways to prevent camera vibration and blurry images!

    Ronald

     

     

     

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE America Appreciation Artists Astronomical Astronomical Society of Southern New England Beavertail Boston Boston Museum of Science C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Certified Photographic Consultant Cloud Connecticut Connection Consultant ECONN EOS England Exchange Geographic Guild Island Jamestown Judith Learning Leonid Massachusetts Museum NASA NatGeo National National Weather Service New PPA Photographers Photographic Photography Planetary Professional Professional Photographers of America Report Rhode Ronald Ronald Zincone Photography SLR Science Service SkyWarn Society Southern The The Planetary Report Weather Zincone adult adult education art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomical photography astronomy astrophotography aurora award award winning better better your photography binoculars borealis camera canon celestial celestial photography class classes classroom comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational england enrichment enrichment courses eye-piece eye-piece projection field field trip field trips film focus google hands-on high-resolution high-resolution imaging high-resolution photography hour hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong lifelong learning light lighthouse lightning lights low low light photography low-light low-light photography lunar magic magic hour meteor meteor shower meteorities meteors moon new night-sky night-sky photography nightsky northern of one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets prime private projection ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars session severe shower skywarn solar southern space spotter spyglass star stars storm sun sunrise sunset system teach teacher teaching telescope telescopic thunderstorms time trails travel traveling trip trips tropics tutor tutoring twilight weather webcam winning workshop workshops your https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/essential-photography-equipment Sat, 07 Jun 2014 14:59:54 GMT
    Rhode Island's largest telescope and dark-sky location https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/rhode-islands-largest-telescope-and-dark-sky-location Hey folks,

    was out the last two nights doing astrophotography from one of Rhode Island's darkest locations -- the Frosty Drew Observatory & Sky Theater at Ninigret Park in Charlestown!  If you want to see a good milky way arc across the wide open sky, meteors, constellations and much more, visit Frosty Drew.  It vast area nature preserve with all kinds of birds and other wildlife.  The nature center and sky theater is  open to the public and you can go on their site to see what programs are running.

    Frosty Drew is a planetarium-like experience.  Because Ninigret Park is close to the water, the skies are dark towards the south.  Some light pollution is evident towards the northern sky.  The observatory is home to Rhode Island's largest telescope - a 16-inch SCT.  They have free public viewings on Friday nights.  Last night I was there to capture some night sky images of the moon and jupiter above the observatory.

    Beware though -- the mosquitos are like pirranas.  Ninigret Park also has a nice playground and picnic benches.  Check out their site at:

    http://frostydrew.org/observatory/

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE Artists Astronomical Society of Southern New England Beavertail Boston Museum of Science C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Photographic Consultant Connecticut ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Learning Connection Leonid Massachusetts Museum of Science NASA NatGeo National Geographic National Geographic Society National Weather Service New PPA Professional Photographers of America Rhode Ronald Zincone Photography SLR SkyWarn The Cloud Appreciation Society The Planetary Report adult adult education art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomical photography astronomy astrophotography aurora award winning better your photography binoculars borealis camera canon celestial celestial photography class classes classroom comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment enrichment courses eye-piece projection field trip field trips film google hands-on high-resolution high-resolution imaging high-resolution photography hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses lesson lessons lifelong lifelong learning lighthouse lightning lights low light photography low-light low-light photography lunar magic hour meteor meteor shower meteorities meteors moon night-sky photography nightsky northern one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets prime focus private instruction private session ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe severe weather skywarn solar solar system southern new england space space travel spotter spyglass star trails stars storm sun sunrise sunset teach teacher teaching telescope telescopic thunderstorms time traveling photographer traveling teacher tropics tutor tutoring twilight weather webcam workshop workshops https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/6/rhode-islands-largest-telescope-and-dark-sky-location Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:45:21 GMT
    Ronald's top "10" photography tips! https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/5/ronalds-top-10-photography-tips Hello folks,

    I often find that many of my students neglect to do some very simple but important things before and after their photo shoots.  Therefore, I have put together a list of my top "10" requirements:

    1)  Clean your optics!  -- be sure to clean your front and rear lenses as well as your LCD viewfinder and LCD screen.  If your optics are not clean, neither will your images.  Use a "Giotto" rocket blower to blow off the dust and an optical cleaning cloth or a Zeiss wipe for further cleaning.

    2)  Carry a spare memory card -- what happens if you go on that once-in-a-lifetime trip and you take 500 photos all saved to just one memory card?  You are putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak.  Have a secondary memory card so that you can save 250 images on one and 250 images on the second card.  In this way, if one of your memory cards gets lost, stolen or corrupted, you still have 250 treasurable lifetime shots preserved and you still have a memory card for photography!  I suggest one 8GB and one 4GB.

    3)  Carry a spare battery -- similar to item #2.  If your batteries get lost, stolen or lose power you won't have any means to operate your camera!  Also, in cold weather or excessive use of your LCD screen, your camera battery will drain faster.

    4)  Use a tripod and remote shutter -- if you want to truly capture "tack-sharp" images of your subjects, especially of landscapes, having a stablized platform is a must!  This is especially true if you are using a heavy camera and long lenses and any other accessory that adds weight.  This makes it more difficult for hand-holding even with image stablization technology.  Once on a tripod be sure to use a remote shutter release for "hands-off the camera" technique.  In this way, there is a lesser chance for inducing vibrations that can create a blurry image.  Be sure your lens image stabilizer is set to OFF.

    5)  If you are hand holding your camera, be sure your image stabilizer is ON (if you have one on your lens) and then use the hand-holding shutter speed technique for a better chance to control vibration and movement in your subjects.

    6)  Format your memory card(s) frequently -- this is an often overlooked housekeeping duty.  Formatting your memory card(s) using your camera's menu helps to prevent your memory card from getting corrupt and malfunctioning.

    7)  Camera settings -- remember to reset your camera's settings such as ISO, Exposure Compensation, Picture Styles, Metering mode, etc.  When you change your camera's settings in order to customize for the subject you are photographing, many of these settings will remain the same once you turn the camera off.  You may not want to use these settings for other photographic scenes so be sure to reset.

    8)  Don't shoot into the sun! -- This will often cause lens flares and create havoc with your camera's metering.  Use a lens hood and filters such as polarizers, neutral density and graduated neutral density if need be but avoid shooting directly into the sun.

    9)  Always carry a camera with you! -- even a simple digital Point & Shoot will be sufficient as a spare camera in case your DSLR malfunctions or in times when you do not want to take the heavy load with you, just having any kind of camera will allow you to capture that special moment.

    10)  PRACTICE!  PRACTICE! and PRACTICE! some more.

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE Artists Astronomical Society of Southern New England Avery Beavertail Boston Museum of Science C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Photographic Consultant Connecticut ECONN EOS England Exchange Point adult astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial cosmos digital education imaging instruction instructor learning lifelong photographic photography science space teacher teaching https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/5/ronalds-top-10-photography-tips Tue, 27 May 2014 14:03:20 GMT
    PPARI and PPA https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/5/ppari-and-ppa If you are a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) or even if your not, consider joining a wonderful and proactive organization -- PPARI -- Professional Photographers Association of Rhode Island.  PPARI is my home state affiliation with PPA. 

    As a member of PPA since 2004, I am looking forward to being a member of my affiliate association.  I recently started my activities with PPARI by attending my first all-day seminar "Business, Branding and Beyond" with Binita Patel.  This seminar was professionally conducted and I came away obtaining new knowledge while also meeting many of the PPARI members including the new President Jeanne Hauser.

    Both PPA and PPARI are great organizations that are proactive and provide great benefits and wonderful opportunities to network and market.  You can go to my website at http://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com

    and click on my PPA / PPARI Links page to see a list of PPA / PPARI members and links to their websites and/or emails.

    Check out PPA at http://www.ppa.com

    Check out PPARI at http://www.ppari.org

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/5/ppari-and-ppa Wed, 21 May 2014 12:53:02 GMT
    What ronaldzinconephotography can do for you? https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/4/what-ronaldzinconephotography-can-do-for-you Hello students of photography!

    Here are just a few listings of how my services can benefit you:

     

    Classroom instruction, private (hands-on) sessions (indoors and outdoors), outdoor field trips and workshops, extended seminars, consultations.  I will even come to your home location or a favorite site of yours for an one-on-one session.

    Learn and understand your 35mm digital camera (DSLR or Point & Shoot) (film or digital).

    No prior experience necessary!

    Online portfolio website so that you may learn more about me and see my artwork for inspiration!

    Peace of mind knowing that I have been a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) since 2004 and a Certified Photographic Consultant C.P.C. since 2005.

    I am an award-winning and published artist.

    Peace of mind knowing that Ronald Zincone Photography is Business registered, Domain certified and PayPal verified!

    Are you interested in buying inspirational artwork as a "gift" for your friends, co-workers and family.  Are you interested in purchasing art for your home or office decor?  I provide a user-friendly way for you to search, view and purchase my artwork from my artwork galleries directly from my website at www.ronaldzinconephotography.com

    I will teach photography students of all levels.

    I also provide group instruction and presentations.

    I guarantee that you will understand and learn 35mm digital photography in just One Easy Lesson!

    Field trips and workshops in topics such as nature, macro and close ups, landscapes and scenics, astrophotography, the Rhode Island airshow, Fall foliage, the Heritage Museums and Gardens location and more!

    I provide photographic equipment if you should not have any.

     

    Contact me at (401) 932-2976 Bus cell or my email at: ronald@ronaldzinconephotography.com

    for more information and questions.

     

     

     

     

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) 35mm ASSNE Artists Astronomical Society of Southern New England Avery Beavertail Boston Museum of Science C.P.C. CPC Canon Certified Photographic Consultant Connecticut ECONN EOS England Exchange Guild Island Jamestown Judith Learning Connection Leonid Massachusetts Museum of Science NASA NatGeo National Geographic National Geographic Society National Weather Service New PPA Point Professional Photographers of America Rhode Ronald Zincone Photography SLR SkyWarn The Cloud Appreciation Society The Planetary Report adult education art artist artwork astro astroimaging astronomical astronomical photography astronomy astrophotography aurora award winning better your photography binoculars borealis camera canon celestial celestial photography class classes classroom comets cosmos course courses cyclones dawn digital dusk eclipse educate education educational enrichment enrichment courses eye-piece projection field trip field trips film google hands-on high-resolution high-resolution imaging high-resolution photography hurricane hurricanes image imaging instructing instruction instructor lapse learn learnconnect learning lens lenses leonid leonids lesson lessons lifelong learning lighthouse lightning lights low light photography low-light low-light photography lunar magic hour meteor meteor shower meteorities meteors moon night-sky photography nightsky northern one-on-one optical optics photo photographer photographic photography piggyback planets prime focus private instruction private session ronaldzinconephotography ronaldzinconephotography.com science scientific seminar seminars severe severe weather skywarn solar solar system southern new england space space travel spotter spyglass star trails stars storm sun sunrise sunset teach teacher teaching telescope telescopic thunderstorms time traveling photographer traveling teacher tropical tropical storms tropics tutor tutoring twilight weather webcam workshop workshops https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/4/what-ronaldzinconephotography-can-do-for-you Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:28:21 GMT
    NEAF 2014 https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/4/neaf-2014 Professional Photographers of America member since 2004Professional Photographers of America member since 2004

    Professional Photographers of America member since 2004

     

    Hey folks,

    If you have never experienced NEAF (Northeast Astronomy Forum and Telescope Show) -- do so!  This year's 23rd annual forum was my first and let me tell you that it was a wonderful experience!

    NEAF is the world's premiere space and astronomy expo and the largest astronomy gathering of its kind.  Here are just a few highlights:

    90,000 Sq.ft. of Telescopes & Astronomy gear

    100+ vendors from all over the Globe

    Daily Solar Observing, Beginner's classes, Kid's corner, Planetarium shows, books and toys.

    Fabulous raffle, hourly door prizes and more...

    There are also workshops and world-class speakers!  This year, April 12-13, one of the featured speakers was Neil deGrasse Tyson, Host of Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey!!!

    NEAF is presented by RAC (Rockland Astronomy Club) and held at the Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY.

    My first NEAF was a mind-blowing and overwhelming experience.  I got to meet some optical and astroimaging pioneers, publishers and vendors from all over the world.  The astronomical gear was simply awesome to see, touch and learn about.

    I highly recommend NEAF to all you amateur astronomers and astrophotographers!

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    (RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY) NEAF astro astroimaging astronomical astronomy astrophotography celestial cosmos digital forum imaging northeast science space https://www.ronaldzinconephotography.com/blog/2014/4/neaf-2014 Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:37:32 GMT