RONALD ZINCONE PHOTOGRAPHY | EXTREME WEATHER

 

 

 

Providence Sunday Journal, October 9, 1938Providence Sunday Journal, October 9, 1938

 

     

Welcome and thank you for visiting my Extreme Weather page!

 

     

        My intent is to provide you with some basic tips on this unique form of photography known as weather photography and especially extreme weather photography.  At the same time, I hope to spread my obsession...oops...I mean passion of weather and extreme weather and how to capture atmospheric events such as severe thunderstorms and lightning, cloud formations, tropical systems and other "On the Edge" atmospheric events.

      This page is limited so I will post only some basic information to educate you in my hope to inspire and ignite a spark in you in order to get out there with nature's wildest events, learn some basics of the weather and capturing weather photos!  This page will educate you using text and photos in order to get you behind your camera and start capturing and creating your art of some of nature's most beautiful and, at times, dangerous weather.  Many of my image subjects captured are very serene and harmless but some capture more of the violent and extreme side of nature's weather and therefore the #1 rule is not put your life in danger and BE SAFE at all times!

     This page and website will be your foundation and starting place on your journey and at any time feel free to click on my image galleries located at the bottom of my "HOME" page or click on my PHOTOGRAPHY menu tab and look for the drop-down menu of extreme weather galleries.  The first step should be for you to learn the basics of 35mm photography and your 35mm digital camera by contacting me or go to my "WORKSHOPS" and 'TEACHING / LESSONS" pages to learn more and register for one of my indoor classes or sign up for a hands-on, private instruction ($25/hour) with me at a local Panera Bread.  Sign up for my email or contact me to learn when and where my next indoor class is being taught or if you would like to book a private lesson.  Be sure to check out my new course "New England Hurricanes: Past, Present, Future" which is the first of its kind and contains over 600 slides of valuable information and so much more!  Contact me by email or sign up for my email to receive a monthly e-newsletter!

     Also, if you find this information educational and valuable to you, by all means sign my GUESTBOOK and tell me so!

 

What is weather?

     The definition of weather is the following:  "the state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc."

     The definition of extreme weather is:  "Extreme weather includes unexpected, unusual, unpredictable severe or unseasonal weather; weather at the extremes of the historical distribution—the range that has been seen in the past. Often, extreme events are based on a location's recorded weather history and defined as lying in the most unusual ten percent."

     

     I have been a weather geek since I was a young boy growing up in Providence.  As I followed and tracked the weather patterns and the threat of severe weather with my tracking charts, weather maps and my General Electric weather band radio.  The excitement and awe I felt as the sky suddenly turned black as coal to be followed by high winds, hail, torrential rain and cloud-to-ground lightning, till this day stays with me.  In those days, I knew nothing about weather photography but I was overwhelmed what the forces of mother nature could bring and do.

     Although I enjoyed the skies above me in general, I always had a magnetism towards the extreme or what I call "On the Edge" events, whether it be astronomical or meteorological.  Just like other weather and astronomy geeks like me, it seems I had some kind of genetic code in me from birth that destined me towards these passions.  Even more so was my intense passion for tropical weather and so I began tracking and recording my first tropical storm in 1972 -- Agnes.  I was 10 years old at the time but I still have vivid memories of the gale winds and rains as the storm tracked up into Pennsylvannia and New York state with flooding devastation.  Since then, I have followed and tracked many other tropical systems that have made landfall on the United States and especially New England.

     Today, I am more well informed and use better technology to follow extreme weather in order to not only prepare and be safe but to also capture nature's extremes.  I am not a professional nor am I a Storm Chaser as you would see on the Discovery Channel.  Yes, I will, sometimes, chase a thunderstorm in order that I can get into a safe position to capture spectacular lightning, cloud formations, damage and other elements that severe weather can bring.  I am proud to be a certified Skywarn weather spotter for the National Weather Service (NWS).  We are a nationwide group of volunteers who are trained and certified to spot and report severe weather conditions that meet certain criteria.  In this way, we (spotters) become the eyes and ears of "real-time" reporting in the field to the NWS.  With the latest weather technology such as satellites and doppler radar and field reports from trained spotters, we hope to improve early warning times to the public, especially in the case of tornado outbreaks, so that the public can have ample time to get to safety.

     With today's digital technology, cell phones, cameras, internet, apps, etc...it is now more easier to receive weather warnings, track severe weather and move on to safety or, as a weather geek, intercept and setup for some extreme weather imagery.  Today I use my 35mm Canon DSLR's - the 60Da and 6D as well as a Bogen Manfrotto tripod, remote shutter release, wide-angle Rokinon fast prime lenses, cell phone, NOAA weather radio and a Lightning Trigger to capture nature's fury.  Below is an example of one of my early lightning photos captured with a fully manual film camera in Bulb mode.  This intense and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning bolt was captured at night:

Cloud-to-ground Lightning capture, Richmond, RI copyright ronaldzinconephotographyCloud-to-ground Lightning capture, Richmond, RI copyright ronaldzinconephotography Cloud-to-ground lightning in Richmond, RI  

copyright Ronald Zincone Photography

 

     This kind of capture was done by selecting Bulb mode from my shutter speeds which when using a cable release, I was able to lock the shutter open until a lightning strike occurred.  Because it was night-time, I did not risk blowing out the image.  This could not be done in daylight hours unless you used some kind of 10-stop ND filter which would be problematic to say the least.  With advances in image capture technology the easier way is to use what is called a Lightning Trigger.  Several brands are on the market to chose from.  These work by placing the device in your camera's hot shoe (where your external flash would go) and with a special cable optimized for your Camera brand and model, plug into where your remote shutter would go.  The beauty of this is that the LT has a very sensitive sensor that can detect lightning strikes up to 20 miles and will automatically trip your camera's shutter at a fraction of a second to capture the lightning without overexposing the image.  The one I highly recommend is the official lightning trigger by Stepping Stone Products, LLC.  Here is an image of the LT and one of my Lightning Trigger captures:

Stepping Stone Products The Lightning Trigger

 

Here is a link to Stepping Stone Products store:  Stepping Stone Products The Lightning Trigger

 

Lightning in Richmond copyright ronaldzinconephotographyLightning in Richmond copyright ronaldzinconephotography Captured with The Lightning Trigger by Stepping Stone Products, LLC

copyright Ronald Zincone Photography

 

 

       So if you want to learn about what and where I teach my classes and offer private lessons, go to      my TEACHING / LESSONS page.

     To learn more about me go to my ABOUT ME page

     To learn tips, techniques and all kinds of information related to astronomy, photography, astrophotography and extreme weather go to my BLOG 

     To contact me, go to my CONTACT page

     To see my online portfolio and read my mission statement, go to my HOME page

     If you need to search my image galleries, click on SEARCH 

     To see a complete list of my gear, click on GEAR

     I welcome you to sign my GUESTBOOK

     To read what my students have said about my instruction and customer service, go to FEEDBACK

     To learn what workshops I am currently offering to students, click on WORKSHOPS

     Click on my NIGHT SKY page to learn about my night-sky photography

     Click on my PHOTOGRAPHY page to learn more about my photography