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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Jul 18, 2011 1 comments
Taking pictures of a family and doing it well is challenging. There are many things you have to think about to please both you and the people you are shooting. First, you should have soft and diffused lighting. An overcast sky works great and so does shade. Second, you should avoid on-camera flash if possible. If it is hopelessly dark and you don’t have any other lighting equipment, then on-camera flash will have to do. However, this kind of lighting is the least attractive type of artificial light we use. It is flat and dimensionless. Only if you use on-camera flash as a subtle fill light to open up shadows will it look good.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Apr 12, 2012 3 comments
Photographers are always concerned that their pictures turn out as sharp as possible. Photography has a seemingly endless number of challenges, but sharpness is number one. No matter how incredible your photo opportunity is, if the images are not sharp, nothing else matters. The pictures will be worthless. Too often images are almost sharp, and this is particularly vexing because if only you had paid attention to one tiny detail or two, they would be perfect.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Dec 18, 2013 0 comments
This story is oriented to photographers who are serious about their photography, and who want to learn to use flash creatively. However, I know there are a lot of people who are very happy with their camera and who aren’t interested in buying sophisticated flash units. Admittedly, there is a lot to be said for being able to use one unit for both exposure and illumination. In this section I will address the issue of pop-up flash units and tell you how to get the most out of these small and convenient types of flash.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Jul 18, 2011 0 comments
I learned a long time ago that I couldn’t rely on serendipity to get great shots of people when traveling. Once in a while I’d get lucky, but most of the time the background wasn’t perfect, the lighting wasn’t quite right, or the person wasn’t wearing clothes that told a story about the culture. In addition, I hesitate to point my camera at people without their permission. I can understand that they may feel I’m intruding on their space and their privacy, and I don’t want to do that. Grabbing shots of people without getting their permission also means that the chance of getting a model release is very small.
Jim Zuckerman Posted: Dec 28, 2015 0 comments
There are many ways to plan, prepare and work in nature that can benefit your photography, make you more efficient and keep you safe. Determining what I would need for a 3-day assignment with nothing but a backpack to store all of my food, clothing and photo equipment made my job easier as I headed into Yosemite’s backcountry (#1). How you prepare makes a huge difference in how you work. In musical terms, this is your sound check, and since a musician rarely plays cold, as photographers we too should create our own run-through before the performance.
Jim Zuckerman Posted: Jan 22, 2015 0 comments
The beauty and artistry of the natural designs found in rocks and minerals rivals the most expensive abstract paintings you might find in an art gallery. Some of them are truly breathtaking. Of course, not all rocks are created equal. Some are boring and not worth a second glance, but others are works of art and, if you were to print the images very large and frame them elegantly for your home, people would think you paid thousands of dollars for such a visually compelling piece of art.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Feb 18, 2015 0 comments
I’ve photographed seashells in various ways—against black velvet, on a beach with a sandy background and in tide pools. The most dramatic way to photograph them is with strong backlighting. When you place a bright light directly behind the shell, it suddenly seems like it is glowing from within. The colors are intense, the form of the shell is beautifully defined, and all of the detail in the structure is revealed. The results are even more dramatic when you use a black background, as I did in (#1).
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Feb 19, 2016 0 comments
Imagine you find a great location to capture a landscape and as you set up the light goes from nice to extraordinary, as it did along the banks of the Merced (#1). Your body tingles with excitement, you lock in your exposure and shoot, but when you return to view your shots, you aren’t pleased. Producing high-quality nature photography is a result of learning technique, knowing your equipment and the having the ability to react to a scene in a creative fashion at a moment’s notice. In this chapter we’ll look at the importance of mental preparation and applying your own composition sense to the creative process.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments
Photographing subjects with outrageous combinations of colors is a lot of fun. As great as complementary colors are, and as pleasing as subtlety and mood are, there’s nothing quite like color combinations that virtually knock your eyeballs out of their sockets! Combinations like orange and lime green, deep purple and red, and orange and magenta are extremely potent in drawing attention. Sometimes these juxtapositions of color are found in nature (surprisingly enough) but often they can only be found in man-made objects. One of the reasons I love photographing festivals is because the costuming is frequently shocking and outlandish.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Jan 22, 2013 1 comments
One of the more interesting projects I’ve explored in photography is shooting birefringent crystals. Birefringence is the splitting of a light ray by a crystal into two components that are at different velocities and are polarized at right angles to each other. What this means in terms of photography is that when light passes through the crystals, you can see rainbow colors in the unique and beautiful forms that make up the crystal.

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