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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.
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: Dec 28, 2015 0 comments

Nature photography may encompass grand landscapes or large wild animals, but it can also incorporate the smallest of objects. There is an entire delicate world of light, beauty, color and form in macro photography. Wonders that can be documented while on vacation on a tropical island, in a national park or even in your backyard. I have spent mornings lying in a bed of wildflowers, moving no more than a few feet, recording everything from the dew on a spider web to the shape of a purple iris. I am often surprised and rarely disappointed.

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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Nov 20, 2015 0 comments

Low light photography presents many challenges, but like any challenging situation it also opens up opportunities to create unique images. Think outside the box and you will be surprised at the kind of images you can produce. The techniques I describe below will get you started. Try each one and see why there is no limit to what you can create with some imagination and effort, and have some fun in the bargain.

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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Nov 20, 2015 0 comments
In nature, lighting can make the difference between an okay photo and an amazing shot. Light can even become the subject and can affect composition, exposure, color, focus, feel and mood. This is why most nature photographers work around light, letting it determine when and where they work. In this chapter I’ll talk about the importance of shooting at the right time of day, how the direction of light affects subject matter and how weather plays an essential part.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Aug 24, 2015 0 comments
Understanding exposure is an important part of the route that leads to creative photographs. Exposure in nature work is perhaps more challenging because there is no cookie-cutter approach when it comes to the outdoors; each moment is unique, as seen in this photograph of the moon (#1). Being able to expose the moon perfectly made it possible for me to focus on the task at hand—capturing one single bird flying across it.
Jim Zuckerman Posted: Aug 24, 2015 0 comments

Some photographers feel that the photograph you capture in camera is the final image. Today, with the advent of the Raw digital format, most photographers can’t get away from applying post-capture processing techniques to their images since, by definition, the format is an unprocessed one. Some Raw files need very little work while others require more time and effort. Since my exposure and white balance was set accurately in the field, little was needed in the processing of these 2 elephant seals (#1).

Jim Zuckerman Posted: Apr 24, 2015 0 comments

Low light photography requires technical discipline to get the kind of pictures you want. Obviously artistry is also part of the equation, but shooting when the light is reduced presents technical problems that can only be dealt with using technical solutions.

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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Apr 24, 2015 0 comments
I have wanted to photograph some of nature’s details with x-rays, but I just never got around to doing it. In writing this issue of the Petersen’s Photographic Digital Photography Guide, I thought it would be interesting for you to see what can be done with this unique way of capturing images. So, I decided to put the extra effort into taking the pictures in this section.
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Jim Zuckerman Posted: Mar 27, 2015 0 comments
Shadows are an integral part of light, and that means they are an integral part of photography. Everything casts a shadow, however subtle it may be, in virtually all types of lighting conditions. Even a small insect casts a shadow in diffused light. For example, look at the shadows under the legs of the cicada (#1). This was taken with diffused window light.

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