Jim Zuckerman's Blog
Foggy morning in Italy
Friday, December 02, 2016 8:50AM
Foggy morning in Italy

For those of you who expressed interest in a Tuscany & Cinque Terra photo tour, I've scheduled it for October, 2017. Here is a direct link to the promo page on my website: http://www.jimzuckerman.com/tuscany-cinque-terra-photo-tourThis tour will sell out, so if you can make it, sign up as soon as you can.Even on a foggy day, Cinque Terra is stunning. This shot is taken from the road that winds its way past the five villages that make up this beautiful area of Italy. 

An exciting encounter
Monday, November 28, 2016 2:23PM
Foggy morning in Italy

Most of us have seen these stunning hyacinth macaws in zoos or bird parks many times, and it seems like no big deal to see another one. But this one was taken in the wild in the Pantanal region of Brazil, and that makes it exciting -- at least to me. A mating pair nested in a huge tree near the lodge where my photo tour group was staying, and it was thrilling to see them living in their natural habitat. The shot that I did not get -- but that one of my clients got -- was an elevated vantage of the male and female in flight returning to the tree. I'll hopefully get that in 2018 when I lead another tour to this amazing place. I used a 500mm lens to capture this image, and my settings were ...

Vernazza, Italy
Sunday, November 27, 2016 11:05AM
Foggy morning in Italy

Many people expressed interest in participating in a photo tour with me to Tuscany and Cinque Terra in yesterday's post that I wanted to share the attached image, one of my favorite compositions from this area. It is another of the five villages on the Cinque Terra coast, Vernazza. This particular evening saw huge waves that were crashing over the breakwater, and it was pretty dramatic. The trail up the mountain that afforded this beautiful view went through hillside vineyards, and there were many wonderful vantage points -- some higher and some lower. This is such a beautiful location for a village, and from any angle it makes great pictures. My settings were 2 seconds, f/4, 100 ISO, and I ...

Dusk in Italy
Saturday, November 26, 2016 3:32PM
Foggy morning in Italy

I've decided to lead a photo tour to Tuscany and the Cinque Terra Coast in Italy in 2018. Both areas are stunningly beautiful, although the Cinque Terra Coast -- which consists of five small, colorful villages built in remarkably dramatic settings -- is over-the-top in terms of beauty and photogenic material. The picture I'm attaching here is an example. This is the village of Manarola photographed at dusk. The ocean was particularly rough, and I used a five second exposure which is why the water looks almost ghost-like. I lowered the ISO to 100 and used f/8 for the lens aperture on a 16-35mm lens. For most shots of dusk and twilight, I set my white balance to 'daylight.' 

Over-the-top colors
Friday, November 25, 2016 12:58PM
Foggy morning in Italy

The old cars constantly captivated my photo tour group and I in Cuba. On our last day we visited a famous artist's house (Jose Fuster) where the entire property -- and that of his neighbors' -- have been covered by wild and artistic designs in tile. His work seemed to me to be an amalgam of Picasso and Dali. Parked in front of a neighbor's house were two 50's cars painted in wild colors, and with the background wall I thought it made a strong image. There were openings in the wall through which you could see a house, so I cut and pasted additional tile designs to plug up what I felt were distracting portions of the image. I also darkened the pavement because, in my opinion, there are four ...

Driving in Cuba
Thursday, November 24, 2016 7:59AM
Foggy morning in Italy

A little humor for a Thanksgiving day. In Cuba, they give drivers licenses to anyone! My settings were 1/15th of a second, f/9, 320 ISO. When you take a shot like this, you have to begin following the car before it gets to the spot where the shutter will be tripped. Adjust the shutter speed until you are satisfied with the amount of blur to imply motion in a still photograph. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 

Bronzed mime
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 7:58AM
Foggy morning in Italy

One of the more unique images I found on the streets of Havana, Cuba was this mime dressed and painted as if he were a bronze statue.  I thought he did a brilliant job with makeup, and when he posed in front of this arched door I quickly took a shot with a wide angle lens.  Using a wide angle for portraits gives a very different type of look especially when the camera is placed closed to the subject.  I was about six feet away.  I carefully included the entire door, and I positioned myself such that the mime was dead center on the symmetrical background because that underscores the symmetry and balance in the image.  I was grateful for the cloud clover which gave me ...

Matching colors
Monday, November 21, 2016 9:36PM
Foggy morning in Italy

I just finished leading a photo tour to Cuba -- my last tour of the year -- and this is a model shoot I set up in Havana with a lady in beautiful colors plus two 50's cars to match. In some of the model shoots I do, I want the images to look candid. Other times, I go for a posed look. I did both approaches with this model, and I like both treatments. Here she is obviously posing for the camera with a winning smile and a background that shows some of the colonial architecture in the old part of the city. My settings for this were 1/60, f/11, 800 ISO and I used aperture priority here. My lens was a 24-105mm. 

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