Jim Zuckerman's Blog
Hand held light meters
Saturday, July 26, 2014 9:00AM

I used hand held light meters for 25 years when I shot film.  This picture of an American Eskimo puppy was taken with a medium format film camera (Mamiya RZ 67 II), studio lights, and I determined the exposure with a Sekonic L-558 hand held meter.  As you can see, the exposure is perfect.  For a white subject on a black background, the exposure is challenging but the meter provided perfect results.In the digital realm, I never use a hand held meter.  All I do is look at the LCD monitor on the back of the camera, and if the exposure is not right I tweak it.  In the case of flash, to alter the exposure I can raise or lower the output of the flash, change the lens ...

Complementary colors
Friday, July 25, 2014 10:28PM

There are three sets of complementary colors in photography:  green and magenta, blue and yellow, and red with cyan.  These color combinations always go together well.  They are pleasing and, at the same time, visually striking. This painterly version (I used Topaz Simplify) of two costumed models in Venice exemplifies what I'm referring to. Similarly, the photo of a yellow police station in Istanbul, Turkey set against a rich blue sky shows another set of complementary colors.  If you are sometimes unsure of what colors look good together, you can never go wrong with the complements. 

Fireworks adds pizazz
Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:45PM

When you have a night sky that takes up a significant portion of a city scene, adding fireworks can imbue the picture with excitement and visual drama.  That's what I did to this shot of the famous Chinese Grauman's Theater in Hollywood, California.  To add the fireworks, it's not necessary to separate each streak of color from the background.  Rather, I made a rough selection around an original burst using the lasso tool, and then I used Edit > copy.  Now the image was in the clipboard, Photoshop's temporary holding place for one photo or a part of a photo.  Then I used Edit > paste to place the fireworks into the night sky above the architecture.  The ...

Chihuly glass
Monday, July 21, 2014 11:42PM

Through November, there is a spectacular display of Chihuly glass at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Colorado.  It is an incredible thing to see and experience.  The wonderful works of glass are placed artfully among the flowers, trees, ponds, and grasses of the gardens, and at night when the lights come on, it's dazzling.  I used HDR on some of the twilight images and was very pleased with the results. My favorite shots were at the twilight hour when the cobalt blue sky contrasts so beautifully with the illuminated glass.  It' a very unique exhibition and well worth the time and expense to see and photograph it.To see more images of this, here is the direct link ...

Mountain goats
Sunday, July 20, 2014 4:53PM

I photographed mountain goats on the top of Mt. Evans near Denver, Colorado this morning.  It was cold and very windy at 14,130 feet, and that made it challenging to get good shots.  In addition, the sun was behind the goats.  That created tremendous contrast, and I had to do a lot of post-processing to open up the shadows and tone down the highlights.  I was somewhat disappointed because the adults were already shedding their winter coats and they looked ragged, but still I was able to get some keepers.  The babies were constantly playing, and that was delightful to see.  The photo of the three little babies on the rock precipice makes me laugh because they ...

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