Jim Zuckerman's Blog
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 ...

Built in HDR
Saturday, July 19, 2014 11:12PM

This is a picture of the Denver skyline, and I took this shot tonight using the built-in HDR feature in the Canon 5D Mark III.  I usually use daylight white balance for twilight photography, but as it got darker and the sky was almost black, I noticed that the colors in the image seemed too yellowish for my taste.  So I switched to tungsten white balance and that made the difference.  The HDR capabilit of the camera combines the five exposures that comprise this composite and assembles them in-camera as a final jpeg image.  It's pretty impressive.  My settings for this picture were:  f/6.3, 200 ISO, and a 70-200mm lens.  The shutter speed varied per the ...

Early morning
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 11:29PM

Normally the best time to capture fog and low clouds is in the early morning.  This kind of weather is ideal for all kinds of outdoor scenes from landscapes to wildlife, and from architecture to people.  This is Bled Castle in Slovenia, and when I photographed it I had to be conscious of the possibility that the mist and low clouds might cause underexposure.  Therefore, I check the LCD monitor to determine if I needed to use exposure compensation.  In this case, I used a +2/3 f/stop to correct the exposure.You have to shoot fast in a situation like this because as the morning progresses, the air gets warmer and the fog burns off.  The settings for this picture were ...

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