2016…Looking Back / 2017… Looking Ahead !

Jack’s Website          Jack’s 2017 Schedule          Jack’s 2017 Registration Forms

Register Before Jan 1, 2017 and receive a 10% discount —  returnees get another 10%!





All Images © Jack Graham & Jack Graham Photo LLC  unless noted/ Jack uses FUJIFILM Cameras and lenses exclusively

This is a pretty long post –there is lots of info on 2016, 2017 with a hint of 2018 and what I’ve got up my sleeve! At the very end of this post you can see a group of images from this year.

img_0534Some folks have asked me “When are you slowing down?”  “You can’t keep up the pace of 25 workshops a year can you?” The answer is … this is what I do. This is what I love. I don’t play golf. I don’t go on vacations. When folks ask me about my schedule I always tell them before talking about it that in no way am I complaining. I am honored that others want to come along with me and learn photography (and perhaps some others lessons too!)

Let’s take a quick look back on 2016. When planning 2016 I knew it was a jam-packed schedule, maybe my busiest ever. In mid-2015 I found I had a totally detached retina. I also let it go for more than 2 weeks while conducting workshops in the southwest, not knowing that these things need to be dealt with immediately. It was a bad one and after 4 surgeries to finally get attached, as it is today. Because of this I had to make the schedule of the  first 5 months of 2016 not as crowded as the back half, not knowing if the eye would give me more problems.

_jgp7756-edit-editThe year started out in January on the Olympic Peninsula. When I posted this workshop I asked who would want to come here in January. This area can get up to 300 inches of rain in spots per year! Well they did and we kicked it off in style.

_dsf1989-editThe rest of the year domestically was not that different from previous years schedule wise, but some added workshops here and there increased the load to a total of 25 events. That’s not counting weekends spent at summits, Board meetings for NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) and other events that I was asked to be at for speaking purposes. I did move both of the southwest workshops to September, hoping for better conditions than April. That worked out pretty well except for the crowds. More on that later.


Internationally, we had two 5 days trips in the winter through Iceland. The weather was really bad in 2016 as opposed to other years.(It’s usually pretty good!) We had some ice and wind… and a lot of it. I remember our group shot on trip one. The camera was about 10’ from the group and you could hardly see us, it was snowing so hard. However both groups got some fantastic landscape images, some that won’t be seen in a long time due to the record-breaking snowfall. We then ventured to Lofoten, Norway ( a 4 hour car trip after a 2 1/3 hr. flight to Oslo and another 2 hrs. to Evenes) for 5 days or so. Things there were calmer weather-wise, but disappointing from an aurora standpoint. After 24 days I returned back to Seattle. March, April & May were really normal with events here in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon Coast and the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.




Along with  Bill Fortney,  we are now conducting 4-5 workshops a year for just users of the FUJIFILM Cameras and lenses. These events fill fast!  Getting to work with Bill is not only a lot of fun, but as I tell everyone, it’s like learning to hit a baseball from Babe Ruth. More coming in 2017!

I am honored to be one of FUJIFILM’S “X” Photographers. As such I got to beta test the new X-T2 camera. This also meant getting out in my off time to make images for them, which I really enjoyed. It was fun to send back images and see how a company really takes into account what’s happening, tweaking firmware and making this camera one of the very best tools anyone could use. Thanks FUJIFILM for making me look good.

_jgp1980-editI also conduct 4-5 events for the Pacific Northwest Art School over on Whidbey Island, close to Seattle. I love the location and the folks at the art school. These are 2 day events and fill fast.

_dsf9487-edit_dsf1533-edit-editAfter 7 of 10 weekends gone in June & July and early August. We set out for Greenland and Iceland on Aug 13th. Both trips were amazing. Greenland, though primitive was amazing. Some folks are seeing eastern Greenland by boat. Not me, I want to be on land with the people. One afternoon our group saw so many whales I think they got bored and asked “Ok now…what’s next”!  In Iceland we circled the island for 12 days. We probably had 10 good sunsets, great aurora and as good light as ever. More in Iceland to come.

The balance of the year included 2 more 3 week trips including the southwest, Teton’s, Zion NP and of course the eastern Sierra with my good friend Guy Tal. I finished up Dec 4th in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Not bad! Bill and I did a great event in Acadia NP in Maine in October… some of the best fall color I’ve ever seen.


I am making some a few changes.

_dsf2495-edit-editSOUTHWEST: After 1 day in the southwest and seeing the hordes of folks with cameras, selfie sticks, iPhones, etc. in almost every location I go, I decided that, due to the crowds, I cannot do the workshops I’ve been conducting for many many years anymore….or, at least for the time being. What a shame. It’s not just the southwest. Our National Parks and lands are being trampled by people just wanting their picture in front of an icon.  Anyway, I CANNOT deliver the kind of experience I want to deliver for my clients. You can hardly get a picture in the slot canyons and other popular areas.  OK enough editorial. I think you get the point. I’ll reevaluate this late in 2017. If I go back it will not include Slot Canyons or Horseshoe Bend!

ICELAND. Winter –YES…Summer NO… I am not going to Iceland this summer for a few reasons. Yes, it’s a beautiful country. The people are great and the photography is great but once again it’s overcrowded and getting increasingly expensive.

_jgp9073-edit-2-editFour or five years ago I would guess there were about 250,000-300,000 tourists (There is a population in Iceland of about 330,000 folks. This year they expect to put in over 2 million tourists! OUCH!) During the summer months the areas that most folks want to go, Glacial lagoon, black sand beach with ice, waterfall etc.,  are way over crowded, much like the American Southwest. Additional costs are going up so that my prices as well has to go up. People are not willing to pay this amount of money. SO what do they do? They pack their cameras, fly to Iceland, rent a car, (booking hotels in the summer is very difficult—a year in advance is sometimes not enough) and go. They know via social media and the internet where to go. Many of my friends who also are doing workshops in Iceland are seeing a decline in attendees. It’s all price driven. Do they need a photographic guide? Some do some don’t. Those of us leading workshops there at least for a few years know the place backwards and forwards. Over 60% of the locations I go to are not on the tourist map. Folks going on their own may save some money but in the long run they’re not getting the photographic experience they are looking for.  I am looking into different areas of Iceland with new travel partners for summer 2018. Stay tuned!

lacanapa4_1011_2695-2NEW, well I am bringing back my Northern California workshop this March. We’ll spend 1 1/2 days in the Napa Valley, then over near Point Reyes then a sunset on the Marin Headlands followed by a sunrise back on the headlands and a morning in San Francisco then down the coast near Half Moon Bay CA.–Come with us–going to be great!


FUJIFILM SUMMITS: In addition to our FUJIFILM workshops (totally different experience) Bill Fortney and I are conducting two full-blown summits. These are travel and nature based and will consist of presentations, discussions, other sessions, interaction with Fujifilm personnel as well has having 4 FUJIFILM “X” Photographers in one place for 3+ days. We’ll be in the Smokys in April and Portland in September. Whether or not you shoot the FUJIFILM cameras, please consider coming. More information is found on THIS website



I’ll be doing 5 events for the Pacific Northwest Art School over on Whidbey Island, close to Seattle. I love the location and the folks at the art school. These are 2 day events and fill fast.



This is an odd-numbered year so Bill and I will be in NE Ohio for the fall color including our day (and a great meal) with the Amish. I have some great Amish friends that actually give us the run of the farm before filling us up with some great Amish cooking!


A print out of my schedule is 2017-workshop-schedule


Registration forms :jg_photo-registrationform



LOOKING AT 2018NORTHERN JAPAN in WINTER…Hokkaido / Nagano and more in January……. Winter Iceland in January, Summer Iceland & Greenland (September 2018)…. And more!

FINALLY…..Thank you all who came along with me not only in 2016 but in all the previous years. I work hard to deliver a really great experience and love what I do. I will slow down when it’s time, but for not with a few tweaks here and there I am looking forward to seeing you all again, as well as meeting my friends.

Every morning, just like today, I pinch myself and realize how rewarding my job is. Nobody sees the hours spent in the office etc. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

I also would like to thank my wife Linda for putting up with me and this crazy schedule. It takes someone pretty special to deal with all this!

Thank you all!

Jack Graham   Dec 16, 2016

Winter Images from Grand Teton National Park / DAY 2

Remember… register for 2017 workshops before Jan 1, 2017 and receive a 10% discount!

JACK’S 2107 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE           REG FORM:   jg_photo-registrationform



APRIL SUMMIT REG FORM      fuji-x-registrationformapril_smokys_fuji-x-registrationformv6

SEPTEMBER SUMMIT REG FORMsept2017_pdx_fuji-x-registrationform



ALL IMAGES © Jack Graham

Images from Day 2 here in GTNP—— We literally have the park to ourselves!

All images made with the FUJIFILM X-T2 along with Fujinon Lenses


Check out the little guy just below the ram!  / 100-400mm with 2 x  converter




Day One/ Winter Tetons 2016… some interesting weather coming!

_jgx1036-edit-edit-2-editA very strange  day in Jackson and the Tetons…. weather coming in… It sure was a cloud show today… We have some snow coming but things are not certain in any respect…. maybe 2-3″ in town.. more in the park or a lot more. The forecasts have literally been all over the place.day. I’ve been coming here for many years and the weather , though somewhat unpredictable… is really a tough call this year. We certainly have some weather coming in… how bad ( or good!) we don’t know yet….. anyway we are here and ready for what ever we end up with.. for me the worse the better! We would have a foot… or 3-4 inches— Thank God for 4 wheel drive and good tires…..Nobody knows whats coming—its kind of cool not knowing!!

_jgx1037-editAfter some inside “office work” this am I got  out today. The clouds put on a show… indicating lots of weather changes coming..






_jgx1060-edit-editWe ran into this moose late in the day today…now… I AM NOT A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER ..  But using the FUJIFILM gear to its limits makes me look like I am………  for those of you who think you can’t crank up your ISO’s ( if you have the right gear—- i.e FUJIFILM CAMERAS!!) this moose image was taken with the FUJIFILM X-T2.. ISO 12,800 at F8.using the 2 x converter……Now you tell me is this acceptable?—it sure is in my book!  The FUJIFILM XT2 , the 100-400is is AMAZING and the 2x converter provides lossless quality!!!!!!….it really makes the cut!… Someday I am going to compile and  a slide show af all  my FUJIFILM images made at or above 6400ISO—-more coming tomorrow I Hope   come on back!–JG

ON LANDSCAPE MAGAZINE.. please…check this out folks !

Images and text©Jack Graham/ Jack Graham Photography LLC





_dsf0991-edit-editOn Landscape Magazine has been around for quite a while now. It along with Landscape Photography Magazine are 2 of the best reads anywhere. I recommend both highly.

Recently the folks at ON LANDSCAPE had their conference that featured some of the top landscape photographers in the world. I am posting this video in the interest of everyone getting to hear these thinkers,and artists. I especially loved Bruce Percy’s talk at the end.

Do yourselves a favor and check it out! CLICK HERE

By the way, the latest issue has an article by my good friend Guy Tal in it!

I am off to the Tetons TOMORROW…where I hear it’s snowing–just what we needed there to make things right..I’ll be posting image this week.

_dsf1437-edit-editThose of you thinking about a workshop in 2017 get your registrations in before Jan 1, 2017 and receive 10% off the cost. Repeat attendees get an additional 10%.–CLICK HERE for the schedule ( these discounts do not ally on events I do for other workshop companies or on International trips)thank you–JG







For about 2 years now Bill Fortney and I have been conducting workshops together dedicated to ONLY users of the Fujifilm “X” System. These have been extremely successful.

We have talked about taking the next step and making these workshops into a larger group event, with a different perspective on how the Fuji “System works for us and how it’s benefited our image making.

We put together a plan (and received the blessing from the great folks at the Fujifilm Corporation) to schedule 2 such Photography Summits, one in the spring 2017 and one in the fall Of 2017.

_jgp1820-editDuring these summits we’ll being in 2 more of Fujifilm’s “X” Photographers, great shooters and teachers to present programs and information in addition to Bill and me. That’s 4 “X” Photographers under one roof! Additionally Fujifilm has agreed to provide technical staff, folks from Fuji Headquarters (and perhaps some surprise guests) at each event. There will also be some cool give-a-ways at each summit!

Each summit will have some field sessions, talks on creative and technical use of the Fujifilm “X” System as well as generally photographic topics. Image reviews are a part of this as well. You’ll be able to spend time in these formal settings as well as informal groups during our time together. This event is NOT LIMITED to only Fuji “Photographers. If you are consideration making the switch this would be a great place to find out if the Fujifilm “X” System is right for you.

In a few days we’ll be rolling this out formally, launching our website and letting you all know how to register


We are limiting these events to 60 attendees. Here is what I can tell you tonight

  • There will be two events, April 5-9 in Townsend Tennessee (Smoky Mountains) and another September 6-10 in Portland Oregon (Pacific Northwest).
  • Each event will be $699.00. Lodging , travel and meals are not included
  • We have secured our “team” of “X” Photographers for each event. You’ll be pleased to see who is coming. Details also by the end of the week.
  • Registration will open by the end of this week
  • Our website will be up and running ( all forms and information will go up on the site)
  • Registrations for these events will be on a first come first serve basis and will fill quickly.

So that’s the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT—– we are really excited and pleased to see how this project has come together so quickly and nicely.

Consider joining us!

Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP PERMITS–for those who don’t know about these

Text and images @Jack Graham Photography

Permit (bad pun) me to vent a little.


Above …..My 2016 permit paperwork

For you folks who don’t know it,  photography workshop and tour leaders that conduct business on ANY federal or State land, need to be permitted with by the National Park Service( each individual park has its own permitting application) as well as BLM, USFS etc. Additionally state parks require the same. We have to fill out endless paperwork, forms, itineraries etc. and we need to carry lots of insurance.

In the Columbia River Gorge, in Oregon I need to have a permit (yearly) issued by the Oregon Marine Board! Yes, the same permit as a fishing guide!

Every two years I have to update CPR and Wilderness First Aid Certification (a 2 day event)

_jgx0437-editI along with many of my other workshop leaders do the paperwork, carry the insurance, fill out the forms and write the checks. However there are lots of leaders out there who ARE NOT DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY, And saving lots of time and money in the long run. The NPS and State Parks almost NEVER check permits.  Most of us leader doing this correctly know the folks (yes some big names that you all would know!) who are NOT permitted by the Park Service. Next time you decide to take a workshop with someone …( yes some well know leaders don’t have permits or insurance) ask them to see the permit. In theory if they get caught they are asked to leave the park and some parks have some small penalties.

In the past 5 years I think I was asked for a permit perhaps about 3-4 times. Earlier this month in Zion, my group( 14 folks with tripods) we asked by a ranger driving by to move a little to the left to get off the main road a bit…he was very nice about it but did he ask if we were a group with a permit? NO!

So OK, we pay a few thousand dollars a year for these permits as well as about 45 minutes to an hour (once you get the hang of them) for each permit. On the Insurance waiver it needs to be stated that I hold the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HARMLESS in the event of any problems. Try asking them to hold me harmless!

_jgx0684-pano-edit-edit-editThen later in the year the Park service comes back to us again and asks us to pay them an additional percentage of the GROSS profit (yes gross, not net. Yes, another form to fill out… time and you guessed it …money. They ask us how much we made on each event (by park), how many days we were there etc. They even ask us for our TOTAL GROSS INCOME for the entire year. AGAIN. THOSE NOT DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY ARE SAVING TIME AND MONEY because the park service doesn’t even know they exist and don’t go after these folks. Maybe we who do it the right way are the dummies?

First it’s none of their damn business what I make and if it is they can go check my tax return! And second maybe I should create a form for them asking them (since they work for us (ha-ha) how much did they spend in office supplies last year!

Listen, I love the parks and almost without exception the administrators and rangers I have come to know after all the years and those I deal with are really wonderful folks who are just doing their jobs, overworked and underpaid…  but it is too much to ask that:

  • They make sure rangers in the field are checking for folks not permitted
  • Maybe have one form for each park instead of different forms and requirements by park
  • Quit asking how much I make a year… heck they can go look up my tax return!

_dsf9305-editAs most of know, yes this is too much to ask. After all the National Parks (which we the people own by the way) don’t really care about folks like me. There is also one National Forest office that will only grant 3 photo permits per year. That is restraint of trade and if fought they would loose that battle! They say they are understaffed etc. What the hell are they doing with all of my permit fees?

Here’s another joke—this is found at the end of many of the required forms by the US Government:

PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENT: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501), please note the following. This information collection is authorized by The Concession Management Improvement Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 5966).  Your response is required to obtain or retain a benefit in the form of a Commercial Use Authorization. We will use the information you submit to evaluate your impact to park resources and compliance with park regulations and limitations.  We estimate that it will take approximately 1.25 hours  to prepare a report, including time to review instructions, gather and maintain data, and complete and review the report. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number. You may submit comments on any aspect of this information collection, including the accuracy of the estimated burden hours and suggestions to reduce this burden. Send your comments to:  Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 2601, Washington, D.C. 20240.


Anyhow… thanks for letting me vent!–JG

A Few Great Days in the Smoky Mountains

images and text © Jack Graham Photography                  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

2017 Workshop Schedule / JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

_jgx0491-editGreetings from Townsend, Tennessee, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I am here this week to speak at the 2nd annual Great Smoky Mountain Photo Summit. It’s great to get to see so many friends, both pro photographers as well as attendees. This is a four day conference that includes breakout sessions, group talks, field trips, vendor interaction and more.

The most great to be able to interact with about 200+ folks, all eager to learn from the 15 or so “pro’s on the roster …all in one place! It’s also fun to get to hang out with the other instructors/speakers, most of which I only run into in the field. The stories are never ending.  For me is “hanging” with the other “pro’s” here and exchange stories and experiences is a lot of fun. We are all still learning from each other!

Every morning we take out groups into the park for some field work. The color here this year isn’t great, but the Smoky’s is always a beautiful place to be.

I thought I’d share a few images with you from yesterday and today.

(Bill Fortney and I are going to be doing 2 events (Photography workshops) here in the spring and one in the fall of 2017, if anyone’s interested… we’d love to have you along!– CLICK HERE for information—-JG

BELOW ARE IMAGES FROM YESTERDAY AND TODAY. All images made with The new Fujifilm flagship camera the X=T2 and Fujinon lenses.. I use  FUJIFILM cameras  and lenses exclusively.







(yes we had a rain shower!!!!  how’s this for ISO 12,800 !    Thank you Fujifilm!)



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