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

FUJIFILM “X” PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS   REG FORMfuji-x-registrationform

FUJIFILM”X” PHOTOGRAPHERS TRAVEL & NATURE SUMMITS 2017

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

SEPTEMBER SUMMIT REG FORMsept2017_pdx_fuji-x-registrationform

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WINTER IN THE TETON’S

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

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

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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

2017 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

2017 “X”FUJIFILM PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

2017 FUJIFILM “X” PHOTOGRAPHY SUMMIT INFORMATION

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_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

 

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MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT:FUJIFILM “X”PHOTOGRAPHER TRAVEL and NATURE SUMMITS 2017

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SPONSORED BY FUJIFILM

Folks,

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 WILL SEND OUT ANOTHER UPDATE ON THIS SITE WHEN OUR WEBSITE GOES LIVE (certainly be the end of the week) AND YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE REGISTRATION FORMS ETC!

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.

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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.

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

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DISNEYLAND COMES TO THE SLOT CANYONS and OTHER CLOSE BY PLACES !

Text and images @Jack Graham unless otherwise notes… All rights Reserved

_dsf1929Yes folks,  Disneyland has come to the beautiful Canyon lands, red rock land and Navajo Country in Northern Arizona and Utah. For me I am probably done coming back here. It is not even close to being what it was like even 2-3 years ago when it began getting crowded.

I just finished leading another workshop featuring locations in and around Page, AZ, notably Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons (Slot Canyons), Horseshoe Bend, Vermillion Cliffs, Lake Powell and more.

When I first visited this beautiful area things were a lot different. Descending into Lower Antelope Canyon was done by climbing down on wooden ladders, sometimes made out of tree trunks and 2x4s. If you saw another photographer with a tripod, he or she was a really serious photographer.

I knew something was up when I found that most hotel rooms in Page AZ were sold out for my workshop in September 2016 by January 2016. Not only were they sold out but the prices have gone up about 70-100% in the past 2 to 3 years.

Hotel rooms in Page this time of year are $150.00-300.00 for a decent place. (Stay out of the Best Western Plus at Lake Powell—more about that soon!)

_dsf1948-2I arrived into Page only to find that what use to cost $85.00 per person for a two-hour photo tour in Upper Antelope Canyon last year, was now $250.00!—YES ….. $250.00 PER PERSON FOR 2 HOURS!!!!!

I include the canyon entrance fees in my pricing so if goes up I take a bath on it. No one from the Tour Company bothered to let me know about the price increase even though I made my reservations with them long before I arrived …oh well, supply and demand dictates price and the Navajos are really taking advantage of what people are willing to pay. In a casual conversation, my good friend in the tour company asked if I had reservations for Lower Antelope Canyon. Surprised, I asked “Since when did you need reservations?” He said this policy started a few months ago. AMAZING!

Parking lot–Lower Antelope    130+cars–mid morning_dsf1931

 

I had to split up my group into 3 days so everyone could get into both canyons. SO now I had to get reservations at Lower. I secured the last 14 available. I had to split up my group. There were literally no photo tour reservations available for either canyon for 4 to 5 days. I got really lucky. I had reservations for Upper but didn’t know there were reservations needed for Lower Antelope.

The Navajo who are setting limits for how many people can go into the canyon are doing a terrible job. It’s all about the money. There is literally wall to wall people in these canyons for much of the day. Remember this is September. I would not be surprised if the numbers were even larger in the summer…hard to believe but true.

_dsf1934 Lower Antelope Parking Lot

The parking lot at Lower Antelope Canyon which 5 years ago usually had 10-20 cars, now had over 200 cars around 11AM. (Along with tour buses). The one small hut, good for fitting  3-4 folks selling tickets at 35-40.00 a piece,  has now turned into 2 large (and I mean large) houses charging about 85.00 for a 2 hr. photo tour. Again the crowds make taking any quality images difficult to impossible (in both canyons).

How can you get some good images in these locations? First, go in winter. Crowds (at least for now) are much less. The light is a bit different but no better or worse. You’ll see more purples in the sandstone walls than during the summer. Who knows maybe they might even drop pricing in the winter, but the Navajos are getting really greedy so who knows. You cannot…AND I REPEAT … CAN NOT make quality images during these crowded times in the spring, summer and now fall. It’s over, unless the Navajos limit how many people they let into the canyons. I double that will happen.

_dsf1905HORSESHOE BEND: We got there for sunrise. We were there in the dark, the first group there about 1 hour and 30 min before sunrise. Soon after, the crowds came over the ridge and groups of young people showed up yelling, taking selfies, posing on the ledges and making the silence of the red rocks disappear. So much for enjoying what was once a beautiful peaceful place is now Disneyland.

_dsf1908_dsf1909fullsizerenderHere  is a real idiot at Horseshoe Bend…its 950 feet down-posing for a picture with her feet hanging over the rock !!!

I am hearing that the US Government (who owns Horseshoe Bend land. Not the Navajo Nation) is going to charge an entrance fee (or requiring a National Park Pass) to park in the lot. I bet they will do what they did at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley and put up a chain link fence. You heard it here first! That afternoon I counted 167 cars and 4 tour buses in the parking lot of Horseshoe bend….Yes cross this off the list as well.

_dsf1977-edit-edit-2Now on to beautiful Monument Valley. Both the View Hotel (150-200 rooms at 250.00 per night is filled as well as Goulding’s…(219.00 per night), more with new additional rooms…ARE ALL FILLED. Traffic in the valley is the worse ever. Footprints on the duns made by folks who  don’t care about the land make getting images at Totem Pole impossible.

We are heading to Canyon de Chelly  on Friday. It will be interesting to see how things are there. Stay tuned.

cdcsnow1To my workshop attendees who were and are here with me…I apologize for the crowds etc. Most of this is out of my control. What is in my control is whether I come back or not. I am not sure if I or any other workshop leader can deliver a quality experience to anyone in this location anymore. I’ll be monitoring this situation and if it changes I might be back. For now it’s on to other places. The Navajo’s are making lots of money ( funny most of my wonderful Navajo friends are not living any better—it’s all going to the nation , not to the people—sound familiar?)

What a shame. Disneyland is now here! —JG

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