2009 Death Valley Workshop 


It’s official.  The 2009 Death Valley Workshop is scheduled for February 14-17. 

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be teaming up with Ralph Nordstrom. ( Ralph leads workshops in SO California and the adjacent areas and knows these areas well).


Both Ralph and I are passionate about landscape photography and sharing what we know with others.  With two instructors you can be sure of the high degree of individual attention that will help you meet your technical and artistic goals.

And if you act quickly, you will qualify for the 10% early registration discount.  Send in your $200 deposit by January 1, 2009 to take advantage of this great offer. See the link below for registration forms and further instructions.

Click here for more information – 2009 Death Valley Workshop Details.



  We recommend you make reservations right away at the Stovepipe Wells Village.  Their phone number is 760-786-2387.


Please email me or contact Ralph directly.



Nordstrom Fine Arts Landscape Photography

Ralph Nordstrom

25422 Trabuco Rd Ste 105/250

Lake Forest, CA 92630

(949) 589-0958

(949) 589-8457 Fax






©Jack Graham 2008

For those who have never been here to Teton National Park (Yellowstone is only about 30 miles away as well) you need to come here to see what is maybe the most amazing landscape around. barn454Yes, the Grand Canyon is grand and the coasts of the west and east can be something to see but for me, I put this area right up with anything else around.

Perhaps the eastern sierra and the numerous locations on the Pacific NW might be my ultimate favorites for endless photography opportunities, but the Tetons and Yellowstone are just simply breathtaking (especially at 6500 + feet!).

We spent the day shooting some of the sights here this morning. Teton National Park is really a morning Park as far as photography goes. Iconic images like the old homestead barn, Schwabacker Landing, Oxbow Bend, the Snake River turnout and others are all morning shots.







This afternoon we shot the trumpeter swans found here year round. Did you know that these birds are the largest waterfowl found here in the North America? Wing spans can reach 7 feet.ts5_258-wide Not too long ago these magnificent birds were on the endangered list. They are now thriving and provide hours of interesting behavior, from preening to flapping their wings to deploy the water that they use to complete the preening process.ts5_289-headts2_2481









Here they are coming in for a landing!!!!!


It’s been a great week here. I’m heading back to Oregon through Southern Idaho and Weatern Oregon tomorrow. There is a pretty good size snow storm due in here tonight so it may take a while to get home. I bet there might even be an image or two on the trip.

I love this place.





ON THE ROAD–DAY 5 Cody to Jackson Hole,WY

All images [c]Jack Graham  12/2008

Because of road closures (winter conditions made us go the long winter route) ) we had a 500 mile trip today south from Cody, into Riverton then up NW through Dubois into the Teton National Park, arriving into Jackson late in the day.

Thankfully this was  the last day of travel before heading home after our trip here in Wyoming on Monday or Tuesday ( dictated by the weather)

We had good weather and some unbelievable cloud patterns to photograph. len-cloudIts quite interesting to actually make the cloud the subject in such a magnificent area for landscape images. These clouds are made up of  of ice crystals and are refered to as lenticular clouds. They are usually found over high mountain ranges

We crossed the Continental divide ( about 9800′) then dropped down into beautify Teton National Park.










The image everyone knows is the famous Snake River image made by Ansel Adams.  snakebwThis is one amazing location  and one the Adams carefully placed his tripod. Just a foot to the right or left can make this image not as good. He really nailed this one. We had little or no snow at our elevation. Its quite comical in the winter to come and shot this image. You can literally see the  3 tripod holes where Adams had his, made by other photographers trying to match that shot.



Here is our group, from left to right. group

Gerry Emery, Palm Springs CA, Al Kressler, Cincinnatti,OH; Greg Duncan, Temecula,CA; Randy Zack, Hamburg NY and yours truly.

We all are having a great time getting into some  beautiful country and bantering back & forth, all in good jest  These are all qulaity folks and all good friends. It really makes me feel pretty lucky to be able to spend some time with these guys , in such an amazing place. In a week or 2,  I’ll be putting some images shot by them up here on the blog  for all to see. I’ve seen some alredy and they are super.

Tomorrow will hopefully bring some snow and allow us to capture some images here in the Teton National Park  as well as beautiful Jackson hole at night.



All images [c] Jack Graham/ 12/2008horses

Out on the South Fork of the Shoshone River

Day 2 photographing in and around. Cody started like yesterday ended… cold, but on this AM it was brutally windy.

The image above was shot with temps in the 20’s and winds gusting to, I bet, over 40MPH at times. ( My really Right Stuff BH55 and Gitzo tripod really came in handy in these conditions).

The locals call these the “Chinooks”. The wind blows from the southwest and warms up the temperature very quickly. By noon it was above freezing and the high late this afternoon was almost 40. It was -1 below here at 6AM. That’s some change.

Because of the winds, our plans to shoot the south fork of the Shoshone River changes when we dove the 30 miles of the road and saw just a few sheep, but lots of deer.

We drove back to Cody and proceeded up the north for. Bob Hitchman of PHOTOGRAPH AMERICA( fame is on the workshop with us. Bob’s eagle eyes rewarded us with a few good images that otherwise might have been passed up.

We were lucky to get some “trophy” images of some of the Big Horn Sheep and some bison as well.

Tomorrow is off to Jackson Hole. We may get a bit of snow as we cross the Continental Divide and head down into Jackson.

More To come. Here are some images from today….JG













ramhead     ewe11













ON THE ROAD DAY 3–Cody Wyoming

ramside1©Jack Graham 12/2008



It was 9 degrees and snowing lightly when we left our hotel room this am, heading west from Cody out to the North Fork of the Shoshone River. no-fork1This road, (Hwy 14) runs west from Cody to the eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park.


The entrance is closed for the winter but you can drive up to the entrance on hwy 14.


I’ve driven and photographed many times on this road and toady was not a disappointment. It is a beautiful, scenic byway in addition to offering great opportunities to photograph the big horn sheep as well as a few buffalo that live in this area during the winter.bison1


Luck was with us as the animals just about where I expected them to be. We experienced lots of the typical behavior between the rams, females and young. raminter2It is simply amazing to see these animals run up the side of the rocky hillsides and rock walls. Actually one of the ways we know they are around is to look for rocks in the road that fall as they run up the hillsides.








It is not uncommon the see the big horn sheep walking right up the road.sheeproad













Low angle winter light reflecting in the water of the Shoshone Riverwater-light2


It warmed up to about 16 later in the day and warmer weather is forecast for tomorrow, when we will explore the south fork of the Shoshone River, east of Cody. This area is not as rocky but again offers great landscapes and hopefully as many animals as today.ewe1




© Jack Graham 12/2008


Hello from Cody, Wyoming where it’s about 14 degrees and snowing tonight.


Today was really a travel day between Yellowstone and Cody. What, in all but winter is a 1 ½ hr trip takes 4 ½ hrs to drive in the winter due to road closures. I had lots of icy roads but made it by late afternoon.


My entire group is here and we all hope to get some good wildlife and landscape images the balance of the week before heeding down to Jackson Hole.


The weather will bring 15-25 degree days both tomorrow  The snow & cold have brought the Elk, Deer and Big Horn Sheep out and hopefully get them within access to photograph.


This am I shot a few panoramas in Yellowstone then headed over here to Cody. The light wasn’t good but the fresh snow on the sage, grasses & rabbit bush provided some nice coloration. Large herds of Bison have been quite common so fat this trip in Wyoming as you can see on this hillside.


More to come tomorrow!


ON THE ROAD-DAY1 -Yellowstone National Park

©Jack Graham, all images shot Dec 2 , 2008




After leaving my home near Portland Oregon early yesterday (Mon 12/1) I decided to drive the 12+hrs. to Livingston MT, about 50 miles north of the Northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. All other entrences are closed for the winter. Only 50 or so miles of roads between Gardiner Mt and Cook City Wyoming are open to cars.


When I got to Livingston Mt. about 7PM last night it was about 50 degrees. This was really warm for Dec 2nd. However the forecast warned of changes.


After a restless nights sleep (the elevation -5000’ or so, and the anticipation of the next days shoot didn’t help things) I set out early today for Yellowstone NP. Again the temp was 50 degrees but windy.



As I reached the Park it was in the 40’s but I could see snow in the higher altitudes coming in. I decided mainly because of the great light to shoot the Mammoth Hot Springs, lower terraces.mhs1These are “living sculptures”, shaped by the volume of water, slope and objects in the waters path.






Fissures from the surrounding mountains create heated water that seeps down the slops in this are creating amazing color, patterns in the limestone deposited here millions of years ago. At he surface calcium carbonate is deposited in the form of a travertine, the rock that forms the springs. mhs3The colors are created by heat loving microorganisms called Thermopiles. Orange green and brown colors are predominant here in Yellowstone.


After a few hours here, and just down the road, the resident elk of the Mammoth Hot Springs Park Headquarters area were, as usual just hanging out, as they do much of the year. elk1These are huge animals but seem to like the area and have grown accustomed the traffic and photographers like me.


The sun came in right on scheduled but not in the amount forecast. There was actually a lit of blue sky and sunlight happening as I drove east toward Cooke City.


Hayden Valley, hydn1which at times is teaming with wildlife, was pretty empty. Perhaps they knew the weather was about to go really downhill.












On the way back out of the park a few large bull elk provided some great photographic experienceselk2


Upon leaving the park, the snow started in earnest and near whiteout conditions were common in the 50 mile drive back up to Livingstone. However it was a great day in Yellowstone and I am looking forward to tomorrow AM. After the morning in the park, I’ll get over to Cody Wy. Mid afternoon in time to meet the folks joining me.


Weather is quote ominous for the balance of the week as well. Check back for more updates and images…..