I spend a lot of time conducting photography workshops all over the United States. I spend time with many return customers who have become friends over the years. I spend time with lots of new faces. Yes, I also spend a lot of time in my office (sometimes too much!) when I am not traveling in one form or another, and not nearly enough out by myself exploring and shooting like I would like to. Recently, I had time to not only get out shooting, but doing so with my son Matthew.

One happy guy.... ©Jack Graham

 About a year ago, I received a call from Matthew (who lives on the east coast) to tell me he acquired his first decent DSLR camera and he was really interested in learning how to properly take photographs. During what I would call his “initial plunge” into photography, he quickly learned that taking quality photographs isn’t nearly as easy as one may believe and that being outside, exploring the natural world is pretty cool.

Looking up the Columbia River ©Matthew Graham

Enter the old man………..Over the past months Matthew and I have spent lots of time looking at both his work and mine. I recommended him buying all the John Shaw books and others, and get out and enjoy photography. We’ve discussed all the things that I typically do on workshops and closely critique images. In the beginning of Matt’s foray into photography, I kind of left him to his own a bit to see if he was really serious… well, he’s serious alright!

The Pacific, from Yaquina Head, Oregon © Matthew Graham

 Matthew has upgraded his equiptment and is now shooting the Nikon D300 with some decent glass, a good tripod and quality ball head etc.

 Matthew is one of the busiest tattoo artists in the New Jersey, New York City area.

I really didn’t take his job this too seriously until I realized how good he is at it, how seriously he takes it and how he makes a decent living at it. It truly is an art form. (I have yet to receive my 1st tattoo yet, and I rather doubt I will). Going back to his childhood, Matthew’s artistic ability was amazing, primarily focused in drawing when mine was initially driven towards music. I can hardly draw a stick figure. His work is amazing and is a gift.

 Check his work out at on his website  (Click on Photo Gallery to see more of his photography)

Ochre Sea Stars, Seal Rock State Park tidepools, Oregon © Matthew Graham


One of the things he quickly realized was that the basic principles of drawing and art overlaps into Photography. Perhaps this why his eye has developed as quickly as it has.

 While in New Jersey last summer for his sisters wedding, we made plans for him to come to the Pacific Northwest for a few days when we both could get out and shoot, and learn (Yes I am still learning everyday!). Recently Matthew came on out, and we spent many hours of driving, photographing and enjoying each other’s company. More importantly, it was a good time for us to spend time together… photography just made it more fun.

Latourell Falls ©Matthew Graham

Frankly, I was quite blown away on his vision and technique, for only been working on his photographic skills for such a small amount of time. He knows he has lots more to learn, but then again don’t we all. I have little doubt he’ll grow in photography. Trust me; Matthew rarely does anything half way.

Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge © Jack Graham

                              All of the images found here in this posting were taken on our too quick few days together.  The weather herein the Pacific NW has been changeable to say the least. However we dodged a few bullets weather wise, and made the best of what we had to deal with.

 I can’t wait for volume 2 of our photographic journey together… who knows you may even see him on a workshop next year… that is if he can get away from his busy job!

 Thank you Matthew for coming out, and for being you. Keep shooting; keep being critical of your work.

 I am proud of you!


Abstract, tree trunk ©Matthew Graham



Anderson Viewpoint, Oregon Coast ©Matthew Graham
Hood RiverValley Patterns, Fall Color ©Matthew Graham
Veins © Matthew Graham
Veins © Jack Graham
On the Ground © Jack Graham
Green Sea Anemone © Matthew Graham