I have 1 opening left for my Josuha Tree NP  wotkshop coming up on March 12-14 2010. The wildflowers should be great!      Please contact me at jack@jackgrahamphoto.com . Here is some information as well …JOSHUA TREE NP WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

I have 2 openings left for my Southwest Workshop  INCLUDING:  Slot Canyons, Lake Powell and Monument Valley  —April 15-18th 2010. PLease contact me if you are interested. Please contact me at jack@jackgrahamphoto.com . Here is some information as well…SW PHOTOWORKSHOP_2010




5 Reasons that IMAGES SUCCEED……… or don’t!

©Jack Graham all rights reserved

 In the many images I view, either online or in person, (and even my own), I see a very wide range in quality. In many cases the difference between a pretty successful images and a fine art photograph isn’t a whole lot. More often than not, the technique may be quite good but the non-technical aspects of making a successful photograph is lacking. One without the other is a prescription for failure. In photography where the rule of thirds, the zone system, and etc. must be applied, certain small fundamentals must be equally be present in our thoughts that go into making a fine art image.                                                        

Sometimes it is impossible, due to circumstances (lack of light, subject, clutter etc) to make a great photograph in a location you have already chosen. However when things do fall into place, take note of the following 4 considerations, and apply them they will make a difference.

(Not in any order of importance… the sum of all parts)

1)…..There is something we a look at and captures our interest. The subject is defined and isolated in our minds. Then,  cluttered foregrounds; distracting objects in the corners must be  identified and eliminated during  the compositional part of creating the image. Perhaps there is a tree or rock though an interesting addition to an image, but it’s in the wrong place. These objects should either be eliminated if possible, or if the can not, just pass on making the image. Sometimes these objects, if the can not be eliminated can be placed in the shadows. If however, these objects are pertinent to the image, as they often are (letting the viewer identify these rocks, trees as part of the location) by all means use them as long as they are located in the right areas of the image and do not distract from the subject.

 The seals swimming in the ocean may NOT be the subject of this image;    however they serve to add context and definition to the image itself.


                                A strong foreground anchors the image                             

 2)……Continuing that thought, when images become simple, uncomplicated, with little or no distractions, they often succeed. As photographers we need to constantly look around, move around, and get flat on the ground, in water at times if necessary  in order to be in just the right place, allowing us to attain the perfect image. Moving to just the correct spot to take the photograph is primary. Remember…..simple. …move around, work hard, think and evaluate your position before making the image.


3)……When we emphasize the most important part of the image, images will always succeed. Again, continuing the previous thoughts, move around, but also try using different focal lengths. Different focal lengths can drastically alter the mood and feeling of your scene. Also, if the subject is either darker or lighter than the surroundings can allow the image succeed.




Good examples of #3—– work the image in many different ways. Both of these images convey totally different feelings .

4)….Successful images are works of fine art. It is almost impossible to replicate to the viewer, either in a print or in an image viewed on a monitor exactly what we see with our two eyes. We see in multi dimensions. A print on a piece of photopaper is not three dimensional. Often photographers may arrive at a vista, view the magnificent scene and internally say to themselves “I want to really make this a great image so I can show so-and-so back home what I am seeing here”. This is almost impossible.

The viewer will not have the emotional attachment since they were not there. They also don’t hear the sounds, smell the smells etc.. we do when out photographing. Quaking aspens, babbling brooks, etc can not be transmitted in a print. Give up trying to photograph to show other where you were and work on making a work of art. Without following this thought, you will make uncessful post card images, not  a fine art print.

 One can not imagine the grandeur, beauty and magnitude of this location in Glacier National Park. Therefore my purpose here was to not try, but to make a fine art print.

 5) …….What we see in our viewfinders is not exactly what is being recorded. Often objects in the scene appear to be further away that they are. A good technique to properly help frame the image and see more of a closer reality than the viewfinder is to use an object (an old slide without the film). Hold this up to your eye, look a round and work on framing the image.

 ©Jack Graham 2010



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s