July 25, 2010

 I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by. Before you know it , it will be time for fall color and all that the fall offers to the photographer. Little by little I am filling up my new galleries on my website Stop by for a look. I am also using Photoshelter for other online images. you can get there by clicking here:

Let me know what you think!



We have a few spots open for our Fall in Northern California Workshop (NOV 6-9th)..We’ll be spending a full day in the Napa Valley, as well as time in Point Reyes, San Francisco proper, the Marin Headlands and then down the coastline. More information is found here.  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA-WORKSHOP INFO NOV 2010




Locations in the Columbia River Gorge, the Hood River Valley, and Mt Hood & Adams, all in prime fall color will be included.

We’ll also get into the Willamette Valley for some colorful winery images. This is perfect time for the fall color in this region!



2011 Schedule out soon

My 2100 schedule will be out soon. Projected new locations will include Redwood National Park in early June, an additional workshop in the Navajo country including Monument Valley (including an overnight horse trip to Hunt’s Mesa) and then 2 days in Canyon de Chelley in April and a Fall workshop in the Cuyahoga National Park in NE  Ohio as well as a workshop in the Canyons of Utah in October. Ralph Nordstrom and I will be doing our Death Valley Workshop again in February. I may be adding an additional workshop in the Texas Hill Country in March as well. Stay tuned!   China in 2012!!


Rushing Water Abstract
Rushing Water Abstract


Ansel Adams Negatives found!

Ten years ago, a fellow in California bought 65 glass negatives at a garage sale in Fresno. For $45.00. This week those old negatives were said to have been completed by Ansel Adams and worth over $200 million dollars. Well maybe…………..

One of Ansel’s heirs, Matthew Adams, the artist’s grandson, who runs the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite NP, said he was doubtful. Bill Turnage, the managing trustee of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, said he didn’t believe the photographs were the work of Mr. Adams

“The negatives aren’t worth anything, even the 44,000 at the University of Arizona, because Ansel isn’t around to print from them,” said Mr. Turnage of the Adams trust said. “The only authentic Ansel Adams works of art that are around are the ones that he printed.”

Arnold Peter, a lawyer the negatives’ owner hired to assemble the team of experts, said: “It is such an uninformed response on his part. Of course Ansel is no longer with us, and part of his magic is the way he developed photographs. But it doesn’t make them any less valuable or mean that they are not worth anything. You can still produce great prints”

Matthew Adams said that one area of major discrepancies emerged from misspellings on many of labels, presumably written by Virginia Ansels’ wife, who lived in Yosemite for much of her life. Mr. Adams said he was surprised that, after so many years in the region, she would misspell names such as Bridalveil, one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley.

Mr. Peter said such mistakes were often made in haste. “It’s normal to have some typographical errors, and we’ve done extensive research to verify the handwriting,” he said.

The $200 million estimate value includes projected sales, prints and other licensing arrangement, based on auction prices and previous sales of Adams works. The most expensive piece of Ansel’s work ever sold was “Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park,” from 1938, sold at auction last month for $722,500. The second-most-expensive was the well-known “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” which sold back in October 2006 for $609,600.

Check out this link for more details


 PHOTO TIPS…………………………………………….

 5  MAIN 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 image and a fine art photograph isn’t a whole lot.

Moonset, Joshua Tree NP

More often than not, the technique may be quite good but  the non-technical aspects of making a successful photograph are 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. And sometimes breaking the rules works just fine!


 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. The often times cluttered foreground; distracting objects in the corners are identified and eliminated in the compositional part of making 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 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 ling 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.

     2) Simple rules… look for a foreground, if no foreground, perhaps a pattern, if neither is available…keep the image as simple, free of clutter as possible.                                                                              

                                                                                                                  …………..  A strong foreground anchors this image

Bridleveil Creek, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon


Bleading Heart, Oregon


   Patterns work well in this image(below)

North Lake, California

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

Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge

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

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 at a certain location. Our eyes see in multi dimensions. A print on a piece of photo paper is not three-dimensional. Often photographers may arrive at a vista 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 and feel the overall feelings we hear and feel when out photographing. Quaking aspens, babbling brooks, wind in the canyon etc. can not be transmitted in a print. Give up trying to make photographs to show others where you were and work on making a work of art. If you don’t you will create more post card shots, rather than fine art prints.

                            Wyoming Horses  near Cody, Wyoming

One can not imagine the grandeur, beauty and magnitude of this location in Wyoming. 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.


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