DEATH VALLEY-FEB 2011 SPECIAL PRICING / 2012 -Hawaii, NW China & Tibet / Iceland/Whidbey Island

Greetings, and Happy New Year!

 Late last fall I decided that I enjoy Death Valley too much to not offer a workshop in 2011. Once you get to experience a sunrise at Zabriskie Point, or on the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and all that Death Valley offers, you’ll want to keep coming back again and again. 

DV5By mid February, temperatures are comfortable, around 70 degrees or so. Yes, it can ge cool in the mornings, but warms up quickly. For those of you where winter is still blasting away, a respite here in the desert is a welcome change.

I am also hearing that the Valley has received more than normal rainfall this year already. We should have great opportunities for nice reflections of the snow capped Panamint Mountain in the flooded playa! This does not happen every year.

Panamint Reflection
Paniment Reflection 
Since I decided on this workshop in kind of short notice, in order to fill it up I’ve offered this workshop at a discounted price of 595.00 vs my regular workshops that range from $700.00 – 800.00.

I am also limiting this workshop to about 7 folks, so we’ll have a nice small group in order to offer you the most individual attention possible.

If you are already have attended one of my workshops you’ll receive an additional 10% discount off the cost…. and if you’re a NANPA member , you will receive an addition 10% off as well. …. and if you register by January 15th 2011, you’ll receive an addition 10% for early registration.( on this workshop only, for all future workshops registrations must be received by 1/1/2011 )
 My complete workshop discounts are found here:2011 WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS
Even without the NANPA  or past attendee discounts that’s  $ 536.00 for a 4 day workshop that I guarantee that you’ll enjoy and remember for a long time. References are available on request.
Devils’ Golf Course

Please visit   for complete information. Travel and lodging information is also included there.

Here is the REGISTRATION FORM 2011 Deposit info is included on the bottom of the form.

Again, to make things easy, I am extending the early registration discount date to Jan 15th 2011.

Thanks again for considering coming along, and have a GREAT NEW YEAR!


COMING in 2012!!          

January  2012–Hawaii, the Big Island
June 21-July 4   Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China  “China, Beyond the Wall”
July 4-July 11 Tibetan Autonomous Region
Late July-  The beauty of Iceland
August  Whidbey Island, Washington
SEND ME AN EMAIL AT and asked to be put on my SPECIAl 2012 Interntional Workshop mailing list
Feel free to contact us with any questions at .
We’re here to help you!


Jack Graham Photography


WEATHER INFO FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS/ “To the End of the WORLD, by Steve Gould

Greetings and Happy Holidays.

It’s only 10 days until Christmas Day and 16 days until 2011 . Please note that workshop registrations and deposits received by Jan,1 2011 are eligible for a 10% discount( over and above any other discounts) I offer. This adds up. I have a few spaces open for the Death Valley workshop in Feb as well. I am running this at a very special price of $ 595.00 as it’s kind of short notice. Figure in your discounts and consider joining us.  Many of my 2011 workshops are filling up fast because of the discounts I am offering.






 For those of you, who know me know I am a weather nut. I always have been and now being a photographer, weather can make or break an outing. I love bad weather. I love freaky weather. As Ansel Adams said, Bad weather makes for good photography”.

In the old days, we just listed on the radio or TV and hoped for an accurate forecast. Now we have lots of information at our fingertips via the internet. In addition, local TV stations have local info on their own sites. Some are quite informative and you should check them out.

Below are the sites I use to formulate my own forecasts. Lot’s of the time I am more correct than the guys and gals on TV and radio. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have this thing call the ocean. It has a mind of its own and I sometimes (but rarely) feel sorry for the forecasters. Hey try but I would say more often than not get it wrong.

Anyhow ……..these sites are rated by suns.  ☼☼☼☼☼ are the best ☼☼☼☼ not as good ☼☼☼ a little worse and so on.

Please take into consideration that these are my opinions. Yours may differ dramatically….If you find a site I don’t have here that you like let me know.


IWDS:  Think the weather guy and gal on the 6 o’clock news is so smart? Well here is the verbiage the weather folks on TV read—no…they are not that smart— they read this site & make like they are figuring out the weather themselves!!! Click on you’re state, then find your abbreviated code for your region and read. There are lots of abbreviations that are easily deciphered.                     ☼☼☼☼☼

 ACCUWEATHER (Good Long Range Forecasts) the premium site is good too—about 7.95 per month–great iPhone APP!   ☼☼☼☼☼ 


 These folks are a close second to AccuWeather and do offer a few things that AccuWeather and Intellects doesn’t. Very accurate and easily navigated site

 INTELLICAST —good current radar info, I like AccuWeather a bit better though

NOAA—National Weather Service ☼☼☼———- easily accessed for your location. Nice map on warnings and advisories.

National Weather Service—Western Region –You can go to the NWS in your own area & click on your location for forecast and other information.       ☼☼☼    

THE WEATHER CHANNEL  ☼☼☼☼                 I tend to pick on these guys. Actually they are getting a lot better than they were, not so long ago Their long-range weather forecast site is a tie in with com (The Weather Channel) and AccuWeather.(see above) The Weather Channel 10 day forecast has been a lot better recently. , Also the past days temperature highs and lows are printed right there when you see the 10 day forecast.  And the average high and low and the record high and low.  The next month’s data is right there as well as a great feature — the ten-day forecast is a prediction of temperatures in the region, weather for the region and wind strength and direction.

CROWN WEATHER:  Great Maps, good information   ☼☼☼☼

 WGN TV (Chicago) Weather Maps— Lots of great info in one place… a great one stop shop.

Mostly Chicago and Midwest but lot of National information as well.           ☼☼☼☼☼

 CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (goes out short & pretty long-term)    ☼☼☼☼

UNISYS inferred Sat. Cloud Cover information is always important to know this before heading out for a sunset! This link is set for the Pacific Northwest but you can hit the HOME key on the site and bring up your area easily.   ☼☼☼☼☼



CLEAR DARK SKY (read the site—they explain how it works. I am concerned mainly with Cloud cover and Transparency 



Example:  (how to understand what’s here

 TIDE TABLES:   For those who need Tide Tables anywhere: ☼☼☼☼☼


For those heading over or down to the beautiful Eastern Sierra ( Mono Lake, Yosemite, Bishop etc) THIS SITE IS A MUST. Very accurate and up to date info. Long range forecasts are good a bit lacking. The weather over there is darn unpredictable that I understand why the long-range forecasts are what they are.




  “TO THE END of the EARTH” by Steve Gould

 Link to Steve’s book. (You can preview it here as well)


 A former ( and current 2011 as well) workshop attendee and now a good friend Steve Gould,  and his wife made it down to the Antarctica just about a year ago. Steve is a wonderful photographer with a great eye and technique. He’s been making images for many years and has really developed a style I enjoy.

 As most photographers who are lucky to get to go there, Steve came back with many amazing images. Amazing is an understatement. While here in Oregon last year for a One on One workshop, he brought down some 4×6 prints of some of the images he was considering printing for a big show in a gallery in San Diego. He asked me for my opinion on which ones I thought were worthy of printing and that might sell better than others. I have to tell you that it took a long time to select 50 or so from the images he shot. I was truly blown away.

 Steve did his show with much success. He won’t blow his own horn, so I’ll do it for him. As a result of the success of the show, Steve took many these images and put it into am E-Book. (The ones that didn’t make it were pretty amazing as well!)

 I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this book. It would make a great gift for the holidays, or just plain anytime.

Steve’s already signed on for a One on One in the Olympic Peninsula this spring and will be with un in the Eastern Sierra next October…..  Come ont and join us!

 Good job Steve!

Print of the Month, DECEMBER 2010

Autumn, Japanese Garden 10

This image was made in the Portland Japanese Garden, this past November. The beautiful Japanese maples were in full bloom. I was there on an overcast and rainy day, which helped even more to enhance the colors.

This limited edition of 200 fine art print is part of the December’s Fine Art Print specials found below. When ordering pleade is this code: “ Portland Japanese Garden 10”



 For the balance of December, Fine Art matted, signed prints, normally priced at $180.00, are specially priced at $125.00 (that’s a $55.00 discount), AND unmated at $69.00, (a $31.00) savings.

 Order 2 or more and take another 10% off To make things even easier, I will include FREE SHIPPING within the usa!

 You can access an order form here:dec 2010 SPECIAL PRINT ORDER FORM 





Matted prints are matted in 16” x 20” White Acid Free Mats, ready for framing

Un-matted prints are somewhere close to a 12 x 18” print


Where to find print selection:


1) Click on my web site galleries

2) For many more choices click here :  



When viewing images on your monitor, please consider this.

Looking at art on a computer screen is often much different than viewing a fine art print. Computer monitors if not calibrated correctly right often make the image look vastly different from the print in both color and contrast. Images on the sites listed above have been compressed and reduced into jpeg formats. Your final print, in most cases will look a lot better than it does on your monitor.

 If not completely satisfied with your print, you can return it for an exchange or refund or an exchange, minus the cost of shipping. No questions asked!



All prints are produced using the OEM manufacturer’s original K3 pigment inks and custom profiled to the very highest standard to present an outstanding work of art.

All my prints are digitally prepared, color corrected, fine-tuned, and printed by me. I use professional Epson pigment printers for print longevity. These fully archival prints are produced on ILFORD “Galerie” Gold Fiber Silk Paper. 

If this print is matted, the final print was mounted on archival acid-free board, over-matted with archival acid-free white cotton museum rag, and hand-signed.

MISC INFO/ 2011Workshop Discounts / NFRCC in 2011 / article: 10 COMMANDMENTS OF NATURE COMPOSITION

Thanks for taking time to read my blog. Included here is some disturbing news on 2 fronts. One having to do with some graffiti and another concerning the wolf population in the northern Rockies. I am not one to ask folks to take up a causes, but please read the info on wolves and think about it.
 Please enjoy my new article, the 10 Commandments of Nature Composition. 
Following the article, please read the disturbing news on the defacing of the sacred Red Rock Canyon area near Las Vegas, as well as the possible future for the gray wolves of the northern Rockies and what we can do about it. There is some good information on some holiday specials from the  Think Tank camera bag folks as well.
I look forward to  be speaking  once again time at the NFRCC convention in Niagara Falls New York Feb 25th-27th 2011. These are great folks. I’ve always been welcomed and have had great times in upper New York State.
The NFRCC ( ) is  an international group of 11 photography clubs in the Niagara Frontier Region of Ontario Canada and New York, USA
If anyone  from the Ohio, NY areas, wants to come on by and say hi, as well as have an enjoyable weekend I’d love to see you!
Think Tank Photo is a company the produces quality well designed camera backpacks/bags. I own quite a few of their their bags and love them. There is no doubt in my mind that they make the bert camera and accessories bads on the market today.

 For the holiday season Think Tank Photo is offering a free gift when you purchase one of their products.

The free gear includes the Cable Management 20, the Pixel Pocket Rocket memory card holder, the Modular Pouch, Camera Strap, and the Security Tag.

At checkout their system automatically asks you which gear you would like to receive for free with your order.

See the Think Tank Photo products here:–


10 COMMANDMENTS of COMPOSITION  © Jack Graham Photography

Exposure, sharpness and correct composition are the three ingredients in making a pleasing photograph. Proper focus and exposure is a function of your equipment, and your ability to be proficient in these two areas. Even automatic metering is quite accurate much of the time. By using a tripod and understand depth of field even using auto focus at times will again allow a reasonably good image to be produced.

On the other hand, composition is dependent on you and your ability to encompass what is necessary to produce the desired results. No matter how you focus correctly, or expose correctly, your image, if it is uninteresting, will be boring. The old saying “Garbage in= Garbage out” is the order of the day when it comes to proper, or pleasing composition. All the expensive equipment you want to carry around will not fix an uninteresting composition.

Like always, and as my workshop attendees sometimes get sick of hearing, I base my compositions on the basics as defined succinctly by John Shaw.

Prior to attempting the image, ask yourself: 1) is there a subject? …………and 2) is the light good? If you can’t answer yes to both it’s going to be tough to walk away with anything worth keeping, especially if question #1 is NO!

This brings me to my 10 Commandments of Composition. These could be listed in any order, but #1 and #2 are pre-eminent.


ONE: A STRONG SUBJECT is a MUST. Easy right? But then what can you do with it. Can you easily make the subject the center of interest? Is there clutter around the subject?  Is the subject (especially fauna and avian subjects) in good enough shape to render interesting. Often landscape images are no more than  post -card shots due to lack of interest or lack of concern by the photographer about what he or she is trying to convey.

 Go to the bookstore and look at the many coffee table books by the well known masters. Without exception, there is a strong subject, which is the center of attention with out distracting elements. Always take time to ask yourself exactly what you are trying to convey in your image.





 TWO: MAKE THE LIGHT WORK. You must decide how to use the light (assuming it is good light) as an asset. For example, often back lit images are quite effective, but many photographers do not consider using back lighting. You need to understand what light works best for your image then make the best use of what’s available. The more dramatic the light the more interesting the image becomes. Don’t be lazy, shoot at the golden hour (one hr before and 1 hr after sunrise and sunset) Make use of bad weather which sometimes provides them most dramatic light available.

At times one must just walk away from photography, as nothing you can do to make the image photographic. It is better to just walk away than make a bad image.


THREE: DECIDE HOW TO USE THE SUBJECT”S ELEMENTS:  This is a very important rule to follow. Space is a very important element of the subject in relationship to the other parts of the image. Creating some space between the subject and other structures or elements of the image can make or break an image. At times, to convey the feeling in an image you may want to cut off parts of the subject. This is particularly evident in close up photography.

space between trees



By letting element like petals of a flower run off the image creates a wonderful feeling and thus a successful image. Experiment, but always keep asking yourself if this is adding or subtracting from your image.




 This brings me to the rule of thirds or what I call proportional photography  (I have a complete article on PROPORTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY which can be red in my E-Book, Series 1 for sale at Centered images usually just don’t work. Note I said usually, not always. As we move our eyes across the image there must be something (often called a leading line) to draw the viewers eye into the subject 

 Basically what the rule of thirds is the use of a grid, like a tic-tack-toe board in your viewfinder( You can purchase such a grid and replace your focusing screen with one for your Nikon or Canon cameras if you don’t have one)

 These intersecting points are the “power points” where, when placed on these points makes the subject stronger.

It’s up to you to decide which point to place the subject. A bird looking to the left works better on the right, an animal or building might look better on the lower points allowing for a background which aids in telling the story of your location. Remember unless it really works (and it can) never center the subject.





  FIVE:  ANCHOR THE SUBJECT or LOOK FOR PATTERNS: There is nothing like a strong anchor to make a subject stand out, especially in landscape photography.  

I often refer to David Muench’s images when talking about anchoring the image. He is the master at this. A strong anchor eliminates foreground clutter and distractions.    The anchor is the glue that puts the images together and conveys emotion to the viewers.

What if there are not any anchors available. Again, especially in close up photography as well as other forms, there just are not the huge rocks, or river etc to anchor the subject. At that time I always look for patterns in the subject, no matter if it’s a flower or mountainside to strengthen the interest of my image. Patterns in and of themselves are interesting to photograph.  






Notice unneeded foreground



Often a workshop attendee or photographic acquaintance will come up to me and say” You know that shot of yours at “such-n-such… well I’ve got that same shot too”. As I view this “identical image” I realize that they really don’t. Why? Well they may have the subject nailed, nice & sharp, proper exposure using the rule of thirds etc, but somewhere in the image there might be a tree trunk, or a contrail in the sky, or a leaf off to the side that’s too bright, too much foreground, that pulls our eye off the subject. (In nature, our eye goes to the brightest spot in the image, often not the subject .. be carefull !)

Much better Foreground!


“But I can fix it in Photo shop”… Can I pull out the knife now?  Working pro’s sometimes “fix it in Photo shop” but not as much as you think. The more you get it right in the camera, the more your image will be successful.

So look around, always check your corners (remember if you do not have a 100% viewfinder, this is especially noteworthy) and look for that little tiny distraction. They are there. You must eliminate them from your image.

Pay particular attention to cluttered foregrounds or foregrounds made of useless material having little to do with the subject. Your depth of field preview button should pull everything into clarity. Remove what does not lend anything to the image.



Which do you like?



These two elements can convey a 180 degree feeling in an image. Who’s to say which is right? The right one is the one you like. However, in the field often we are too busy with exposure, focus, lighting etc. to make this cognitive choice

 I suggest photographing your image both ways and deciding which one is more pleasing when you get home, on your monitor. I see few vertical calendars, and few horizontal magazine covers. You may want to take into affect how these images will be used.



EIGHT: PICK THE RIGHT LENS: Using the right lens can make or break your entire image or convey a totally different emotion that desired. In conducting as many workshops as I do I often see folks trying to photograph a great subject with the wrong lens. Why does this happen? I truly believe that some, if not most photographers are more comfortable, or “see” in certain focal lengths, and often neglect ones more suitable for a specific image. Other photographers are too much in a hurry (see commandment # 9 below) to experiment to attain the right focal length.  It takes some time to unpack, put on one lens then try another. One aid is to use an empty 35mm slide (large format photographers can use a larger sized cut out made of cardboard). By studying the scene through the empty slide is becomes clearer and easier to determine how the powerful parts of your scene affect the subject. In time, I have developed a good sense of what lens to use, but far from always.


     NINE PHOTOGRAPHY LESS & LOOK MORE. Perhaps this commandment should have been #1. I often see photographers in the filed with usually better equipment than I, approaching a subject hastily, not understanding the subject, the environment, the light and  more that goes into making a artistic photograph. I hear shutters clicking like machine guns.

 Not only are these images made this way likely to fail, the photographer may as well be handholding a cheap point & shoot camera. He or she has removed any aesthetic feeling of the scene, both photograph able as well as the self enjoyment that a location can deliver. There is no doubt that the photographer that slows down, studied the possibilities will always walk away with a superior image. It is not uncommon for me to be or on a days shoot and come back with 10 -15 frames. I often remember my days using film, and use those as a reminder that slowing down is key to success. If I have one successful image per day in the field, I would be a happy guy!

What slowing down does is allows up to see, to determine the best angle, position or location to set up your tripod. Learning to see allow one to take the time necessary to make a photograph that is artistic rather than a post card shot.

   TEN:  BECOME an ARTIST   Understanding the elements of a certain location, our equipment, using correct exposure, and knowing all the “rules” is only part of the equation. Being an artist is using these ingredients to make emotion evoking photographs using your vision

Committing to slowing down and becoming an artist is demanding. Few photographers are true artists. Artists are ones who are free to express their emotions though their photography as well as having unlimited artistic freedom.

I recommend reading the chapter on being an artist by Alain Briot (as well as the whole book!) in Alain’s book” Mastering Landscape Photography”. Rather than me parroting Alain’s writing, I’ll let Alain go into depth regarding this subject. This is a must read for any serious photographer I suggest hearing it from the artist himself.

What I would mention however, is that when you are out in the field making a fine art print consider the ultimate viewer.

We see in multi dimensions. A photograph is not three dimensional. Often photographers arrive at a dramatic location and say to themselves” I want to make this a great image so I can go home, and show so and so where I was and let them go WOW!”

Where you are is almost impossible to replicate to the viewer. The viewer doe not have the emotional attachment since they were not there. They don’t have the ability to have heard the sounds, felt the wind, sun etc that you did.

Quaking aspens, babbling brooks, the smell of the dirt in the Palouse in the spring, 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.


Gov’t mucking up the waters….again!…The recovery of the gray wolf to the Rocky Mountains is an Endangered Species Act success story. After nearly being eradicated from the American West, Endangered Species Act protections brought the wolf back from the brink of extinction.

 Recent reports indicate that Department of Interior Secretary Salazar is actively promoting legislation, likely in the form of a rider to the CR or omnibus appropriations, that would strip away ESA protections from the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies.

 The proposed legislative de-listing is anti-science and anti-democratic. If enacted, it would remove vital safeguards for Northern Rockies wolves in opposition to science based management. Worse, it would preclude the American public from petitioning for the reinstatement of these protections regardless of how few wolves remain.

 As a constituent, I am writing to strongly urge you to reject any legislative proposal by the Secretary of Interior to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.

 Thank you for continuing to work to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places.

Please remember that time is running out fast to receive the pre Jan2011 registration discount on my 2011 Photography Workshops. here is the schedule and registration form

 REGISTRATION FORM 2011              information can be found :


 1)       10% discount for returning attendees  

2)       10% discount if you pre-register for a workshop(s) prior to Jan 1, 2011. Deposit must be received by 12/31/2010.

3)       10% discount for NANPA members (

4)       Bring a friend ( new attendee) — –new attendee comes at ½ price

5)       Refer a friend –choice—a $50.00 credit off your registration is you attend (can be put to a future workshop) or a check for $25.00. No restrictions on referrals.

6)       Buy 4 get one free…..   Attend 4 workshops.. Get one free. ( they all count… not just in year)



Think Tank Photo is a company the produces quality well designed camera backpacks/bags. I own more than  a couple of their bags and love them.  Without question, they are the best made, and most functional bags on the market.

 For the holiday season Think Tank Photo is offering a free gift when you purchase one of their products. The free gear includes the Cable Management 20, the Pixel Pocket Rocket memory card holder, the Modular Pouch, Camera Strap, and the Security Tag.

At checkout their system automatically asks you which gear you would like to receive for free with your order.

See the latert Think Tank Photo products here:


HARD TO BELIEVE THIS—well maybe not


 Maroon and blue paint covers pictographs drawn by ancient inhabitants and petroglyphs scraped and ground long ago into rocks at the scenic preserve about 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

“We can get them restored but it will be very, very expensive to remove the paint without damaging the pictographs,” Williams said. “They are just one of the most fragile cultural sites we have.”

The drawings date back to A.D. 1000 and were probably made by the known prehistoric archaeological cultures that lived in the area, such as the Virgin Anasazi or the Paiute.

Hikers visiting from Oregon reported the graffiti found less than a half-mile from the main road that twists across Red Rock in early November. The graffiti includes the words “Red Rock 2010” and “Nevada has chronic” sprawled across several rock formations.


GRAY WOLVES and the US GOVT—PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!(should be self-explanatory)

 Recent reports indicate that Department of Interior Secretary Salazar is actively promoting legislation, likely in the form of a rider to the CR or omnibus appropriations, that would strip away ESA protections from the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies.

The proposed legislative de-listing is anti-science and anti-democratic. If enacted, it would remove vital safeguards for Northern Rockies wolves in opposition to science based management. Worse, it would preclude the American public from petitioning for the reinstatement of these protections regardless of how few wolves remain.

 As a constituent, I am writing to strongly urge you to reject any legislative proposal by the Secretary of Interior to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.

 Thank you for continuing to work to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places. 

Endangered Species act