Thoughts on Choosing the Right Camera for your Needs

Jack Graham Photography Workshops 2011 Schedule  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2011-workshop-schedule

Jack Graham Photography  Workshops 2012 Schedule http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ON THIS OCTOBER’S “FALL IN NE OHIO / AMISH COUNTRY” WORKSHOP:http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-color-ne-ohio-well-very-special-day-amish-oct-2011

PODCAST:   New addition coming soon!  www.18percentgraymatter.com

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Thoughts on Choosing the Right Camera for Your Needs                                                                                                     © Jack Graham & Jack Graham Photography LLC

I am very often asked which camera one should own in order to take quality images. The easy answer is that most DSLR’S in today’s market are capable of making good images.

Quite often non photographers will see me in the field with all my gear and ask me” Does your camera take good pictures”. Funny right? Well the short answer is certainly yes, however what I usually tell them is that by owing a good camera and lens, I have only the chance to make a good image. I still have to make it happen.

Consider this comment…”The lack of attention to detail fails to explain why a 1999 camera in the hands of a meticulous PHD who studies the instruction manual wont produce as many publishable images as a 1939 camera in the hands of a person with a photographic eye”… Galen Rowell.

                 

                                                                                                                                                                                               Shooting in the Alabama Hills    ©Michael Strubel

When reading this essay, also, consider this. Working pro’s use pro grade cameras for a reason. Believe me, Art Wolfe, John Shaw, Tom Mangelsen et al , would be more than happy to spend thousands of dollars less on cameras and lenses and be able to carry 1/10th the weight around if they could. But professional photographers can’t compromise. There are significant reasons for owing what we do. Having said that, in most cases the average photographer need not bust the bank account in order to make good publishable images in today’s marketplace. 

Owning a good or even a pro camera only gives you the “chance” to make a good photograph.

There are really 3 grades of cameras available today. Let’s go through these and talk about the differences.

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Consumer Grade Cameras – These cameras are a decent nice step up in quality from point and shoot cameras.   These cameras will make a decent 8×10” print. Most are fairly light weight and affordable for most folks.  These cameras often lack some features needed by more advanced folks and are not built with the integrity of a more advanced DSLR. These cameras are by far sold more than any other category. For the weekend warrior or casual shooter these cameras do a great job and are a good value. On my workshops, I often see folks who use these cameras be quite unfamiliar with the more complicated menus than more expensive cameras use.  They also will not take the elements as well as more advanced cameras. Rain, dampness affects these cameras more. They will not perform at 20 below zero as well. But then again, most folks who own these cameras do not work in these extreme conditions like pro do. The other side of the coin I that if you have thoughts of becoming a more advanced photographer, you may want to start off with an advanced amateur camera as you’ll have more features, better build and quality with these cameras than the entry level consumer grade.

Advanced Amateur – This category is growing quite rapidly with the major manufactures these days. For folks who are a bit more serious about their photography, but are not making a living at it, I would definitely seriously look into this category of camera. For the most part this grade of camera is heavier and much more rugged than the consumer cameras. Though not perfect, they do take the elements better. They will also last longer.

These cameras have easier menus to deal with as well as many pro functions (Depth of field button etc) than consumer grade cameras. The functionality is there as well, bordering on pro grade cameras.

The higher end of this category of cameras is perfectly capable of producing professional quality images and prints over 11 x 14 and over. Just like the Pro category of cameras, you’ll need to be proficient in operating these cameras to turn out quality images. Consumer cameras are usually easier to operate, but will not produce the quality of image that an advanced amateur or pro camera will. I know many pros, me included that use these cameras as backups to the pro line cameras we use every day.

“A lot of people think that when you have grand scenery, such as you have in Yosemite, that photography must be easy” ….Galen Rowel

Lantermans Mill, Youngstown, Ohio

 

 This image was taken using a Nikon D200, Consumer grade camera!

 

Pro Cameras – OK by now you are surly wondering why I do and other pros need a pro quality camera. Here are a few reasons:

1)     I work in extreme conditions, sometimes below -20 degrees (winter inWyoming) and over 110 degrees (Death Valley). I need a camera that will perform in these conditions.

2)     I work in dust storms (last spring in Monument Valley for example). My Nikon D700 performed marvelously, no down time. 

3)     I work in rainforests (Olympic Peninsula and the Columbia River Gorge in winter and theOregon Coast to name a few.

  ©Ray Larose

 I need a camera that is sealed (yes there is a difference between sealed cameras (lenses too) and non sealed cameras). Check out this article  http://raylarose.rm-r.me/?tag=water-proof

Shooting in a sand storm, Monument Valley, UT

 4)     I am not a sport shooter, but next time you see a cameraman get run over by a 250+lb football player consider that the camera will still work! When pros go out to shoot they have to come back with the image every time with no excuses. 

5)      Pro cameras are simply built stronger and can resist more “torture”. The inside mechanics of these cameras are built to a much higher standard than other grades.

6)      Cameras that under perform in less than normal conditions will not perform and inhibit pro photographers from making a living.

7)     Pro camera bodies make menus very simple, the functionality of the buttons, such as DOF, compensation etc are usually much more user friendly and easier to access.

It was well below zero when I made this image in Wyoming...yes, that's freezing fog!

 

A BRIEF LENS DISCUSSION

Let’s briefly talk about lenses. All manufactures have some lenses that are better than others. Just like camera bodies, lenses must stand up to the elements and shooting conditions as well as contain good glass. Some shooters need faster lenses than others. Few, consumer grade camera owners would be willing to carry around large, fast “Pro” lenses on a vacation.  Most dedicated amateurs and us pro’s are usually more than willing to carry around pro (heavier) lenses all the time to get the best quality lenses.

I recommend that if you are on a budget, as most of us are these days; put your hard earned dollars into good quality lenses. I am amazed to see how many folks I run into have pro cameras and average glass. Would you put average tires on a Lamborghini?

Professional gear is worth every print to pro photographers. The build and ease of functionality, in other words, the complexity of pro cameras are worth every dime.  

All of this ruggedness and sophistication comes at a price.  Professional equipment is expensive, and worth every penny to the folks who make their living using it. Having said that, pro cameras are not cheap.

OK … so how do I decide which camera to buy?

Simple… what kind of images do you want tot take. I also have a Canon G10 (Canon is now up to a G11 and will certainly have a G12 soon). My G10 shoots RAW and when using a tripod produces professional sellable images.

If the answer is family, vacations snapshots, children etc I would certainly look to own a consumer camera.  If you think you’ll move to the next level and become a bit of a more serious photographer either as a hobby or making a few bucks along the way, then an advanced amateur camera is the way to go. If you are close to becoming a pro photographer, or already are, and get into places as I mentioned earlier in the conditions I noted, then you need to “bite the bullet” and purchase a pro camera. You may want to purchase a pro camera at the start and save some money in the long run.

You also need to ask yourself the type of photography you enjoy. Differenty types of photography require different equiptment. Bird photographers need longer lenses and perhaps different cameras than landscape shooters. Buying a DSLR is really buying into a system. That system includes cameras, lenses, flash and accessories. For example, some manufactures are better at flash than other; some have better macro lenses than others etc.

This is not an article on lenses, though I touched on lenses briefly. However let’s talk about lenses. All major manufactures have optics in every price category Believe me, there is a difference between a Nikon 70-200 F4 ($ 2000+) and a 70-210 F4 (under 400.00). Do your homework. If you are a Nikon shooter like me this is a great website for honest information www.bythom.com or http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html

Even a few after market manufactures make a few good lenses. Tamaron, Sigma are ones I might look into if I were a consumer camera owner on a budget, but be careful, just like the name brands, not all these lenses are created equal!

You are going to hear a lot of opinions from everyone about brands, camera bodies, lenses etc. The bottom line is that today’s cameras, weather consumer or pro way out perform those of just a few years ago. However, they all kind of work differently. I encourage you to go into the camera store, touch and feel them. They all work a bit different. Consider the lens quality and perhaps take the flash systems in consideration when making your decisions. Decide what features and quality is important to you.                  

BE CAREFUL ON THE INTERNET: There a lot of great information out there and a lot of really bad information as well. Use reliable sources.

Where to BUY?—Buy from a reliable source. Do not deal with folks that:

1)     You can’t talk to

2)     Folks that will only help you if you are willing to spend money

Choose a dealer you can trust…..  What happens after the sales is usually more important than before!

                                                                                                                

I choose HUNT’S PHOTO & VIDEO in Massachusetts. I can usually get a hold of Gary Farber (part owner) or his right hand man John Duggan. Prices are equal to or better than NYC with great discounts and above all customer interaction and satisfaction. Call these folks direct and actually talk to a human who will walk you through anything you need!

GARY: (800) 221-1830 x 2332 (tell him I said HI!)

JOHN: (781) 462-2314 John’s direct line 

Rainbow over Hunt's Mesa, Monument Valley, UT

HDR…….. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS:http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops

PODCAST: www.18percentgraymatter.com

 

HDR … High Dynamic Range Imaging

Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, HDR

HDR is a discussion that brings out strong feelings from many of today’s photographers. Some love it, some hate it. (…just Google “bad HDR”).  I guess its time to weigh in on HDR (HighDynamicRange) imaging.  Yes, I use it. Yes, I like it…. Sometimes.

Yes, I think there is a tendency to produce some fairly unrealistic looking images (of course you may be doing that on purpose, and that’s ok too, as long as you are planning your results).  This is not a “How To” process in HDR, but is a look into the topic. (See bottom for resources for proper processing technique).

I’ll discuss the good, the bad and the ugly.Please remember these are my opinions and only mine. I’d love to get your feed back…JG

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HDR BASICS

HDR isn’t really a new concept. HDR was first introduced in the mid 1980’s. The concept, though valid, was held back due to the lack of computing power and computer technology until the past few years. After a great deal of work and software developments during the 1990’s, HDR became available to the masses in the mid 2000’s, as our technology advanced.

The main advantage to HDR is the ability to retain details in a scene with a large contrast ratio. In the past, such scenes would be rendered too dark or too bright. Photographers measure light in stops. Adding one stop of light is equal to doubling the amount of light. Conversely subtracting one stop looses double the light.

To attain the proper HDR image, one must capture multiple images, varing the amount of light being recorded by the sensor,  and merging these images into one capture.

(Note: JPEG images are not really conducive for HDR Photography. 8 bit JPEGS do not encode enough values to allow for proper transition to a single image. In addition the compression loss in JPEG is magnified in HDR processing)

Proper editing is essential. In order to avoid artifacts and banding in the image we must use the proper software and understand the parameters. All software programs are quite different and understanding the characteristics of each is essential. We need to process carefully.

Before moving too far ahead, let’s define some terms and ask some questions. First what is “natural and what’s “manipulated”.  To me “natural” is getting as close to what I see in the field when making an image as possible. Manipulated images are ones that either has additions inserted that were not there, or over processed to the point of being more Photo Art than a natural appearing image. However, to me neither is wrong, as long as the photographer that produces manipulated images says so.

” ‘Round Midnight “Death Valley, did I use HDR? NO !.. all natural light and a graduated density filter

 

 Personally, I use HDR only when necessary. My goal is either:

1)    To have the viewer not realize that the images was done using HDR or

2)    When I want to let loose and have a bit of fun, but always remembering composition, exposure etc when making the initial image(s)

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT HDR.

1)    The obvious, being to make photographs that were previously un-photographable

2)    When done right HDR offers an image pleasing to my eye

3)     Being able to stay out to look for images longer in the evenings and earlier in the mornings

4)    Sometimes, I too like to let loose and explore all the possible artistic reaches of HDR. HDR can be fun this way, even for traditional photographers like me. As Alain Briot say’s when contemplating making Photo Art…”Just say YES!”

image on left is non HDR

This image was made using NIK’S HDR PRO software—sometimes it’s a lot of fun to experiment!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT HDR

1)    Users of the basic knowledge of what HDR is and use the available software to create really miserable looking images.

2)    Photographers who forget that HDR is expanding the tonal range we are supposed to be preserving.

3)    Photographers who do not contemplate theDynamicRangeof a scene before shooting multiple images (I’ve see folks shooting 10 + images… honest!)

4)    Photographers need to understand how far apart to adjust light conpensations “0” or normal. I believe there is no constant formula; some scenes require +2 and – 2 stops, some +1 or -1 stop.

5)    Photographers who rely on ONLY the software to produce the endure image, not using Photoshop , Light room or other processing programs to fine tune the image after the blending process.

6)    Photographers who do not take the time to understand tone mapping. (Ink’s program (why I like it) does not require the tone mapping study and practice like Photomatix. Tone mapping technique is essential if you are using Photomatix. You will fail using Photomatix, unless you study and perfect tone mapping.

7)    Photographers who attempt to create images with dynamic range equal to what we can see with our eyes, but in face end up with unrealistic tonal ranges.

THE STRANGE & SURREAL

Without proper skills ( especially tone mapping in Photomatix)  and use and proper understanding of the different capabilities of the software you are doomed to create the strange and surreal. You are now creating images without proper tonal range and images’ containing subtle effects that today’s cameras and lenses are capable of producing. When viewers see a one of these surreal and strange looking HDR images they often react in a certain level of awe.

The image on the left is about as far as I tend to go creating “Photo Art”

I notice lots of photographers approaching HDR as a novelty, not as a means to making images one impossible. I call that the” Wow, that’s a cool effect” syndrome.

Seeing the amount of  mediocre results of HDR in the magazines, I think that the average person loves it,  but the artist (photographer) must  look at HDR carefully and uses it as a means to the end, not an end to the means.

I strongly suggest that we photographers take a step back and think about what you want your image to convey. If you want a surreal look, then go for it. If it’s close to the natural scene, then use HDR wisely. You can’t have it both ways! When you process, process in the way you want the final image to look. Do not overlook the importance of the composition, light and exposure thinking that HDR is going to save the image. All the Processing in the world will not save it. Garage in is Garbage out… and a bad looking HDR image is a bad looking HDR image. Though there are folks doing some amazing DHR work, I notice that the popularity of HDR is almost parallel with the lack of technique. This is not a good thing. Be a photographer, and strive to be an artist first.

Things to AVOID when processing in HDR

As you may have noticed there are 7 things I do not like about HDR and only 3 I like. The 3 I like may out-weigh the 7 I do not like, but again, I only use HDR when necessary and as a means to an end.

Seattle, Washington NON HDR IMAGE

1)    Unnatural transitions between shadows, midtones and highlights..All must be smooth and consistent

2)    Too much contrast: This look is prevalent in many HDR images I see, some done on purpose. These are unnatural looking. If that’s the way you want, great, but avoid too much contrast when looking for a “natural” look.

3)    Too little contrast. This results in brighter than normal and lots of detail in the shadows, which can make images, look very unnatural.

Seattle, Washington HDR IMAGE

4)    Uneven Shadow detail… speaking of shadow detail, the detail needs to be where it needs to be and not in areas of the image where it shouldn’t be.

5)    Uneven highlights. —Often I see white clouds become dark with too much shadow detail. Again, if that’s when you want, great.

6)    Look at your final image.— Would you want to look at this image on your wall for more than a few minutes, let a lone extended periods of time. Really think about the results, contemplate the results while making the photograph and thinking about what you want the end result to look like.

DO YOU REALLY NEED HDR

Yes and no…… I use HDR only when absolutely necessary. I see lots of photographers using HDR when there really do not need to. Other methods can produce equally realistic (remember…if that’s what you want).

 

This image, shot at Ft. Point San Francisco was made using 5 images at these light composition settings  -2  -1  0  +1  +2 stops & NIK’S HDR PRO software. Afterwards I spent time in Photoshop making many fine tuning adjustments ( as well as using other Viveza2 from Nik )

Try a few of these, next time before taking 3-5 images to combine in HDR Software. You may NOT need HDR.

1)    Try using graduated neutral density filters. The work great for balancing the light and can save you a lot of post processing time.

2)    Try processing your raw image twice. You can now control the tonal range quite well, but it is a bit time consuming.

3)    Use masking and local adjustments in Photoshop… or better yet  NIK SOFTARES VIVEZA 2 program. You can really control your tonal range by using these processes. NIK’S VIVEZA will save you an enormous amount of time.

to me, this is a realistic looking composite HDR image

  HDR NOW and THE FUTURE

Currently, HDR, in my opinion is allowing for a lot of poorly composed, sub par images to appear all over the internet and as well as publications. There are exceptions to this, like everything else. Some folks are doing some great work. However there is a lot of garbage out there. Some of these images make me reach for the Excedrin after a few minutes of viewing.

Remember when infrared was the range. (Now I am showing my age). Well infrared is still around, but not at the level it was. I remember buying infrared film do you? We used to “push and “pull” film. We don’t need to do that anymore. Helicon Focus emerged about 10 years ago and is still use with validity today. I suspect HDR is here to stay and that’s great, as long as we remember the pluses and minuses of using HDR.

 

 

RESOURCES:

1)    Matt Kloskowski –Matt’s real world HDR class online at Kelby Training  http://www.kelbytraining.com/instructors/matt-kloskowski.html

2)   Rick Sammon’s HDR Secrets for Digital Photographers  http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Sammons-Secrets-Digital-Photographers/dp/0470612754/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305930079&sr=8-1

 3) The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro by Jason P. Odell and Tony Sweet  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sweet+hdr

PHOTOGRAPHING the vastness of DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Jack Graham Photography Workshops   http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops

DEATH VALLEY NOVEMBER   2011  —-  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/death-valley-national-park

Morning at Zabriskie Point © Jack Graham Photography

                                       Images courtesy of a few of my participants from last February’s workshop, as well as a few of my own.

Death Valley Workshop Group Feb 2011 ©Diane Ottosen
Folded Earth ©Albert Tam

Want a photographic challenge? Head to Death Valley NP in South eastern California. Death Valley spans over 3.3 million miles making it the largest national park in the USA. The closest major city is Las Vegas;Death Valley’s some of the most expansive terrain offering unique and inspiring landscapes in the world.

Photographing in Death Valley offers  many completely different areas to photograph. There are few “icons” in this National Park. Monument Valley has its familiar monoliths, Yosemite NP has its familiar majestic mountains etc, but in Death Valley NP, few recognizable icons exist. You are there in the vastness, looking for patterns, textures and color. This is a challenge for even the seasoned photographer. Trying to photograph in Death Valley without proper preparation (that’s why I suggest doing a workshop there!) can literally “eat you up” due to lots of things that I’ll discuss here!

Sunrise at Dante's View ©Diane Ottosen

 

During my workshops, we photograph from the expanse of the playas (dried up salt flats) to the many canyons within the park.  Based on many years of leading workshops and photographing here in Death Valley, I am familiar with the hundreds of locations, some not on the visitors guides, and being at the right location in prime time for the best light and near endless photographic opportunities,  As a rule, bad weather can create good light, so I always hope for some degree of bad weather. 

Earth Color © David Liu

 

On the Dune © Diane Ottosen

I choose to conduct workshops in Death Valley NP during the late winter and fall in order to take advantage of the friendlier temperatures, as well as the low angle of the light allowing for many hours of quality photography. Typically in February and March it’s possible to venture out to the flooded playas at Badwater and Cottonballs for some dramatic sunrise images. In the fall we are able to get out to the “Race Track” that is usually flooded in the winter and thus the road is closed. The Racetrack is a place of stunning beauty and mystery. The Racetrack is a playa, or a dried up lakebed, best known for its strange moving rocks (probably caused by wind!). Although no one has actually seen the rocks move, the long meandering tracks left behind in the mud surface of the playa attest to their activity.   

Desert Hunter © Albert Tam

Photographically,Death Valley is a study in patterns and textures. During our workshops, we typically work on all of the obvious techniques that go into making quality photographs, but we’ll also work on learning to see, and slowing down in order to make the most of our time in this magical area.

Death Valley is a great area to work on photographic skills. One must take light into consideration more than anywhere else. Side lighting, backlighting, the use of HDR will all be discussed and used to capture images in Death Valley. February and November commonly offers dramatic light. We’ll work on images that portray depth, surprise and drama, while use leading lines, foregrounds and other graphic elements to make some great images.

Dune at Night ©David Liu

We will venture out onto the sand dunes as well for some interesting night photography instruction and images!

Within the park are some old mines, and wooden structures that we’ll photograph as well. Some, but not all locations include Zabriskie Point, Mesquite Sand Dunes, Mosaic Canyon, Golden Canyon, Badwater, Dante’s View, Devil’s Golf Course, Artist’s Palate, and the Race Track. In addition we usually visit the ghost town which features a three story bank, a jail house and train depot all now in ruins. I usually custom tailor my agenda on the weather and light conditions and allow sufficient time for image reviews and photographic presentations.

I am a great believer in preparation, understanding where I am photographing and becoming part of the land and environment. Nowhere is this more important than in Death Valley.

PHOTOGRAPHY TIP:  Unless we just get lucky to get out of out vehicles and hit on some really dramatic light, we’ll take some time and bond with our surroundings. I guarantee that unless you’ve been to DV you will be overwhelmed with its inert beauty. Rushing to make photographs will result in mediocre results. Decide what strikes your eye or what is perhaps creating dramatic detail…Understand where we are, appreciate the inert beauty and slow down……..take all in …. And I guarantee that you’ll come away with great images

WHAT MAKES PHOTOGRAPHING IN DEATH VALLEY DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER NP’S

 Death Valley is spacious, that is an understatement. Unlike no where else in the United States does this become as intimidating as here. In addition, texture and patterns create photographic opportunities all over the park.

1)    I always try to find a foreground-–mainly because of the vastness in many location

2)    I am always looking for depth in an image using a wide angel lens. WE will work on hyper focal length, which is absolutely necessary to get the depth of field you want. You have to get low to the ground lots of times to get the correct depth and angle you need for a dramatic image.

3)    PRS—–I always look for patterns, repetition and simplicity

4)    Again because of the expanse, you need to pay attention to your backgrounds and make sure they don not take away from the scene.

5)    Exposures can be tricky in DV because of the dramatic and sometimes contrasting light. Learning to meter using your spot meter is very important. Using graduated Neutral Density filters can compensate for quite common lighting difficulties.

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 WHAT TO BRING to DVNP:

ESSEN TAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT: (besides camera gear……I carry lenses from 24-300mm plus a 1.4 teleconverter)

1)    TRIPOD, LENS SHADES  & CABLE RELEASE

2)    GRADUATED NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERS

3)    POLARARIZING FILTER

BACK UP BATTERIES

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PLACES TO STAY:

 http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/furnace-creek-ranch-1223.html

Furnace Creek Resort

PO Box 187
Death Valley, California 92328 
Physical: Highway 190, Death Valley, 92328
Phone: 760.786.2345
Fax: 760.786.2514

Other accommodations can be found at Stovepipe Wells (about 35 minutes drive from Furnace Creek:

http://www.stovepipewells.com/

PO Box 559
Death Valley, California 92328
Physical location: Hwy. 190 
Death Valley, California 92328 
Phone: 760.786.2387
Fax: 760.786.2389

Travel

Knob Rholite Ghost Town ©David Liu

Out of State

Fly into Las VegasMcCarranInternationalAirport. Death Valleyis about 150 miles or 2 ½ h hours.  You take SR 160 north toParumph,NV.  Follow the signs to Death Valley Junction, CA and from there take SR 160 into Death Valley.  Continue to Furnace Creek

Southern California

Death Valley is about 350 miles from Southern California.  Take I-15 north to Baker.  From there head north on SR 127 to Death Valley Junction.  Turn left on SR 160 into Death Valley.  Continue to Furnace Creek.

FOOD/DINING

During the day, carry energy bars and maybe a few candy bars. There is NO water available when we are out in the park photographing. However there are stores in Furnace Creek where you can stock up and near Stovepipe Wells, near the Mesquite Sand Dunes andMosaicCanyonlocations. Staying hydrated is my primary concern and I will make sure to all have the proper supplies to avoid complications.

Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are available at our Furnace Creek Location.

Though eating is not a problem on this workshop you are there to photograph and often the best light is at breakfast and dinner. Please know this in advance.

                                                     CONSIDER COMING ALONG NEXT TIME!!!!!!

Bad Water Sunset © Jack Graham

GUY TAL added as co leader on Eastern Sierra Workshop in October / Canson Paper/ F-STOP CAMERA BAGS

Jack Graham Photography Workshops( remaining 2011 & new for 2012) www.jackgtrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops …… workshops filling quickly!
NEW PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com   featuring GUY TAL
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Double"O" Arch, Arches NP, Light Painted, late at night

Hello Everybody,

 Things are very busy here these days, trying to get caught up on work after being gone so much.

 I’ll be posting another blog edition next week with some helpful photographic tips and some new images.

 I do have a three announcements I would like you get out:

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1)  Last week I sent out a tease in my newsletter about a very special co-leader that is coming on board with us in the Eastern Sierra photography Workshop this October 13-16

 I am happy to announce that my good friend and photographer extraordinary GUY TAL www.guytal.com  will be with us for the workshop. Guy lives in Torrey Utah, within Capital Reef National Park. His work is as good as it gets and his knowledge and contributions that he will add to this workshop will be more than you ever expected. Adding Guy is akin to adding Babe Ruth to an already good baseball team.

Guy and I became friends many years ago on NPN (www.naturephotographers.net ). I have 2 of his prints up on my wall in my studio.

I would encourage you to check out his work and writings (his e-books are superb—I just read his brand new on the plane back from the east coast and I highly recommend it.)

Creative Processing Techniques,….Understanding the Digital Studio….By Guy Tal   available here: http://guytalbooks.com/
Sunrise at North Lake

 

 

As far as workshop size goes, as of today we are at 9 attendees. We’ll most likely add another 3 or 4 at more. Between Guy and me you will receive an enormous amount of personal attention.  On my workshops, I am here for you. A workshop is NOT an excuse for me or for Guy to take lots of pretty pictures on at your expense. From personal experience, I can let you know Guy has the same dedication to out attendees as I.  Check out some of the referrals here: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referralsDon’t wait to long to register–We’ll be full quickly!

I am sure you all are going to be quite pleased and frankly blown away with the time in the Sierra. I wish it was October tomorrow!

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2) NEW PAPER: I am experimenting with some new photographic paper and am really pleased with the results. It is from CANSON. This is not a new company by any means, but one of the world’s oldest paper manufactures.

My paper of choice currently is Ilford’s Gold Fiber Silk paper; however, after printing a few prints on Canson’s Infinity Baryta Photographique, I must say that after using up my last box of Gold Fiber Silk, I’ll be switching to the Chanson product. http://www.canson-infinity.com/en/baryta310.asp

                                                                  The B & W inage shown here is the print I made. The blacks & whites were amazing!

Though very similar to the Ilford GFS (a very close 2nd to the Canson IBP) paper, the CanImageson IBP paper is lightly whiter, thus more like the paper used for great B & W images. The surface is as smooth as Ilford’s but whiter.  I printed a B & W image first and the blacks and dark tones were discernibly more brilliant improved over the Ilford paper.

I would suggest trying a pack for yourself. Paper can be quite subjective. This is just my opinion.

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3) I just received my new TILOPA BC camera bag from F-Stop Gear  http://fstopgear.com/              http://fstopgear.com/en/tilopa-bc

I will be using it in the field in the coming weeks and will give you a review. At 1st glance I am really impressed. These guys “get it”….Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP a different look with some "glow" effect added, thanks NIK Software!