Business and Nature Photography

                             Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

2012 Registration Form REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s #2 DW_GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

 

NEWS FLASH: I will be doing a LIVE webinar at NIK SOFTWARE in San Diego on FEBRUARY 28th from 2-3PM. You need  register with NIK to view this ecvent. Access the following link and scroll down to the bottom of the page for details and registration information :

http://view.mailus.niksoftware.com/?j=fe6915767565077c741d&m=fec4157170600374&ls=fde91775746c0d7c7c1d7975&l=fec1157770670d78&s=fe22137372630274771474&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe30167070650774751077&r=0

 

______________________________________________________________________________

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

                                                                    Business and Nature Photography

© Jack Graham

 Often the topic of making a living in photography (for me it’s the Nature Photography end of the business) comes up. Today, there is a proliferation of cameras hitting the market. Lot’s of folks buy a camera, print a fancy business card and a dot com and begins trying to succeed. Some find out, as I did that it’s really not that easy. I was fortunate to work along side some well-respected “pro’s” who taught me first hand what it took to make a living at what I do.

For those of you reading this, who are in other fields, you can use this as a blueprint for really any business you may consider attempting. In addition, keep these thought in mind when you may consider a service from me, or another photographer and think that their fees are high.

Yes, there are photographers out there and some rather competent I may add, that have other avocations. Maybe they conduct workshops, art shows on the weekends for the fun of it. That’s ok. However it been my experience (after many years) that these folks, with few exceptions are not as competent as those of us who do this for a living, putting 100% of your time into our craft.

Try not to equate the ability of making a good photograph into being able to sustain a business.

Please note that I did say there are exceptions. Many writers, musicians, painters, and yes photographers have failed as a result of not paying attention to the business of their craft.

I am making an OK living in the photography workshop and print business and other avenues in the nature photography world. I love what I do and love both being in the field as well as working in my office. I do NOT count on selling prints as a part of my income to “eat by”. It’s too inconsistent for me. I can count on photographers who make decent living selling prints on one hand.

My 2011 schedule

It has literally taken at least 10 years to get to the point that my business is producing results.( remember not only do you need to produce business results, you also need to apply this to your photographic skills as well.)  I  Remember Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour theory?  Reviewing this short clip is very educational http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq2n1Jlx5P0

 “The way to learn to do things is to do things. The way to learn a trade is to work at it. Success teaches how to succeed. Begin with the determination to succeed, and the work is half done already.” – Mark Twain, writer and humorist.
For example this week has been a week of office/ business work. Accounting, filling out National Park & Federal Land CUS’a (permits that cast $). numerous phone calls, creating new programs for my 2012 workshops.. new itineraries etc, Writing (this and 3 other blogs, social media entries, answering lots of emails… and more) arranging room discounts on workshops, dealing with rectification for Wilderness First Aid recertification (Yes Death Valley now requires it to get a permit)… and on & on. Evenings have consisted on processing images needed for these applications and making and packaging prints for shipment. Do you get the picture?

Ellen Anon, Rick Sammon and me judging a photography contest

Being “visible” to the photographic community is also important. Traveling to speaking engagements, putting on presentations, often for free, is important. Building your reputation can also come under that 10,000 hour umbrella.

People who take my workshops often have no idea on the work put into them and into my business. Many think.. Wow what a great life.. They think “he gets to take people out and teach photography in all these great places and gets paid!  Well… First is certainly IS a great life, I’m one lucky guy but , two, it takes more than meats the eye.

Speaking at a conventionDo not take this writing as being negative. It’s just toe opposite. It can be done. I’ve done it in a tough economy. I also have a sales and business background. I combine that with my artistic background ( I also have a BA in music from Indiana University). You too can make it work. Being positive is 1/2 the battle. Your friends, clients will notice your attitude really fast.

These financial and personal factors should be considered when starting up a photography business.

   1) You will need Federal Tax # ( EIN #) as well as a state business license #. (If you are planning on deducting your entitled allowances—you need to have these. Also get a good accountant! Keeping good records is    mandatory

Insurance Certificate

2)  Insurance–yes parks etc require insurance certificates… I just had to indemnify the United States of America for over 1 million dollars!

3)  Remember when travelling you will have hotels, food, and other travel costs.

4) Time out of my office (remember…..–out = making less $, being less visible etc.. less marketing time)

5)  Permits (usually 200.00-300.00 per event)

6)  Wear and tear on your equipment and your vehicle–yes you’ll replace many vehicles. and oh yes—fuel costs—I’m hearing $5.00 again soon.

7)  You have to have your camera gear of course… but you also need presentation materials… computers, projectors, monitors etc…. oh yes—software—- not cheap either.

8)  You had better have health insurance.  How much per month?

9)  Are you married? Have a significant other? For example I’ll be from this year from March 15th -May 2nd. Would that work for you?  You should consider that.. I can list the famous nature photographers who have been divorced sometimes multiple times… relationships are not easy. There is also a cost to that!

My 10 Indisputable Truths About this Business,… a summary

No matter what avenue you are moving towards. These are in addition to the obvious… looking to save every penny you can, without being foolish and not spending to make…  is a rather fine line.

1)  When you’re in your office you’re making money… when you’re out shooting you’re spending money

2)  Profit is what’s left after everything paid for

3)  I know of few photographers who “make a living” selling prints.

4)  As Dale Carnegie said.. “Hard work and long hours are not enough to generate success.  You have to have an organized plan.”

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”… Malcolm Gladwell

Yes, we do get to go to lots of amazing places!

5)  Decide if you want Fame or Fortune: Fame and fortune are two different things. DO NOT look at people in show business, athletes, actors, entertainment personalities etc as examples of folks with fame & fortune, if that is what you are striving for. These folks are less than 1% of the population when it comes to fame. Being rich and famous is the exception rather than the norm. It is easier to be rich, or famous, than to be both. Chose which road you want, usually the one most needed at this time.(usually financial) and work at making an income from everything you do, rather than deriving fame.  Fame might come,   Money (income to live), on the other hand, is needed to get a business goingbefore anything else.

6) Before anything else. Develop a business plan. Determine what you need to make, as an average income per month to cover your expenses, and then divide that by 30. Then you have a clear idea on what you need per day to survive. This can be scary and causes many folks to give up and say “I can’t do this” on their first attempt. Often their second attempt succeeds!

7) Always look for opportunities, besides what you’re working on at the time Opportunities that come our way usually require added work as they usually come on top of everything you are already doing. ..More work!!…If you are not willing to work harder than you are already working, you can’t make these opportunities happen. and believe me… someone else will take advantage

8) Be very particular on what you publish. Weather it’s a print article or whatever… it will have your name on it, no one else’s. It’s about you and your reputation. Make sure everything is done to the highest standards possible. You work reflects you!

9) Become a marketing maven! Website, blog, social media, mailing lists, visibility, new looks to everything once a year (including your booth if you are doing art shows) is necessary.

If marketing either is not in the forefront, or is stopped for any reason.( due to the time and financial investment”… it is a big, big mistake.

You will know when your customers like you!

10)  Finally…Stick with it…  Usually in the beginning you have many ideas. and they are often created quickly… and if  (which is usually the case) success does not happen as really fast.. You might get discouraged and flame out. You need to remain positive (not as easy as it seems) and proactive.

For example, web sites that retain their initial “start up” look for years with no news, photographs or features do not create an atmosphere that clients might regard these as one they would like to deal with. You need to update your mailing lists and continue to increase your web traffic daily.  If you do art shows, consider changing the look of your booth from year to year. If your display booth remains the same year after year, your customers (there are many repeaters there) might equate this with lack of success.  Sometimes, when things get tough, marketing either is never stressed or cut off quickly, fortunately today there is many ways to stay visible rather cheaply. These articles are one such way. Stopping your marketing efforts is caused by either feeling bad for yourself or as a result of lack of capital. Again, there are plenty of free avenues to market your product.

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Worth additional reading:

PREPERATION FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/preparation.shtml

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP…its a Jungle Out There!

https://jackgrahamphoto.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/photo-tip-choosing-the-right-workshop-its-a-jungle-out-there/

PRACTICING, “KNOW YOUR AX” and FINE TUNING YOUR SKILLS

https://jackgrahamphoto.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/practicing-know-your-ax-perfecting-your-skills-%e2%80%a6-never-stop-fine-tuning/

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Which one Works #2

Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                                                                       Learn to think                                                                Learn to create

  2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

 2012 Registration Form  REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

 Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

 One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s  GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

WHICH ONE WORKS?    # 2

This is a new feature I am going to publish here on my blog every week or two.  This is edition # 2 where I’ll discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the other(s).

This process of choosing one image over another is a common one that we all deal with in our digital darkroom. The final image is important for whatever project it’s being used for, and spending time determining which image works vs. another is well worth it. In many case the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference,

Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

 

You comments, as always are more than welcome.

Tillamook Bay Sunrise #
Tillamook Bay Sunrise # 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCATION:  Sunrise on Tillamook Bay, Oregon Coast. 

Lat: 45°29’27.276″N

Long: 123°55’3.684″W

  There are few more dramatic sunrises along the Oregon coast than at Tilllamook Bay.  Tillamook is about 30 miles south of the famous town and beach, Cannon Bach. It is important to be there at least ½ hour before the 1st light. Often the 1st light is more dramatic than the actual sunrise itself(depicted in these images) , however when there are clouds or fog in the area, making images even after the official sunrise time can be rewarding. The bad hooks around before entering the Pacific Ocean , so you are actually facing southeast in this location for sunrise, over the coastal range looking east. It’s important to not only get here before 1st light, but to hand in, especially on foggy overcast or days like this one. Things can change here in literally seconds.

 THE STORY:  I really love this spot. This is the 1st sunset on my Oregon Coast workshop as we begin to work our way down the Oregon Coast. It’s a great spot, but not at all an easy place to make a quality images. There are many challenges. I really like getting there at a really low tide, The patterns in the mud flats, and water are much better. However this morning, because I knew the weather was going to be a factor, I compromised and dealt with sunrise at high tide.

There are two big challenges here. Composition is one. There are so many ways to choose composition in this location. Choosing your focal length makes for different results. I have taken photographs at 17mm here, using a strong foreground all the way up to 300mm+ depending on the conditions. For this image I chose my Nikon 28-70mm ED-IF F2.8 lens. The second challenge is exposure. Because this light is very dramatic and has almost every tonal range possible, it was important to manually meter the scene, watch the histogram to nail the exposure as best as possible. IS this an image for HDR? Maybe… but these clouds were moving very very fast and that presents problems when taking multiple frames.

This boat has been anchored in this location for as long as I can remember. I’ve never seen the boat anchored here. It serves as a great prop, as well as an anchor (no pun intended!) to the image.

 TECH DATA :   

 I manually metered this scene, spot metering, on a medium point in the image

 Images made 10 minutes and 10 seconds apart

 IMAGE #1         2010:07:03 04:50:15 ( July 7, 2010 at 4:40:15 AM)              IMAGE #2        2010:07:03 04:50:30   ( July 7, 2010 at 4:50:30 AM)

 Nikon D700   Nikon 28-70 ED-IF 2.8                                                                                                   Nikon D700    Nikon  28-70 ED-IF 2.8

Shutter speed: 1/10 sec at F 22                                                                                                                Shutter speed:  1/25 sec at   F22

ISO 200         Exposure mode: Manual   Metering: Spot                                                                     ISO: 200          Exposure mode: Manual     Metering: Spot

Focal length:     62mm                                                                                                                               Focal length:     48mm

 

Let’s discuss processing just for a minute. I did all my normal processing Adobe Lightroom ( you can see my workflow and processing information in my eBook Series 1 available for sale on my website

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

I then used my     NIK Software as follows:

 

1)       Define 2.0—noise reduction. With my D700 at ISO200 there was virtually NO noise.

2)       Viveza 2.0 – added some global structure to the clouds (see my glossary below & learn these terms). Brought a bit of the blue out in the sky on the right.

3)       Color Efex 4 – I added just a tad of Brilliance & Warmth and then just a little Pro Contrast. What really makes these images look special is because I added “glamour glow” to each using NIK’S Color Efex 4. It just adds a finishing touch to the image. As always I added a vignette , using the Darken –Lighten center feature. This allowed me to put the centre point on the boat and adjust the amount of vignetting and the amount to darkening I wanted on the boarders.

After that I added a slight curve and adjusted my levels in Adobe Photoshop and completed the processing

PS—I bet image will look great in monochrome…. Get out the Silver Efex Pro! By the way, you can save 15% when purchasing NIK Software on  NIK’S website www.niksoftware.com by using this promotional code! JGRAHAM

THE EDIT:    I chose image # 1 for a few reasons

 

IMAGE #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)       Though I actually like the positioning of the boat in image #2 a bit better, (Yes that’s a sea gull sitting on the top of the wheelhouse of the boat—could I have asked for more?)

IMAGE #2

2)       Always ask your self when you are making the image (it’s too late when you get home!) “What’s the subject & how do you want to handle it. On those rare occasions when the sky is clear and there is no fog here, the boat can be the subject. However in these images the sky and color is the subject here. The boat serves to add balance and anchor the subject matter. Without the boat the image would already be strong.

 

3)       I processed both images to the best of my ability, but I could not get the sky to look as dramatic in image #2 as images 31. Why was this?  An easy answer… image #2 was taken 10 minutes and 10 seconds after image #2. The sun was higher and was beginning to wash out the sky. That’s why you get where you need to be early!

4)       The composition in image #1 is tighter. It’s common for photographers, especially if you’ve never been to an area so beautiful or when you are there in this kind of great light, to want to use a really wide focal length and get as much of the scene in the image as possible. I call it writing the novel. Sometimes it’s better to write the sentence (or even the phrase) and create much more drama. I think this is a good example. Though each image is only 15mm apart, it’s just enough to make a difference in composition and feeling. You need to be aware of this when you are in the field.

5)       Again, in a perfect world, I’d like that boat in image #1 just a tad to the left. Could I do that in Photoshop, sure, but that’s not my style (another discussion for another day), but I certainly can live with what we have here.

Let me know your thoughts. I’m always open for suggestions and comments.

JG

 

 

 

NEW ADDITION: Which one Works? Choosing the right image

Jack Graham Photography                          www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

Jack Graham Photograph     www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

_________________________________________________________________

2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

2012 Registration Form  REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s  GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

______________________________________________________________________________

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 WHICH ONE WORKS?

This is a new feature I am going to publish here on my blog every week or two. I’ll discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the others.

This process is a common one that we all deal with in our digital darkroom. The final image is important for whatever project it’s being used for, and spending time determining which image works vs. another is well worth it. In many case the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference,

Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

You comments, as always are more than welcome.

______________________________________________________________________

 WHICH ONE WORKS ???.………………….  LOCATION:  Antelope Canyon, Arizona

 

THE STORY:  Prior to leading my  workshop last year in Antelope Canyon ( late March 2011),  I took a day for myself and spent some time making a few images in this glorious location. Because these canyons have been photographed so much, I am constantly looking for images different from what I have seen before. This is one such image.   ( see workshop info above for 2012 Southwest Workshops)

Antelope Canyon ©Jack Graham

 

Here is the image most photographed, do you recognize it? My goal was to find something different!

 

This subject has been photographed before by me and others. My challenge was to use the subject matter i.e. tumbleweed, and other material that had blown down the canyon from the opening above. It had been windy the past few days and there was more material here this year than in past years.  This day was no exception.

Before I continue, for those who have never been into the canyon, you need you know this is somewhat of a “staged” image. If you have not seen this image before, it’s important to know that prior to continuing our discussion. The tumbleweed on the top was purposely placed there by other photographers, for the effect. (This is another whole discussion in itself). Though the tumbleweed does blow in and down the canyon, the chances of it being so precisely placed are remote. The tumbleweed on the ground was there naturally. Had I removed the tumbleweed on the ledge( which I personally would have liked to do) I was sure I’d incur the wrath of the other folks there making images. Though he sand does blown down the canyon walls from above, it usually never does in this volume or at this angle. Yes the sand was thrown up against the rock, only to fall to the ground, creating the patterns you see. Navajo guides do this for the photographers. I do like the sand effect..

Like most days the canyon was quite crowded. Finding an angle I liked and setting up a tripod, at the right time of day (about 11:30 am or so) was a challenge.

 

NOTE: I used ISO 2000 on purpose in order to attain the shutter speed I wanted( 2-2.5 seconds). My Nikon D700 handled this exceeding well. Images were processed identically in Adobe Lightroom , AdobePhotoshop CS4 and NIK Software. ( http://www.niksoftware.com  —enter code JGRAHAM and receive a 15% discount)

 IMAGE # 1
IMAGE # 1

TECH DATA:  Image  #1

Date/Time: 2011:03:31 11:27:59

Shutter speed: 2.5 sec   Aperture: 16

Exposure mode: Av   Exposure compensation: -1/3

ISO: 2000  Lens: 28 to 70mm   Focal length: 40mm

IMAGE #2

 

 

 

TECH DATA: Image # 2

IMAGE 2  Date/Time: 2011:03:31 11:28:24

 Shutter speed: 2 sec      Aperture: 16

Exposure mode: Av   Exposure compensation: -1/3

ISO: 2000  Lens: 28 to 70mm   Focal length: 35mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My choice: IMAGE #2

 

 

 

THE EDIT:    I chose image #2

Editing these two images was easy.

 

1)       As with all images I ask “What’s the subject” prior to making the photograph. To me it was the sand falling off the rock. My challenge was how to capture it. The pattern in the sand in image 2 is more defined and interesting. This is because of two simple reasons. The Navajo guide who threw the sand up against the rock for us did so prior to image #1. Because of this, he volume of sand is less in image #2, even though my shutter speed is 0.5 seconds less than # 1. ( NOTE:  images were made only 25 seconds apart)

The motion of the sand falling in three lines created much more interest than that of the sand falling in image#1

This is why with these types of images it’s good to take many frames.

 

 

2)       The tumbleweed on the bottom left, in image #2 is not cut off like it is in image #1. I repositioned my camera down and to the left, just a bit to encompass the image the way I wanted it. I also increased my focal length on my lens by 5 mm, from 40mm to 35mm.  By doing this I also was able to bring out more of the sandstone on the lower left side.

Yes, little things can make a difference. Is # 1 a terrible image? If yo had not seen #2 what would you have thought? For most folks #1 would be just fine. However, if you are very critical of your work, (and you should be!) there is a vast difference between both images!

 

If I had not made image #2, image #1 would have been trashed!

When you are out making images, slow down, learn to see, and evaluate your environment. It’s always the small things that make an image work.

Send me some results!

 

Jack

HIDDEN CHINA & TIBET (optional) SUMMER 2012 … not your average China Photo Tour!

                                          Jack Graham Photography  

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

_____________________________________________________

2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

2012 Registration Form REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9    FAQ’S–  GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:     http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

WEBSITE: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/home

__________________________________________________________

                                                “HIDDEN CHINA”        June 20-July 4   2012

                         TIBET (optional)       July   4- July 11 2012           ………….. NOT you average China Photo Tour!

 

NOTE:——-This tour is officially a “go”. We have a few limited seats left. Due to the nature of this tour, the group size is very small.

 Hidden is a word probably underestimating what this tour is about! To my knowledge, very few IF ANY photography tours have visited this region in NW China. This will be a truly remarkable experience.

It is almost impossible to describe this experience. For almost 2 ½ years now Katherine Feng and I have put together this once in a lifetime experience that we are offering this summer. Yes, there are many tours to the usual parts of China but few if any that will venture far, into the “hidden”, areas of the northwestern part of China, by the “Old Silk Road”, and beyond. Other locations and features of this workshop that we are offering are exceedingly unique having not experienced by few visitors. We can offer this experience based on relationships between the people of the area and us. We’ll get to see the inner places and even some rituals that are rare to westerners. Please take a minute and read the information below, you will soon see what I am talking about.

Katherine and I will be there by your side to aid in our photographic experience. This will be made to discuss many aspects of photography and review our images. I am lucky to have Katherine Feng as my associate leader. I met Katherine at a NANPA ( www.nanpa.org ) summit a few years ago. This workshop has been 2 1/2 years in preparation; Katherine has been to this region many times, knows the area well and has met many people there that will aid us in getting images that few westerners have been privy to witness. I have been to China many times as well.

Katherine’s Bio

http://www.phototc.com/leaders/leader.php?who=22

Jack’s Bio

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/bio

We have chosen Strabo Tours as our workshop tour company. They specialize in international workshops and work closely with Chinese tour agencies in order to make sure that everything (and I mean everything) goes smoothly.  Strabo Tours is known as the premier tour organization, specializing in International Photographic Tours for many years. You can contact them directly Phone: (607) 756-8676 or Email them at: info@strabotours.com  (ask for Jacquie Steedle) with very specific questions and you’ll get answers. If this workshop were going just to Beijing, Shanghai or the  regularly visited areas in China, we still would need to make sure that we are going to have an uneventful trip, but since we are going to areas that, to my knowledge few if any tours have ever gone, it is doubly important. We have, along with Strabo Tours made this happen. They take care of everything. You just need to show up and let us take you to places beyond belief!

………………In other words, this is NOT you average China Photo Tour…………., it’s Hidden China!

Our complete itinerary and pertinent information can be located by clicking on this link:    http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152  or read on……

Day by itineraries, food concern, and hotel information is included. Everything, including tips is included, from your arrival into Beijing to your departure out of Beijing.

We are including an optional number of days in beautiful Tibet.as well (See Below)

People say that certain things are a one in a lifetime experience. I can guarantee that this excursion is that and more.

This is a very small tour due to our specified itineries. Please do not hesitate in booking your space. There are only a few seats left. Again, you can contact me or Strabo Tours for further information, however all deposits and booking MUST go through Strabo Tours: (Contact info below)

Phone: (607) 756-8676 | Email: info@strabotours.com                       click here for dome idea on what we’ll be photographing!  Random Images

Thank you for considering this once in a lifetime trip!——Jack

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Itinerary:

BEIJING  We’ll start with Beijing a vast city, measuring fifty miles from end to end, with a population of over thirteen million. It has long been a political center of China. Our trip will include some of the Beijing’s most historic and photogenic sites.

The Forbidden City (Imperial Palace): The home and center of the Ming and Qing dynasties; it is now the largest and best-preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China.

Tiananmen Square: Directly opposite of the Forbidden City, this was a meeting place and location for government offices in imperial times and has been the site of major rallies during communist rule.

 The Temple of Heaven: Considered highly sacred ground, it was here that the emperor performed the major ceremonial rites of the year. The Temple of Heaven has become the icon of Beijing.

Purple Bamboo Park: We will make an early morning excursion to one of Beijing’s most beautiful and popular parks.  Here we will have the opportunity to photograph the local people as they exercise, sing and dance.

Beijing Hutong: We will spend a morning aboard a rickshaw riding through a local hutong.  A hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing. As we travel we will visit a local home and photograph the life around one of Beijing’s best preserved hutongs.

The Great Wall: Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall was begun over 2,000 years ago. It is over 3,000 miles long, crossing five provinces and two autonomous regions.  We will visit this famous structure at the less crowded Mutianyu section for the late afternoon light.

Kashgar: Located in the western part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China, Kashgar was once a major hub of the famous silk road. Today, the city covers an area of 15 km² and has a population of about 350,000. Although Kashgar is experiencing rapid modernization, it still maintains many of its exotic characteristics.  The largest ethnic community in Kashgar are the Uyghurs and Islamic culture permeates throughout the city.  To many visitors, Kashgar is a ‘photographer’s banquet’.  Several scenes in the movie ‘The Kite Runner’ were filmed in Kashgar.  We will spend three full days in and around Kashgar photographing must see/experience highlights.

Id Kah Mosque and the surrounding old town: The Id Kah Mosque was built about 1442 with parts of it dating back to 996.  Today it covers 16,800 square meters, is the largest mosque in China and can accommodate 20,000 worshippers.  Behind Id Kah Mosque is the arts and crafts street where artisans can be seen making musical instruments, wood crafts and copper ware.  Kashgar’s Old Town is a Uyghur residential area that has a history of over 2000 years.  Today it has more than 600 homes with over 2000 inhabitants.  Because the government considers the Old Town to be overcrowded and unsafe, homes are in the process of being demolished to allow for construction of newer, more modern dwellings.

Live Stock Market and Kashgar Bazaar:  Every Wednesday, in a small town about 15km from Kashgar, a livestock and general market day takes place.  During our visit you can experience and photograph the bustling activity as farmers transport their animals and barter over the price of their livestock.  With the exception of motorized vehicles and cell phones, one can imagine themselves stepping back in time.  The Kashgar Bazaar is held in a huge covered structure with vendors spilling out onto the surrounding streets.  Dried fruits, spices, ethnic clothing, rugs, handicrafts are common stalls to visit, but colorful bolts of cloth, shoes and even hi-tech items are amply available.

Tashkurgan (also spelled Tashkorgan): Meaning ‘Stone Fortress’ Tashkorgan is located in Xinjiang’s extreme western area and is situated between the Kunlun and Pamir Mountain Ranges. The Stone City was famous for its location at the junction of the middle and southern routes of the ancient Silk Road and for the Chinese arriving from Kashgar and Yarkand, it was the end of the Silk Road. Today, the majority of the inhabitants are Tajik who are known for their warmth and hospitality.  We will have an opportunity to photograph the ruins of the old fortress which was also filmed in the ‘Kite Runner’.

As we travel the Karakorum Highway to Tashkurgan we will visit beautiful Karakul Lake.  At an elevation of 3,600meters, Karakul Lake is the highest lake in the Pamir Plateau and is situated near the junction of the Pamir, Kulun and Tianshan mountain ranges.  We will also have outstanding views of the Kongger Mountain Range and the imposing Muztagh Ata.  Muztagh Ata, with an elevation of 7546 meters ( 24,860 ft) is the origin of 5 glaciers (thus the name Muztagh which means the Father of Ice Mountains).

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OPTIONAL TIBET:——————-The highlights of Tibet

When someone mentions Tibet, many thoughts come to mind: Buddhist monasteries and monks, the Dali Lama, Tibetan pilgrims, incense and some of the highest mountains in the world! Your extension will allow you to see and photograph some of the beast scenery and culture that Tibet has to offer. Highlights include

LhasaWe will start our Tibetan journey in Lhasa, the administrative capitol of the Tibetan

Autonomous Region. Located at an elevation of 3,490 meters (11.450 ft) it is one of the highest capitols in the world. Lhasa covers an area of about 20.5 sq mi and has a total population of over 1 million.  During our stay in Lhasa we will visit the following highlights:

Potala Palace: The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959.  The Palace consist of 13 stories of building and contains over 1,000 rooms. Today the Potala Palace is a museum often receiving 1500 visitors a day.

Deprung Monastery: This Monastery is located 5km outside of Lhasa and is one of the four great Gelugpa Monasteries in Tibet. It was once Tibet’s largest and most influential monastery.

Sera Monastery: Also one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and of the Gelugpa sect, Sera Monastery is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa.  One of the highlights of Sera Monastery is the courtyard debating practice sessions held by the monks most afternoons.

Jokhang Temple: Located on the Barkhor Square, the Jokhang Temple is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.  It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the spiritual center of Lhasa.

Barkhor Circuit/Street: Surrounding the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street is a major part of a Buddhist’s pilgrimage to Lhasa. While the street is now lined with shops and vendors, pilgrims, prayer wheels in hand, continue to make their circuit along this street.

Shigazte: The second largest city in Tibet, the highlight of Shigatze is the Tashilhunpo Monastery which was founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447.  It covers an area of nearly 300,000 sq. meters (3,229,279 sq. ft), has about 3,600 rooms and is home to approximately 800 monks. Tashilhunpo Monastery is a wonderful place to wander, photograph and interact with the monks and pilgrims.

Gyantse:  Gyantse is home to the Palkhor Monastery (also known as the Pelkor Chöde Monastery).  This monastery which was founded in 1418 and was once a complex of 15 monasteries that brought together 3 different orders of Tibetan Buddhism.  Today, the main attraction is the  Gyantse Kumbum, the largest chörten in Tibet. The structure rises 35meters over four stories surmounted by a golden dome that resembles a crown over four sets of eyes.

Yamdrok Yumtso Lake: Located almost midway between Gyantze and Lhasa, Yamdrok

Yumtso Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet.  It is over 45 miles long and surrounded by many snow- capped mountains.

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What To Expect

This tour is designed to be a photo tour, and, as such, we must be flexible in our scheduling. Much of what we do,(and when we do it), will depend upon weather and light. We will, however, visit the major sites listed in each city.

While it is hoped that all tour members will join the group on scheduled activities, there will also be opportunities for optional early-morning excursions. These excursions may require additional public/ground transportation not covered in the tour cost. These costs (such as a taxi ride, for example) can be shared, but will be the responsibility of those tour members joining the excursion.

China has made great strides in tourist accommodations and services in recent years, but please remember that it is still a developing country, so we may experience occasional inconveniences.  All our accommodations will be clean and comfortable, with private toilet and shower/bath. The hotels have been chosen for your comfort as well as their proximity to prime photographic locations.  Our motor coaches will be modern, clean, and comfortable.

There may also be some optional activities that may present themselves during the course of our trip which are not included in the itinerary. The activities will be available at your discretion, for a small charge, and dependent upon the cooperation of the local weather.

PLEASE NOTE

In the areas we will visit within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region the majority of the people are Muslim (Uyghurs, Tajiks, Krygiz) and they do not eat pork.  Therefore, most of our meals will have mutton as our main source of meat.  This is especially true once we leave Kashgar (where we will be able to have chicken and  beef).

Also, the towns and cities outside of Kashgar are relatively unknown to western tourists and can therefore be lacking in modern western conveniences.  Restaurants will be simple country restaurants.  Outside of our hotels, toilet facilities are often Asian squat toilets (that is, no western sit-down toilet). During our travels, sometimes behind a large rock, shrub or tree will be the best place to relieve one-self.  It is hoped that participants will overlook the lack of western comforts with the knowledge that they will have unique experiences and photographic opportunities unlike that of any other photo tour offered.

Health and Fitness

Tour participants should be in good health and good physical condition. Although we will not be running marathons, we will be walking along the Great Wall for a mile or so, which involves some rather steep steps in places.  While in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonmous Region, our travels will take us to Karakul Lake with an elevation of 3600 meters (11,800ft), briefly over a mountain pass with an elevation of about 4000 meters (13,000 ft) and we will spend two nights in Tashkurgan at an elevation of about 3100 meters (10,000ft). People not accustomed to these elevations may feel a shortness of breath.  For those who are concerned about how these elevations might affect their health, it is recommended that they first consult their physician prior to signing up for this photo tour.

Pricing Info

Tour land cost: $7,995 US Dollars based upon minimum of 10 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 8-9 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single room supplement: $1,145; single rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Extension land cost: $3,695 based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 if 6-7 paying participants.

Single room supplement: $345; single rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed.

Note: The land costs on international tours are based upon current exchange rates. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change, there may need to be an adjustment in the land cost.

 

FEATURED WORKSHOP—OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

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PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

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OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK   2012             May 17-20 2012

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park ©Jack Graham

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP 2012_OVERVIEW 2012

Please consider joining us on this experience in one of the most amazing  and unique locations in the world

On even semi clear days, the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Are visible from Seattle,  First explored 1890, when a Seattle newspaper sent an expedition across Puget Sound  the Olympics Peninsula of 3,600 square miles are still even today a wild, sometimes beyond descriptive area. Even today no roads traverse the interior, which remains native habitat of elk, bear, and old-growth forests, protected by Olympic National Park and the rugged, saw-toothed peaks of the Olympic Range. For access to the peninsula, for example you must take the loop highway, 101, then follow it for 330 miles around the peninsula counterclockwise via Port Angeles to Aberdeen or visa versa.

The Olympic National Park is without a doubt most diverse when it comes to weather, topography and photographic opportunities. The park itself encompasses the majority if the Olympic Peninsula. Some mountaintops reach 7965’ while the western coast of the Pacific is just a short distance away. This western side of peninsula is the wettest climate in the continental USA receiving over 160” of rain yearly. The northeastern side, just a quick drive away receives a mere 12” of rain yearly. This area is commonly known as the “Banana Belt”.

Details are found within the link above. Thank you for your consideration

Jack Graham