Finding and Believing / News & Noteworthy / Workshop Info


LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                           LEARN to CREATE


Workshop schedule:

Workshop Registration Form: REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Overview



Workshop Referrals:


JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY   e books –available for purchase and immediate download


Bell Rock, After the Storm, Sedona, AZ ©Jack Graham


Last month I recorded a webinar for NIK SOFTWARE, entitled, “Keeping it Simple” ( that you can access via the Nik Software Webinar Library .

You can view it at:

I am presently in Arizona.  I’ll be harding up north to Page, Monument Valley & Canyon de Chelley on Saturday.  Both workshops are sold out!

I am working hard at improving my panoramic landscape photography. Please look at the information on the right side of this blog concerning NODAL NINJA and their wonderful products. They are amazing! Also, I am using software from PTgui. It the most accurate stitching software I have seen.


Pigeon Point Lighhouse, No California Coast

2012 Workshop Info:

Arizona Workshops  APRIL—BOTH SOLD OUT

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Washington, MAY 2012 ( few seats left, not many!

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK..MAY 2012 – 1 seat left

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE …JUNE 2012 – 2 seats left

THE PALOUSE, JUNE 2012, 1 Seat left


OREGON COAST 5 DAYS!—August 2012—2 seats open





_________________FEATURED ARTICLE__________________________________________________________


©Jack Graham

'The Cathedral" Sedona, Az. ©Jack Graham

One of my favorite musicians is Pat Metheny, one of the most accomplished musicians ever.  Pat has written a composition entitled “Finding and Believing”, which is also one of my favorite pieces. Finding and believing is not only primary to becoming a good photographer, it can also overlap into all aspects of life.  Having the right attitude and mindset allows for success. Finding that mindset and then believing in what you are doing with your life, as well as your photography develops success. We all have the will to win. What we really must have it the will to find and develop the right attitude, then believe in you, in order to succeed. This is a process that takes many years.


How many times have we all neglected to set out into the field for a day of photography as a result of negative thinking?  We internalize thoughts such as; “ Other photographers have been there already”; “I don’t have as good enough equipment”;  “my recent work is not up to standard”; conditions “sun, wind; clouds etc.” aren’t perfect”… and on and on?

“Wherever there is light, one can photograph”…………Alfred Steiglitz

Are these excuses better or worse than opposite thinking? Setting out thinking that “Today’s the day, for sure I will create a great image today” might be even a worse mindset.

The question is that is all this negativity, for better or worse is almost certain to set yourself up to fail, and all that failing to achieve a preconceived success  brings to your emotional state of mind sometimes for longer than expected time.

Like many such of dilemmas and questions, after considering all aspects, I would suggest the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

Most of my better images were produced on days that my attitude was “Let’s just get out, enjoy the day and see what happens”. In other words, if I don’t get out I’ll never even have the chance to create what could be a worthwhile image”.

I truly believe that most photographers fail because of the lack of effort, not skill or having an eye for subject matter. When critiquing images on my workshops, I find most images fail due to very basic reasons.  These include, poor composition, technical issues, mostly simple flaws that most photographers with the basic know-how and experience should be able to rectify with some practice.

Old Towne, Tucson,Az ©Jack Graham

Becoming proficient as a photographer is a result of trial and error as well as time in. Putting in the time in the field, as well as at home reading and studying (you’re reading this right?) is all part of becoming proficient as a photographer. By staying home, making excuses, is not allowing you to grow. Conversely, going out with the attitude that “Today’s the day, I am going to make some great images today”, is just as ineffective. Get out, enjoy the process, and enjoy being wherever you go, have reasonable but not unrealistic expectations.

Understand that there are so many photographs out there available than any one photographer will ever to make in ten lifetimes. Thinking that there is a lack of subject matter is not only wrong, it’s just plain lazy on our part. If you are out, and don’t come across what you expected, shift gears and evaluate what’s available and make the best of it.

Other aspects of the process can encourage positive experiences in the field and keep your head in the game. If you are not at a location in the right light, have unsteady tripods, rushing, you will more times than not fail. Making sure your equipment is functioning, have everything you need with you is also part of the drill as well. For example, I almost always zip up my camera bag after changing lenses. One of the time, I was in a rush, and grabbed the bag and dumped everything on the ground. Little things like this can  get your mind in anything but in the right zone, where it needs to be to not only enjoy the experience, but even make a good image or two. .

A few weeks ago I commented to a workshop attendee that I finally finished editing my 2010 images and I had about 12 I really liked out of the few hundred I kept.  For me I usually have one good image to even consider out of about 10-12. I do not let the other half way decent images, but not ones I would not keep to affect my attitude and thus my growth as a photographer. Not every trip will result in great work. It doesn’t, even for seasoned pros.  Don’t let it get to you.  Let’s face it; even if I fail to come back with some good images, I usually enjoy my excursions and seeing what I see. I often refer to a saying I have heard many times, “The hunt is usually better than the kill”.


Blue Agave Stalk ©Jack Graham

If there is anything that inhibits growth as a photographer is the lack of trial and error. This process takes time and will in the end make sure that your failures are not due to pointing your lens in the right direction, but perhaps some correctable technical issues.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote about success and his 10,000 hour rule. These are factors which go into achieving success. Take a listed here.  Gladwell preaches that it time, effort and putting in time, practice and hard work to become really good at something. 10,000 hours = 10 years of time.

Why not make this time fun and rewarding.

Another talk I think about a lot is this one by analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into a short video on the real secrets of success. What leads to success?

1)      Passion… Love what you do

2)      Work…….Nothing comes easily… work hard but…has fun!

3)      Get good at something…practice, practice , practice

4)      Focus……Focus on one thing

5)      Push…….Eliminate self-doubt

6)      Serve…..Help others, you’ll learn while serving

7)      Ideas…..  Have ideas.

8)      Persist … Persist through failure

Keeping things in perspective is the way to keeping you in the right frame of mind, and allowing you to not only grow as a photographer, but making the road there fun. Isn’t that what we are all looking for?


THINK TANK PROMOTIONS:  Well worth looking into!

Just in time for Spring, Think Tank Photo announces a special offer on their popular StreetWalker™ backpacks.  When you buy one of Think Tank’s spacious and comfortable StreetWalker® Pro or StreetWalker® HardDrive backpacks by April 30, 2012, you will receive a padded Pro Speed Belt™ for free!

The Pro Speed Belt makes the StreetWalker backpacks even more comfortable and provides greater support for the weight on your back.   This padded belt also allows you to attach Think Tank’s modular bags to the belt line.  In doing so, you will have quick access to your lenses or accessories instead of having to take the backpack off to retrieve your camera gear.

With Think Tank’s StreetWalker backpacks’ slim vertical profile, you can navigate crowded places while still being able to access professional photographic equipment.  The backpacks include a monopod/tripod mounting system, a contoured harness and air channel, and lots of pockets and organizers.  Women in particular will appreciate the StreetWalker’s very narrow and vertical profile, especially when combined with the shoulder harness design.

Street Walker Pro

StreetWalker Pro – Holds most 400 f2.8 lenses with a pro size DSLR camera body attached or a pro size DSLR and 70-200 2.8 attached.  Lens hood can also remain attached in shooting position.  Bottom front pocket can be used to carry a tripod or monopod.  A pop out tripod cup is built in for carrying a larger tripod.   Removable seam-sealed rain cover included.


Street Walker Hard Drive

StreetWalker Harddrive

Holds most 15” laptops.   Carry a pro size DSLR and 70-200 2.8 attached with hood in position or a Nikon 400 f2.8 attached to a pro size DSLR body.  Bottom front pocket can be used to carry a tripod or monopod.  A pop out tripod cup is built in for carrying a larger tripod.  Removable seam-sealed rain cover included.



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By entering this site you accept these terms. If you need permission to use a photo on this site please call 503-625-21430 or email Jack @


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