… we are filling up fast. Our SW workshops are almost full as are about 60% of the others already—WOW!… but for those of you “on the fence” –I am going to extend the PRE-2015 registration discount date until Jan 15th.2015 ..That’s.10% off!!!! ( over and above any other discounts you may have earned!!)
The holidays are here!!!! It really feels like that time of year as well. I live only about 20 miles from Mt Rainier and the few days without clouds allowed a magnificent view of this now snow-capped mountain… amazing.
I am going to list a few ideas for gifts for either yourself or for other photographers. Every one is a product I own and use. I can honestly tell you they will help you make better images and enjoy photography.
First, for some shameless advertising! My workshops are filling quickly (take advantage of the discounts!). Locations in the American Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Iceland ( winter and summer!), the Eastern Sierra in October, Grand Teton NP for fall color and again for winter photography, The Palouse region of Eastern Washington, Death Valley NP in February and again in November… as well as some new spots like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Arches and Canyonlands NP. It’s also our year to get back to NE Ohio for our fall in Ohio featuring a full day with the Amish workshop in October then off to Zion NP.
I am fortunate to co-lead some of these workshops with my good friends and expert teachers and photographers Guy Tal and Bill Fortney.
Why not give a gift or treat yourself? As always contact me for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
I personally tested and purchased these last month in Wyoming–yes it’s cold in December in the Tetons! Without reservation I can tell you these are the best gloves for warmth while allowing complete access to my camera dials and buttons. They were originally designed for the European Special Forces for warmth, grip and dexterity. They are the perfect extreme winter gloves for photography. I have looked for the best winter gloves that allows me full functionality of my camera while keeping as warm as possible. They simply do the trick.
They performed way above my expectations. Are they cheap? — NO! Are they the best? — YES! There is nothing like being warm when working in the field in extreme conditions.
Featuring the highest quality construction, the outer shell is made from an Elastic Microfiber with water-resistant and breathable qualities much like Gore-Tex. The palm has full goat leather for added grip, warmth and durability and the insulation is Prim aloft for optimal warmth. With a mitten and glove design, a zipper across the palm opens up to expose the fingers for working your camera. A magnetic clip holds the mitten top in place and the thumb cap uses Velcro. Heat packs can be installed on both sides of fingers and in the wrist. A draw string around the wrist of the extra-long cuffs keeps snow out and wrist safety harnesses are included. The thumb and index fingers are conductive for touch screen operations. The ultimate cold weather glove with the ultimate dexterity! —HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
There are literally thousands of really great E-Books available these days.
FOR THE GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHER:–I would strongly suggest you consider Bill Fortney’s new e-book series on general photography. These books are geared to the beginner to the advanced amateur. They are easy to get through. I would compare these to the series of books published quite a few years ago by John Shaw. Bill takes you, step by step, through all the areas of photography one needs to be proficient at in order to make consistent quality images.
In addition, for you Fuji XT-1 enthusiasts, Bill has a “Complete Guide to the XT-1” He will walk you through every menu setting carefully explaining the hows, whys and suggested settings. This is a MUST for Fuji owners.
Also check out his “Americana” e-book— it is impressive.
TAKING THINGS FURTHER— I strongly recommend buying and reading over and over every e-book written by Guy Tal. Click HERE for his selection. Guy is a thinker as well as an amazing photographer. There is not a better communicator of the art than Guy. You’ll get insights into all of the photographic processes as well as Guy’s intuitive insights into photography. You’ll be not only a better photographer for reading and learning from these books, but have a different way of looking at the world.
MY FRIENDS at HUNT’S PHOTO and VIDEO
Check out my good friends at Hunt’s Photo and Video for Holiday specials… Call John Duggan 781-462-2314 and tell him I sent you for great (and I mean great) service. Hunt’s offers the BEST pricing with personal service! I just looked at their website and there are some really good deals going on.
I LOVE MY GURA GEAR—Yes I belong to the bag of the month club too, just like lots of you folks. However, just like The Really Right Stuff equipment, and Singh Ray filters etc… you do get what you pay for in bags. NO, they are not the cheapest. Which bag do I use? Well, it all depends. Frankly I have one of each of Gura Gears Bags and they all serve a specific purpose.
They use the best zippers and material available. You will not be disappointed.
I am noticing an increased interest in LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY both in my workshops as well as in images I view online. You’ll need 3 things to become a good long exposure. First is a good tripod and ball head. I recommend you buy the best early in your photography life and save a lot of money. I use the REALLY RIGHT STUFF Tvc-33. And the BH-55 head. Like the gloves, they are not cheap, but I know they are going to outlast me! Second you will need a good remote shutter release system.
Third and most important is using good quality ND filters. I see all kinds on my workshops. The bottom line is if you buy filters from anyone other than Singh-Ray you will most likely run into some color shift or lack of quality. Singh-Ray just makes the best. Again, are they cheap? —NO! Are they the best? —YES! They stand behind their products. I use a MOR-SLO 10 and 15 stop ND. I also would recommend the Vari ND. (If you call them use my code JACK10 for a 10% discount).READ MY ARTICLE ON LONG EXPOSURES ON THE CURRENT SINGH-RAY BLOG
FINALLY—— (and I will pour one after this blog post posts!)
I love a good gin and tonic. SO we pour 3/4th of the drink using store-bought shelf tonic-using good gin? That doesn’t make sense. —- I use Fever Tree Tonic-–very hard to find but you can find it on AMAZON .COM.
Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water launched in the UK in early 2005, the brand name chosen due to fever tree being the colloquial name for the cinchona tree in which quinine, a key ingredient for tonic, is found. The highest quality quinine was sourced from the Rwanda Congo border and blended with spring water and eight botanical flavours, including rare ingredients such as marigold extracts and a bitter orange from Tanzania. Crucially, no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavourings were added.
HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!—-JG
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Fuji XT-1 Nikon 300mm F4 (with adaptor for Fuji) ISO6400 1/1800th at F4
I arrived here in Jackson Wyoming last night (11/30) just in time for the snow to start. It snowed lightly overnight, perhaps an inch or two. Today I spent a few hours scouting in the Grand Teton National Park in preparation for my last workshop of 2014, which starts on Wednesday night.
Fuji XT-1 Fuji 55-300 ISO3200 1/4000th at F8
This was my first experience photographing wildlife with the Fuji XT-1. I will be the first to admit I am far from being a competent wildlife photographer. I also went in to say hello to my good friends in Tom Mangalsen’s gallery here in Jackson. If you want to see a great wildlife, as well as a landscape photographer, check out Tom’s work!
Fuji XT-1 Fuji 55-200 ISO1600 1/680th at F16
I went into the park with the Fuji XT-1 and my Nikon 300F4 (450mm on the Fuji) and my 18-55mm 2.8 as well as the 55-200. The snow and changing weather really had the animals active (with lots more coming tonight!). Within 3 hours I found big horn sheep, elk, river otters, trumpeter swans, bald eagles and buffalo. The landscape was really beautiful as well.
Fuji XT-1 Fuji 55-200 ISO5000 1/4000th at F8
Again, I am amazed at the sharpness of the Fuji glass and the ability of the XT-1 to deliver really noise free images up to 6400 ISO. I shot mainly with the 55.200 ( 78-300mm on the Fuji) The big horns at times were so close to the truck even that lens was too much! (When I stopped, they come over to lick the salt off the vehicle left over from yesterday’s trip on the interstate.)
I shot pretty much on continuous low, giving me a short burst of frames of which to choose the sharpest and best pose (Aperture priority). The snow added a nice touch, even though it was about 15 degrees!