Category Archives: 2016 Jack Graham Photography Workshops

2016…Looking Back / 2017… Looking Ahead !

Jack’s Website          Jack’s 2017 Schedule          Jack’s 2017 Registration Forms

Register Before Jan 1, 2017 and receive a 10% discount —  returnees get another 10%!

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All Images © Jack Graham & Jack Graham Photo LLC  unless noted/ Jack uses FUJIFILM Cameras and lenses exclusively

This is a pretty long post –there is lots of info on 2016, 2017 with a hint of 2018 and what I’ve got up my sleeve! At the very end of this post you can see a group of images from this year. Continue reading 2016…Looking Back / 2017… Looking Ahead !

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Day One/ Winter Tetons 2016… some interesting weather coming!

_jgx1036-edit-edit-2-editA very strange  day in Jackson and the Tetons…. weather coming in… It sure was a cloud show today… We have some snow coming but things are not certain in any respect…. maybe 2-3″ in town.. more in the park or a lot more. The forecasts have literally been all over the place.day. I’ve been coming here for many years and the weather , though somewhat unpredictable… is really a tough call this year. We certainly have some weather coming in… how bad ( or good!) we don’t know yet….. anyway we are here and ready for what ever we end up with.. for me the worse the better! We would have a foot… or 3-4 inches— Thank God for 4 wheel drive and good tires…..Nobody knows whats coming—its kind of cool not knowing!!

_jgx1037-editAfter some inside “office work” this am I got  out today. The clouds put on a show… indicating lots of weather changes coming..

 

 

 

 

 

_jgx1060-edit-editWe ran into this moose late in the day today…now… I AM NOT A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER ..  But using the FUJIFILM gear to its limits makes me look like I am………  for those of you who think you can’t crank up your ISO’s ( if you have the right gear—- i.e FUJIFILM CAMERAS!!) this moose image was taken with the FUJIFILM X-T2.. ISO 12,800 at F8.using the 2 x converter……Now you tell me is this acceptable?—it sure is in my book!  The FUJIFILM XT2 , the 100-400is is AMAZING and the 2x converter provides lossless quality!!!!!!….it really makes the cut!… Someday I am going to compile and  a slide show af all  my FUJIFILM images made at or above 6400ISO—-more coming tomorrow I Hope   come on back!–JG

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP PERMITS–for those who don’t know about these

Text and images @Jack Graham Photography

Permit (bad pun) me to vent a little.

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Above …..My 2016 permit paperwork

For you folks who don’t know it,  photography workshop and tour leaders that conduct business on ANY federal or State land, need to be permitted with by the National Park Service( each individual park has its own permitting application) as well as BLM, USFS etc. Additionally state parks require the same. We have to fill out endless paperwork, forms, itineraries etc. and we need to carry lots of insurance.

In the Columbia River Gorge, in Oregon I need to have a permit (yearly) issued by the Oregon Marine Board! Yes, the same permit as a fishing guide!

Every two years I have to update CPR and Wilderness First Aid Certification (a 2 day event)

_jgx0437-editI along with many of my other workshop leaders do the paperwork, carry the insurance, fill out the forms and write the checks. However there are lots of leaders out there who ARE NOT DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY, And saving lots of time and money in the long run. The NPS and State Parks almost NEVER check permits.  Most of us leader doing this correctly know the folks (yes some big names that you all would know!) who are NOT permitted by the Park Service. Next time you decide to take a workshop with someone …( yes some well know leaders don’t have permits or insurance) ask them to see the permit. In theory if they get caught they are asked to leave the park and some parks have some small penalties.

In the past 5 years I think I was asked for a permit perhaps about 3-4 times. Earlier this month in Zion, my group( 14 folks with tripods) we asked by a ranger driving by to move a little to the left to get off the main road a bit…he was very nice about it but did he ask if we were a group with a permit? NO!

So OK, we pay a few thousand dollars a year for these permits as well as about 45 minutes to an hour (once you get the hang of them) for each permit. On the Insurance waiver it needs to be stated that I hold the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HARMLESS in the event of any problems. Try asking them to hold me harmless!

_jgx0684-pano-edit-edit-editThen later in the year the Park service comes back to us again and asks us to pay them an additional percentage of the GROSS profit (yes gross, not net. Yes, another form to fill out… time and you guessed it …money. They ask us how much we made on each event (by park), how many days we were there etc. They even ask us for our TOTAL GROSS INCOME for the entire year. AGAIN. THOSE NOT DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY ARE SAVING TIME AND MONEY because the park service doesn’t even know they exist and don’t go after these folks. Maybe we who do it the right way are the dummies?

First it’s none of their damn business what I make and if it is they can go check my tax return! And second maybe I should create a form for them asking them (since they work for us (ha-ha) how much did they spend in office supplies last year!

Listen, I love the parks and almost without exception the administrators and rangers I have come to know after all the years and those I deal with are really wonderful folks who are just doing their jobs, overworked and underpaid…  but it is too much to ask that:

  • They make sure rangers in the field are checking for folks not permitted
  • Maybe have one form for each park instead of different forms and requirements by park
  • Quit asking how much I make a year… heck they can go look up my tax return!

_dsf9305-editAs most of know, yes this is too much to ask. After all the National Parks (which we the people own by the way) don’t really care about folks like me. There is also one National Forest office that will only grant 3 photo permits per year. That is restraint of trade and if fought they would loose that battle! They say they are understaffed etc. What the hell are they doing with all of my permit fees?

Here’s another joke—this is found at the end of many of the required forms by the US Government:

PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENT: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501), please note the following. This information collection is authorized by The Concession Management Improvement Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 5966).  Your response is required to obtain or retain a benefit in the form of a Commercial Use Authorization. We will use the information you submit to evaluate your impact to park resources and compliance with park regulations and limitations.  We estimate that it will take approximately 1.25 hours  to prepare a report, including time to review instructions, gather and maintain data, and complete and review the report. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number. You may submit comments on any aspect of this information collection, including the accuracy of the estimated burden hours and suggestions to reduce this burden. Send your comments to:  Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 2601, Washington, D.C. 20240.

 

Anyhow… thanks for letting me vent!–JG

A Few Great Days in the Smoky Mountains

images and text © Jack Graham Photography                  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

2017 Workshop Schedule / JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

_jgx0491-editGreetings from Townsend, Tennessee, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I am here this week to speak at the 2nd annual Great Smoky Mountain Photo Summit. It’s great to get to see so many friends, both pro photographers as well as attendees. This is a four day conference that includes breakout sessions, group talks, field trips, vendor interaction and more.

The most great to be able to interact with about 200+ folks, all eager to learn from the 15 or so “pro’s on the roster …all in one place! It’s also fun to get to hang out with the other instructors/speakers, most of which I only run into in the field. The stories are never ending.  For me is “hanging” with the other “pro’s” here and exchange stories and experiences is a lot of fun. We are all still learning from each other!

Every morning we take out groups into the park for some field work. The color here this year isn’t great, but the Smoky’s is always a beautiful place to be.

I thought I’d share a few images with you from yesterday and today.

(Bill Fortney and I are going to be doing 2 events (Photography workshops) here in the spring and one in the fall of 2017, if anyone’s interested… we’d love to have you along!– CLICK HERE for information—-JG

BELOW ARE IMAGES FROM YESTERDAY AND TODAY. All images made with The new Fujifilm flagship camera the X=T2 and Fujinon lenses.. I use  FUJIFILM cameras  and lenses exclusively.

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(yes we had a rain shower!!!!  how’s this for ISO 12,800 !    Thank you Fujifilm!)

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CAMERA BRANDS —Choosing a Photo Workshop !

Using ExifTool technology, an analysis of camera brands, lenses and how folks photograph ( data including most often used ISO settings, exposure etc) has been compiled. This information is based on about 6.7  million images from sites like Flicker, 500PX and more.

HERE are their findings. I bet you’ll find this interesting. Click on the camera brand on the tab ebelow the pie graph to see lens and camera data by each manufacturer.

Canon & Nikon are about 71% of the pie with Canon leading the way by about 5% over Nikon..

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CHOOSING A PHOTO WORKSHOP—–ITS A JUNGLE OUT THERE!

_EYE1155 jack giving direction_1A few years ago ( some thing really don’t change) I wrote an extensive article here on my blog regarding Photo Workshops and how to choose the right one for you. This discussion came up on the phone with a friend yesterday so I am going to re post it here. CHICK HERE to read it. I know it will help those of you looking for the the right workshop!

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Below are more FUJIFILM X-T2 IMAGES taken on the Oregon Coast

all images                        ©Jack Graham, All Rights reserved

Monochrome images taken using the Acros Film setting in-camera

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Back from the Oregon Coast/ FUJIFILM EVENT in SEATTLE THIS WEEK….

Rather than duplicate what I published on our FUJI “X”Photography Workshops Site, HERE is the link where you can read about it. I continue to be amazed by the performance of the X-T2 by FUJIFILM. There are many new images on the other site.

_DSF0373I am really getting spoiled. I have had 3 really great groups in a row ( Palouse , Whidbey Island and now the Southern Oregon Coast) Their images were outstanding and they all bought into my philosophy of slowing down, simplifying and enjoying the experience… in other words, becoming artist instead of camera owners!

It will be great to be with my great friends from FUJIFILM later this week here in Seattle as well as my com padre, Bill Fortney who;s also coming out for the event. Please give THIS LINK a read and come join us on Friday afternoon if you are in the Seattle area.

Below are some images from the the X-T2 previously unpublished-  notice the detail!-JG

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It’s Not the Camera….. it’s YOU !!

Jack’s Website                       2015 Workshop Schedule

2015-Schedule-Discounts-Registration

ULTIMATE ICELAND              ULTIMATE NORWAY

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             It’s Not the Camera…… It’s YOU !

©Jack Graham

_DSF7037-Edit-EditIn a current issue of a major American Nature Photography Magazine there is an article talking about taking rich and sharp images. Their quote in a large block next to the text of the article says:

“As a digital photographer you can learn a lot from Ansel Adams. Choose the right gear and emulate the attention to detail that Adams devoted to his craft to get your best possible landscape photos”

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed”…Ansel Adams

_DSF6984-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-2First we all can learn a lot from Ansel Adams, no matter if we are a “digital” photographer. How would Ansel handle the digital age? Ansel’s darkroom is our Photoshop. More so, Ansel’s attention to detail had nothing to do with equipment! It had to do with how he used his equipment but more so how he looked at scenes, way before pressing the shutter.
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In my photography workshops I stress slowing down, simplifying and learning to see. Communicating a scene and story in a photograph comes from within, not from your camera. You camera has no emotion. It does not see. It does not feel. It is piece of machinery and technology that without your proper involvement will certainly not take the “best possible Landscape Photos”.

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed”…Ansel Adams

How about I take the liberty to rewrite this paragraph from the magazine.
As a photographer, and developing artist you can learn a lot from Ansel Adams. Learn to see, think and create using your heart, feelings and senses to emulate the attention to detail that Adams devoted his craft, to get your best landscape photos. Don’t get caught up in that 50MP sensor. Get caught up in your vision and communication. Having the “right gear” only gives you the chance to make a good image.

Rhody's on the Oregon Coast
Rhody’s on the Oregon Coast

“Lack of attention to detail fails to explain why a 1999 camera in the hands of a meticulous PH.D who studies the instruction manual won’t produce as many images as a 1939 camera in the hands of a person with a refined photographic eye.” —Galen Rowell

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The material and images contained in this writing above may not be reproduced in any form .All Photographs as well as text appearing here is the property of Jack Graham and Jack Graham Photography LLC, unless otherwise noted.
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503-625-1430 or email jack@jackgrahamphoto.com