Category Archives: Bill Fortney Smokies Photography Workshops

2011 Workshops………… Michael Gordon and Guy Tal

Folks,……. First just a bit of  housekeeping. My website has been down for a few days and I hope its back up later today (Changing servers!)…..Please contact me via email with questions etc. .

Below is information on my 2011 workshop schedule, how to register and some great discounts. Again contact me with questions

Finally I would like to bring some attention to 2 great photographers and 2 good guys. I always learn from other photographers. Both Michael Gordon and Guy Tal are at the top of my list for inspiration. I know you will feel the same . Take a minute and see their work and visit their web sites. You will soon see why I feel the way I do about their work. Additionally, they are truly great human beings. It is an honor to call them my friends.



Sunrise on Mono Lake

This months special image is in fact very special to me. Next month I’ll be leading my 15th annual workshop to that those of us who love the area call “the East Side”, that being the Eastern Sierra’s of California. Even after numerous sunrises and sunsets at Mono Lake, I always have the same exhilaration upon arriving in the dark and usually cold conditions, just like the 1st time I visited.

 This image was taken last year on a cold but beautiful morning. Note the fog lifting off the lake in the background.

 To commemorate my 15th year on the “east side”  I am offering  a limited edition print, as shown above, signed, double-matted and mounted using museum quality materials, in a 16″ x 24″ white mat for the price of $150.00, including shipping within the 48 US states. 

 Normal pricing on this size would be $290.00. I will be printing only 50 prints of this image. Each print comes with a signed certificate of authenticity.

2011 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:  After careful planning my 2010 workshop schedule is now available I have posted some updated information for these workshops on my website. You can access this information here:2011 Workshop Schedule.v3.  General information regarding my workshops (FAQ’S) can be found here:  #2 DW_GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION

Registration FORMS: ( can be mailed or emailed back–deposit information included in reg form) REG MASTER 2011 

New locations like Redwood National Park, NE Ohio (Cuyahoga NP and the area), Yellowstone, Teton and Yosemite National Parks, as well as 2 special workshops here in Oregon highlight the 2011 schedule. A very special overnight pack trip up to Hunt’s Mesa followed by a day in Mystery Valley ( within Monument Valley) will also be one to remember..

 All workshop locations are those at I specialize in. I want tobe able to deliver the best workshop you’ve ever done and provide you the very best value and experience. If guides are required ( typically in Navajo country), I use t best available.

There are a few tentative workshops that are noted as of today. I am working to firm up these


WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS 2011 ……………………… Here are a few ways to save.

 1)FREQUENT FLYER DISCOUNT: If you are repeat attendee you are entitled to an ongoing 10% discount off future workshops

 2) PRE REGISTER before Jan 1, 2011 and receive an additional 10% discount

 3) ARE YOU A NANPA MEMBER? North American Nature photographers Association . If so, include your NANPA # and accept another 10% discount

 4) BRING ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER. You’ll get discounts as applied and your friend ( must be a participating photographer) gets a 1/2 price discount on his or hers first workshop.

 5) REFER a FRIEND . Refer a friend to a workshop ( you need not be there) and I’ll offer you either a $50.00 allowance off a future workshop or send you a check for $25.00 after your friend completed his or her workshops

 6) BUY 4 get one FREE. Yes I have a few customers in the 3,4,5 workshop category… Simple… buy 4 get one free!

Restrictions: These offers DO NOT apply for workshops under $250.00 or for workshops outside the 48 stats of America. Offers DO NOT apply to workshops that are under the auspices of the Great American Photography Workshop or any other workshop company. Only the pre registration discount will apply to the tentative workshop in August with Mike Moats and Bill Fortney.

 Please email me  or call me 503-625-1430 directly for registration. I accept all major credit cards.



I’ve known Michael for a few years now. We used to kid around with each other regarding always running into each other in some pretty remote areas. It really got to be pretty strange that we always seemed to be in the same places as often as we were. We have spent a lot of time discussing photography from the business standpoint to the creative stand point. Last fall Michel and a few other photographers camped for a few nights up on Tioga pass, near Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra. It was a blast sitting around the fire and exchanging stories and information. We’re going to try to do it agin in a few weeks.

Michael photographs with a 4”x5” view camera and film and is a great lover and protector of nature and the wilderness.  Michael’s focus in his work, is that of interpreting  the intimate and overlooked landscapes, in black & white mostly in California.When you visit his website   and see his images, you will notice the use of textures and forms both in the unusual and ephemeral. Through his work he as succeeded in portraying  land and the gifts it’s given back to him.

Below are 3 images with Michael’s comments

Calligraphy  ©Michael Gordon

Despite the plethora of moving rock tracks located on Death Valley NP’s Racetrack Playa, I had never quite seen any this graceful and downright artistic in their form. On this particular day, a couple of friends and I enjoyed the Racetrack to ourselves, reveling in the cosmic nature of the place and the remoteness and grandeur of the setting. On the walk back to the car, I spotted this arrangement, and I always know I’ve stumbled onto a good image when the endorphin-like excitement obscures my ability to think about little else besides making the photograph. Visions of this photograph excited and haunted me until the following day when I set up on it to expose a sheet of film. Although it doesn’t happen often, I conceived the title before I made the exposure.

                                                                                                                    Joshua Trees, Indian Summer Sky©Michael Gordon

 As a southern California native who has seen and lived near Joshua trees his whole life, far too many years passed before I realized just how unique and photogenic they are. A few years ago I began photographing them in earnest, and my efforts resulted in a new series of images (seen on my website): The Joshua Tree

                                                                                                                                                                          Joshua Trees       ©Michael Gordon


Many photographers limit their potential by blindly following “the rules” regarding what constitutes “good light” and good subjects. I made this particular photograph during mid-morning hazy overcast light. It was many hours after sunrise, and in theory, this photograph is essentially subject-less and composed only of light (presumably “bad light” given the time of day I made the photograph). This image does not convey well at web resolutions, but most who view it in print form are stopped cold by it. This photograph challenges the viewer to figure out what they are looking at (Western Grebe’s floating on a calm Salton Sea) and challenges the photographer to see beyond their normal limits of seeing

©Michael Gordon



I first came across Guy’s work on The Naturephotogrphers Network ( probably about 10 years ago now. I was quickly attracted to his style and his creativity. We exchanges a print and to this day, it on the wall here in my office,right in front of me for inspiration. Like Michael, Guy is widely published and has numerous credits to his name in nature photography.

Not only a photographer, Guy is also a writer, and naturalist living and working in the Colorado Plateau, in Torrey, Utah.  Utah is one of the most  scenic and diverse desert regions in he world. This  magical and endangered landscape is not only Guy’s home, but also his sanctuary and main source of inspiration.

To quote Guy’s bio on his website….
” I am often asked about the visual qualities of my work and how they relate to the elusive concept of “reality”. I strongly believe that photography is the most restrictive of the visual arts but at the same time also has the potential to make the most impact with the viewer for one simple reason: photographs have a binding connection with real events, real elements, real light, and real moments in time.”

   Late Night Thunderstorm  ©Guy Tal

Any obvious departure from these realities will cause an image to be dismissed outright regardless of any other aesthetic qualities it may possess. The photographic artist’s tools are primarily well-crafted composition and careful adjustments of the captured image within very narrow margins.”

                                                                                                                      Badlands in Bloom 

Heart of Stone
©Guy Tal                                                                                                                           ©Guy Tal

Recently Guy has opens up a gallery in Torrey Utah. I hope to get over there in 2011. As well guy has published his third E-Book, I finished reading it last night and highly recommend it. YOu can order it via download on Guy’s website   

                    Finally, it’s not a coincidence, that both Michael and Guy are great friends as well…..   JG


News…June 2010

Logan Pass, Glacier NP, Montana

     It’s been a cool and wet spring here in Oregon. May was the wettest month in 15 years (and one of the coolest. June is following suit, however I think we are finally breaking out of the doldrums.

Proxy Falls, June 2010

 Our waterfalls are still gushing like early spring and Mt Hood still has plenty of snow on it. Included in this blog are a few images made in the past few weeks wither on my own or while conducting some workshops in the area.



Please visit for details and registration forms:

OREGON COAST                                         July 15 -19   –2 spots left

FALL in the EASTERN SIERRA-                 Oct 14- 17— sold out

FALL in SW Washington and NW Oregon Oct 27- 31— 2 spots left

FALL IN THE BAY AREA/ NAPA VALLEY  NOV 4-  7—   3 spots left


One on One workshops are available … please consider attending—see below


NEW UPDATED WEBSITE: For those who may not have visited recently, I’ve revised my web site a bit, added some new content and upgraded the Links (lots of new ones!) and E-Commerce sites. I’ll be posting new images weekly, so please take a look when you get a minute….

PHOTOSHELTER: Many images that are not found on my website are available via Photoshelter .



As some of you may know, there is an effort to make the Alabama Hills a National Monument. The Alabama Hills Stewardship group (local citizens, local politicians and concerned citizens). Some of these folks do not want National Monument status, which they feel would give to much control over the BLM, but  Some form of resolution will be coming down perhaps as soon as later this year. As photographers who have been to this beautiful area in the Eastern Sierra, we know that this area is very fragile and should be protected. Meeting between all concerned are held monthly in Lone Pine. I urge you to be part of this effort by contacting the following & voice your opinion  Kevin Mazzu

David Kirk, BLM

The Alabama Hills BLM

The Alabama Hills Advisory Council Update

Quite a number of National Monuments and Scenic areas have come about from these grass route efforts.

PRO NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER, is a new website dedicated to the business of outdoor and nature photography was launched last February by Charles Borland, a 30 year veteran in the nature photography business.  Issues facing today’s pro nature, travel and adventure photographers are discussed. I have found this website to be very informative.



As some of you know, I am not an “over do processing” kind of guy. I try and make my images look as close to what I witnessed when making the photograph as possible. Yes I use CS4 & Lightroom, but more and more I am using my NIK software to complete the process. You can read about my processing in my current E-Book for sale .

From Define 2.0, which to me is the state of the art noise reduction program, to Sliver Efex Pro, for Black & White conversions… NIK is simply the best and easiest to use. Not only that, their web site offers tutorials, webiners and more product information than you’ll ever need.

And for an added bonus…. When purchasing any product from NIK you can receive an instant 15% discount by using the code JGRAHAM when checking out.

I recommend looking into “The Complete Collection” that includes all of Nik Software’s latest award-winning plug-in software titles for Photoshop®, Lightroom® and Aperture™ including: Dfine® 2.0, Viveza® 2, Color Efex Pro™ 3.0, Silver Efex Pro™, and Sharpener Pro™ 3.0. All products now feature Nik Software’s patented U Point® technology, giving photographers the most powerful tools for precise and natural photographic enhancements and corrections without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.

The Complete Collection offers two editions, the Complete Collection Ultimate Edition and the Complete Collection for Lightroom and Aperture. The Ultimate Edition includes support for every plug-in to work in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture, and offers Color Efex Pro 3.0 to work in Capture NX 2 as well. The Complete Collection for Lightroom and Aperture includes support for each plug-in to only work in Lightroom and Aperture



Getting personal instruction tailored to your specific needs, is a great way to become a better photographer. I am now offering one on one photography workshops in the field with a follow up session in my home studio. This is a chance to receive my personal undivided attention and have 100% undivided mentoring.

In the field, our time will be focused on everything from composition, technique, handling difficult lighting challenges, proper use of your equipment, how to make evocative images, to seeing an image and more. By letting me know your needs and expectations, I will customize a program that will meet and probably exceed your needs and expectations.

In our home studio session, we will review your images, either from the days shoot or ones you bring along with you. We will also discuss post processing and printing in depth. You will have full access to a state of the art computer system, including dual monitors with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop as well as the complete NIK Software system is available. We discuss the processing and printing topics in depth as well as pricng one or two of your images. Other applications, such as web use or other marketing strategies will also be covered.  

Here in the Portland Oregon area there is a wealth of amazing photographic locations. You can seem many images of these areas on my website. I am close to the Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge, and wine country of the Willamette Valley, the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Hood.

My One on One day rate is $500.00.

However during this special offer, you can sign up for a full day of field work as well as an evening in the studio for $400.00 per full day. As these days are limited, I recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible so we can work with your schedule as well.

This one on one workshop includes transportation from my home (I drive —you don’t!). You also have the opportunity to schedule 2 or more days at a special rate of $350.00 per day.

By attending one of my One on One workshops, you will also be entitled to a 10% discount on future Jack Graham Photography Workshops (group workshops) as well as discounts on NIK Software, Lensaby, Think Tank, Hunt’s Photo & Video and Photograph America Newsletter.

If you have questions that are not answered here, simply email me at or call me at 503-625-1430. You can sign up using any credit card. Simply call or email us with your information.

After your appointment scheduling is complete, I will email you with all the information needed for out time together

 (One on one workshops are available out of the area as well. In addition to the day cost, other travel, lodging costs are additional)

 IMAGE REVIEW AND MENTORING………I am availabel by the hour for image reviews and mentoring sessions either in person or by the phone. Simply upload you images to a hosting service like Photoghelter, Zenpholio, Smugmug etc and away we go. My charge is $40.00 per hour and can be paid via MC or Visa. Of course this service is always complimentary, at any time to my current workshop alumni

News and Notes / Upcoming Events /website update /E-Book now available

JUST PUBLISHED:  SERIES 1 of my E-Book SERIES available at . Each series will contain between 2-3 essays on related subjects in nature photography. Series one covers preparation ( before) proportional photography( during) and processing(after).


Series one of my E-Book Series encompasses three important steps in making quality photographs. All three essays are delivered in PDF format, downloadable at

Essay1 …. PREPARATION COMES FIRST….. Preparation is essential. It seems like few photographers actually prepare properly for a day in the field. I explain the why’s how’s and reasons that preparation is important.

 Essay2…..PROPORTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: I discuss some everyday compositional issues, as well as well as subtle issues that can make a good image a great one. I discuss how to deal with issues that both complicate images and render them mediocre at best.  I bring these issues to light in both Landscape and Macro venues. Easy to understand concepts are discussed and depicted in this image filled essay.


 This is just that, a reference guide to how I process my images. I use Adobe Lightroom and CS4 as well as software by NIK. Leaving the minutia to folks like Scott Kelby and others, this publication discusses topics such as:

1)     Why Lightroom® and CS4® are both important and how to integrate both easily.

2)     Examples of processing, controversial processing, photo-art, processing tools

3)     How to properly evaluate an image

4)     Typical workflow incorporating Lightroom®, Photoshop® and NIK Software®

5)     Processing challenges such as avoiding over processing, bad cropping, over sharpening………………….  And more!

 ALL 3 Essays in my E-BOOKS / SERIES 1 are available for sale at $ 9.99

 Use Adobe reader 5.0 or higher. LIGHTROOM™ and PHOTOSHOP™ are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Color Efex Pro3.0™, Viveza 2.0™, Define 2.0™, Sharpener Pro 3.0™ and Silver Efex Pro™ are trademarks of Nik Software Inc™



I am very proud to announce  my newly revised website Return visitors my thing things are the same .. but there are many changes.

IMAGES:…..In addition to my ability to add new images on a much ( and I mean much) more frequent basis, you now will be able to view my images than before by clicking on the thumbnail within each gallery. (Also you can now go images to image without going back to main gallery section page. Many new images going into gallery area over the next 2 weeks as time allows.

SERIES 1 of my new E-Book is now available. It is downloadable there on the website, and in addition you’ll receive an  individual email to download it as well if you wish.

The  e- commerce functions are much easier and smoother …  Coming products may include instructional DVD’s, more E Books, and more (any suggestions?)

Check out the LINKS page for lots of useful information and many great websites of my fellow nature photographers, well worth looking at!_____________________________________________________________________________________________


OREGON COAST and a Very Special Workshop with Mike Moats, Bill Fortney and Jack Graham in the Smoky Mountains….. FALL in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


COAST WORKSHOPS OVERVIEW                        REG MASTER 2010

The Oregon coast in July is something special

The Oregon coastline offers the photographer some of them most beautiful and famous marine views anywhere in the world. This diverse landscape ranges from sandy beaches with 500-600 high cliffs dropping off on rocky beaches with crashing waves, to tide pools filled with marine life. Many working lighthouses offer unique photographic experiences. Many small fishing towns offer beautiful harbors with easy access to fishing boats to capture the essence of life on the Oregon Coast.

We will spend time photographing all of this and more during our 5 days on the coast. We will begin in Ecola State Park, where old growth rain forests abound. Views of the ocean and Tillamook Lighthouse make this area a must. From there we head down the coast to Cannon Beach, known for Haystack Rock and fabulous sunsets. The town of Tillamook is a bit further south (know for Tillamook Cheese!).

We will parallel the coast, often not driving on HWY 101 to shoot locations like Cape Lookout, Cape Mears, Devils Punchbowl, Cape Fowl weather, Haceta Head, Yaquina Head, Newport Harbor,  Charleston Harbor,Cape Blanco, and more great locations ( with great names!).  Itineries will be customized to light and weather conditions. We will shoot the many lighthouses that still even today, serves aids to mariners. We will spend evenings in, Tillamook, Newport, Florence, and Charleston, near Coos Bay.

 In addition to field, work time will be spent reviewing images made during the workshop. Critiques and information that will aid your photographic development are offered during these review sessions.

 We will also discuss the processing part of digital photography. Without exception, previous attendees have found these sessions invaluable.Not only will we be shooting the vistas, lighthouses etc, but we will be shooting some of the pristine landscapes as well as the close up world found in the many tide pools along the coast.

 Sunrises and sunsets can be amazing. We will get you to the right locations, at the right time of day and make the best use of the week on the coast.

 Please contact me for additional information……  This is a trip you won’t forget!


LANDSCAPE…….. CLOSEUP….and PHOTOGRAPHIC DESIGN  workshop, ownsend Tn, (Smoky Mountains)—JULY 29-Aug 1, 2010

  Bill Fortney(,  Mike Moats ( www.tinylandscapes,com)  and I are conducting a complete photographic workshop entitled LANDSCAPE, CLOSEUP and PHOTOGRAPHIC DESIGN in Late July, early August.   This is a one of a kind event will take place in Townsend Tn, the home of  Great Smoky Mt. National Park. I can guarantee you an unforgettable and unique experience, one that will make you all better nature photographers.

This will be a combination of classroom and field work. Field work will be in the early mornings when it’s not only the coolest, but the time when subject matter (in addition to the sunrise of course!) is something special, due to the normally heavy dew. Mid Day and afternoon classroom sessions will offer discussions beyond what you usually get in photography workshops.  Bill, Mike and Jack will offer their own vision and ideas which will be on display during this workshop. Each specializes in a different phase pf photography and therefore offers you a wide range of information.

Dont miss this one. It is rare to get three top nature photographers in one workshop setting.

Please contact Jack at jack@jackgrahamphoto for more details.




NOVEMBER 4-7  2010

Once again, Ralph Nordstrom ( ) and Iwill be teaming up for an exceptional few days in Northern California in the fall. The tourists are gone, the kids are back to school and things are never better in this beautiful area of the country. The days are still warm and the smell of fall is in the air. We’ll be spending quality photographic time in the Napa Valley and on  the coast in and around San Francisco. We’ll also spend some time in San Francisco itself to capture some of the flavor of this unique city.

As always classroom sessions will take place to look at our work, and discuss important topics that will greatly aid in improving you photography.

Please read  this overview for lot’s more information and consider joining us for a very unique experience.



April 5,2010

Oregon got a taste of spring last month. Unfortunately it was while I was in the desert southwest, where it was very comfortable. It’s been cold and rainy since I’ve been back. I spent 3 weeks in the desert southwest, from the Grand Cnyon South Rim to Joshua Tree Nationa Park, to Page AZ to Monument Valley UT.

Sunrise Lipan Point, South Rim Grand Canyon © Jack Graham


I’ll be leaving again for my SW PHOTOGRAPH WORKSHOP based in Page AZ and Monument Valley UT., this coming weekend. I’ll be doing some photographing prior to the start of the weekend in Arizona. I am hearing the wildflowers and cactus are beginning to bloom quite nicely.

Another wonderful sunrise, Monument Valley UT.


 I was flattered to have my article on PREPERATION published on Michael Reichmann’s wonderful site, Luminous Landscape last month. .

 For photographers who constantly miss opportunities, it isn’t always about the equipment, light etc.I suggest you take a quick read. It won’t make things happen, but might help you with the mental side of photography.


There are a few spots open for t\my OREGON COAST PHOTOGRAPHY, July 15-19th. This is a wonderful time of year to year there. Details can be found here.COAST WORKSHOPS OVERVIEW

 We have one (1) opening for the October EASTERN SIERRA WORKSHOP October 14-17 which includes Mono Lake, Bodie, The lakes & streams of the White Mountains, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and the Alabama Hills. Information can be found here.EASTERN SIERRA 2010WORKSHOP OVERVIEW


2010 Workshop Schedule.v2        2010 Workshop Schedule.v2             DW_GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATIONv32010


© Mike Moats
©Mike Moats

Finally , Bill Fortney(,  Mike Moats ( www.tinylandscapes,com)  and I arwe conducting a complete photographic workshop entitled LANDSCAPE, CLOSEUP and PHOTOGRAPHIC DESIGN in Late July, early August. This is a one of a kind event will take place in Townsend Tn, the home of  Great Smoky Mt. National Park. I can guarantyee you an unforgettable and unique experience, one that will make you all better nature photographers. DETAILS CAN BE FOUND HEREFMG_SCPD WORKSHOPS_TN_Summer2010.

Registration form for this event—-REG FORM F M&G


And as always remember I am available for ONE on ONE in field photo workshops here in Oregon or in a place of your choice. I just concluded one such workshop in the four corners area of the USA. It was one of the best I’ve had in this area in quite a while.

Details of the ONE on ONE individual workshops can be found here. GENERAL INFORMATION- images..I recently took a customer, Paul S. from New York City to some of my favorite spots and provided one on one instruction.


A classic view of beautiful Monument Valley


MIlo and Paul S. working together in Upper Antelope Canyon.

One of the reasons my recent workshop was so successful was due to 2 Navajo guides I use when I travel to northern Arizona. On much of the Navajo land, guides and or permits are required. Upper Antelope Canyon in Page AZ, is one such place. I use and highly recommend the services of   ANTELOPE SLOT CANYN TOURS, led by Chief Tsosie and his guides. If Chief Tsosie is not available ask for Milo (I hear he may be taking a sabbatical for a while!).


Milo guided us through the canyon as photographers, not tourists. He knows precisely what time each light beam (not available in all months!) hit where and where the best light happens. The canyon itself is only about ½ mile long and much easier accessed than Lower Antelope. We hustled from back to front as the light changed.

These lightbeams are at peak from Mid March through late April

 Here are some basic pointers for photographing in the slot canyon

 1) Go between March and September

2) Expose for the highlights, eliminate any sky if possible

3) A tripod is essential

4) Be careful of dust—try not to have to change your lens in the canyon. Lenses from      17-35mm & 24-70mm work best for me.

5) Page AZ gets into the upper 90’sF/lower 100’sF during the summer months. The canyon is nice and cool, about 10-15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Bring a bottle of water just in case.

You can contact ANTELOPE CANYON TOURS 1-928-645-5594 or at


LtoR--Paul S. from NYC, John Holiday, Tom Phillips, Jack

To get to some of the extraordinary and most beautiful areas in Monument Valley a Navajo Guide is required. There are many to choose from, none better than Tom Phillips. Riding with Tom is like a history lessens, as well as peak into the lives of the Navajo people. His knowledge is second to none. Tom is a great photographer in his own right as well as being a wonderful story teller. His nephew John Holiday has guided a few of my workshops and does a great hob as well. Maneuvering their vehicles around the sandy and sometime rocky unmarked paths within the valley is a real experience.

I highly recommend Tom and his guides. Tom can be reached by calling 928-429-0040 or by email at  His web site is easily remembered;








A new blog by a good friend Ryan DesJardins… lots of good info


Barker Dam, March 2010, Joshua Tree National Park © Jack Graham
petroglyph2010 Mystery Valley, thanks to Tom Phillips ©Jack Graham
Anastasi Ruin, Mystery Valley ©Jack Graham

Teardrop Window © Jack Graham

Upper Antelope Canyon March 2010 ©Jack Graham

The Totom Pole, Monument Valley ©Jack Graham

MAJOR WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT!! Landscapes, Close-ups and Photographic Design with Bill Fortney, Mikes Moats and Jack Graham, Townsend Tn/ Summer 2010


Take your Nature to the Next Level……………

WITH Bill Fortney, Mike Moats and Jack Graham


Townsend, TN   (Great Smokie National Park)…….

July 29 – Aug 1st                                                                  $ 1050.00


Photography is a medium that is heavily reliant on lots of equipment. Though having competent equipment and properly using it will give you the chance to make a great photography, there are certain rules, practices and concepts that one must adhere to in order to be able to produce consistently good images. In many ways consistency is what separates the professional Nature photographers (and non nature photographers as well!) from the pack 

Poppy Abstract ©Mike Moats 

When the format of this workshop was in its formative stages, we talked abut wanting bring to you a different kind of workshop. Rather than photographing in a location, coming back to the classroom and talk about why the image was photographed at F8 at 1/ 125 sec etc… the main focus for these 3 days will mainly consist of what goes into the thought process in making winning photographs. Though there will be some of that, the emphasis will be more on the concepts of thinking and photographic Design than what F stop you might have used. 

This workshop will be conducted in a classroom environment as well as some time in the field. Learning from three established, award winning nature photographers is invaluable. Both Close up photography and Landscape photography will be covered, as much of the subject overlaps. 

Rarely will you find three photographers, all in one workshop at the expertise of Bill, Mike and Jack. We hope you can attend this practical as well as inspirational workshop. 

Blue Door, Santa    Fe NM   © Bill Fortney 

We will spend time discussing the basic’s that we’ve all come to know the importance of, however we will cover some of the more challenging aspects of making quality nature photographs. We will talk about the many situations that often come up when in the field photographing and how to avoid the tough ones.  

Foggy Sunrise in the Marsh  ©Jack Graham                                         

Finding inspiration will also be part of our workshop. Experiences that Bill, Mike and Jack have all learned from will be included in this discussion. Nature photography is not just about what F-stop to use or what ISO to shoot at. It’s about dealing with artistic nuances, getting motivated when frustration jumps in and how you grow as a nature photographer. 

We won’t guarantee that you’ll walk away and become the next Galen Rowell in one weekend, but the theories and thoughts that you’ll be exposed to will allow you to go home, practice your craft and take your photography to the next level. 

These topics and more will be covered by Bill, Mike and Jack 

>how to put yourself in the proper frame of mind, preparing 

>how to find subject matter, learning how to look and see 

>elements of a great photograph, tonalities, emotional impact, balancing, framing and more                         Foothills Parkway,  ©Bill Fortney 

>how to compose a great photograph 

>how to choose the right lens and perhaps filters 

>how to properly “work” the scene 

>developing your personal style 

>how to evaluate your images 

>yes, we will discuss both compositional & proper exposure technique as well 

……………..  and more 

You will be able to view many of our images; we will go into depth on how each image was made. In addition we will be doing critiques of images we’ll be asking you to bring along. 

Blue Hen Falls, Cyuahoga National Park, Ohio  ©Jack Graham 

In addition, we will take time in the mornings, and late afternoon/ evenings to escape into The Great Smoky National Park where will apply all we have been learning. You will work side by side with Bill, Mike and Jack and be able to ask questions, set up scenes and continue the classroom discussions, there I the field.  We will then look at your images back in the classroom and offer our input. 

This is not a post processing seminar; however we will touch on how to use post processing to your advantage to take your image to the next level. 





The workshop will be based in Townsend TN 

Nearest Airport:   Knoxville, TN 





Hotel Information: 

Townsend, TN
Valley View Lodge


Daily itineries will be sent out a few weeks prior to the workshop 

Thursday: July 29   — Meeting at the hotel about 7PM 

Friday        July 30 ——– Morning shoot, morning classroom Lunch Break, Afternoon Classroom, late Afternoon/evening shoot/ evening classroom session 

Saturday,   July 31——– Morning shoot, morning classroom Lunch Break, Afternoon Classroom, late Afternoon/evening shoot/ evening classroom session 

Sunday,     Aug 1st——– Morning shoot, morning classroom. 

The workshop will end around Noon-1pm for those who need to travel home on Sunday. 


Each participant is responsible for their own transportation; however car-pooling is encouraged both to minimize the number of vehicles at shooting locations and to get to know one another better. 

FIELD WORK, hands on with Bill, Mike and Jack 

If you need or want help, just ask. As we make our rounds, we may ask “How are you doing?” If you say “OK”, we’ll move along. If you say for example “What do you think, am I using the right lens for this scene, or am I composing this correctly? …we will do everything we can to answer your questions so you fully understand the answer. Sometimes, we might even ask to take a peek through your viewfinder. In other words, we will give you as much, or as little, attention as you feel you need. 


 .   Camera body (a spare if you have one)
·   Lenses from 20mm up to 200mm in prime and/or zoom combinations (don’t forget lens shades)
·   If you own a macro lens, bring it along 

·   Tripod and head
·   Shutter release or cable release, if you have one
·   A backpack or a fanny pack will be very helpful.
·   Filters: polarizer, neutral density filters, warming filters (not as mandatory for digital photography, but if you have them, do bring them along)
·   Lens cleaning items – air blower, brush, etc
·   Sufficient memory cards and a good backup system for those cards…. Lots of film for you film users (yes film is still around and can provide excellent results)
·   Camera manual (just in case there are any technical questions with your equipment)
·   Laptop (Digital users)
·   Spare batteries
·   Proper clothing; 
·   Insect repellent…. drinking water and snacks for the car
·   Alarm Clock  

If have a small headlamp you might just want to bring it along as well. 


Summer in this are is typically hot and humid. Afternoon thunderstorms are common. Early mornings are cool and dewy. Though humidity, a bit of rain and dew can be somewhat uncomfortable, these conditions often produce some amazing images. We will provide you with project weather conditions as we come close to the workshop dates. 

Included in the workshop: 

1)      Each participant will go home with a copy of an edition of the Photograph America Newsletter, published by Robert Hitchman. One lucky participant drawn out of the hat) will receive one year’s subscription FREE. 

2)      Discounts on Lensbaby, Nik Software and Think Tank products will be passed on to all ( for example is you buy the Nik Software suite you’ll receive a 15% discount, which is somewhere in the 75.00 dollar range. 


1)      You can go to 

 And click on the registration document link towards the bottom of the page 

2)      You can contact Jack Graham (information below) and I’ll email you           

For more information, please feel free to contact Jack Graham at                                                                                                    Spider Web Abstract         ©Mike Moats 

Or at 503-625-1430 

A deposit of 250.00 is required to reserve your space. Checks and credit cards are accepted, Deposit refund information can be found on the registration form as well. 



We hope we see you all in Townsend for what we know will be a memorable, informative and fun workshop. 


Bill, Mike & Jack 








Bill Fortney is a professional photographer of 38 years experience. Bill has been a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, & sports photographer, (He was the official photographer for the Washington Redskins in their strike shortened Super Bowl Championship season). Bill has done medical photography, commercial, annual report work. For the last fifteen years Bill has been one of America’s leading nature photographers, founding the Great American Photography Workshop Company. 

A much sought after speaker, Bill was once called in a newspaper article, “the Will Rogers of Photography”. His best selling books include; The Nature of America, America From 500 Feet, American Vision, and Bill Fortney’s Great Photography Workshop, “Getting Serious About Outdoor Photography.” Bill’s book sales well exceed 100,000 copies, making him one of the top photographer/authors in America. America From 500 Feet was one of the largest selling aviation photography books of all time. Six years ago Bill joined Nikon as a Nikon Professional Services technical representative. He covers the Southern U.S. and is Nikon’s liaison representative for the natural history market for all of America. In 2003 Bill was been named a Fellow by the North American Nature Photographers Association. Bill lives in Corbin, Kentucky, (when he is not on a Delta jet), with his wife Sherelene. He has three adult children and six grandchildren. 






Mike Moats is an award winning, professional Nature Photographer from Sterling Heights, Michigan. I started shooting as a hobby in 2001 and it quickly grew into a full time business. To date Mike has had articles and images published in, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Natures Best Magazine, PC Photo Magazine, Nature Photographer Magazine, Photo life, Whisper In The Woods, Michigan Game Finder, NANPA’s Expressions Books, Pure Michigan Book, and Fujifilm’s Newsletter (Cable Release),write for Tamron’s blog, and two images on front covers. 

Mike has won numerous local and international awards, and in 2006 was asked to join the Fuji Pro Talent Team. In 2009 Mike was added as a Macro Master on the Tamron Website. 

Mike moderatos the Macro galleries at  and   

In 2006 Mike began offering Close-Up/Macro Photography Workshops. 

Mike’s first book was released in Oct 2008 and is called Tiny Landscapes.  Mike now has authored 

Three e-Books sold through on his website. 

The bulk of Mike’s income comes from sales of my prints which I market through art shows, art consultants, exhibits, and online through my website. & 

Jack Graham 


Jack Graham began photographing nature in the mid seventies while living in the New York City/ New Jersey metropolitan area. While attending Indiana University Jack began to explore the rural landscapes of Southern Indiana. Here is where the appreciation of the natural world began. The rolling hills of Southern Indiana became the integral backdrop and formation of what would lead establishing the vision that is present within Jack today. 

Jack now resides near Portland Oregon, in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

Jack has led his own photo tours in California, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, the Midwest as well as the Pacific Northwest. He has been a field instructor with numerous seminars and photo tours led by many famous nature photographers. By photographing and learning, from such photographers as John Shaw, Jack Dykinga, Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, Frans Lanting, David Muench, Bill Fortney and others, both his inspiration as well as technique has, and continues to be cultivated. 

Jack now leads his own “Photo Classroom in the Field®” workshops throughout the United States as well as others for the Great American Photography Weekend organization. Recently Jack and Mike Moats have joined forces in developing the Macro & More photo workshops stressing both macro as well as landscape photography in some of the best locations around. Jack also offers single day, workshops for extensive one on one instruction. Jack’s workshops are sponsored by Nikon, Really Right Stuff, NIK Software, Think Tank, Lensbaby, Digital Foci Photograph America Newsletter and NANPA. 

Jack has been successful in publication and stock photography as well. Credits include Outdoor Photography, Nature’s Best Photography, NANPA”S Expressions 2009, California Wild, Current’s (NANPA) and many DNR publications, Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, Chicago Wilderness and Sierra Club publications as well as many calendar credits. Corporate work includes prints and stock applications for internal as well as publication use.   

Jack is a member of NANPA( North American Nature Photographers Association), and serves on NANPA’s Awards Committee;  FNAWS (Federation for North American Wild Sheep, Mono Lake Committee, & SUWA (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance). Jack can be contacted for workshop as well as speaking engagements via E-Mail at