Category Archives: Grand Canyon National Park Photography

Winter Images from Grand Teton National Park / DAY 2

Remember… register for 2017 workshops before Jan 1, 2017 and receive a 10% discount!

JACK’S 2107 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE           REG FORM:   jg_photo-registrationform

FUJIFILM “X” PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS   REG FORMfuji-x-registrationform

FUJIFILM”X” PHOTOGRAPHERS TRAVEL & NATURE SUMMITS 2017

APRIL SUMMIT REG FORM      fuji-x-registrationformapril_smokys_fuji-x-registrationformv6

SEPTEMBER SUMMIT REG FORMsept2017_pdx_fuji-x-registrationform

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WINTER IN THE TETON’S

ALL IMAGES © Jack Graham

Images from Day 2 here in GTNP—— We literally have the park to ourselves!

All images made with the FUJIFILM X-T2 along with Fujinon Lenses

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Check out the little guy just below the ram!  / 100-400mm with 2 x  converter

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FALL COLOR PHOTO TIPS…East and West.. (updated from 2007 edition)…NEW FROM NIK SOFTWARE-Color Efex Pro4……PODCAST NEWS

PLEASE READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING Nik Software’s new Color Efex Pro4 AND OUR  PODCAST WITH NIK”S PRODUCT MANAGER Josh Haftel below!!!!!!!!

www.18percentgraymatter.com

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2011 Workshop Schedule  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2011-workshop-schedule

Reg Forms & FAQ’S REGISTRATION FORM 2011v9      FAQ’S

2012 Workshop Schedulehttp://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

Reg Forms & FAQ’S   REGISTRATION FORM 2012        FAQ”S

WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS   WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS

Jack’s Website   www.jackgrahamphoto.com

PODCAST:  www.18percentgraymatter.com                      WATCH FOR MY NEW E_BOOK       -COMING SOON!!!!!!!

COMING in 2012-–I will be doing a workshop on Whidbey Island , Washington May 10-13 2012  with the folks at  the PACIFIC NORTHWEST ART SCHOOL (www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org). In addition I’ll also be offering a 3 1/2 day Oregon Coast workshop with the Pacific Northwest Artschool in September—-STAY TUNED for details soonhttp://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/whidbey-island-washington-pacific-northwest-art-school

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WHAT’S NEW:

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog. Ongoing, I’ll be more active. It’s been a busy workshop season and will continue that way through mid November.

 WORKSHOPS: I have a few spots left for my Fall Color in Ohio Workshop  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-color-ne-ohio-well-very-special-day-amish-oct-2011  in late October… as well as the Fall color workshop in Napa Valley, San Francisco and the Northern California Coast in early November.http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-northern-california-napa-pt-reyesmarin-headlands-sf-coastline-s-sf Registration forms are available above. These are going to be very special events. Please consider joining us.  The Eastern Sierra Workshop with Guy Tal and me, in mid October has one opening left.http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/eastern-sierra-photography-workshop-1-spot-left

DON’T FORGET ICELAND 2012 (filling fast) http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland    and CHINA 2012  http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152    in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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www.18percentgraymatter.com PODCAST—BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG NEWS—THE BEST JUST GOT BETTER…—  Recently Bob Kulon and I recorded an interview with Josh Haftel, product manager at NIK SOFTWARE www.niksoftware.com  regarding today’s announcement from NIK about their newly upgraded COLOR EFEX PRO4 program( available today for download). Please take a few minutes and listen to the PODCAST. You can access the site here.   By using the code 18percent, you’ll receive an additional 15 % discount! This is a great program. The new addition has more filters as well as filter stacking (Thanks NIK). Please check it out, you will not be disappointed.  

                                      Remember  code=  18percent    &   save 15% on download  www.niksoftware.com

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Mary & Peter Andrade

GOOD READING: My good friends and past workshop attendees Mary & Peter Andrade have an interesting blog on line. http://pamphotography.wordpress.com/

These folks are good photographers with some different perspectives on some really cool subject matter. They have become good friends and though Mary & Peter are somewhat different in their approach, they have some really great images up in the blog, as well as some really good information. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

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Also, I am really proud of my son, and fellow photographer Matthew Graham. Check out his work, he’s doing some great stuff—Way to go Matt!!!

http://matthewgrahamphoto.com/wp/

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ANOTHER FRAUD  http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/celebrated-wildlife-photographer-exposed-as-fraud-in-sweden-61616.html

When will these folks learn——keep this in mind when it’s tempting to cheat. Sometimes editors should ask to see the RAW FILE!

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   And finally–Don’t forget to check out the latest specials from my good friends at Hunt’s

http://wbhunt.com/specials/

                                    AND OF COURSE:  <img src=”http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/affiliate/banners/BlueGreen_OPG_banner_180x150.jpg” alt=”

   just click the banner and start shopping—-you’ll find accessories not found in your local camera store, all under one roof here. These are good people!

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FEATURED ARTICLE…………….AUTUMN, EAST AND WEST, Tips for Fall Photography

(Updated from my 2007 blog post)  ©J Graham

Bridalveil Falls, Ohio

If you love shooting the landscape like me, fall is our time of year. Fall is when the mountains, hills and valleys light up, on fire….. and then go out in a natural blaze of glory.

I have been lucky to have lived and photographed autumns here in the west, as well as the eastern regions of the country. There some major differences in photographic technique in both regions as well as certain skills.  There are also some similarities.

For me,Michigan,Wisconsin, and the Adirondack Mountains of NY North-Eastern Ohio and of courseVermontis the most productive areas for me in the Northeast. Colorado, Utah, The Cascades and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are my favorites in the west. Northern Arizona, from Flagstaff north is also one of my favorites as is Yellowstone and Teton National Parks

In the east the Maples (Sugar, black and red) can be simply amazing. Other species add to the palate such as beech and hemlocks bring out lots of yellows and orange color. It takes a good summer of rain; along with the right climatic conditions bring out the best in fall color. The Maple trees are aided in color when temperatures reach high enough to bring back up the sugar into the tree. After the temperatures drop in the evenings, the sugar drops within the trees system. This is how the color becomes apparent in the leaves.

While the maples in the east blaze in red, the autumn color in the west is mostly shades of orange and gold. The principle tree in higher altitude regions is theAspen.

Aspens in the Eastern Sierra, California

The aspen propagates by sending root suckers through the ground. This makes for groups of trees that are all clones of each other, sometimes referred to as a vein of aspens. You can easily pick these out against the mountainsides in the west. Unlike the east where finding the grand scenic may be a bit tougher at times, I have always  found it easy to capture these veins of aspens in the west. I can remember driving south on US 395 from Bridgeport to Lee Vining (the home of Mono Lake) and shooting the aspens right off the highway.

Be sure to monitor the weather. Weather in the UP of Michigan’sCountry Fall well as most of the west can change within hours. I have been in the Sierra where the morning was 60 degrees, at the height of the fall color, and in the 30’s by sunset, with the leaves dropping. Aspens can loose their leaves overnight. Timing is very critical.

Most states offer fall color information using the State Department of Natural Resources web sites.  Go to a search engine and type in “department of natural resources, then your state.”

Let’s face it, we as photographers….pro’s, amateurs’ or just casual shooters all look forward to the fall color display to get out and capture all that nature has to offer. Unless you are lucky enough to live in an area that offer really interesting photography most of the year, once that cool air, increasing rain and fall color starts, we get that rejuvenated feeling and grab our camera bags and tripods and get out in the crisp, fall air to capture the vibrant colors of the season.

Fall in Oregon's Wine Country

Fall is all about color, and how to make the most of it. Here are some pointers that can help you come home with the best images possible during this magical season of color.

~Overcast and even rainy weather provides the best lighting for both landscapes as well as for close-ups of fall leaves, ferns, mushrooms, berries, and other subjects. Bright sunny weather creates harsh highlights, blocked shadow details, and even a blue cast due to reflected light from the blue sky.  A cloudy sky minimizes the blue cast, reduces contrast, and increases color saturation.  Rain and wet conditions serve to even increase the color saturation. Heavy rain also makes the tree trunks dark, further enhancing the color of the leaves

  •  A credo of nature photography, stated by Ansel Adams, is that “Bad weather makes for great photography”. Streams, rivers, waterfalls and forests are great subjects to photograph when it rains. Take care to keep your equipment dry as well as yourself and get out and shoot in these conditions. You might come home soaked, but making images in rainy weather will be a lot more rewarding than those on sunny days.

When making close up images, always use a circular diffuser, to soften direct sunlight, simulate an overcast sky, and thus improve the lighting for your fall close-ups. You may not think you need it, but even on cloudy days diffusers make a big difference.

  • Early morning and late afternoon lighting on sunny or partly cloudy days can provide dramatic lighting for scenic fall vistas taken in the open.  Weather fronts, which often occur in fall, can also provide sensational light, especially when areas of fall color are sunlit against a dark storm sky.
    • Let’s talk about sky. If the sky adds nothing to your image… LEAVE IT OUT.  White or overcast, less than dramatic sky is poison to an image.
    • Sunny weather is also the best lighting for photographing reflections of fall foliage in lakes, rivers, and streams.  The reflections are most dramatic when the fall color is sunlit and the water is in shade.  Try using slow shutter speeds to create abstracts from fall foliage reflected in the moving water of rivers and streams. Be careful if you are using a polarizer. This can detract from the reflections that you really want, of the color in the water. Refer to this article to get more tips on photographing water. https://jackgrahamphoto.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/2377/

    Misty, damp days can provide wonderful, moody lighting for fall color and waterfall photography.  The air is usually still, eliminating the problem of wind movement, and the moisture on leaves and rocks intensifies their color. 

As with snow scenes, relying on your camera meter may result in misty scenes that are too dark, so you may need to open up by ½ to 1 f-stop to retain the pearly light and luminosity that permeate these quiet foggy fall days.

  • A polarizing filter can be used to intensify colors and minimize reflections from wet rocks and leaves.  An exposure increase of 1 to 2 f-stops will be needed, depending on the amount of polarization.  Your camera meter will adjust the exposure automatically when you attach a polarizing filter.  With most modern digital cameras, a “circular” polarizing filter is needed to ensure an accurate exposure reading. Don’t forget your graduated ND’s as well. www.singh-ray.com
  • Use color to your advantage. Complimentary colors add to impact images. Green foliage combined with the reds and oranges work well. So does yellow aspens against blue skies in autumn.
  • Look for different subjects such as reflections of the fall color in water pumpkins, covered bridges, buildings that can compliment the fall color. Make use of the color. Don’t just go after that grand landscape.
  • Keep your compositions as simple as possible. Remember; don’t try to write a novel in your photographic composition, write the sentence that tells the story. Use the rule of thirds, graphic lines and make your image using a key element as the anchor. Simple is always the best.
  •  Always use a tripod. Walk around with your camera before committing to a spot while it’s on your tripod. Choose your lens properly to get the shot you want.

              

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  • Get out and stay out. You can use this saying in two instances. Especially in the East where we might require getting onto private property to get that “winner” shot, always ask first as to avoid hearing that phrase. Make sure you have all the right clothing and equipment to be able to get out in bad weather. Stay out as long as you have some light. Your best light is always during the golden hours in the morning and evenings.

Most of all enjoy the color display that happens only once per year. In just a few short weeks (at least where I live) it will only be a dream and the realities of winter will set in.

Finally here are a few websites to help you monitor the fall color:

www.foliagenetwork.net

http://usparks.about.com/od/fallfoliage/a/Fall-Colors.htm

http://www.chiff.com/a/fall-foliage.htm

http://www.weather.com/activities/driving/fallfoliage/

http://phototravel.com/fall.htm   (more than you’ll ever need!)

http://www.wxnation.com/fallfoliage/ (lots of cams)

For the west —- www.calphoto.com

                   

Back after 27 days / Workshops / “Curious Gorge”/ featured article; PHOTOGRAPHING WATERFALLS & STREAMS”

 
Hunts Mesa Sunrise

Greeting everyone–YES! I am finally back from 27 days in the beautiful 4 corners are of the United States. Workshop locations included, The slot canyons, Vermilion cliffs of Norther Arizona, Monument Valley, including Hunt’s Mesa and Mystery Valley, Canyon de Chelley, as well as Arches & Canyonlands National Parks. I conducted 3 successful workshops and enjoyed every minute.  We had rain, snow, sandstorms, wind and a few great days as well, but all of that weather made for some amazing photography. In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some stories and photographs not only from me, but from some of our attendees as well from these workshops but from my Death Valley workshop, last February.. STAY TUNED!

I spent a day with fellow photographer ( and a great one at that!)Guy Tal who lives within Capital Reef NP.  He has a new eBook coming, which I’ll be discussing here soon. Check out his work at www.guytal.com _______________________________________________

COMING WORKSHOPS:—-These are filling up quite nicely and rather quickly. If you are thinking about any please let me know and I may be able to  provide more information.  You can access my remaining 2011 schedule as well as lots of new listings for 2012 here    2011    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2011-workshop-schedule

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

Some kind words from past attendees!  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

DISCOUNT ON “ULTIMATE ICELAND 2012”    —I have a few spots left for Iceland July 2012—register during May and receive a $300.00 discount!…….http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland

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……and don’t forget my PODCAST, along with Bob Kulon at www.18percentgraymatter.com . You can also subscribe via iTunes

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Also for you Columbia River Gorge Fans: I ran into Scott Cook, the Author of “Curious Gorge”.now in its 3rd edition.. a who, what and where guide to the Columbia River Gorge here in Oregon. Do yourself a favor and BUY IT. Its packed with information, not well known about some great locations. http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Gorge-Scott-Cook/dp/B000TXRYQ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1303853743&sr=8-1   

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FEATURED ARTICLE——–                                    –CONSIDERATIONS when PHOTOGRAPHING WATERFALLS and  STREAMS

All articles and photographs are the property of Jack Graham/ J Graham/ photography.
All photographs are protected by U.S. copyright laws and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way
without the written permission of the photographer. 0905

   I live in the Pacific Northwest. What else says Pacific Northwest more than a waterfall. Spring here in the Pacific Northwest is a glorious time to take advantage of the hundreds of waterfalls  within a short drive. The waterfall  against a backdrop of lush greenery is one o my favorite subjects. Let’s discuss some of the challenges and suggestions that might help you in your waterfall photography. These are in order of how I think about them in the field. They are all equally important  in making quality waterfall images.

 WATER EFFECTS: Silky or Natural?

This should be an easy decision. Slow shutter speeds for the silky effect and faster for less silky, or more action packed water. This is determined by the amount of water coming over the falls or over the rocks in a stream. If you are undecided, experiment and shoot both ways. Sometimes this is the best way to attack the situation and make your final decisions after the fact in front of your monitor.  If you want to convey the overall power, force & majesty of a big waterfall, I usually try to use a fast shutter speed. The converse is true for smaller falls and streams.

 Adjusting shutter speeds is your call. If you want the silky effect (my preference) use slower shutter speeds. If you want moving water to look like it really does, then use a fast speed. Here is a chart that I refer to for the effect that I desire.

                                                                                     Natural          Blurred              Silky

LARGE WATERFALLS   /CASCADING WATER:       1/500sec       1/125sec             1-1/2 sec

MEDIUM WATERFALLS /CASCADING WATER:       1/250sec       1/60 sec                 1/2 sec

SMALL WATERFALLS   /CASCADING WATER:       1/125sec        1/15 sec                    1 sec

MOVING STREAMS:                                                                       1/60sec         1/8-1/4sec               2-4 sec

COMPOSITION:

 As in all other facets of nature photography, composition is a primary concern when making a pleasing image. When photographing waterfalls & streams,  I always ask myself:

1)      How  do I want to portray this waterfall or stream?

2)      How can I use the surrounding environment to support the stream or waterfall..

 As in landscape photography, a strong foreground serves to anchor the image and make the waterfall stand out. Rocks with perhaps a stream running over and around them may serve to anchor the image and make the waterfall stand out. There might be some wildflowers as well or if you really get lucky rainbow created by the waterfall if the light is right. The surroundings of the waterfall often give the viewer an idea on where the waterfall is located. In most cases the surroundings offer lush green vegetation.  Don’t discount the surroundings and get overwhelmed by the waterfall.  Using all the good composition techniques that we all strive for in our photography is primary in waterfall photography as well

 Decide weather you want to shoot the waterfall as a vertical or horizontal image. Like other landscape photography, I recommend making the shot both ways and deciding which one you like when you get home in front of your monitor. (TIP: Horizontal & vertical images are used for different applications… its good to have each in your files.)

   a horizontal view of Proxy Falls!!

 Don’t discount the surroundings and get overwhelmed by the waterfall! Using all the good composition techniques that we all strive for in normal photography is primary in waterfall photography as well.

 LIGHTING & EXPOSURE:

 An important facet of waterfall or stream photography  is lighting and exposure.  Typically, ideal conditions are cloudy, misty days when the contrast is at a minimum. Many waterfalls are located in gorges and are in good light during sunny days, but not always. Depending on the available light conditions, matrix, evaluative (or automatic) metering is perfectly good way to photograph streams and waterfalls.

However often times, light conditions and the volume of water coming over the falls or on the stream can confuse even the best meters in today’s DSLR’s.  Look at your histogram. Do you see blown out areas of the waterfall? Are the surrounding areas of the image too dark? If so, you may need to manually meter the scene. Spot meter a medium tone and adjust your compensation + or  – depending on the scene.

When shooting, I advise you to shoot in the RAW format. You can sometimes save images when shot RAW vs. JPEG in the post processing. It is sometimes possible to deal with some over blown highlights in the RAW format, usually never in JPEG.

Wet rocks also work a lot better than dry rocks–get there in the rain!

               TIP: Try the Singh Ray 8 stop ND filiter special affects…http://www.singh-ray.com/varind.html 

 

 

 

 

 

Other important considerations:

 1)      Do I need to mention tripods? I hope not. Photographing at slow shutter speeds just does not work without tripods… period !

2)      Just as in other applications use the slowest ISO as possible. The slower the ISO, the less grain.

3)      To attain a less silky effect on the water but want to retain your aperture of choice, you can increase the ISO to increase shutter speed. Experiment. Different shutter speeds will create different effects on the water.

4)      Use people or objects to add a sense of scale, especially with waterfalls.(See image on left)

5)      The polarizing filter is a MUST in order to reduce the glare on reflective surfaces. This filter will remove the glare also bring out the colors of the surrounding area making for stronger images. I use a polarizer almost all of the time when shooting waterfalls. When photographing intimate images in streams, such as water flowing swiftly over rocks, I rarely use a polarizer. Here I want the colors and textures created by the light and what is under the water to come through and not be diminished in any way… but that’s a discussion for another time. ( TIP: Not all polarizer’s are created equal. Why would you put a bad polarizer on a great expensive lens?

6)       Depending on the light and elevation UV filters cal play a role in helping bring out colorations. These are also useful in keeping your expensive lenses fry, especially if the lenses are not sealed, (TIP: Never stack filters. This can produce lens flare. )

7)      Carry protective gear for your camera. More often than not, waterfalls are going to get you and your gear wet in order to get the best image. I carry large hefty bags( 2-3 gallon size) to cover my gear.

8)      I use a chamois to remove water from my lens, not a microfiber cloth. My experience with microfiber cloths is that they just move water around. A chamois will pull the water into away from the lens.

9)Get out there in bad weather.Look for the image less photographed like this one of Multnomah Falls incased in ice.

10)      Be careful, not all cameras and lenses are sealed to avoid moisture. Moisture can quickly render some DSLR’s DOA!

 Get out and have fun

 2GREAT RESOURCES FOR WATERFALLS  IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST are :

 1) BOOK: A Waterfall Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and

2) WEBSITE: http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/

All articles and photographs are the property of Jack Graham/ J Graham/ photography.
All photographs are protected by U.S. copyright laws and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way
without the written permission of the photographer. 0905

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COMING IN MAY FOR THOSE OF YOU IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AREA:

My good friend Darrell Gulin is coming to the Portland Area. Darrell will be giving a talk on May 14th. Both Darrell and I will be conducting 2 workshops at the Tualatin River NWR on the follow inf day (Sunday). … one in the AM & one during the PM.  Below is the press release. I hope to see you there!

Canon Explorer of Light, Darrell Gulin, past president of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and accomplished nature and wildlife photographer from Seattle will be the featured speaker at an evening event, May 14, 2011 as part of a three day Bird Festival sponsored by the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Darrell will be speaking at the Laurel Ridge Middle School Auditorium, 21416 SW Copper Tr., Sherwood, OR 97140. Admission is free but registration through the web site, www.prophotosupply.com/p-events.htm#gulin is encouraged. More details about the Festival are available at tualatinriverbirdfestival.org

MISC INFO/ 2011Workshop Discounts / NFRCC in 2011 / article: 10 COMMANDMENTS OF NATURE COMPOSITION

Folks,
Thanks for taking time to read my blog. Included here is some disturbing news on 2 fronts. One having to do with some graffiti and another concerning the wolf population in the northern Rockies. I am not one to ask folks to take up a causes, but please read the info on wolves and think about it.
 
 Please enjoy my new article, the 10 Commandments of Nature Composition. 
 
Following the article, please read the disturbing news on the defacing of the sacred Red Rock Canyon area near Las Vegas, as well as the possible future for the gray wolves of the northern Rockies and what we can do about it. There is some good information on some holiday specials from the  Think Tank camera bag folks as well.
 
 
 
 
 
I look forward to  be speaking  once again time at the NFRCC convention in Niagara Falls New York Feb 25th-27th 2011. These are great folks. I’ve always been welcomed and have had great times in upper New York State.
The NFRCC (http://www.nfrcc.org/convention/ ) is  an international group of 11 photography clubs in the Niagara Frontier Region of Ontario Canada and New York, USA
 
 
If anyone  from the Ohio, NY areas, wants to come on by and say hi, as well as have an enjoyable weekend I’d love to see you!
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Think Tank Photo is a company the produces quality well designed camera backpacks/bags. I own quite a few of their their bags and love them. There is no doubt in my mind that they make the bert camera and accessories bads on the market today.

 For the holiday season Think Tank Photo is offering a free gift when you purchase one of their products.

The free gear includes the Cable Management 20, the Pixel Pocket Rocket memory card holder, the Modular Pouch, Camera Strap, and the Security Tag.

At checkout their system automatically asks you which gear you would like to receive for free with your order.

See the Think Tank Photo products here:–  http://www.thinktankphoto.com/affiliates.aspx?code=AP-371

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FEATURED ARTICLE:
10 COMMANDMENTS of COMPOSITION  © Jack Graham Photography

Exposure, sharpness and correct composition are the three ingredients in making a pleasing photograph. Proper focus and exposure is a function of your equipment, and your ability to be proficient in these two areas. Even automatic metering is quite accurate much of the time. By using a tripod and understand depth of field even using auto focus at times will again allow a reasonably good image to be produced.

On the other hand, composition is dependent on you and your ability to encompass what is necessary to produce the desired results. No matter how you focus correctly, or expose correctly, your image, if it is uninteresting, will be boring. The old saying “Garbage in= Garbage out” is the order of the day when it comes to proper, or pleasing composition. All the expensive equipment you want to carry around will not fix an uninteresting composition.

Like always, and as my workshop attendees sometimes get sick of hearing, I base my compositions on the basics as defined succinctly by John Shaw.

Prior to attempting the image, ask yourself: 1) is there a subject? …………and 2) is the light good? If you can’t answer yes to both it’s going to be tough to walk away with anything worth keeping, especially if question #1 is NO!

This brings me to my 10 Commandments of Composition. These could be listed in any order, but #1 and #2 are pre-eminent.

 

ONE: A STRONG SUBJECT is a MUST. Easy right? But then what can you do with it. Can you easily make the subject the center of interest? Is there clutter around the subject?  Is the subject (especially fauna and avian subjects) in good enough shape to render interesting. Often landscape images are no more than  post -card shots due to lack of interest or lack of concern by the photographer about what he or she is trying to convey.

 Go to the bookstore and look at the many coffee table books by the well known masters. Without exception, there is a strong subject, which is the center of attention with out distracting elements. Always take time to ask yourself exactly what you are trying to convey in your image.

 

 

 

 

 TWO: MAKE THE LIGHT WORK. You must decide how to use the light (assuming it is good light) as an asset. For example, often back lit images are quite effective, but many photographers do not consider using back lighting. You need to understand what light works best for your image then make the best use of what’s available. The more dramatic the light the more interesting the image becomes. Don’t be lazy, shoot at the golden hour (one hr before and 1 hr after sunrise and sunset) Make use of bad weather which sometimes provides them most dramatic light available.

At times one must just walk away from photography, as nothing you can do to make the image photographic. It is better to just walk away than make a bad image.

 

THREE: DECIDE HOW TO USE THE SUBJECT”S ELEMENTS:  This is a very important rule to follow. Space is a very important element of the subject in relationship to the other parts of the image. Creating some space between the subject and other structures or elements of the image can make or break an image. At times, to convey the feeling in an image you may want to cut off parts of the subject. This is particularly evident in close up photography.

space between trees

  

 

By letting element like petals of a flower run off the image creates a wonderful feeling and thus a successful image. Experiment, but always keep asking yourself if this is adding or subtracting from your image.













  

  

FOUR:  USE THE RULE of THIRDS

 This brings me to the rule of thirds or what I call proportional photography  (I have a complete article on PROPORTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY which can be red in my E-Book, Series 1 for sale at www.jackgrahamphoto.com). Centered images usually just don’t work. Note I said usually, not always. As we move our eyes across the image there must be something (often called a leading line) to draw the viewers eye into the subject 

 Basically what the rule of thirds is the use of a grid, like a tic-tack-toe board in your viewfinder( You can purchase such a grid and replace your focusing screen with one for your Nikon or Canon cameras if you don’t have one)

 These intersecting points are the “power points” where, when placed on these points makes the subject stronger.

It’s up to you to decide which point to place the subject. A bird looking to the left works better on the right, an animal or building might look better on the lower points allowing for a background which aids in telling the story of your location. Remember unless it really works (and it can) never center the subject.



 

 

 

 

  FIVE:  ANCHOR THE SUBJECT or LOOK FOR PATTERNS: There is nothing like a strong anchor to make a subject stand out, especially in landscape photography.  

I often refer to David Muench’s images when talking about anchoring the image. He is the master at this. A strong anchor eliminates foreground clutter and distractions.    The anchor is the glue that puts the images together and conveys emotion to the viewers.

What if there are not any anchors available. Again, especially in close up photography as well as other forms, there just are not the huge rocks, or river etc to anchor the subject. At that time I always look for patterns in the subject, no matter if it’s a flower or mountainside to strengthen the interest of my image. Patterns in and of themselves are interesting to photograph.  

 

 

 

 

  

Notice unneeded foreground

   

 SIX: ELIMINATE JUNK:

Often a workshop attendee or photographic acquaintance will come up to me and say” You know that shot of yours at “such-n-such… well I’ve got that same shot too”. As I view this “identical image” I realize that they really don’t. Why? Well they may have the subject nailed, nice & sharp, proper exposure using the rule of thirds etc, but somewhere in the image there might be a tree trunk, or a contrail in the sky, or a leaf off to the side that’s too bright, too much foreground, that pulls our eye off the subject. (In nature, our eye goes to the brightest spot in the image, often not the subject .. be carefull !)

Much better Foreground!

 

“But I can fix it in Photo shop”… Can I pull out the knife now?  Working pro’s sometimes “fix it in Photo shop” but not as much as you think. The more you get it right in the camera, the more your image will be successful.

So look around, always check your corners (remember if you do not have a 100% viewfinder, this is especially noteworthy) and look for that little tiny distraction. They are there. You must eliminate them from your image.

Pay particular attention to cluttered foregrounds or foregrounds made of useless material having little to do with the subject. Your depth of field preview button should pull everything into clarity. Remove what does not lend anything to the image.

 

 

Which do you like?

  

 SEVEN; HORIZONTAL OR VERTICAL?–MAKE THE DECISION LATER.

These two elements can convey a 180 degree feeling in an image. Who’s to say which is right? The right one is the one you like. However, in the field often we are too busy with exposure, focus, lighting etc. to make this cognitive choice

 I suggest photographing your image both ways and deciding which one is more pleasing when you get home, on your monitor. I see few vertical calendars, and few horizontal magazine covers. You may want to take into affect how these images will be used.

  

80-200mm
28-70mm

EIGHT: PICK THE RIGHT LENS: Using the right lens can make or break your entire image or convey a totally different emotion that desired. In conducting as many workshops as I do I often see folks trying to photograph a great subject with the wrong lens. Why does this happen? I truly believe that some, if not most photographers are more comfortable, or “see” in certain focal lengths, and often neglect ones more suitable for a specific image. Other photographers are too much in a hurry (see commandment # 9 below) to experiment to attain the right focal length.  It takes some time to unpack, put on one lens then try another. One aid is to use an empty 35mm slide (large format photographers can use a larger sized cut out made of cardboard). By studying the scene through the empty slide is becomes clearer and easier to determine how the powerful parts of your scene affect the subject. In time, I have developed a good sense of what lens to use, but far from always.

 

     NINE PHOTOGRAPHY LESS & LOOK MORE. Perhaps this commandment should have been #1. I often see photographers in the filed with usually better equipment than I, approaching a subject hastily, not understanding the subject, the environment, the light and  more that goes into making a artistic photograph. I hear shutters clicking like machine guns.

 Not only are these images made this way likely to fail, the photographer may as well be handholding a cheap point & shoot camera. He or she has removed any aesthetic feeling of the scene, both photograph able as well as the self enjoyment that a location can deliver. There is no doubt that the photographer that slows down, studied the possibilities will always walk away with a superior image. It is not uncommon for me to be or on a days shoot and come back with 10 -15 frames. I often remember my days using film, and use those as a reminder that slowing down is key to success. If I have one successful image per day in the field, I would be a happy guy!

What slowing down does is allows up to see, to determine the best angle, position or location to set up your tripod. Learning to see allow one to take the time necessary to make a photograph that is artistic rather than a post card shot.

   TEN:  BECOME an ARTIST   Understanding the elements of a certain location, our equipment, using correct exposure, and knowing all the “rules” is only part of the equation. Being an artist is using these ingredients to make emotion evoking photographs using your vision

Committing to slowing down and becoming an artist is demanding. Few photographers are true artists. Artists are ones who are free to express their emotions though their photography as well as having unlimited artistic freedom.

I recommend reading the chapter on being an artist by Alain Briot (as well as the whole book!) in Alain’s book” Mastering Landscape Photography”. Rather than me parroting Alain’s writing, I’ll let Alain go into depth regarding this subject. This is a must read for any serious photographer I suggest hearing it from the artist himself.

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-Book-1.html

What I would mention however, is that when you are out in the field making a fine art print consider the ultimate viewer.

We see in multi dimensions. A photograph is not three dimensional. Often photographers arrive at a dramatic location and say to themselves” I want to make this a great image so I can go home, and show so and so where I was and let them go WOW!”

Where you are is almost impossible to replicate to the viewer. The viewer doe not have the emotional attachment since they were not there. They don’t have the ability to have heard the sounds, felt the wind, sun etc that you did.

Quaking aspens, babbling brooks, the smell of the dirt in the Palouse in the spring, etc can not be transmitted in a print. Give up trying to photograph to show other where you were and work on making a work of art.

                                      

Gov’t mucking up the waters….again!…The recovery of the gray wolf to the Rocky Mountains is an Endangered Species Act success story. After nearly being eradicated from the American West, Endangered Species Act protections brought the wolf back from the brink of extinction.

 Recent reports indicate that Department of Interior Secretary Salazar is actively promoting legislation, likely in the form of a rider to the CR or omnibus appropriations, that would strip away ESA protections from the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies.

 The proposed legislative de-listing is anti-science and anti-democratic. If enacted, it would remove vital safeguards for Northern Rockies wolves in opposition to science based management. Worse, it would preclude the American public from petitioning for the reinstatement of these protections regardless of how few wolves remain.

 As a constituent, I am writing to strongly urge you to reject any legislative proposal by the Secretary of Interior to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.

 Thank you for continuing to work to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places.

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6014/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=4907

Please remember that time is running out fast to receive the pre Jan2011 registration discount on my 2011 Photography Workshops. here is the schedule and registration form

 REGISTRATION FORM 2011              information can be found :http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops

DISCOUNTS:    2011 WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS

 1)       10% discount for returning attendees  

2)       10% discount if you pre-register for a workshop(s) prior to Jan 1, 2011. Deposit must be received by 12/31/2010.

3)       10% discount for NANPA members ( www.nanpa.org)

4)       Bring a friend ( new attendee) — –new attendee comes at ½ price

5)       Refer a friend –choice—a $50.00 credit off your registration is you attend (can be put to a future workshop) or a check for $25.00. No restrictions on referrals.

6)       Buy 4 get one free…..   Attend 4 workshops.. Get one free. ( they all count… not just in year)

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THINK TANK CAMERA BAG’S OFFER:

Think Tank Photo is a company the produces quality well designed camera backpacks/bags. I own more than  a couple of their bags and love them.  Without question, they are the best made, and most functional bags on the market.

 For the holiday season Think Tank Photo is offering a free gift when you purchase one of their products. The free gear includes the Cable Management 20, the Pixel Pocket Rocket memory card holder, the Modular Pouch, Camera Strap, and the Security Tag.

At checkout their system automatically asks you which gear you would like to receive for free with your order.

See the latert Think Tank Photo products here:   http://www.thinktankphoto.com/affiliates.aspx?code=AP-371

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HARD TO BELIEVE THIS—well maybe not

RED ROCK CANYON DEFACED      http://www.friendsofredrockcanyon.org/graffiti.php

 Maroon and blue paint covers pictographs drawn by ancient inhabitants and petroglyphs scraped and ground long ago into rocks at the scenic preserve about 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

“We can get them restored but it will be very, very expensive to remove the paint without damaging the pictographs,” Williams said. “They are just one of the most fragile cultural sites we have.”

The drawings date back to A.D. 1000 and were probably made by the known prehistoric archaeological cultures that lived in the area, such as the Virgin Anasazi or the Paiute.

Hikers visiting from Oregon reported the graffiti found less than a half-mile from the main road that twists across Red Rock in early November. The graffiti includes the words “Red Rock 2010” and “Nevada has chronic” sprawled across several rock formations.

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GRAY WOLVES and the US GOVT—PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!(should be self-explanatory)

 Recent reports indicate that Department of Interior Secretary Salazar is actively promoting legislation, likely in the form of a rider to the CR or omnibus appropriations, that would strip away ESA protections from the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies.

The proposed legislative de-listing is anti-science and anti-democratic. If enacted, it would remove vital safeguards for Northern Rockies wolves in opposition to science based management. Worse, it would preclude the American public from petitioning for the reinstatement of these protections regardless of how few wolves remain.

 As a constituent, I am writing to strongly urge you to reject any legislative proposal by the Secretary of Interior to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.

 Thank you for continuing to work to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places. 

Endangered Species act

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6014/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=4907

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Previsualizing for Potential…2011 Workshops…Savings from NIK Software & Hunt’s Photo…NANPA Summit 2011… Getting it Right

Greetings from Oregon!

Things are pointing to years end and the beginning of another new year. And as usual I am trying to get caught up! First, I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. We all have a lot to be thankful for.

There’s quite a lot of information included in this entry and some important thoughts on some important  photographic topics. Thanks for taking some time to read through.  I’ve included some information on the new NIK HDR PRO program from NIK SOFTWARE as well as some pretty amazing discounts for those of you who don’t already own these programs. They have become standard tools for processing images by most of the working pro’s I know.  Also, there is a link to some specials that Gary at Hunt’s sent me today. Please check out the NANPA summit information as well.Your comments are always appreciated.

JG

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Article: Previsualize the Potential

Ansel Adams introduced the method of pre visualization into the photographer’s dictionary.  This was a term he used to stress the importance of seeing in the photographer’s mind, exactly what the final print would be, prior to attempting to make the photograph. Remember that word “make”.

There are three times we as photographers must go through this pre visualization process.

I) —Prior to reaching a potential location:

I can not remember ever being successful the 1st time I visited a location and tried and make quality images. It always amazes me to see other photographers, and also photography workshop leaders take their students to a location like Mono Lake, California for instance, walk them down to a shooting spot, many times in the dark and ask them to try and make a quality photograph of the sunrise over the tufa. This is almost an impossible task even at ones 2nd or 3rd visits to this area. It’s important to study the area, weather etc and be prepared to make your attempt at a decent image.

However, once you’ve been to a location a few times, it becomes easier to predict what the weather, seasonal environment etc can be. Understanding these criteria, you can now set in your mine where you may locate yourself, and what the best potential for a quality image might be. I do this sometimes even before going to bed, prior to a sunrise shoot. (I always hope for the best but often am often disappointed). Try previsualizing while driving to your location. Instead of blasting music or God forbid the news on the way to a location, try some music to set the mood or maybe no music at all, and think about what the potential of the day could be. Is the image your out to attempt better vertically or horizontally? (I always start with composition). If the light is good, and the subject is what you feel is strong, then think about what lens you may need. Might you need a graduated filter? Without this preconceived image, more often than not, the final image will fail due to lack of technique, however creativity, or the ability to see an image is always primary.

Previsualize the potential

II) Now that you are at the location, previsualize even more.

Upon arrival at your location you’ll find the conditions are either what you though they were, no where near what they could have been, or more often somewhere in the middle. It’s time to previsualize again.

While looking at the scene, think of your final print. There are no cameras, at any level of sophistication can imagine what is in our mind and how we see an image. You now need to think if you must frame the scene differently, and technically make necessary changes as best you can to make the image (and thus the print) look the way you want.

I often hear many of today’s amateur photographers say that their cameras (no matter how sophist aced they may be, just do not produce the images they expect. What they are saying is that they are not getting results the way they see them in real life, or through the viewfinder. Inevitably, many of these photographers blame the camera for failing to deliver the desired results. By previsualing we are far more likely to capture the desired image rather than be disappointed because of not preparing, and trying to photograph a subject without previsualizing.

Making fine art images is not luck. Sure, rarely may you just hit it right. I tell folks to think about their top 10 images they have photographed. I bet none of them were due to luck. You were either prepared beforehand and knew technically what you were doing. The photographer must be part of the creative process from beginning to end

Previsualize the potential

III- The Print……. Think about the print, while in the field!

The final print is where we determine the success or failure of an image (not what we see on a monitor, viewing high compression jpegs.). Believe me; Ansel Adams previsualized exactly what he was going to do in the darkroom, at the time he was making the image in the field. You must do the same.  After the image is made in the field, your aesthetic tastes are now the method of pre visualization.

Before making the image in the fields think about the final print. Should it be black & white? What kind of paper should we use? Will I be using any creative software… and on and on.

The photographer is an artist and as such must be a willing to be an active participant in every step leading up to the image’s final result, which is the print. This theory is explained in depth in Galen Rowell’s book, The Inner Game of Outdoor Photography. However without previsualizing the entire process more often than not, your images will be less than desired.

Previsualize the potential.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

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2011 Workshop Schedule…...

Below is lots of information concerning my  2011Photography  workshops. Please note the discounts: The most important one certainly is the 10% savings if you pre register by Jan 1 2011.

I also put together a 13 page PDF regarding my 2011 workshops. Dates, pricing and descriptions are included. Please contact me if you have any questions.

2011 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE Dates & Descriptions)         REG MASTER 2011 (Registration Forms)        and…. #2 DW_GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION

2011 WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS

1)       10% discount for returning attendees (you all qualify!)

2) 10% discount if you pre-register for a workshop(s) prior to Jan 1, 2011. Deposit must be received by 12/31/2010.

3)       10% discount for NANPA members ( www.nanpa.org)

4)       Bring a friend ( new attendee) — –new attendee comes at ½ price

5)       Refer a friend –choice—a $50.00 credit off your registration is you attend (can be put to a future workshop) or a check for $25.00. No restrictions on referrals.

6)       Buy 4 get one free…..   Attend 4 workshops.. Get one free.

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BLACK FRIDAY at NIK SOFTWARE    click here to access:    NIK SOFTWARE

For those of you who have taken one of my workshops and those who know me have heard me say that “the difference between a really good image and a great one is usually not a lot”. You also probably know my feelings about the great products at Nik Software (www.niksoftware.com) In the interest of time; suffice to say that every image I process uses NIK Software in some way. Nik Software has been accepted by working pro photographers across the board and is almost the standard software used to improve your digital images. Over the past month or so there have been 2 new exciting additions to the NIK family. First, now all programs are in 64 bit. Second NIK has introduced the long awaited, highly touted HDR PRO software. I’ll be doing an extended review with examples of the HDR software on my blog very soon. I’ve been using HDR PRO from NIK now for a few weeks and frankly I am blown away not only by the results, but by the ease of operation. And yes, Nik has incorporated its “U-Point” technology into HDR pro, setting it away from the competition.

OK… enough horn blowing for now! NIK has made you all an offer you can’t refuse. If you thinking about purchasing NIK Software by the program or together in the suite, here is an offer you can’t pass up. If you use my code = JGRAHAM when ordering online….

Promo period: 12:00am Wed., 11/24 through 11:59pm Tue., 11/30

Discount Pricing:   remember to use this code JGRAHAM when ordering to receive these discounts  —  click here to access:    NIK SOFTWARE

  • Complete Collection Ultimate Edition $419.95 ($180 savings)
  • Complete Collection Light room/Aperture Edition $219 ($80 savings)
  • Color Efex Pro 3 Complete $209.95 ($90 savings)
  • Dfine 2 $69.95 ($30 savings)
  • HDR Efex Pro $139.95 ($20 savings)
  • Silver Efex Pro $139.95 ($60 savings)
  • Sharpener Pro 3 $139.95 ($60 savings)
  • Viveza 2 $139.95 ($60 savings)

Nik Viveza helped bring out the shadows in the foreground here, using the patented U Point technology!

Remember, the difference between a really good image and a great one is usually not a lot. NIK can put an image over the top. Oh yes–check out their informative web site with tutorials, videos and demo on their entire product. The folks at NIK certainly don’t leave a stone unturned when it comes to education. Find the NIK Radio section under “community”, scroll down to the interview on or about September 1 (I did it with my good friend Mike Moats) and check out the interview I did for NIK radio if you have not already.

Speaking of NIK Software, I’ve really been enjoying the results of the new HDR PRO Program.

Here is a set of 5 images taken at Ft. Point in San Francisco. I used a 1.5 stop setting.

This image would not have been possible without HDR processing. Nik made it simple and the results speak for themselves.

So next I wanted to see what NIK’S  HDR PRO would do in a outside location…..  again very impressive. These frames were shot only 1 stop apart. Different lighting requires different settings.

I did a bit of cropping and used NIK’S Viveza, Color Efex Pro as well as Define to add the  finishing touches

HUNT’S PHOTO & VIDEO   SAVINGS: My good friends at Hunt’s have some super specials starting tonight.  At 10PM. I have been using Hunt’s for my equip needs for quite a while now and I guarantee that one you experience the personal service and guidance, you’ll be please as well. About a year and 1/2 ago I drowned a Nikon 200 Macro lens. They were 9 and I think still am) impossible to find… well Hunt’s found one for me. I recently had a workshop attendee looking for a new Nikon D7000 (go try and find them today!–next to impossible) well John at Hunt’s found one for my workshop attendee.

You can call Gary Farber (Hunts VP) (800-221-1830 x 2332) or his assistant John Duggan direct: 781-462-2314 for the best service, the same or better pricing than NYC and extras for NANPA members!

Here is the link for the specials starting tonight.   HUNTS SPECIALS_STARTS WED 11_24 at 10PM EST

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2011 NANPA SUMMIT / Mc aAllen Tx  March 2011       CLICK HERE for FULL  INFORMATION   NANPA INFO and NANPA SUMMIT 2011 INFORMATION

The 2011 NANPA (North American Photography Association) Summit is in Mc Allen en Texas this coming March. NANPA is a growing organization dedicated to everything that we are all concerned about regarding Nature Photography. I encourage you to visit the website and drill down to see the great things NANPA does to help preserve our great landscape for our fellow nature photographers.

If you have never been to a NANPA summit before, it’s really hard to explain the benefits of attending. The networking alone is worth more than the price of admission. There are breakout sessions featuring some of the best nature photographers sharing their information making this one amazing learning experience. Come see Jack Dykinga give the key note address they year in Mc Allen. I could go on, but click here for lots if great information. I hope to see you there!

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ONE FINAL THOUGHT…..

I edited lots of images last night and as usual trashed most. I really believe to become an above average photographer you must be really tough on yourself and only keep images that are superior… not the ones that are kind of ok.

I think my background in music has made what I am about to talk about really clear to me.

Painted Hills, Oregon

The frustrating thing to me is that every now and then, you (I) actually “Get it right”, meaning getting the image just the way I saw it, wanted it to look and that I did all that needed to be done to make a great shot. This doesn’t happen every time out. It may be every 2nd shoot or 3rd shoot or just once in 6 months., but every now and then you (I) “get it right”… you really “nail the image”, You see it, you know everything you need to in order to create a perfect image… and I mean perfect.

What makes it worse is when you do “Get it right”… you then know you CAN do it, and you know you’re not crazy… and that there is some kind of a truth there.

This “truth” is a standard or a level of proficiency needed to be at, or the level you want to climb to , to be able to “get it right” more times than not,… in what ever you do, in my case in photography.

I think that each time we (I) set out to make images the goal is to become more consistent and get closer to that truth that you have established in you’re mind.
But here’s the kicker! As you get closer to that truth, that truth moves at the same rate, higher and away from where you are, as your standards change and grow. It becomes harder to reach that “level”

This is why creativity can be such a challenge. This is why so many of my fellow photographers are really happy with 10 great images per year, and 3 or 4 “signature” ones!

WORKSHOPS / article…SHOOT and GET NOTICED

  

 

We have one more space for open for our 2010 FALL COLOR in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA  NOV 4-7 2010 workshop. We’ll be spending a  full day in the Napa Valley, another in the Point Reyes and Marin Headland areas. Another day in San Francisco and along the coast south of San Francisco will follow. For more details please contact me : jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

 

 

        Information on my 2011 workshops can be found on my web site www.jackgrahamphoto.com

                      2011 Workshop schedule  and registration form: 2011 Workshop Schedule.v3

 

 

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SHOOT and GET NOTICED

 Images and text ©Jack Graham…All Rights Reserved

 I don’t know many nature photographers who began making quality images immediately, as a way to earning income from their photography.  Though earning income is important to a working pro,   our love and respect of the outdoors, nature, and the desire to communicate via the lens is the motivating factor.  As time I became more passionate with my photography, I wanted to capture images with the same quality as the “pros” that I see in publications.  As we all know, photography can be expensive. To justify my travel and equipment budget it was time to figure out how to actually make some money in photography.  Here are some of my tips to get noticed and maybe even published.

 Barker Dam, Joshua Tree Nat’l Park                                                             © Jack Graham Photography

PHOTOGRAPH POPULAR SUBJECTS

 Go over to your local bookstore and check out the calendar and card sections.  You will notice that the subject material is made up of images that offer 1)vivid color, 2) grand landscapes, 3)dramatic big game action, or 4)  just the cute young animal close to its mother etc. We all strive to photograph many other subjects, but these 4 subjects make up the vast majority of commercial nature photography sales.   ……………..remember……….. Cute sells!

 

 

 

 

THINK GLOBALLY but SHOOT LOCALLY

Local photography is a must. More often than not there are outlets like bookstores, gift shops and other retail environments where you might sell some of your work. If you are lucky to live in an area that attracts tourism that’s even better. Check you competition.

I have found that your target customers often are looking for that local flavor, rather than the grand landscape image shot 2000 miles away.

Shoot, package and market your work to be different. Obviously, not having to make long trips also cuts down on your expenses.

I am lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest where there are lots of photographic opportunities. Most locations do offer some local subject matter that is often marketable in the right situations.

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPH in the RIGHT LIGHT

Save your time & energy during mid day. Those are the time process images and find the great locations to go back to when the light is sweet, early and late in the day. As Galen Rowell said, ” Bad weather makes for good photography”. Snowstorms, dramatic clouds, fog, and wet conditions can really improve your results. The rich green in the trees of the forests is accentuated by rain. The light is flat. All these variables will even add more interest to your images

Always get to your location at least 45  minutes hour before sunrise and stay at least ½ or later after sunsets. This is the time of the “sweet” light. You need to know precisely when sunrise and sunset occurs, as well as aware of the weather conditions. (There are some great iPhone and iPad apps for this now!). The images at left was a dramatic sunrise close to my home. Imagine this without the fog?

Don’t forget the alpenglow! Alpenglow appears before sunrise, after sunset and lasts only a few minutes. These rays bounce through the atmosphere twice, once on the way down to the earth and again on the way back up.

The peaks of mountains and clouds will catch this light on the way back up. This glow will make these peaks intense colors of red, yellow and purple. Alpenglow is often a pinkish or orange palate.

 

                                                                                                                                                             

Sunrise, Death Valley National Park  © Jack Graham Photography

And then there are those special times, when it just happens!!!!

                                                                                                                Rainbow over pond, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon                           ©Jack Graham Photography

 BE TECHNICALY PROFICIENT

Study your manuals (I still reread mine very often) and strive to know your equipment in and out. You should know where all your camera settings are without thinking. Work to perfect your exposure technique. In other words, knowing all there is to know technically allows you to concentrate on composition and vision. Being technically proficient allow you to use your right brain to properly compose a great image.  Use the slowest ISO you can (it will make for better prints), and as John Shaw says, “Carry the heaviest tripod you want to carry”! Know what’s in your camera bag and vehicle & where it is. How many shots have we all missed in the good light looking for the right lens, filter or even tripod!  Always use good technique with all of you’re equipment.

Avoid this!!

 

 

 

VERTICLE or HORIZONTAL?

Don’t make the decision in the field. Even though you may be right shoot both ways. Make the final decision at the light box or computer. Remember calendars use horizontals; books and magazine covers use mostly verticals. Magazines use both.

  Which one looks better? Photograph the subject both ways and then decide after you get home. Both images are Latourell Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon  © Jack Graham Photography

                

 

 

 

HINT: If you are trying to sell a magazine cover, don’t forget to leave space for text!

 

 

 SHOOT SCENES WITH PEOPLE

Don’t be afraid to include people. Magazines love scenes with hikers hiking. Putting a person in the image often adds a sense of depth to the image.  I know of a few photographers who actually carry a red or yellow jacked to offer to a prospective subject to add an eye-catching effect (Most of nature is green, blue & brown right?). 

Check out the yellow dot on the bridge.  Thats a person When this image is full size the yellow dot of the person really adds a sense of depth.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INCLUDE ACTION in PHOTOGRAPHY

Nothing attracts photo editors as well as most people like action. Animals running, birds in flight all convey a different feeling than then they are at rest. People often do the same.

This coyote is “mousing’, looking for a meal in Teton National Park.

  

 

USE BRIGHT COLORS IN YOUR IMAGES

Remember, some photo editors are not photographers. They look at images usually grouped on a large monitor). Almost without exception, they will be attracted to images that pop. (Just like we are)

                                                              Be it a flower or a building, strong coloration is going to pop pout to photo editors and consumers.

Day Lily, © Jack Graham Photography                                   

                                                                                                                                 Local Church on the Big Island, Hawaii © Jack Graham Photography

 

 

 

 

THE BUSINESS of NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

John Shaw’s book, THE BUSINESS of NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY contains almost everything you need to know about shooting to get noticed and venturing into making some money in nature photography. This book is a bible for anyone venturing into the business of nature photography.

 Buy it. Read it. Then read it again!

 

 

I am sure you will find some other aspects of what you might need to know in order to get your photography noticed, but these ideas are the basic things…. things even the pro’s  need to remember and practice when out making images.  By remembering these techniques, you will be on your way to make some great images that can be used in publication, editorial, prints etc that will help you get your photography noticed……… and maybe pay for that new lens you just bought!

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                                                                                                                     Goose Island, Glacier National Park                                                     © Jack Graham Photography

NEWS & NOTES/SW PHOTOGRAPHY & GUIDE INFO & a few images

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.

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

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

 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.

 WORKSHOPS:

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

THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE FOR 2010 /JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS CAN BE FOUND HERE ALONG WITH THE REGISTRATION FORM.

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

GENERAL INFORMATION ON EACH WORKSHOP CAN BE FOUND AT  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

© Mike Moats
©Mike Moats

Finally , Bill Fortney( www.billfortney.net),  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

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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.

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A classic view of beautiful Monument Valley

 PHOTOGRAPHING in NAVAJO COUNTRY, Arizona & Utah

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 http://www.antelopeslotcanyon.com/index.html

TOM PHILLIPS, MONUMENT VALLEY                    KEYH HOZHONI TOURS

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 tom@monumentvalley.com.  His web site is easily remembered; www.monumentvalley.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHECK OUT:

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

www.ryandesjardins.com/blog

RECENT IMAGES:

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