Category Archives: Grand Canyon NP

Winter Images from Grand Teton National Park / DAY 2

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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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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

Southwest / Navajo Country Photography Workshop / Mar-Apr 2011 / NFRCC CONVENTION FEB

NFRCC CONVENTION:  For those living in New York State, Pennsyalania and Ohio and SOuthern Onterio (Toronto area)… I’ll be doing some presentations at the NFRCC  Convention coming up soon in Niagara Falls NY. If you can make it I think you’ll find lots of great presenters, information and a fun time. Gary from Hunts Photo Video will be where with lots of show specials as well. Come on by!!  www.nfrcc.org

    50th Annual NFRCC Convention

Buy tickets on line now at http://www.nfrcc.org/sales    February 25-27, 2011
Niagara Falls Conference Center
Niagara Falls, New York

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SUNRISE AT MONUMENT VALLEY

SOUTHWEST PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP     SLOT CANYONS, MONUMENT VALLEY AND MORE

DATES:  March 31-April 3 2011                (Wed PM- through Sunday 1-2PM)

PRICE:   $ 895.00 per person                    (Limited to 8 participants)

 

The price for all Navajo guides and location admittance is included)The 2011 SOUTHWEST PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP will feature some of the most simply amazing places found on the planet. A whirlwind 4 day photography workshop will cover some of the icons of the southwestern part of the United States.

 We will base out tour in Page Arizona along the Colorado River and the Arizona Utah border. Page is about 275 miles north of Phoenix. The drive up to the Colorado Plateau country from the desert in Phoenix is about 5 hours, but the landscape is simply beautiful. We will also spend one day and one night in Monument Valley, in the heart of Navajo Country. There are so many well known areas within a days drive of Page it’s hard to put everything into one three 1/2 day workshop.

Tear Drop Window

 Some of the areas that we will photograph include:

 UPPER and LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

                      

Located on LeChee Navajo lands near Page, Arizona, Upper Antelope and Lower Antelope are breathtakingly beautiful and quite easy to reach and explore. Both slot canyons are open to visitors by permit, as conditions allow. A small fee is charged.

 The Corkscrew. (Upper Antelope) isn’t as long or as deep as many slot canyons, but it is amazingly beautiful! Its sensuously sculpted walls twist and wind along, glowing in unbelievable shades of red, orange, and yellow as the sun passes overhead. Upper Antelope is also one of the easiest slot canyons to visit, since you’ll be driven right up to the entrance, there are no drop-offs inside, and the ground is sandy and fairly level throughout. It does get very, very dark toward the end, where the walls are tightest.

 Lower Antelope is a long, very deep slot canyon of mesmerizing beauty. A more challenging slot than Upper Antelope, this one is entered through a slit in the rocks at ground level, where a series of ladders take you to the bottom of the gorge. The ground is rocky and uneven, there are usually muddy areas here and there, and the canyon’s twists, bends, and narrow passageways trap debris in piles that can be difficult to get through. You need hiking boots and a good sense of adventure to fully enjoy this slot canyon.

Late March and AprilValley MONUMENT is prime time for light beams in Upper Antelope Canyon

DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER: We may go to Water Holes Canyon. This is 7 miles S of Page on HWY 89.

 

 

Sunrise, Monument Valley

MONUMENT

 VALLEY 

We will travel on Saturday afternoon over to Monument Valley (about 100 miles from Page), in time for sunset. Monument Valley is part of the Navajo Nation tribal park, straddling the border of northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah of the Colorado Plateau. It preserves the Navajo way of life and some of the most striking and recognizable landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest. The area is entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation near the small Indian town of Goulding, established in 1923 as a trading post, and now has a comprehensive range of visitor services. We will stay in Goulding’s Hotel at the entrance to Monument Valley. Other accommodations are available in Kayenta, about 20 minutes away.  Sunday will be spent in the park photographing with a Navajo guide (required)

 

Big Water area

 

Big Water

Big Water is located just north of Lake Powell. This surreal are feathers dramatic, unearthly landscapes that offer never ending photographic opportunities. This location is so surreal that Disney recently filmed the motion picture”John Carter of Mars” is based on the comic book and hard book series by author Edgar Rice Burroughs, that took place on Barsoom (Mars) with the first one being The Princess of Mars. Barsoom is being created in Big Water on “the moon” an area where “Highway to Hell” was filmed and dinosaur remains can be found. Balancing rocks and the gray Tropic Shale (rock) make it a place unlike most others and perfect for BarsoomRoad Old.

 We’ll spend an afternoon out here! 

Paint Hills on the old Pariah Road

Old Pariah Movie Set Road & Vermilion CliffsThe Vermilion Cliffs themselves must be one of the most spectacular and extensive cliff faces in the US – unusually colorful because of the especially variegated Chinle Formation that forms the lower strata, the escarpment runs for over 30 miles and reaches heights of 2,000 feet. Further to the southeast, the land is quite flat for 100 miles or more though is split by the Colorado River, at the start of its Grand Canyon.

At Marble Canyon, (below left)  Arizona you will cross over the Colorado River and you can stop at the Navajo Bridge to walk out and look at the river below.   Take United States Highway 89 South toward Tuba City.  The massive boulders you see along the highway and across the desert were placed there by the same erosion forces that created the Grand Canyon.

 

 

 

 

 

Lee’s Ferry is a tiny settlement next to the Colorado River at the end of a side road 6 miles from ALT US 89, not especially interesting itself but surrounded by some remarkable scenery. The village is named after John D. Lee, a Mormon settler with 17 wives who established a ferry there in 1871 whilst in exile following his role in the massacre of 70 emigrants near St. George, Utah. The ferry provided the only crossing of the river for nearly 60 years until a bridge was built a few miles downstream, where the present day route 89 crosses now.

Horseshoe Bend

 

HORSESHOE BEND

 Tamed by the Glen Canyon Dam, the emerald-green Colorado River makes a gigantic bend more than a thousand feet below the overlook, swinging first to the east, and then curving back to the west. It’s a spectacular place, where shadows shift by the minute and new details drift constantly into your awareness.

 The image on the left is taken from lookout point.t I’ve shot this many times and there is only a few ways to shoot it right. I’ll wok with you al & share my technique to get THE Shot……But it’s a 900 foot drop off! That little speck in the water is a motor boat

Horseshoe Bend is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near Page.  It is located slightly downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell about four miles or 6 km south of Page. Accessible via a 34-mile (1.2 km) hike from U.S. Route 89, it can be viewed from the steep cliff above, forming a spectacular vista.

Late Afternoon at Lake Powell

 LAKE POWELL 

Lake Powell is the 2nd largest reservoir in the United States, capable of storing over 24.3 million acre-feet of water. In addition it is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Large sandstone rock creations are everywhere. This surrealistic landscape of crystal-clear lake surrounded by colorful canyons, peaks and buttes makes for some simply amazing photography

 

Depending on weather conditions and time factors, other areas that we may visit could be:

Coral Pink Sand Dune State Park, Utah

Lees Ferry (close to Vermilion Cliffs)

Goosenecks (just outside Medicine Hat, Utah neat Mon. Valley

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TENTATIVE ITINERARIES (These may change due to weather and light conditions)

Wednesday PM March 30, 7-9PM Meet at the Marriott Courtyard, Page AZ for an informal session to discuss itineraries, and workshop expectations. Discussion of photographic topics and images will also take place

 Thursday AM March 31 – Vermilion Cliffs, Lower Antelope Old Pariah Movie Set Road, Lake Powell Sunset

 Friday            Apr 1- Horseshoe Bend Sunrise, Upper Antelope Canyon, Classroom r, image review session, Big Water area

 Saturday        Apr 2- Sunrise Location.  Image review, NOON-3pm DRIVE TO MONUMENT VALLEY—SUNSET SHOOT, Tear Drop Window/ PM Dinner, Golding’s IMAGE REVIEW

 Sunday          Apr 3—Sunrise-1PM– GUIDED TOUR WITH GUIDE/ MONUMENT VALLEY—-Workshop ends 1-2 PM

 

The majority of instruction and nature photography tips and techniques will take place right there in the field. There’s no need to take notes. After the workshop you’ll receive a complete 50+ page syllabus containing everything we do in the field and more.

 We take time periodically during the day to review our images in informal critique sessions. Special presentations concerning nature photography will also be made during these sessions.

 My workshops are sponsored by NIK SOFTWARE, Photograph America Newsletter, Think Tank Photo Bags, Lensbaby , Hunt’s Photo and Video and the Really Right Stuff. Discounts and some freebies are included in your workshop “pack” that you’ll receive upon arrival.

 Evenings will consist of informal sessions to discuss information on photographing in the area, critique sessions of your work shot during the workshop as well as general photography information.

As with all our workshops, this is primarily a field workshop. We do not sit in a classroom during the daytime. We are out shooting & learning about photography in the field, not behind a desk. However, it is critical as well as being very informative, to take time to review your work, and discuss important aspects of making quality photographs

 TRAVEL INFORMATION 

 By AIR:

I recommend flying into Phoenix, (PHX). I recommend arriving no later than mid afternoon on Thursday. I’ll be in Page by Wednesday afternoon. (1-PM) it’s about a 5 ½-6 hr scenic drive from Phoenix. You can fly to Flagstaff (fares much higher) and drive 2 ½ hrs to Page.

 LODGING:

PAGE:   Courtyard Page at Lake Powell,600 Clubhouse Drive Page, Arizona 86040 USA Phone:1-928-645-5000        

Toll-free:1-877-905-4495  

We will depart the Marriott Courtyard location VERY early each morning for a sunrise shoot. We will meet on Wednesday evening 3/31, for a discussion on what to expect and outline our photographic objectives. We will depart daily from the Marriott Courtyard

Saturday  (about noon, so we’ll we will check out early) we’ll  drive about 2 hours over to Monument Valley, following our morning location, in time for a late afternoon/ sunset shoot in the valley

 Monument Valley:  Goulding’s (www.gouldings.com) is a great place to stay. It is only about 5 minutes from the Monument Valley parking lot. Less expensive accommodations are found in Kayenta AZ, about 20 minutes from Monument Valley.

 The workshop will end on Sunday about 1PM.  If you may want to extend your trip, please let me know and I can direct you in lots of ways! It’s about a 6 hour drive back to Phoenix from Monument Valley. For those flying out Sunday night I recommend not booking flights earlier than 8PM. I would highly recommend staying by the airport and flying out Monday AM.

 It’s about a 5-6 hour trek back to Phoenix from Monument Valley.

PHONE NUMBERS ARE FOUND BELOW:

COURTYARD by MARIOTT PAGE AZ 928-645-5000      
GOULINGS MV UTAH 425-727-3231      
FAIRFIELD INN, MARIOTT PHOENIZ APT  PHX 480-829-0700      
       
       
                 

Lower Antelope CanyonCAR POOLING: We’ll be car pooling as much as possible to save on expenses. This arrangements will be made on Wednesday night, when we initially meet.

 FOOD/DINING

During the day, we should carry energy bars and maybe a few candy bars. We will be able to grab a quick bite certainly on Thursday and Friday in Page before or after our trips into the slots. We can do the same on the way to Monument Valley on Saturday.

Eating is not a problem on this workshop.

 We will eat in the Navajo restaurant at Golding’s on Saturday night…..However, we are here to photograph and often the best light is at breakfast and dinner. Please know this in advance.

 WEATHER

The weather is generally good in the area this time of year. High temp’s average 60-65 and low’s around 40-45. At this elevation, even this time of year, you can get sunburned so make sure to bring a hat or maybe even some sunscreen for your arms.

More details will follow after registration prior to the tour dates.

Also:

Remember the Grand Canyon is not very far away. You may want to schedule a visit there either before or after the workshop!



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!

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