Category Archives: Olympic NAtional Park

Scouting before a Photography Workshop

© Jack Graham

I am a photography workshop leader. As one, I am constantly looking for new locations to bring my attendees to. I don’t conduct workshops in areas where I am not familiar, but even in familiar locations, I am always looking for new locations for my attendees. (Images below were taken yesterday). We are here scouting in Olympic National Park prior to the start of our photo workshop later this week.

Along with my good friend and able assistant Grant Longenbaugh, we set out for a location that I’ve never been to. Grant discovered this area on his map and after review, we decided to go exploring. We both agreed there was lots of potential. It ended up to be even better than we expected.  Though we had some pesky rain all afternoon (perfect conditions for photographing the rain forest) we were able to find to quite a few locations in this area that will is provide some great locations for my workshop group, starting on Thursday morning here in ONP.

Yes, it was only Monday but scouting locations prior to the beginning of a photography workshop for my attendees is absolutely necessary. , These folks, who are arriving tomorrow night are traveling long distances, taking time out of their busy lives and are spending hard earned money to come here with me.  This is the least I can do is make their time worth it. Again, I love taking folks to new exciting locations. This workshop here in Olympic National Park this week will be no different!

I am heading back there this morning after my office work is completed. I bet we find even more locations to bring folks to. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but not all leaders do this. As well,  I don’t share these and other locations  with others leaders. This is another reason why if folks come along on a photography workshop with me, we’ll get you into these kind of areas.

Well,  now to get my email and other workshop office work completed so I can get dressed for rain, prepare my gear and get back into the rain forest…another great day of scouting.—JG.

  

 

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

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

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

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

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

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NIK SOFTWARE HDR EFEX PRO2 is HERE !–Details…2013 Workshop Schedule / Guy Tal E-Book (must have) / Iceland 2012

Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

_______________________________________________________________

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

2012 Registration Form   REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

2013 WORKSHOP INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION FORM: REGISTRATION FORM 2013v1

 Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s: GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2013a

______________________________________________________________________________

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

 

Noteworthy

ICELAND:

Next Tuesday ( 7/17) is departure day for me for my 2012 Iceland Photography Workshop. We have a great group going and as you might know, I am quite excited. I’ll be updating this site as much as possible with images and notes. Check back often!

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2013:…..My 2013 Workshops Schedule is ready. Please check it out. There are many new locations along with some of the “Old Standards”. Can 2013 be better than 2012. It’s will be tough but adding Greenland, Cuba and Utah are going to be exciting.

Guy Tal ( see below) and I run a workshop every October in the Eastern Sierra. We will be doing this again in 2013. In addition we are now in the beginning stages of putting together a workshop in the early Spring in Capital Reef National Park in Utah—-STAY TUNED!

 

 

 

www.guytal.com

Guy has really outdone himself this time. His new E-Book: Creative B&W Processing Techniques. Designed as a companion to his earlier title Creative Processing Techniques, the new eBook extends my creative process framework with concepts and techniques unique to digital processing of B&W images, along with thoughts on approaching B&W photography as an expressive visual art. The eBook includes examples of using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, and is focused on understanding a variety of tools and their application in telling your visual stories.

If you don’t purchase this for ONLY 9.95 —–  your really missing out.

Click here to download NOW! http://guytalbooks.com/catalog_show_ebook.php?bid=4

 

 

 

 

 

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 HDR EFEX PRO 2……..NEW FROM NIK SOFTWARE:   save 15% when using this code JGRAHAM when ordering at www.niksoftware.com

HDR Efex Pro 2 IS HERE!!!!   The new upgraded version of the already “Standard of the Industry” is now available It is a powerful new solution for quickly creating exceptionally realistic or creatively stunning high dynamic range images.

I am really picky about HDR and strive to make the images I DO process using HDR as realistic as I can. (reference https://jackgrahamphoto.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/hdr-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/ ) . After using this program for just a few hours, I can really see a really good improvement, and you are going to love the interface.

Even if you don’t ordinarily shoot HDR, ( I recommend being very picky about what you do and don’t photograph using HDR) you’ll be amazed at how realistic the new tone mapping algorithms will render your images. Combined with many new features, a revamped user interface, and improved performance, HDR Efex Pro 2 is going to be , like the original program, THE industry  standard for HDR.

 

Eastern Sierra Stream, 2011….. Images processed using the NEW…….NIK HDR EFEX PRO2 …LARGER VERSION BELOW

Key New Features:

  • NEW: Improved Tone Mapping Engine – Develop superior results with better color rendering and improved natural styles
  • UPDATED: Interface, Interaction, and Workflow – Benefit from improvements to the merging interface, tone mapping and enhancement controls, visual presets, and more
  • NEW: Depth Control – Enjoy added depth and realism in images with the new and proprietary Depth control, which helps counteract the flattened look commonly associated with HDR images
  • NEW: Full GPU Processing and Multi-Core Optimization – Gain even faster performance with GPU processing that takes full advantage of the processors found on modern display adapters
  • UPDATED: Ghost Reduction – Improved ghost reduction algorithm ensures that artifacts created by moving objects are removed with a single click
  • NEW: Chromatic Aberration Reduction – Reduce color fringes around objects
  • NEW: Graduated Neutral Density Control – Access the full 32-bit depth of the merged image, providing a natural effect especially on images with a strong horizon line
  • NEW: Full White Balance Control – Take full advantage of the white balance in an image with a new Tint slider, which along with the Temperature slider, can be applied both globally as well as selectively using U Point technology
  • NEW: History Browser – Easily review adjustments and different HDR looks via the History Browser which records every enhancement used in an editing session
  • NEW: Extended Language Support – International users benefit by the addition of Brazilian Portuguese and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) to a list of languages that includes English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese
  • …Dozens more features

 

Which one Works # 8 The Palouse Region of Eastern Washington… NEWS… & more

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

_____________________________________________________________________________

Playa Sunset, Death Valley NP

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

Workshop Registration Form: http://jackgrahamphoto.com/sites/default/files/REGISTRATION-FORM-2012v9.pdf

Workshop Overview http://jackgrahamphoto.com/workshop-overview

Workshop FAQ’S;  http://jackgrahamphoto.com/sites/default/files/GENERAL-WORKSHOP-QUESTIONS-FAQS-INFORMATION-v2012f.pdf

Workshop Referrals: http://jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

PODCAST: www.18percentgraymatter.com

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY   e books –available for purchase and immediate download http://jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

NEWS and NOTEWORTHY

It’s hard to believe we are now a few short weeks from  leaving for Iceland. I have one seat open should you want to come along. I’ll be updating this blog from Iceland while I am there.

http://jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

CUBA 2013 !!!!  Yes it’s going to happen. Details and itineraries will be published in about a week or so. Dates are Feb 8-15th 2013. Email me jack@jackgrahamphoto.com for information.

MORE in 2013—I’ll be formally announcing Utah (Zion area) in October 2013. Guy Tal (www.guytal.com ) and I are working on a joint workshop in…………. CAPITAL REEF     National Park sometime in April 2013—STAY TUNED!!!!

And dont forget ICELAND     http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-2013-limit-10-attendees

and GREENLAND    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-greenland-new-2013      in  JULY 2013

Below is a list of my workshops for the remainder of 2012. Of particular note is the workshop in Northern California in September 2012http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/autumn-napa-valley-san-francisco-and-northern-california-coast-pacific-northwest-art-school-photogra ) that I will be conducting with the Pacific Northwest Art School. September is a great time to be in this area. The summer crowds are gone and the air is a bit cooler and refreshing. In addition, the cost of this workshop is very attractive considering the itinerary and diverse subject matter. We will spend a full day in the beautiful win county of the Napa Valley. We will travel a bit Northwest through the Point Reyes area, then down to the Marin headlands for some great ocean views and a sunrise shoot of the Golden gate. After a morning in San Francisco, we’ll venture out to the coast, south of San Francisco for more ocean, and intimate landscape locations. Time is set to conduct presentations, image discussions and more. Please consider joining us. You can register with the PNWS here:  http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-fall-in-northern-ca-sep-20-23-2012-1 or by calling 866-678-3395.

Napa Sunrise

My 2013 workshop schedule is coming into shape. You can view it here. Another trek to Iceland is planned for July with an additional 9 day excursion to beautiful (and quite warm & pleasant and under photographed) Greenland.  I’ll be back in NE Ohio in October for fall color and once again a full day(including a private Amish dinner) with my Amish friends on their farm in Sugarcreek Ohio. I’ll be teaming up with my good friend, world class photographer and teacher Bill Fortney(www.billfortney.com) for a workshop you will not want to miss! I’ll also be announcing a workshop in late October 2013 in the red rock country (including Zion National Park) very soon. Details on these and more can be found here:     http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2013-photography-workshop-schedule

I received requests to link the webinar I conducted  for NIK SOFTWARE , back in March, entitled, “Keeping it Simple .You can view it here: ( if you purchase any or all of the NIK Software package… enter code JGRAHAM and receive a 15% discount!!!

http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php/webinars/archives/#/keeping-it-simple-with-nik-software-with-jack-graham/0/0/0/0/0

2012 Workshop Info:

ULTIMATE ICELAND, 10 days, JULY 2012 –ONLY 1 SEAT LEFT http://jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

OREGON COAST 5 DAYS!—August 2012—2 seats open http://jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-oregon-coast-cannon-beach-bandon-5-full-day

NAPA VALLEY, No. CALIFORNIA COAST, SAN FRANCISCO MORE!!!SEPTEMBER  2012 ( www.pacificnorthwestartschool.com ) few seats left, not many!  http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-fall-in-northern-ca-sep-20-23-2012-1

GRAND TETON NP  SEPTEMBER 2012 3 seats open http://jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-grand-teton-and-yellowstone-np-photography-workshop

17TH ANNUAL EASTERN SIERRA FALL WORKSHOP with GUY TAL www.guytal.com   JUST a FEW SEATS LEFT—filling fast   http://jackgrahamphoto.com/17th-annual-eastern-sierra-photography-workshop-mono-lake-alabama-hills-bristlecone-pine-bodie-more

 

More information found here: http://jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-photography-workshop-schedule

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 WHICH ONE WORKS?  ….  #8  The Palouse Region of Eastern Washington

In this series of articles, I discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the other.

Choosing one image over other similar images is one that we all deal with in our digital darkroom.

I suggest to you, as well as my workshop attendees to work the subject while in the field, make final decisions on your monitors at home.

The final image is important for whatever project it’s being used for, and spending time determining which image works vs. another is well worth it. In many case the slightest difference in composition, light etc. makes all the difference, Most of the time it is very clear which one is better for your individual needs than others, sometimes it’s not.

Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

Your comments, as always are more than welcome.—JG

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LOCATION:  THE PALOUSE region of Eastern Washington

 

Crop Dusting in the Palouse

As a photographer I visit many locations while conducting workshops as well as on my own photo excursions. There are two locations that are diametrically opposed but in many ways are photographically similar. I visit Death Valley National Park at least twice each year. Death Valley offers challenges to even the seasoned photographer. Unlike many of the National Parks, there are few icons. One must be on his or hers “A” game or making successful images in  Death Valley will be difficult to impossible. Photographers are there to depict the vastness and sometimes emptiness of the park. We go there to photograph the patterns and textures found within the rock formations. There is little green unless the winter rains produce some vegetation. In the Palouse region of Eastern Washington things could not be more different. If a country, Whitman County Washington, in the heart of the Palouse would be the third largest producer of Wheat in the world. What is more interesting is there is no real irrigation. The wheat that grows here is the result of the rain. What Death Valley and the Palouse have in common however is interesting. Both areas are extremely vast. From the vistas, overlooks and the many rural roads in the Palouse, we can see wheat fields almost to the horizon. In Death Valley, we can look down for miles at the dried playa, rock and sand features, all making up this expanse of dryness.  We photographers go the Palouse, just as we go to Death Valley to photograph the patterns and textures, not in rock or salt playa, but in the wheat fields and farmland.

Usually the first two weeks of June allow photographers to capture images depicting the  patterns and textures of the wheat fields. Again in August, at harvest time many photographers travel to small towns like Colfax, Oakesdale, Dusty and Steptoe to make images in the light produced by the dust created by the harvest machinery.

 

Like Death Valley, we must prepare, and slow down to study the scene before pressing the shutter. These two areas are so different in many ways, yet so alike in others.

 HE STORY:   On the last morning of my recent workshop in the Palouse, I decided, based on the light and weather conditions to revisit a barn I photographed a few days before the workshop started. This barn is on Highway 26 about 15 miles west of Colfax. For many years, I used this location to turn around to drive back east to the Colfax area. It’s a simple structure, not bright red like many of the barns in the Palouse. It’s located I a field that offers no other structures of any kind. By going there I wanted to send a message to my attendees of simplicity. If photographed correctly this location offers a simple but yet powerful subject. Upon arrival, I sensed from my attendees that they were not impressed with my location choice. The barn was not red; there was no foreground or apparent patterns. Why were we here? By the time we left all were happy and got the message. One attendee actually said this was his favorite location of the weekend. After we took our time and understood the subject everything became clear.

The title of this image is “Turnaround” based on my prior stops at this location. The resulting images were made within a few minutes of each other. I was pleased with one much more than the other two.

TECH DATA: All images made using my Nikon D700, Gitzo 3541 tripod and Really Right Stuff BH55 Ball Head    de images were taken using aNikon 80-200mm  2.8  lens, ISO 800, Shutter speed of 1/1000 sec at F11.. The ISO was high as was the shutter as the wind was blowing the wheat in the foreground. I wanted no movement showing.

PROCESSING: All images were processed in Adobe Lightroom camera RAW As always I used NIK SOFTWARE to complete my processing. I added some structure and fine tuning using Nik’s Viveza. With Color Efex Pro 4 I added some detail, brilliance and warmth, pro contrast, foliage enhancement and the Darken /Lighten Center filter. (I recommend NIK PRODUCTS without hesitation. You can receive a 15% discount by using my code JGRAHAM when ordering at www.niksoftware.com) .Nik’s output Sharpener was used to sharpen the final images. A final curve adjustment , level adjustment and Nik’s Define program (noise reduction).completed the processing.

Image # 1

 

THE EDIT:   

IMAGE #1 is more of a study of the barn. It shows the structure in its surroundings. It’s technically done well buy nothing I would put up on my wall. It is kind of a postcard I image. Without taking time to work the scene these type of images are ones often photographed. They do not convey the sense of place.

 

 

 

IMAGE # 2

Image # 2

Image two begins to convey what I was trying to depict in this scene. I used the foreground of the wheat in conjunction with the background to tell the story. The single barn in the field made this fairly minimalistic scene strong. The single cloud on the left also added some drama to the scene. I would have liked a bit more cloud showing and not running out of the scene.

 

 

Image # 3

IMAGE  #3 After waiting for a few minutes to see if some more clouds appeared, I was rewarded with a scene that was what I was looking for. I reduced the amount of foreground from Image # 2 as I determined that the amount of foreground was overwhelming the image. I also made this wider ythan the previous image in order to further depict the vastness of the area.

 

FINAL DECISION. Image #1 is a postcard image. Image #2 has too much foreground, not enough open space to tell the story I was attempting. The final image (IMAGE #3) is exactly what I wanted to capture in this scene. After about ½ hour in one location the clouds along with the adjustments made #3 my image of choice. It really tells the story of the Palouse with a minimalist, yet powerful scene I tried to convey. Image #3, to me is much more powerful than the other two images.

During the process of making these images and explaining my thought to my workshop attendees, I indicated that there in the field, I know this would become a monochrome image. I processed the image using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro . I really feel that the monochrome image is even stronger than the color rendition. When in the field I recommend you have , in your mind , the final result you are seeking. How we will process images is important to think about at the time the image is made.

 

What do you think?

 

The right to download and store or output any content on the  websites:  www.jackgrahamphoto.com and  www.jackgrahamsblog  is granted for preview purposes only and may not be reproduced in any form. All Photographs appearing on this site are the property of Jack Graham unless otherwise noted.
These photos are protected by U.S.Copyright laws and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Jack Graham
By entering this site you accept these terms. If you need permission to use a photo on this site please call 503-625-21430 or email jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

 

Which one Works #6 -Sonoran Desert, make sure you are in the right spot!/ News, Workshop Update

                                    JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                           LEARN to CREATE

____________________________________________________________________________________

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

Workshop Registration Form: REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Overview http://jackgrahamphoto.com/workshop-overview

Individual ONE on ONE workshops  http://jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’S  GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

Workshop Referrals: http://jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

PODCAST: www.18percentgraymatter.com

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY   e books –available for purchase and immediate download http://jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

Jack on 500PX  http://500px.com/JackGraham/photos     Jacks Photos on PHOTOSHELTER http://jackgraham.photoshelter.com/

______________  _________________________________________________________________________________

NEWS and NOTEWORTHY

Last month I recorded a webinar for NIK SOFTWARE, entitled, “Keeping it Simple” (www.niksoftware.com) that you can access via the Nik Software Webinar Library by clicking here:

http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php/webinars/archives/#/keeping-it-simple-with-nik-software-with-jack-graham/0/0/0/0/0

San Xavier del Bac, Tucson AZ

I am presently in Arizona. The first of 3 workshops ended last weekend. Though this as far from a banner wildflower season, we spent 3 ½ days in and around Phoenix and Tucson learning and photographing the landscape and some of the nuance of the southwest. For example we spent an afternoon at the Mission San Xavier del  Bac in Tucson as well as the old town Tucson area, photographing the buildings and intimate aspects of this beautiful area.

Old Towne, Tucson

2012 Workshop Info:

Arizona Workshops later this month — FILLED

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Washington, MAY 2012 ( www.pacificnorthwestartschool.com) few seats left, not many!  http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-photography-on-whidbey-may-9-12-2012-1

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK..MAY 2012 – 1 seat left http://jackgrahamphoto.com/olympic-national-park

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE …JUNE 2012 – 2 seats left http://jackgrahamphoto.com/columbia-river-gorge-and-mt-hood-photography-workshop

THE PALOUSE, JUNE 2012, 1 Seat left http://jackgrahamphoto.com/spring-palouse-now-5-days

ULTIMATE ICELAND, 10 days, JULY 2012 –ONLY 1 SEAT LEFT http://jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

OREGON COAST 5 DAYS!—August 2012—2 seats open http://jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-oregon-coast-cannon-beach-bandon-5-full-day

NAPA VALLEY, No.CALIFORNIA COAST, SAN FRANCISCO MORE!!!SEPTEMBER  2012 ( www.pacificnorthwestartschool.com ) few seats left, not many!  http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-fall-in-northern-ca-sep-20-23-2012-1

TETONS & YELLOWSTONE, SEPTEMBER 2012 3 seats open http://jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-grand-teton-and-yellowstone-np-photography-workshop

17TH ANNUAL EASTERN SIERRA FALL WORKSHOP with GUY TAL www.guytal.com   JUST a FEW SEATS LEFT—filling fast   http://jackgrahamphoto.com/17th-annual-eastern-sierra-photography-workshop-mono-lake-alabama-hills-bristlecone-pine-bodie-more

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THINK TANK CAMERA BAGS: Along with my large bags and my Streetwalker Pro that I use very often, I really love my new RETROSPECTIVE 10“Over the Shoulder” Camera Bag

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/retrospective-10-pinestone-shoulder-bag.aspx

Here are the Top Features of this bag (abou t$ 150.00-160.00)

Minimalist outer appearance conceals expensive photo equipment …Carries a pro size DSLR with standard zoom lens attached…..Accommodates 2-4 lenses in main compartment with DSLR body in front pocket…Front pocket fits a pro size DSLR (body only) …Organizer pocket built into main compartment for pens, note pad, batteries, etc….Choice of two different colors, black or pinestone, to suit the situation ( I love the Pinestone)….Hook and Loop “Sound Silencers” on the front flap eliminate noise while opening the bag….Soft, adjustable shoulder strap with cushioned non-slip pad….Clear business card holder under front flap….Removable short carrying handle for convenience…Seam-sealed rain cover included for protection against the elements

THINK TANK uses the highest quality zippers available…A lot of thought went into these bags, just like all Think Tank products.—Thanks Think Tank….HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—JG

Order here www.thinktankphoto.com/affiliate and enter CODE —  AP371  and receive a free gift!

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FEATURED ARTICLE

WHICH ONE WORKS?          #6, the Sonoran Desert…

                                                      .                       . Make Sure you are in the Right Location

©Jack Graham, all rights reserved

In this series of articles, I discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the other.

Choosing one image over other similar images is one that we all deal with in our digital darkroom.

I suggest to you, as well as my workshop participants to work the subject while in the field, make final decisions on your monitors at home. The final image is important for whatever project it’s being used for, and spending time determining which image works vs. another is well worth it. In many case the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference, Most of the time it is very clear which one is better for your individual needs than others, sometimes it’s not. Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

Your comments, as always are more than welcome.—JG

______________________________________________________________________

LOCATION: Bartlett Lake area, North and East of the Phoenix, Arizona metro area.

 Note the GPS  DATA BELOW for each image

 

Sunrise near Bartlett Lake AZ

THE STORY:

 I arrived into the Phoenix area about a week and a half ago, prior to my wildflower/landscape workshop in and around Phoenix and Tucson.  I went out scouting areas I wanted to take my workshop participants the morning after I arrived. A rather vigorous storm was predicted for later this day, That information, combined with wanting to be in this location for the sweet light, right after sunrise made it imperative that I get up and out early.

I caught a rather nice sunrise, then ventured down the road a bit, where I came onto a nice area that depicted the beautiful Sonoran Desert. The following morning I was standing in about a foot of Snow up in Sedona, just about an hour and one half north!

TECH DATA:  Both images taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikon 28-70mm 2.8 ED IF Lens. I used a Singh Ray 2 stop, soft , graduated filter on each omage (www.singh-ray.com)

IMAGE 1

IMAGE 1          2012:03:17 06:55:26                             2.8 @ at 70mm

1/3 sec, f/20     Mode: Av    Metering: Multi-segment

ISO: 200        AF mode: MANUAL

White balance: AUTO

Lat: 33°51’16.512″N  Long: 111°37’55.266″W   Altitude: 666m

IMAGE 2

IMAGE 2   2012:03:17     06:56:31                28-70mm @ 60mm

1/3 sec, f/20  Mode: Av     Metering: Multi-segment

ISO: 200 AF mode: MANUAL

Lat: 33°51’16.758″N    Long: 111°37’54.858″W   Altitude: 669m

Processing: Basic Lightroom processing. Most of the processing completed using NIK Software

in this order  Define 2.0 ( remove any noise), Viveza 2.0, Color Efex Pro4 and Output Sharpener.

( Save 15% on NIK Software  www.niksoftware.com when ordering using this code   JGRAHAM )

IMAGE: Finding a good looking saguaro around this area is getting harder and harder. Perhaps the increasing pollution in the Valley of the Sun is having its effect.

These magnificent plants can take up to 70 years to develop a side arm. A saguaro without arms is called a spear. The growth rate of Saguaros here in the Phoenix area of Arizona is about half as fast as those in and around Tucson, Arizona. They can live up to150 years. The largest known saguaro is the Champion Saguaro. It grows close to here in the Phoenix area and is over 43 feet tall with a girth of 3.1 meters (10 ft.). These cacti can grow anywhere from 15 to 50 feet.

Saguaros bloom at night and peak usually in late May & June. The major pollinators are bats, Doves and bees appear to be the primary daytime pollinators. The fruits are highly edible and prized by local people.

I came upon this area and looked for a pleasing composition to tell the store of the beautiful Sonoran Desert The light was really perfect for about 10 or 15 minutes when the angle was still rather low. However as quick as the good light come in, it got very harsh just as quick.

TIP: Always walk around and look for the better spot to plant your tripod. These 2 images were made about 30 seconds apart and just a few feet from one another (see GPS DATA)

IMAGE 1

 THE EDIT:  WHICH ONE WORKS            I chose image # 2

IMAGE 2

What BOTH images have in their favor:

1)     Great “sweet” early morning light.

2)     The desert vegetation is nice in both images.

3)     The saguaros add to the image nicely in both images

4)     Better than average sky ( the clouds add to the imagery)

IMAGE 1 over IMAGE 2

1)     Better looking clouds

2)     Better view of the little peak on the top of the hill on the left

3)     There is bit more space between the top of the tall saguaro and the edge of the top of the image

IMAGE 2 over IMAGE 1

1)     The foreground is definitely more interesting and really anchors the image

2)     More colorful foreground (greens)

3)     Better placement of the saguaros

4)     More defined leading line on the left center drawing the eye up into the center of interest.

I cannot stress the importance of foregrounds when it comes to anchoring the image. The empty foreground with the sort of dead brush in image one does not compare to what is featured in image two. Always ask yourself, “What is the subject”? Here it’s the saguaros and the surrounding area. Think of those features like a soloist and the sky , foreground, leading line like the orchestra, making the soloist sound good.

By literally moving 3 meters to the right and turning a bit to the left I was able to include a wonderful foreground. Before planting your tripod, (do you use a tripod all the time? You should as much as possible.) walk around and see if the spot you committed yourself to is the right spot. It might not be. Image one would have been trashed, but by looking around I was able to make a good image as I did in Image 2

Make Sure you are in the Right Location

Sunrise on the Sonran Desert, Arizona

WHICH ONE WORKS? #3 “Composition, Processing challenges and the Feeling” / Recent News

                            Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

    Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

 

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

2012 Registration Form   REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

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    Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noteworthy

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRPAHY MAGAZINE   http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/

This months issue (Feb 2012)  contains an article entitled “Focus on the Unconventional” http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/magazine/issue-12/ by me. I hope you find it interesting. While you are there, check out his 1st class publication. Compared to many of the print magazines, Landscape Photography is far ahead of the curve. Check out them various sections and innovative layout here. Let me know how you like the article!.

NIK WEBINAR : I’ll be doing a webinar for NIK DOFTWARE, live in their studio from 2-3PM (Pacific Time) on February 28th.  The webinar topic is “Keeping it Simple” and getting the most out of the NIK Software Suite. Click here to register for the webinar:  http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php/webinars/signup/12851?j=16013119&e=jack@jackgrahamphoto.com&l=175395_HTML&u=205139063&mid=115479&jb=0

See you there!  (save 15% on NIK Software—order online www.niksoftware.com and enter the code JGRAHAM)

WORKSHOPS; My 2012 workshops are beginning to fill quickly. The links you need to have are at the top of this page. We have only one seat left for Iceland, and just a few for our unbelievable trip to Hidden China and Tibet this summer. Also the workshops in the Southwest this spring are almost filled.. Don’t miss out on these !!!!

__________________ FEATURED ARTICLE————————————————————————————————————

WHICH ONE WORKS?          #3

    “Composition, Processing challenges and the Feeling”

©Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography

Within these discussion that will appear on my blog every week or two, I’ll discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the others.

This process is a common one that we all deal with in our digital darkroom. The final image is important for whatever project it’s being used for, and spending time determining which image works vs. another is well worth it. In many case the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference, Processing techniques can also make the choice apparent as well.

Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

You comments, as always are more than welcome.

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IMAGE # 1 Beaver Pond, Lundy Canyon,

 

LOCATION:  Beaver pond, Lundy Canyon, Eastern Sierra, California

 

THE STORY:  Prior to the start of my fall workshop in the Eastern Sierra, in 2011, Guy Tal www.guytal.com) and me, spent a few days together, scouting the area for our coming workshop in early October. Late in the afternoon as some weather was moving in we drove back into the beaver pond past Lundy Lake. I’ve been back here in some wonderful weather tor photography ( for me its dramatic skies; usually adverse conditions!). There is  lots of subject matter here. There is a series of ponds all high maintained by the local beavers who monitor the water level and use the plentiful amount of aspens and other trees for their dens, easily visible from the shoreline.

 

 

IMGAE # 2   Beaverpond Lundy Canyyon
IMGAE # 2 Beaverpond Lundy Canyyon

 

Its’ about 7000’ elevation here and the temperature is usually about 10-15 degrees colder than in close by Lee VIning and Mono Lake. Though the weather was not really terrible, it was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit and windy and raining and snowing at times pretty hard. Unfortunately the wind was blowing right at us. I’ve been in worse. The light was just ok, but for a few minutes when the sunlight pushed through the clouds in the distance hi about the mountains where it was snowing and the snow up high really made this image interesting. Though I had my chamois ready, the raindrops were a factor on my lens as you can see in the raw file.

 

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TECH DATA:

Image 1 ( Horizontal )                                                                                                              Image # 2  (Vertical)

Date/Time: 2011:10:10 16:21:36 Nikon D700 /Nikon 28-70mm F 2.8           2011:10:10 16:04:41 Nikon D700  /Nikon 17-35mm F 2.8

Shutter speed: 1/30 sec   Aperture: 16                                                                    Shutter speed: 1/13 sec   Aperture: 16

Exposure mode: Manual Metering mode: Spot                                                    Exposure mode: Manual Metering mode: Spot

ISO: 400   Focal length: 30mm                                                                                ISO: 400   Focal length: 20mm

 

Let’s discuss processing. II did all my normal processing Adobe Lightroom & did a lot of cloning in Photoshop of the water droplets that I could not prevent from hitting my lens! ( you can see my workflow and processing information in my eBook Series 1 available for sale on my website: I then used my   NIK Software as follows:

Here are the origional RAW FILES of each image

RAW file before processing

 

 

 

RAW file before processing

1)       Define 2.0—noise reduction. With my Nikon D700 at ISO400 there was virtually NO noise

2)       Viveza 2.0 – added a good amount of structure and some contrast to the clouds (see my glossary below & learn these terms). I reduced the amount to light in the upper right, ‘

By adding some structure to the water, I was able to bring out some of the reflections as well. I also adjusted the shadows in the trees and brought out a lot of definition, lost in the RAW file. (This is why we use the RAW format. We have much more to work with and can make these adjustments correctly… a discussion of RAW vs. jpeg can be found here: https://jackgrahamphoto.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/photo-tip-podcast-workshop-info/

3)       Color Efex 4 – I added just a tad of Brilliance & Warmth and then just a little Pro Contrast. I used the foliage adjustment to bring out the greens & the foliage along the shoreline. As always I added a vignette, using the Darken –Lighten center feature. This allowed me to choose where I want the center of attraction to be. I chose the shoreline on the left side of the pone. and adjusted the amount of vignette I wanted as well as the amount of darkening I wanted the boarders to have.

4)       Sharpening _ I used NIK’S Sharpener Pro 3.0 . I wanted the trees and vegetation sharper than the mountaintops and certainly the sky. With the Nik software I can control using the U-Point technology the area I want to have sharper than others. Not all images need this but this one did.

 

After that I added a slight curve and adjusted my levels in Adobe Photoshop and completed the processing.

 

THE EDIT:   

 

Both images deliver a totally different feeling and emoting. I chose image 2.Some of you who know me know I really love vertical images and for a while I tended to photograph more vertical images than horizontal. I’ve now learned to shoot both angles and make the decision later! This is a good example.

IMAGE #2

 

I choose #2 for a few reasons. First there is a much more appealing foreground, which is usually the first thing I look for inn the field when looking for good subject matter.

On my workshops, I always stress to my workshop attendees , that a little thing can make a good image a great one. Sometimes it’s not the obvious, but the subtle that can transform an image. For instance,

I really like how the sun reflection is right at the top of the tree reflection, and the top of the dead tree it pointing right up to the sun that just cresting over the tops of the mountains . I also like, really in both images how the submerged tree act as kind of a leading line to the other side of the pond.

I feel that the composition is simpler in the vertical. My eye keeps moving around looking for somewhere to land in the horizontal image. There is a lot of subject matter in the horizontal. Simple is always better.  In addition the clouds were much more dramatic in image #2.  Also note how two different lenses can evoke a different look and feel to an image as well.  Image was made with my Nikon 17-35mm F2.8 ( a very sharp lens) . I got down low to the ground to get the foreground where I wanted it. Image #2 was made with my Nikon 28-70mm F2.8, also a very sharp lens. There was no foreground where I was standing.

To recap, these items, in order of importance to me are why #2 was my choice.

1)       #2 has a more simple, but stronger composition, delivers a better feeling to the mood

2)       Strong  foreground

3)       Clouds more dramatic

4)       Position of the sun on the top as well as the reflection

5)       Somewhat better light

Let me now what you think!

 

The right to download and store or output any content on the  website www.jackgrahamphoto.com and  www.jackgahamsblog.com  website is granted for preview purposes only and may not be reproduced in any form.All Photographs appearing on this site are the property of Jack Graham unless otherwise noted.
These photos are protected by U.S.Copyright laws and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Jack Graham
By entering this site you accept these terms. If you need permission to use a photo on this site please call 503-625-1430 or email Jack @ Jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

 

HIDDEN CHINA & TIBET (optional) SUMMER 2012 … not your average China Photo Tour!

                                          Jack Graham Photography  

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

_____________________________________________________

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

2012 Registration Form REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9    FAQ’S–  GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:     http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

WEBSITE: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/home

__________________________________________________________

                                                “HIDDEN CHINA”        June 20-July 4   2012

                         TIBET (optional)       July   4- July 11 2012           ………….. NOT you average China Photo Tour!

 

NOTE:——-This tour is officially a “go”. We have a few limited seats left. Due to the nature of this tour, the group size is very small.

 Hidden is a word probably underestimating what this tour is about! To my knowledge, very few IF ANY photography tours have visited this region in NW China. This will be a truly remarkable experience.

It is almost impossible to describe this experience. For almost 2 ½ years now Katherine Feng and I have put together this once in a lifetime experience that we are offering this summer. Yes, there are many tours to the usual parts of China but few if any that will venture far, into the “hidden”, areas of the northwestern part of China, by the “Old Silk Road”, and beyond. Other locations and features of this workshop that we are offering are exceedingly unique having not experienced by few visitors. We can offer this experience based on relationships between the people of the area and us. We’ll get to see the inner places and even some rituals that are rare to westerners. Please take a minute and read the information below, you will soon see what I am talking about.

Katherine and I will be there by your side to aid in our photographic experience. This will be made to discuss many aspects of photography and review our images. I am lucky to have Katherine Feng as my associate leader. I met Katherine at a NANPA ( www.nanpa.org ) summit a few years ago. This workshop has been 2 1/2 years in preparation; Katherine has been to this region many times, knows the area well and has met many people there that will aid us in getting images that few westerners have been privy to witness. I have been to China many times as well.

Katherine’s Bio

http://www.phototc.com/leaders/leader.php?who=22

Jack’s Bio

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/bio

We have chosen Strabo Tours as our workshop tour company. They specialize in international workshops and work closely with Chinese tour agencies in order to make sure that everything (and I mean everything) goes smoothly.  Strabo Tours is known as the premier tour organization, specializing in International Photographic Tours for many years. You can contact them directly Phone: (607) 756-8676 or Email them at: info@strabotours.com  (ask for Jacquie Steedle) with very specific questions and you’ll get answers. If this workshop were going just to Beijing, Shanghai or the  regularly visited areas in China, we still would need to make sure that we are going to have an uneventful trip, but since we are going to areas that, to my knowledge few if any tours have ever gone, it is doubly important. We have, along with Strabo Tours made this happen. They take care of everything. You just need to show up and let us take you to places beyond belief!

………………In other words, this is NOT you average China Photo Tour…………., it’s Hidden China!

Our complete itinerary and pertinent information can be located by clicking on this link:    http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152  or read on……

Day by itineraries, food concern, and hotel information is included. Everything, including tips is included, from your arrival into Beijing to your departure out of Beijing.

We are including an optional number of days in beautiful Tibet.as well (See Below)

People say that certain things are a one in a lifetime experience. I can guarantee that this excursion is that and more.

This is a very small tour due to our specified itineries. Please do not hesitate in booking your space. There are only a few seats left. Again, you can contact me or Strabo Tours for further information, however all deposits and booking MUST go through Strabo Tours: (Contact info below)

Phone: (607) 756-8676 | Email: info@strabotours.com                       click here for dome idea on what we’ll be photographing!  Random Images

Thank you for considering this once in a lifetime trip!——Jack

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Itinerary:

BEIJING  We’ll start with Beijing a vast city, measuring fifty miles from end to end, with a population of over thirteen million. It has long been a political center of China. Our trip will include some of the Beijing’s most historic and photogenic sites.

The Forbidden City (Imperial Palace): The home and center of the Ming and Qing dynasties; it is now the largest and best-preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China.

Tiananmen Square: Directly opposite of the Forbidden City, this was a meeting place and location for government offices in imperial times and has been the site of major rallies during communist rule.

 The Temple of Heaven: Considered highly sacred ground, it was here that the emperor performed the major ceremonial rites of the year. The Temple of Heaven has become the icon of Beijing.

Purple Bamboo Park: We will make an early morning excursion to one of Beijing’s most beautiful and popular parks.  Here we will have the opportunity to photograph the local people as they exercise, sing and dance.

Beijing Hutong: We will spend a morning aboard a rickshaw riding through a local hutong.  A hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing. As we travel we will visit a local home and photograph the life around one of Beijing’s best preserved hutongs.

The Great Wall: Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall was begun over 2,000 years ago. It is over 3,000 miles long, crossing five provinces and two autonomous regions.  We will visit this famous structure at the less crowded Mutianyu section for the late afternoon light.

Kashgar: Located in the western part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China, Kashgar was once a major hub of the famous silk road. Today, the city covers an area of 15 km² and has a population of about 350,000. Although Kashgar is experiencing rapid modernization, it still maintains many of its exotic characteristics.  The largest ethnic community in Kashgar are the Uyghurs and Islamic culture permeates throughout the city.  To many visitors, Kashgar is a ‘photographer’s banquet’.  Several scenes in the movie ‘The Kite Runner’ were filmed in Kashgar.  We will spend three full days in and around Kashgar photographing must see/experience highlights.

Id Kah Mosque and the surrounding old town: The Id Kah Mosque was built about 1442 with parts of it dating back to 996.  Today it covers 16,800 square meters, is the largest mosque in China and can accommodate 20,000 worshippers.  Behind Id Kah Mosque is the arts and crafts street where artisans can be seen making musical instruments, wood crafts and copper ware.  Kashgar’s Old Town is a Uyghur residential area that has a history of over 2000 years.  Today it has more than 600 homes with over 2000 inhabitants.  Because the government considers the Old Town to be overcrowded and unsafe, homes are in the process of being demolished to allow for construction of newer, more modern dwellings.

Live Stock Market and Kashgar Bazaar:  Every Wednesday, in a small town about 15km from Kashgar, a livestock and general market day takes place.  During our visit you can experience and photograph the bustling activity as farmers transport their animals and barter over the price of their livestock.  With the exception of motorized vehicles and cell phones, one can imagine themselves stepping back in time.  The Kashgar Bazaar is held in a huge covered structure with vendors spilling out onto the surrounding streets.  Dried fruits, spices, ethnic clothing, rugs, handicrafts are common stalls to visit, but colorful bolts of cloth, shoes and even hi-tech items are amply available.

Tashkurgan (also spelled Tashkorgan): Meaning ‘Stone Fortress’ Tashkorgan is located in Xinjiang’s extreme western area and is situated between the Kunlun and Pamir Mountain Ranges. The Stone City was famous for its location at the junction of the middle and southern routes of the ancient Silk Road and for the Chinese arriving from Kashgar and Yarkand, it was the end of the Silk Road. Today, the majority of the inhabitants are Tajik who are known for their warmth and hospitality.  We will have an opportunity to photograph the ruins of the old fortress which was also filmed in the ‘Kite Runner’.

As we travel the Karakorum Highway to Tashkurgan we will visit beautiful Karakul Lake.  At an elevation of 3,600meters, Karakul Lake is the highest lake in the Pamir Plateau and is situated near the junction of the Pamir, Kulun and Tianshan mountain ranges.  We will also have outstanding views of the Kongger Mountain Range and the imposing Muztagh Ata.  Muztagh Ata, with an elevation of 7546 meters ( 24,860 ft) is the origin of 5 glaciers (thus the name Muztagh which means the Father of Ice Mountains).

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OPTIONAL TIBET:——————-The highlights of Tibet

When someone mentions Tibet, many thoughts come to mind: Buddhist monasteries and monks, the Dali Lama, Tibetan pilgrims, incense and some of the highest mountains in the world! Your extension will allow you to see and photograph some of the beast scenery and culture that Tibet has to offer. Highlights include

LhasaWe will start our Tibetan journey in Lhasa, the administrative capitol of the Tibetan

Autonomous Region. Located at an elevation of 3,490 meters (11.450 ft) it is one of the highest capitols in the world. Lhasa covers an area of about 20.5 sq mi and has a total population of over 1 million.  During our stay in Lhasa we will visit the following highlights:

Potala Palace: The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959.  The Palace consist of 13 stories of building and contains over 1,000 rooms. Today the Potala Palace is a museum often receiving 1500 visitors a day.

Deprung Monastery: This Monastery is located 5km outside of Lhasa and is one of the four great Gelugpa Monasteries in Tibet. It was once Tibet’s largest and most influential monastery.

Sera Monastery: Also one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and of the Gelugpa sect, Sera Monastery is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa.  One of the highlights of Sera Monastery is the courtyard debating practice sessions held by the monks most afternoons.

Jokhang Temple: Located on the Barkhor Square, the Jokhang Temple is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.  It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the spiritual center of Lhasa.

Barkhor Circuit/Street: Surrounding the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street is a major part of a Buddhist’s pilgrimage to Lhasa. While the street is now lined with shops and vendors, pilgrims, prayer wheels in hand, continue to make their circuit along this street.

Shigazte: The second largest city in Tibet, the highlight of Shigatze is the Tashilhunpo Monastery which was founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447.  It covers an area of nearly 300,000 sq. meters (3,229,279 sq. ft), has about 3,600 rooms and is home to approximately 800 monks. Tashilhunpo Monastery is a wonderful place to wander, photograph and interact with the monks and pilgrims.

Gyantse:  Gyantse is home to the Palkhor Monastery (also known as the Pelkor Chöde Monastery).  This monastery which was founded in 1418 and was once a complex of 15 monasteries that brought together 3 different orders of Tibetan Buddhism.  Today, the main attraction is the  Gyantse Kumbum, the largest chörten in Tibet. The structure rises 35meters over four stories surmounted by a golden dome that resembles a crown over four sets of eyes.

Yamdrok Yumtso Lake: Located almost midway between Gyantze and Lhasa, Yamdrok

Yumtso Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet.  It is over 45 miles long and surrounded by many snow- capped mountains.

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What To Expect

This tour is designed to be a photo tour, and, as such, we must be flexible in our scheduling. Much of what we do,(and when we do it), will depend upon weather and light. We will, however, visit the major sites listed in each city.

While it is hoped that all tour members will join the group on scheduled activities, there will also be opportunities for optional early-morning excursions. These excursions may require additional public/ground transportation not covered in the tour cost. These costs (such as a taxi ride, for example) can be shared, but will be the responsibility of those tour members joining the excursion.

China has made great strides in tourist accommodations and services in recent years, but please remember that it is still a developing country, so we may experience occasional inconveniences.  All our accommodations will be clean and comfortable, with private toilet and shower/bath. The hotels have been chosen for your comfort as well as their proximity to prime photographic locations.  Our motor coaches will be modern, clean, and comfortable.

There may also be some optional activities that may present themselves during the course of our trip which are not included in the itinerary. The activities will be available at your discretion, for a small charge, and dependent upon the cooperation of the local weather.

PLEASE NOTE

In the areas we will visit within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region the majority of the people are Muslim (Uyghurs, Tajiks, Krygiz) and they do not eat pork.  Therefore, most of our meals will have mutton as our main source of meat.  This is especially true once we leave Kashgar (where we will be able to have chicken and  beef).

Also, the towns and cities outside of Kashgar are relatively unknown to western tourists and can therefore be lacking in modern western conveniences.  Restaurants will be simple country restaurants.  Outside of our hotels, toilet facilities are often Asian squat toilets (that is, no western sit-down toilet). During our travels, sometimes behind a large rock, shrub or tree will be the best place to relieve one-self.  It is hoped that participants will overlook the lack of western comforts with the knowledge that they will have unique experiences and photographic opportunities unlike that of any other photo tour offered.

Health and Fitness

Tour participants should be in good health and good physical condition. Although we will not be running marathons, we will be walking along the Great Wall for a mile or so, which involves some rather steep steps in places.  While in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonmous Region, our travels will take us to Karakul Lake with an elevation of 3600 meters (11,800ft), briefly over a mountain pass with an elevation of about 4000 meters (13,000 ft) and we will spend two nights in Tashkurgan at an elevation of about 3100 meters (10,000ft). People not accustomed to these elevations may feel a shortness of breath.  For those who are concerned about how these elevations might affect their health, it is recommended that they first consult their physician prior to signing up for this photo tour.

Pricing Info

Tour land cost: $7,995 US Dollars based upon minimum of 10 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 8-9 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single room supplement: $1,145; single rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Extension land cost: $3,695 based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 if 6-7 paying participants.

Single room supplement: $345; single rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed.

Note: The land costs on international tours are based upon current exchange rates. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change, there may need to be an adjustment in the land cost.