Category Archives: Photography Workshops

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.

  

 

_JGX2962-Edit

 

 

CAMERA BRANDS —Choosing a Photo Workshop !

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

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

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

__________________________________________________________

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

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

_________________________________________________________________

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

all images                        ©Jack Graham, All Rights reserved

Monochrome images taken using the Acros Film setting in-camera

_DSF1989

_DSF1968-Edit-Edit

_DSF1996

_DSF1982-Edit_DSF1971-Edit-Edit-Edit

_DSF2022

 

MAKING A SHORT STORY LONG — Long Exposure Photography

MAKING A SHORT STORY LONG … Long Exposure Photography

All Text and Photos ©Jack Graham

Vik Iceland
Vik Iceland

Long Exposure Photography has become very popular in the last few years. Many of our popular websites and magazines are featuring long exposure photography.  Many filter manufactures have also noticed this and have added Neutral Density filters to their offerings.

What is a long exposure? Most of the available DSLR cameras today will allow us to have a shutter speed set automatically up to 30 seconds.  However to me a long exposure is just that, longer than I can render a subject in sharp focus. This could be ½ second or a few hours, depending on the effect I want to create.

Long exposure can be applied in several applications. We can leave our shutter open long enough for a car or bicycle to drive by and create an interesting blurry effect.

Long exposure photography is also used in nighttime photography to capture stars patterns, or trails as well as even sharp stars set in the night’s sky.   When our cameras are on a good tripod and the shutter is left open for a prescribed  time, very vibrant and clear photographs can be made.

Long exposures can be used in light painting, when a scene is very dark. A light source is moved over the subject to add some light and ambiance. Often we need to experiment with the amount of light applied to a subject as to not over do the amount of light shining on our subject.

Finally the most often used application of long exposures for me is with moving water and clouds. The end result is often a mysterious, yet dreamy effect and sometimes even surreal. We can at times add a sense of movement by recording the moving clouds or water across our image. In essence this is a departure from normalcy both from an artistic sense, as well as a viewing experience.

In this essay, I am going to deal with long exposures using clouds and water in landscape photography.

CREATING LONG EXPOSURES

EQUIPMENT

Bandon Beach Oregon 23 sec. exposure/ Singh Ray 10 Stop more-Slo Filter
Bandon Beach Oregon 23 sec. exposure/ Singh Ray 10 Stop Mor-Slo Filter

First, you will need a good quality DSLR. Long exposures can introduce a bit of noise, so the better the cameras sensors, the better your images will appear. You will not see this noise or what we call “hot-pixels” on your LCD, but they will show up when viewing your images on your monitor. You will also need a camera that has a “bulb” setting. The bulb setting allows you to keep the shutter open for as long as needed, allowing you to create some quality long exposures. You will also need a remote shutter release cable or wireless shutter release. There are many of these on the market, some made by the camera manufactures and some after market. If you are going to be doing serious long exposure photography purchase a release that has a built in timer that you can set for the proper amount of time you require for each individual image. It will be a lot more accurate than counting seconds or even trying to look at your watch in dark areas.

Next, you need a good quality tripod and quality tripod head. When photographing in normal conditions, a tripod is necessary to produce sharp images. When making long exposures a sturdy tripod is even more important. Exposures can sometimes last well over a minute. The sturdier the tripod, the better the results will be. Wind, camera shake etc. will be magnified more and more as you increase the time our shutter is open. As always, I recommend never extending your center column. If you do, you now have a much-unstudied mono pod. I sometimes see folks hanging camera bags from their tripod to try to anchor the tripod. A breeze might move this “anchor” thus making the tripod vibrate. Placing a beanbag on your camera will produce better results.

La Push Beach, Olympic Peninsula, Wa / Singh-Ray 2-8 stop Vari ND filter / 9.2 Seconds
La Push Beach, Olympic Peninsula, Wa / Singh-Ray 2-8 stop Vari ND filter / 9.2 Seconds

Finally you’ll need some filters to slow the shutter down. These are commonly known as neutral density filters. Essentially what these do is block out light allowing the shutter to stay open longer. These filters are rated in “stops” Each “stop” reduces the amount of light on the sensor by a factor of two. For example a 3-stop ND filter, (often referred to as a ND 8) reduces the light by 3 stops (2x2x2=8). A 4 stop ND ( or ND16) reduces the light by 4 stops ( 2x2x2x2-=16) and so on. When using a 10 stop ND filter, the light is reduced by 1024 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2=1024). This translates to the shutter being open for 1024 times longer than without the filter.

Many filter manufactures make these filters and I have tried most of them. These filters are not easily produced. They must be made of high quality photographic glass, not resin. Good quality filters take some time to produce. Unless a manufacturer has an assembly line each filter is almost hand made. The rate of dye that is added to the filter depends on how hard or soft the graduation is.. Quality manufactures try to eliminate color shift as much as possible. This process is quite extensive. High quality filters are also quite expensive, but considering the manufacturing process, they are really priced very fair.

I use two ND filters. I use the Singh-Ray 10 stop Mor-Slor filter and the Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter. Singh-Ray also produces a 5-stop Mor-Slo filter.

The 10 stop filter is a screw in 10 stop filter available from Singh-Ray (www.singh-ray.com  ) in many thread sizes. The Vari-ND filter is also a screw in filter but using this filter you can vary the amount of stops from 2-8 stops ( Note: to stack Mor-Slo with Vari-ND, at least one filter has to be standard mount with front threads — two thin-mount filters will not stack).This filter is available currently in 77mm & 82mm sizes. You can view how the Vari-ND works HERE

TECHNIQUE

Oceanside Pier, California 86 Second exposure
Oceanside Pier, California 86 Second exposure

Again, remember this essay is about long exposures in landscape photography. Techniques for night photography, light painting and other artistic uses of long exposures do require different techniques than that of landscape photography.

Like any other composition, composing your image, choosing your subject matter and assessing the light is mandatory. Essentially, you are making the same image without the long exposure effect, but adding this effect to create the desired result.

Assuming you have chosen a good subject, with good light and one that has some moving water, clouds, other aspects or all of the above, I’ll discuss how I go about making long exposures.

After setting up my tripod and camera I go through all the things I do for normal photography. I then check the light and properly meter the subject without using any filters. Having a filter on before focusing will not allow you to see a thing. It is just too dark due to the denseness of the filters. After this here is my procedure.

1)      I compose, determine the aperture I want and focus the image in the proper manner (if you auto focus without the filter switch to manual)

2)      I determine the shutter speed based in ISO and Aperture without the filter on.

3)      I carefully screw in my filter of choice, either the 10 stop Mor-Slo or the Vari ND.

4)      I double-check to make sure the screen that closes over my viewfinder is closed. This insures proper metering and prevents light from entering the camera while the shutter is open. This is very important.

5)      I now set my shutter speed to the “bulb” setting allowing my shutter release cable or remote timer to control the shutter speed.

6)      I determine how long I need my shutter to be open based on the shutter speed determined without the filter. This math can get quite complicated. I have developed a timetable, based on the math involved. NOTE: If your shutter speed is longer or shorter than desired, you can change the shutter speed simply by increasing or decreasing the ISO. Remember that digital noise increases with higher ISO’s as well as long exposures!

Normal Exposure

 ND  3 stops

 ND  6 stops

 ND 10 stops

with no filter

1/500

  1/60

  1/8

2

1/250

  1/30

  1/4

4

1/125

  1/15

  1/2

8

  1/60

  1/8

1

15

  1/30

  1/4

2

30

  1/15

  1/2

4

60 (1 minute)

  1/8

1

8

120 ( 2 minutes)

  1/4

2

15

240 (4minuts)

  1/2

4

30

480 (8minutes)

1

8

60 (1 minute) 900 (15 minutes)

2

15

120 ( 2 minutes) 1800 (30 minutes)

4

30

240 (4minuts) 3600(60minutes)

8

60 (1 minute) 480 (8minutes) 7200( 2 hours)

15

90  (1.5 minutes) 900 (15 minutes) 14400(4Hours)

30

120 ( 2 minutes) 1800 (30 minutes) 28000 (8 hours)
Exposure time in Seconds Important: Take 1st reading with NO filter

7)      I set my remote cable release to the desired time based on the shutter speed with no filter attached.

8)      Assuming your light conditions didn’t change…..Make the image.

NOTE: THERE IS A GREAT FREE APP that I use on my I phone— its called LONGTIME EXPOSURES. This one is free… there are other that are not. This one works great!

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS:

Vik Iceland / 71 Second Exposure
Vik Iceland / 71 Second Exposure

There are a few variables that you need to consider when making long exposures.

1)      When making long exposures you’ll need to slow down even more than normal to make sure your settings are correct. Creating a concept for an image when making long exposures is very important. Soon you’ll learn to visualize the final outcome.

2)      After you make the image do not use your LCD to evaluate anything other than our histogram.

3)      Experiment; change the ISO thus making the shutter longer or shorter. When you get back to your monitor then choose the effect you like.

4)      I always recommend shooting RAW files.

ONE LAST THOUGHT

This essay is not an advertisement. It is simply my endorsement. I have experimented with filters from other manufactures. I have found without question the Singh-Ray filters to be of the highest quality without any measurable color shift. Color shift is the biggest problem in filters, especially ND filters. There is no easy cheap way to make a good quality ND. Singh Ray filters are highly recommended.

I recently made two images. One was using the Singh-Ray 10stop Mor-Slo filter, the other with their main competitor in a similar price range. The results speak for themselves. There is absolutely no color shift with the Singh-Ray, but a large one with their competitor. These images were taken about 2-3 minutes apart. Same light, same camera settings 14 sec / F16   -1/3 comp ISO 200Consider this when purchasing filters.

Singh-Ray Mor Slo 10 top filter
Singh-Ray Mor Slo 10 top filter
The "Competitor"
The “Competitor”

Singh-Ray Filters
2721 SE Highway 31, Arcadia, FL 34266-7974 USA

For fastest response, telephone Singh-Ray at 800-486-5501 or 863-993-4100
during business hours, 9am to 5pm Eastern US time, Monday-Friday

Sunset on the Southern Iceland Coast
Sunset on the Southern Iceland Coast

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

______________________________________________________________________

2013 Workshop schedule      Workshop Registration Form      Workshop Overview

Workshop FAQ’S       Workshop Referrals       One on One Individual Workshops   PODCAST

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY   e books –available for purchase and immediate download

ALSO VISIT:  www.ultimateiceland.com

                              SEE SPECIAL LAST MINUTE INFORMATION ON WORKSHOPS BELOW!

IMPORTANT WORKSHOP INFORMATION  

ALSO VISIT:  www.ultimateiceland.com

Due to a cancellation, I have one opening for my June workshop in the Oregon Coast. You can access information on this workshop HERE

IMG_1043There are two spots open for the Workshop I conduct for the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island, in the Puget Sound neat Seattle in June as well. Information is found HERE. Also there is a spot open for the workshop in the Columbia River Gorge in about 2 weeks. Information found HERE

In addition our July 4-14, 2013 Ultimate Iceland Workshop is almost full. This is a trip of a lifetime for any photographer. Please consider joining us!

ULTIMATE ICELAND “1” July 2013

You can see some images made my last year’s attendees here http://jackgraham.photoshelter.com/gallery/2012-ICELAND-WORKSHOP-ATTENDEE-IMAGES/G0000dpVO0jXHKCI/

LEAVES_2_HF7This October, will be my 19th year conducting a workshop in the Eastern Sierra. Again, I’ll be joining forces with my good friend, an amazing photographer and thinker, and co-leader Guy Tal. Please consider joining us. This is a highlight of the year! Details found HERE.

Also in October, I’ll be back in NE Ohio for our bi-annual FALL COLOR & A DAY with the AMISH PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. (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 be in Utah October 2013 for a late October workshop in the red rock country in and around Zion NP

LIMITED SEATS and filling fast:

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK/ NOVEMBER 2013  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney. Do NOT miss this one!

ALSO VISIT:  www.ultimateiceland.com

WHICH ONE WORKS? # 10–Glacial River, Iceland …………. 2013 workshops…news and more……..

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

_____________________________________________________________________________

2013 Workshop schedule:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2013-photography-workshop-schedule

Workshop Registration Form: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/sites/default/files/REGISTRATION%20FORM%202013v2.pdf

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

Workshop FAQ’S:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/sites/default/files/GENERAL%20WORKSHOP%20QUESTIONS_FAQ’S%20INFORMATION_v2013a_1.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 been great year. I just returned from  my recent Death Valley workshop. I’ll be leaving for the Tetons for a winter workshop ( yes its snowing there!!!) in late November.  I am really looking forward to  2013. 2012 was everything I hoped for and more. I’ll be conducting a special 5 person only workshop in Iceland in January, photographing the winter landscape, aurora and ice caves. In February, I’ll be lending a group to Cuba (don’t miss this one— http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/cuba-february-8-15-2013

You can link to the 2013 workshop information by clicking on the links at the top of this post. Remember to check out my workshop discounts http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/sites/default/files/2013%20WORKSHOP%20DISCOUNTS%20v2.pdf. REGISTER BY JAN 1 and receive a 10% discount (does not apply to international workshops and those I conduct for other organizations).

©Jack Graham
Puffins , Iceland , July 2012

There are still a few openings for my Ultimate Iceland™ Photography Workshop in July, Register now http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-2013-limit-10-attendees and Greenland too !!!;;;http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-greenland-new-2013

You can see some images made my last year’s attendees here http://jackgraham.photoshelter.com/gallery/2012-ICELAND-WORKSHOP-ATTENDEE-IMAGES/G0000dpVO0jXHKCI/

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 be in Utah October 2013 for a late October event  in the red rock country (http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/canyons-and-red-rocks-utah

________________________________________________________________________

©Jack Graham
Sunrise at Coupeville, Whidbey Island,WA

And finally… consider doing one of my workshops I conduct for the PACIFIC NORTHWEST ART SCHOOL on Whidbey Island, Wa

http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-photography-on-whidbey-may-9-12-2012-1

I….followed by a workshop in the  Columbia River Gorge& Hood River Valley  this spring.

http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-june-6-9-2013-deposit-only

There are great folks. I really enjoy working with them.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

I receive many requests for the link the webinar I conducted  for NIK SOFTWARE 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

….I’ll be doing a presentation on Iceland for the KING CITY CAMERA CLUB near Portland Oregon next Monday night, Nov 19th. If you are in the area stop in!

https://sites.google.com/site/kingcitycameraclub/Home

Feel free to contact me with questions etc:

jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

____________________________________________________________

WHICH ONE WORKS # 10 /………………………. GLACIAL RIVER, ICELAND

©Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography

 It’s been a while since my last posting of “Which one Works”. I’ve been pretty much constantly one the road leading workshops this year and time has been precious. In this edition, I’ll talk about an image which was made in Iceland the night after our 2013 summer workshop ended. We’ll be going back to this spot in July 2013 (see www.ultimateiceland.com). It’s pretty special.

The process of deciding “Which one Works” 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.

Remember as well, there is a lot of subjectivity discussed here. Your comments, as always are more than welcome.

_________________________

LOCATION:  This location was about a 3 ½ drive north and a bit east of Reykjavik, the capitol of Iceland. Along with Greg ( my assistant), I ventured out from Reykjavik late in the afternoon to be where we wanted in the right light..

As you may notice from the tech date, these images were made about in about an hour and forty minutes from sunset, which was about 11:05pm this day. In Iceland,  late in July the golden hour is really the Golden Evening! The good light lasts 4 or more hours. I made three other interesting images in great light for almost 4 hours after this image was made. I wonder how Icelandic photographers sleep in the summer. What do they do if they have to be at work in the morning?

This is only one of the beautiful locations that can be found in Iceland. also check out :

www.ultimateiceland.com

( a website created by me and my assistant Greg Duncan) with lots of great information regarding Icelandic photography and more.

THE STORY:

As in many areas of Iceland, swift moving rivers descend from the mountainsides, the water created by melting glaciers during the summer months. As the water rushes down the mountainsides, it picks up lots of sediment. That is why this water is so gray. The rock is carved out from the cascading water. My challenge here was to create an image with the best light possible, while maintain the water effect I desired, based on shutter speed. I needed to keep maintain a small aperture, insuring the best depth of focus sas well as maintaining the textures of the rocks while keeping the sky well defined.

TECH DATA   (I used my 8 stop Singh-Ray variable ND filter on each image) all images made with a Nikon D700 , Nikon 17-25 2.8 lens.

Image 1 

Date/Time: July 31, 2012       21:38:25

Nikon D700 /Nikon 17-35mm 2.8

Shutter speed: 1 second   F 16

Mode: Aperture priority      Metering: Matrix (automatic)

ISO: 200      Focal length:  22mm

Image 2

Date/Time: July 31, 2012    21:46:48

Nikon D700 /Nikon 17-35mm

Mode:  Aperture priority          Metering: Matrix (automatic)

Shutter speed: 0.6 second      F 16

ISO: 400      Focal length:  22mm

Image 3

Date/Time: July 31, 2012    22:12:06

Nikon D700 /Nikon 17-35mm

Mode:  Aperture priority         Metering: Matrix (automatic)

Shutter speed: 1/3 second      F 16

Mode: Manual      Metering: Multi Segmented (Auto)

ISO: 200      Focal length:     17mm

Image 4

Date/Time: July 31, 2012    2218:01

Nikon D700 /Nikon 28-70mm

Mode:  Aperture priority          Metering: Matrix (automatic)

Shutter speed:   1.6 Sec at F16

ISO: 200        Focal length:   24mm

Image # 1
Image # 2

THE EDIT:

There are 4 images here for evaluation. Images one and two were made well before sunset and images three and four about 1/2 later. For that reason I’ll select one from the 1st two images, and one from the 2nd 2 images. I’ll then decide on which of them I’ll select as the one that works.  The choices were interesting. I am still going back and forth a bit.

The time between image 1 and image 2 is only eight seconds. The main difference is in the sky and the rocks on the left side in image #2. The sun was a bit brighter in image # 2.

The main difference between the two images to me is really the look of the water. The increased light from the setting sun in image 2 made the rocks on the left more defined, which I like better. However in image 1, the sky is more appealing to me. The sky became a factor in the 3rd and 4th image. Read on for my thoughts.

Image # 3
Image # 4

TIP:  THOUGHTS ABOUT  PHOTOGRAPHING WATER…when you must maintain your aperture and want to make several images with different shutter speeds, the easiest way to this is to simple adjust your shutter speed. You can be in Aperture Priority/ Automatic Metering. By increasing your ISO setting you will also increase your shutter speed, thus rendering a different look to the water (conversely—decrease your shutter speed, and decrease your shutter speed.)

If you own a Singh Ray Vari ND filter  http://www.singh-ray.com/varind.html . You can leave everything alone and just “vari” the Vari ND Filter. For example, with a typical outdoor scene, the shutter speed might be slowed from 1/500 at f8 (with no Vari-ND on the lens) to 1/125 at f8 (with the Vari-ND on your lens and set at its minimum density) to as slow as 1/2 second at f8 when the Vari-ND approaches its maximum density You could then convert the latter exposure to even slower equivalent exposures of either 1 second at f11, or 2 seconds at f16, or 4 seconds at f22.

Notice the ISO in both images 3&4 are identical. I adjusted the strength ( darkness of the vari ND)  (allowing less light to reach the sensor) my vari ND Filter in order to slow down the shutter speed. Without this filter, simply adjust your ISO. However in certain light conditions, the vari ND will allow for even slower shutter speeds! You can access more information these wonderful filters on Singh-Ray’s website…

http://singh-ray.com/varind.html

The increased light from the setting sun in image 2 made the rocks on the left more defined, which I like better. However in image 1, the sky is more appealing to me.

Images 3 & 4 were made just before sunset. In the half hour between the 2 sets of images the cloud patterns significantly change, offering more interesting skies. Most everything remained in images 3 & 4 other than the shutter speed. There is almost a 2 second difference in shutter speed between each image.

SEMI- FINAL DECISION:

My choice was one involving how the subject is viewed. The obvious subject is the water. How it appears is controlled by the shutter speed along with the amount of  light. hitting the water.

Image # 1

IMAGE 1 and 2.…. I like the sky in this image but the look of the water and adjacent rocks formations  in IMAGE 2 are more pleasing to me . ….

Image # 2

……….Of these two images I’ll choose image # 2.

I

Image # 3

IMAGE 3 and # 4 …..Again these are petty  close. Yes the river is still the subject and I like the water affect in Image #4 better than image #3.The cloud patterns that appeared really made an interesting effect. Though the sky is more colorful in image #4 as well., However, ………..

Image # 4

………… I will pick image #3 as my choice between the two, perhaps because it’s the darker, more flowing water effect along with the darker rock patterns that works for me. Perhaps is to add just a bit more shadows to the rocks image #3

FINAL DECISION:

Image # 2

Does the interesting cloud patter distract or add to the image. Like everything this is in the eye of the beholder and very subjective. Where is your eye going between image # 2 and Image #3 Are you looking more towards the sky or for today,………………. I’ll pick #3…….

Image # 13

….. There is just more compliment the scene in image #3 but maybe tomorrow, I’ll have a different feeling. What I take away from these evaluations are:

1)     The amount of color in the sky isn’t always the decision maker

2)     Good images can be made all through the golden hour… and in Iceland, during the Golden Evenings!

Image # 3

The right to download and store or output any content on the website www.jackgrahamphoto.com and www.jackgrahamsblog 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 503-625-21430 or email Jack @ Jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

Where have I been????? FEATUERD ARTICLE: Which one Works #7… The Ferry House, Whidbey Island,Wa.

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

____________________________________________________________

LATE NEWS:As of a few minutes ago I confirmed ULTIMATE CUBA 2013 PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. Announcement coming next week. Feb 6-13 2013—-details coming soon!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Mystery Valley, Arizona

NEWS and NOTEWORTHY

It’s been quite a long time since my last posting. I have been busy away with my 2012 workshop schedule. I’ve spent about 6 weeks in the southwest, and 4 corners region (Navajo and red rock country) then up on Whidbey Island doing a great workshop for the Pacific Northwest Art School (more on that later) then over to Olympic National Park for a week.

I am currently in southern California where I’ll be at the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival http://www.tvbwf.com/ starting this Friday through Sunday afternoon. I return to Oregon on Tuesday morning and begin my Columbia Gorge workshop Wednesday night and another in the Palouse Region in Eastern Washington the following week. I am so fortunate to be able to get to these places at the best times of the year.

After the workshop I usually take a look at the few images I make (I am there for my customers, not for my own shooting opportunities!). I have had very few acceptable images, this year since workshops have been quite full and my time is spent with my attendees. However this image I made waking back t my truck on the Olympic Peninsula is one I am quite pleased with. I had a metal print made of this which I will get to see tomorrow. This is the Sol Duc River between Forks and Port Angeles in a secret spot I know about.

Sol Duc River, Olympic Peninsula, Wa.

Tech Data  012:05:18 16:34:00  Nikon D700 80-200mm F 2.8 @ 100mm

Sunset, Marin Headlands, near San Francisco, Ca

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.

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

Sunrise, Hunt’s Mesa, Monument Valley AZ

2012 Workshop Info:

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE …JUNE 2012 – 1 seat left http://jackgrahamphoto.com/columbia-river-gorge-and-mt-hood-photography-workshop  1 spot open

THE PALOUSE, JUNE 2012, SOLD OUT—- 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

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

 _____________________________________________________________________________

    FEATURED ARTICLE  -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

 WHICH ONE WORKS?    The Ferry House, Whidbey Island, 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.

 ….. WHICH ONE WORKS # 7…..

 LOCATION:  Whidbey Island, Puget Sound, Washington http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&pc=FACEBK&mid=8100&where1=South+Ebey+Road%2C+Coupeville%2C+WA+98239&FORM=FBKPL0&name=The+Ferry+House+on+Whidbey+Island&mkt=en-US

If you have viewed the movie “Snow Falling on Cedars”, 2009, you might remember this house. It is the historic Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing.  The Ferry House was in the movie for only about 30 seconds so have to look quick. This house is owned by the US Park Service and is one of the historic places. The house even has its own Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ferry-House-on-Whidbey-Island/332890913105

One of the oldest residential buildings in the state of Washington, the Ferry House was built in 1860 by Winfield Scott Ebey as an Inn to provide financial stability for his brother’s children, who were orphaned when Isaac Ebey was brutally murdered and beheaded by Canadian natives. Once completed and opened for business, the building was named The Ebey Inn. With no other nearby accommodations, the Inn — which housed a post office, a tavern, and rooms for overnight guests — quickly became an important place for sailors and other travelers to rest before continuing their journeys to  other towns on Whidbey Island the nearby mainland and points further north. Travelers and locals could also purchase merchandise and groceries at the Inn, which served ferry traffic to and from Port Townsend The house stayed in the Ebey family for 57 years, until Isaac Ebey’s grandson sold the old Inn in 1917.

The old Inn is currently owned by the National Park Service. The Ferry House became part of the 17,500-acre (71 km2) Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve created in 1978 to protect the rural working landscape and community on Central Whidbey Island.

 THE STORY:  Every time I visit Whidbey Island, be it for a workshop or when I am there photographing, I always visit this beautiful location. These three images were made on separate days in different light. These are three of my favorite images, but only one will stand out enough to me to be my favorite image of the Ferry House. I was initially attracted to the location by the look of the old house against the background of cedars. The challenge was how to work the rather large foreground into the scene. In many cases a rock tree, etc. can serve as an anchor for the image, making for an interesting photograph, In this case, using the building in and of itself would have been acceptable, but I wanted to use the beautiful field of barley and the green to serve as my foreground. This was not as easy a task as I thought it might be. This location is best photographed in the morning. The light can be challenging to say the least. Often extremely windy conditions are present due to the proximity to the sound and the ocean. Returning many times is essential.

To create a successful landscape photograph I believe you should learn as much about a location as possible. Learn the conditions such as weather and light, and how they affect the scene and prepare yourself properly. Being at the right place at the right time is rarely by luck. Be sure your camera setting are what you want to make the most of the photograph. Imagine these images taken at F4! When the lights “happening” it usually lasts for only a few minutes. You’ll need to work quick and know how to access your equipment. Not knowing where things are in your camera bag can cost you a great shot.

TECH DATA: All images made using my Nikon D700, Gitzo 3541 tripod and Really Right Stuff BH55 Ball Head.

IMAGE  1   Nikon 80-200mm  2.8 @ 200mm   1/60sec at f16  Apature priority / Matrix metering

-1/3 compensation . ISO 1250

 

IMAGE  2   Nikon 28-70mm @ 70mm   1/ 2.5 sec at F16  Manual /Spot metering –1/3 compensation . ISO 200

 

IMAGE # 3

IMAGE  3   Nikon 28-70mm @ 70mm  1/3sec at F16  Manual /Spot metering –1/3 compensation .

ISO 200

 

 

PROCESSING:

The key to processing is knowing what I want out of the image in the field as I am making the photograph, then applying the processing technique in my studio. I make initial processing

adjustments in cam RAW using Adobe Lightroom. I use NIK SOFTWARE’S “DEFINE” to reduce any noise. I adjust the image further using NIK”S VIVEZA and Color Efex Pro. I used some layer adjustments in Adobe Photoshop to increase contrast. Final sharpening was done using NIK’S Output Sharpener.

All three of these images were processed relatively the same. What makes them different is

1) Composition     2) Light conditions  3) Use of the subject with the foreground

THE EDIT:    There are three very different images and each conveys a different feeling. It is always important to define the subject before making the image. Obviously the subject is the Ferry House. Like all images, weather they be photographs or paintings, how the subject is handled is crucial. The house is depicted in three completely different ways in these images.

IMAGE #1  

IMAGE # 1

This image was taken about 2 months before the others and the green barley field was really nice in green. I think if I was trying to show the house and not the environment,  I would select this image, The adjacent fields and close by water adds something to the image. There are some lines in the field that sort of lead into the subject which I like. The house is sharp and the background fairly clean. Depending on the use, this image works quite nicely. The light was really good this day. It was overcast, quite cool and windy. That is why I set my ISO to 1250. I did not want blurriness in the grasses as the wind was very strong. The house in this image is for my taste is balanced, but too centered. As you can see in the other images there are parts of the environment that I did not want to include in this image. By not including them I came up with this one dimensional image. It’s a nice image but to me somewhat boring.

IMAGE # 2

I went back after the 1st image and arrived at the location early in the morning, during the sweet light, to make this another images of the Ferry House. This time I wanted to use the driveway and pathway, leading to the back of the adjacent property to tell more of the story of where this old house is located. After walking around for quite a while, I selected this spot, while the light remained quite nice. The early morning light really did a nice job on the background. I still to this day cannot decide if I like this driveway or not. Sometimes I think is add something, something I think it draws my eye to the end of the driveway and away from the subject. I also don’t like how the light handled the green barley field. The light though good everywhere else really didn’t work on the grass. Perhaps if I was sold on this composition I could go back into my software and play with the luminosity etc. and adjust the grass a bit, but since I am really not sold on this image, I think I’ll wait until I am, if ever.

IMAGE  #3

IMAGE # 3

Again this image was taken in the early morning. This day featured a cloudless sky and though not bad, the poorest morning light of the three images.  I like the house placement and the green barley field a lot in this composition. This time of year the yellow mustard field in back of the property was in full bloom. I used the blue of the Puget Sound along with the complimentary yellow of the mustard field to work to enhance the image. The light was not quite as good on the house as in image 1 or 2 but not terrible. The biggest drawback for me in this image is the sky. There is no drama here. However we photographers sometime have to work with what we have.

FINAL DECISION

My final decision is to go back and do this photograph again.  What I am after is the composition of IMAGE $3 with some dramatic sky’s or some drama caused by weather. Snow would be great. Fog would be interesting as well.

All three images are nothing I would hang on a wall. Image one might be good to use for editorial purposes.  I can’t come to a firm decision regard the composition of IMAGE2. Until I do I will pass on this composition.  IMAGE 3 is more of what I call a post card image. Yes, the composition is somewhat different from what I’ve seen before, but after a few seconds it is just a nice image, not exciting.

Many that I did not want to include in this image. By not including them I came up with this one dimensional image. It’s a nice image but to me somewhat boring.

Many times, viewers look at some of the better images I have and ask “How did you get that great light “ or “How did you ever get an image looking like that” They wait for a technical answer, thinking I must have a great camera or lenses. My answer always is that I try and go back to a location many times, and you I might be there when everything works.

What do you think?–jg

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

________________________________________________________________________________________________

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!

_________________________________________________________________________

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 #5 Death Valley National Park , NIK SOFTWARE WEBINAR, ULTIMATE 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    — WORKSHOPS FILLING FAST —!!

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    new podcast ready now—interview with Laurie Rubin, NIK SOFTWARE

2012 Workshop Locations incliude the desert southwest, Olympic National Park, Columbia River Gorge, Fall Color in Oregon’s Wine Country & Area, Northern California

http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-fall-in-northern-ca-sep-20-23-2012-1  and  Whidbey Island, Wa  http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-photography-on-whidbey-may-9-12-2012-1   with the Pacific Northwest Art School…. Tetons & Yellowstone, Wyoming Big Horn Sheep in December….   please check out the details here:   http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

My fall workshop with Guy Tal  www.guytal.com  in the Eastern Sierra is almost full there are a few spaces left. This workshop is almost at capacity. http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/17th-annual-eastern-sierra-photography-workshop-mono-lake-alabama-hills-bristlecone-pine-bodie-more  Register NOW! ( Check out Guy’s E=Books as well !!)____________________________________________________________________________

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

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

 

 Noteworthy                                                                                       Use code  JGRAHAM when ordering NIK SOFTWARE on line and receive a 15% discount!!!!

Left to Right: Jack, Laurie Rubin, Dan Hughes, of NIK SOFTWARE in their offices in San Diego
Left to Right: Jack, Laurie Rubin, Dan Hughes, of NIK SOFTWARE in their offices in San Diego

Recently I recorded a webinar at the NIK SOFTWARE Headquarters in San Diego. I would like to thank the folks at NIK Software, especially Laurie Rubin and Dan Hughes for making this possible. You can view the entire webinar 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

I just returned from my spring workshop in Death Valley. We had great weather right up until the last few hours when a bad dust storm blew through.  We had good sunsets and sunrises. We had an exceptional group of attendees as well. I’ll be back in Death Valley in early November and have a few spaces left.

Driving into the sandstorm on the way out of Death Valley last week

   Speaking of spaces, I have only one space left for Ultimate Iceland in July 2012. If you are thinking about this trip, please consider coming along. You will be in for an exceptional experience, feathering 10 full days ( I don’t count travel days like some other workshops do!) of photography. You can view the details here: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

Getting set for the webinar at Nik Software

______________________________________________________________________

I received a nice email from a workshop attendee recently. She really summed up what I not only preach on workshops, that being to slow down, Look more and shoot less,  and to try and make some different images than what has already been done. Please give it a quick read!

From: Anne S [mailto:atXXXXXXX2006@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 5:42 AM
To: Jack Graham
Subject: Recent Workshop

Jack,

I finally got a chance to process the photos.  I did not take a whole lot of pictures but each of them reminds me a lot of your instructions and hints.

As you know, I am not out there to just take beautiful pictures though I have some very nice ones with your help to get things tighter.  For me, most importantly, I left the workshop with a good amount of knowledge and technique to help me take better pictures in the futures.  I really appreciated you coming out for this personal workshop.  I certainly have enjoyed it a lot and best of all, I have learned some good technique in photography.

If I get a chance to be in the west again in the near future, I will certainly contact you.  Likewise, if you are in the east coast, please do not hesitate to drop me an email.  I hope we could do another workshop again in a different setting.

Thanks—Anne

____________________________________

My podcast partner Bob Kulon has a new e-book out titled “Getting There”– Bob goes through the trials and tribulations of going pro as a nature photographer–a must read! !!!     http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bkulon

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FEATURED ARTICLE
© Jack Graham

WHICH ONE WORKS?  # 5– DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK,   CALIFORNIA 2012

Which One Works is a feather I am publishing here 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,

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.

______________________________________________________________________

Badwater, DVNP © Jack Graham

LOCATION:  Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley NP, California USA

Lat: 36°36’44.16″N

Long: 117°07’2.93″W

 Death Valley is a vast baron land, about the size of Connecticut (3.3 million acres) in the southeastern part of California. Due to the many mountain ranges on all sides, rainfall is scarce. I am sure that most of you know that DVNP receives about 2” of rain per year and would evaporate about 150”+. Badwater is over 200 feet below seal level and is usually the hottest place I the United States and even throughout the world. From a photo graphical standpoint, DVNP is a challenging place, even for a seasoned pro photographer. Heat is a huge problem in the late spring, & summer. When arriving at a location the conditions can be vastly different from your hotel or campsite. When photographing in DVNP, its always important to consider textures and patterns. Slowing down and learning to see are both very important factors and go a long way when attempting to create quality images in Death Valley. The bottom line is that DVNP is a great place to learn to be creative. If you are in too much of a hurry, your images will fail.

Image # 1   Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP  ©Jack Graham
Image # 1 Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP ©Jack Graham

 THE STORY:

Our group ventured out the 1st morning and the 4th morning of our workshop at sunrise to capture images at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. It was soon apparent to my workshop attendees that patterns and subject matter had to be considered carefully. At sunrise, the sand becomes a rich orange. Soon after the sun is above the horizon, the shadows of the back of the dunes contrast to the first lit sides, making metering a bit tricky. I often find that automatic metering is ineffective most of the time when shooting these dunes.

I always suggest, especially in this location, that you really work the subject. Take multiple images from different locations. If you are using a zoom lens, just don’t zoom in and out to create tighter shots. Walk around and get the most out of whatever focal length up you are using. The compression of the background is different, especially with mid to long telephoto lenses, when you walk into place and make an image vs. when you stand in one place and zoom in. It’s always good to get on the dunes the morning after a windy night. Tourists (and photographers as well) trample the dunes and leave footprints which can be really tough to clone away. These images were made on the 4th morning after a windless night. I cloned out as many footprints as possible, but many still remain. Wind is the only force that can eliminate these unwanted artifacts which are seen in so many images.

Image # 2  Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP  ©Jack Graham
Image # 2 Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP ©Jack Graham

TECH DATA:  On day 4 I decided to put my new Nikon 28-300mm lens to the test (more on this in another blog article). I shot a few images at F22, which I normally do not use very often and at 300mm and 28mm respectively. I was rather impressed with the overall quality. I obtained this lens to use as a travel lens, when weight is a consideration. Does is perform like my 17-35mm 2.8 or 80-200mm 2.8? Not quite but its really better than I expected.

IMAGE 1   Date/Time: 2012:03:05 07:32:35  ( sunrise was about 6:15 or so)

NIKON D700  Nikon   Lens-Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR   set at 300m

Shutter speed: 1.6 sec at  F22  Exposure –Manual  Metering-Spot  at 300mm

–         1/3 compensation  no filters

______________

IMAGE # 2       (11 minutes later)   This images was slightly cropped on the bottom.

Date/Time: 2012:03:05 07:43:32  ( sunrise was about 6:15 or so)

NIKON D700 , Lens– Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR    set at 105mm

Image # 2   Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP  ©Jack Graham
Image # 2 Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP ©Jack Graham

Shutter speed: 1/20th sec at F16 Exposure –Manual Metering-Spot

–         1/3 compensation no filters

_____________________

PROCESSING:  Lightroom camera raw adjustments then NIK SOFTWARE—Define, Viveza 2.0, Color Efex Pro4 (Pro Contrast, Darken Lighten Center) Output Sharpener 2.0

The final monochrome image was processed using Nik Software Silver Efex Pro2

Image # 1   Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP  ©Jack Graham
Image # 1 Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP ©Jack Graham

THE EDIT:    I really have a tough time discerning which one works. They both work in different ways. There are certainly more lines in image # 2, than the wider view, as well as the crop, depicts what the dunes represent. Both images tell a story. Both images depict the sand dunes well, but in a very different way. The use of the creosote bush to me is better in image #1.

When critiquing images, I use what I refer to as my 5 second rule. If I can not look at an image and in 5 seconds, want to study it more, or know that something is working well, I usually move on. Again both images quality in this respect as well.

I will pick image #1 over image # 2. My eye tends to keep moving around in image #2 looking for a more defined subject than image # 1. I also think that though I made a slight crop in image #2, there is still a bit too much foreground. Perhaps a panorama of this area would have been better suited for my needs. I really like how the bush in image #2 anchors the image. The curve and shape of the large dune in image #1 is a well-defined subject.

After converting image # 1 into monochrome (below), I even like it better. The shadows work much better in monochrome than in color

What do you think?

JG

Image # 1   Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP  ©Jack Graham
Image # 1 Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, DVNP ©Jack Graham

 

The right to download and store or output any content on these websites www.jackgrahamphoto.com and  www.jackgrahamsbloog.com is granted for preview purposes only and may not be reproduced in any form .All Photographs appearing on these sites 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 these sites you accept these terms. If you need permission to use a photo on these sites please call

503-625-1430 or email Jack @ Jack@jackgrahamphoto.com