Category Archives: Spring Bloom Desert

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

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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!

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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

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    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

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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

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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/

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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

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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

NEWS / Workshops / Article: Which one Works # 4, “The Palouse”

               Jack Graham Photography                www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

 

VISIT MORE IMAGES on the 500PX Web site–CLICK HERE  http://500px.com/JackGraham

This is a GREAT website for viewing some simply amazing  images!

 

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Out in the Eastern Sierra

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  NEW PODCAST COMING LATER THIS WEEK!!!!

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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

WEBINAR———NIK SOFTWARE: I would like to thank the folks at NIK SOFTWARE for inviting me to host a webinar   at their studio in San Diego from 2-3PM on Feb 28th. You have to register to attend. You need to register for this, and I know there are only a few spots left! ( they can register up to 1000 people). Click here to register: 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

I have a featured article in Landscape Photography Magazine this month. You can read it here:

http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/

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Workshop news and information:

 

WHIDBEY ISLAND & NORTHERN CALIFORNIA—Pacific Northwest Art School Workshops am conducting 2 workshops this year for the Pacific NW Art School. One is on Whidbey Island, Washington in May and the other is in Northern California in September. These are at a very special price and a tremendous value. Please contact them by clicking here, http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-photography-on-whidbey-may-9-12-2012

or call (360) 678-3396 for information      Pacific Northwest Art School Flier

Blue Ice, Iceland

ULTIMATE ICELAND in July 2012—–ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!… It’s going to a special trip! http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

         HIDDEN CHINA and optional TIBET:–Summer 2012 One of the 1st workshops ever to venture into Details here: http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152

 

EASTERN SIERRA with GUY  TAL — www.guytal.com  OCTOBER 2012—There are only a few spots left for my Eastern Sierra workshop in October with me and my good friend Guy Tal. If you are thinking about joining us, please let me know ASAP. Rooms are also at a premium.

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/17th-annual-eastern-sierra-photography-workshop-mono-lake-alabama-hills-bristlecone-pine-bodie-more

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone NP

TETON NP / YELLOWSTONE NP WORKSHOP in September. Details are found here:

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-grand-teton-and-yellowstone-np-photography-workshop

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE in JUNE !!   Wildflowers & Waterfalls!http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/columbia-river-gorge-and-mt-hood-photography-workshop


                                             FEATURED ARTICLE:            WHICH ONE WORKS   # 4

© Jack Graham

This is a new feature 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 in our editing process.  The editing process is as important as any stage in the making of a photograph. You should edit carefully, and be your toughest critic. In most cases the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference between a really good image and a great image.

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.

Though art is subjective, certain aspects of correct composition are less. This writing is my feelings. You may disagree; if you do I’d love to know why. You comments, as always are more than welcome.

“The Palouse”

LOCATION. – The Palouse Region of Eastern Washington, USA. The Palouse is made up of rolling hills, old weathered barns and patterns in the wheat fields, accentuated by the light and clouds, which makes for some simply amazing photography. One must have their creative juices flowing to be successful photographing the Palouse. The Palouse is the richest wheat growing area in the United States due to the geographic location rainfall and rich soil.

These images were made in June, when the area is its greenest.

THE STORY:  One of the most striking things I always look for are the barns, sitting on or within the green hillsides. As I am sure you know red and green, as opposite colors work well together. This time of year, the green is at its peak. When photographing here, it’s important to take the textures, patterns and color all into account in every landscape image. I did that in all 4 of these images. Keeping the image as simple as possible is also primary. These are working farms. There will be tractors, silos, and other added articles around the barns, property and on the roads and along the roads. Sometimes you wasn’t them there, sometimes you don’t. Can you clone them out, sometimes, but sometimes they may cause distractions and be unable to be removed successfully. Can they affect the feel of an image? You bet, as we will see here.

TECH DATA:  These images were all shot back in 2006 on June 12th.  Image and all were taken 8, minutes apart at ISO 200, using A Nikon D200 and a Nikon 300mm F4 lens (which equaled 450mm taking the crop factor into consideration). Apertures were all F16, and shutter speeds were either 1 /40th or 1/30 second.

I did minimal processing on these 4 images. The one which I select will be refined and look better than these, but for this exercise, we’re talking about compositional elements, not processing.

The finial-processed image will be included at the bottom of this writing.

Images were processed using Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and as always Nik Software. Define was used first to remove any noise. I did not use Viveza 2 on these images at all, but did add Detail Extractor, Brilliance & Warmth, a slight amount of foliage enhancement and bit of vignette to each image, using the Nik Software’s Color Efex4 Pro.. Sharpening was done in Nik Sharpener Pro. There was minimal cropping done to these images.

The same amount of each filter/ sharpening etc was applied to each image. There are no variations in processing here, just natural light

 THE EDIT:    Let’s talk about each image, the pros and cons.

IMAGE # 1
IMAGE # 1

Image # 1

Pros:  I don’t really see too many here at all.

Cons: Let’s start with a basic question you need to always ask yourself. What’s the subject? IS it the barn? Is it the green hillsides? If you cannot answer this, the image is a failure. I cannot answer that question looking at this image. Can you?

There are many compositional defects in this image. There is a huge excess of foreground that adds nothing to the image at all. Yes the rolling hills are nice, the shadows are to me just ok, but the only reason you know it’s a barn is because it’s red. Could I crop out or clone out that tree in the upper left corner. Why is even there? Perhaps because the D200 was a 95% view finder! Also, to me the barn is not 100% sharp.

TIP—Know what percent your viewfinder is and remember things may creep into your image.  Live view will always show you a 100% view!

This image will be trashed and would never get to the processing area.

IMAGE #2

   IMAGE # 2


Pros:  To me this is an improvement that image #1, because of one factor. To me the barn is now the subject. At least we have one here. The simple placement of the barn in the foreground vs. at the top allows for a defined subject. This image was made 4 minutes after image #1. There is a nice leading line, the road coming from the lower right into the barn & house. The patterns are nice and the hillsides in the background are OK.  Notice how the light changed in just 4 minutes.

Cons:  The barn is not sharp enough, nor is the trees. This is still not anything to keep. Perhaps it might be a nice postcard, but nothing to hold my interest for more than about 10 seconds. It’s better than image #1, but to me, still a boring image.

I see many of these kinds of images, sometimes published—but this image will be trashed and would never get to the processing area either.

IMAGE # 3

Image 3

No matter how I tried the images, even though there were some pros, was unusable for all the reason I stated. In the same general area, Image # 3 was taken 2 minutes later than image # 1&2. Here we have something to look at and to hold interest.

Pros:  Just my looking in a slightly different direction allowed me to see something different. Because of the way it’s constructed, the content and layout is why this image is, so far, the superior. The red buildings and silos in the foreground make a pleasing anchor to the vertical view. This image says” Palouse”!  The added suspense created by the dust blowing off the road at the top, as a vehicle, not seen, creates interest. The spacing on the barns etc is good. The light is quite nice as well. It’s a bit hard to tell in these compressed images but the barn and trees are much sharper.

Cons:  Even though there is better subject matter here, there is also much more “going on” in this image than I really would like as a final shot. My eyes wander from the red barns up to the top and that dust, and then back down. Lets’ look for the subject again? What is it in your mind? I need the subject to be a bit more defined. The trees in the upper right corner also bother me a little but not terribly.

As a documentary image or a stock image this might be kept, but not certainly for a fine art print.

Image # 3, though a big improvement over 1 &2 is still a work in progress.

IMAGE # 4

Image # 4

I remember when I made these sequences of images and remembered how I asked myself how I could define the subject better. Why not try a horizontal image?

Pros: The placement of the red barn is now in the right area. As a horizontal image, there is not extraneous apace on the top or bottom. To me it’s just right. I really like how the leading line (road) comes in from the lower left and through the image. The lone few trees on the left add interest. The amount of spaced used by the hillsides on the upper half of the image add interest as well. There is enough, but not too much.

Cons: I don’t have too many. As a nit pick, when I finish processing the image I’ll remove the shadow in the upper left corner. Did you notice this? I did. These kinds of things can distract from an image. In the final image I’ll add some structure to this image using Nik Software’s Viveza2.

In a span of 8 minutes these 4 images were made and the simple though to make a horizontal image saved the day. This scene just lends itself to a horizontal over a vertical image.

TIP: If in doubt, shoot both horizontal and vertical images. When you get in front of your monitor, and then make the decision. Both can work for different uses.

What do you think?   … and if you would like to join us in the Palouse this June… click here for information:

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/spring-palouse-now-5-days

The right to download and store or output any content on this 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

GUY TAL added as co leader on Eastern Sierra Workshop in October / Canson Paper/ F-STOP CAMERA BAGS

Jack Graham Photography Workshops( remaining 2011 & new for 2012) www.jackgtrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops …… workshops filling quickly!
NEW PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com   featuring GUY TAL
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Double"O" Arch, Arches NP, Light Painted, late at night

Hello Everybody,

 Things are very busy here these days, trying to get caught up on work after being gone so much.

 I’ll be posting another blog edition next week with some helpful photographic tips and some new images.

 I do have a three announcements I would like you get out:

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1)  Last week I sent out a tease in my newsletter about a very special co-leader that is coming on board with us in the Eastern Sierra photography Workshop this October 13-16

 I am happy to announce that my good friend and photographer extraordinary GUY TAL www.guytal.com  will be with us for the workshop. Guy lives in Torrey Utah, within Capital Reef National Park. His work is as good as it gets and his knowledge and contributions that he will add to this workshop will be more than you ever expected. Adding Guy is akin to adding Babe Ruth to an already good baseball team.

Guy and I became friends many years ago on NPN (www.naturephotographers.net ). I have 2 of his prints up on my wall in my studio.

I would encourage you to check out his work and writings (his e-books are superb—I just read his brand new on the plane back from the east coast and I highly recommend it.)

Creative Processing Techniques,….Understanding the Digital Studio….By Guy Tal   available here: http://guytalbooks.com/
Sunrise at North Lake

 

 

As far as workshop size goes, as of today we are at 9 attendees. We’ll most likely add another 3 or 4 at more. Between Guy and me you will receive an enormous amount of personal attention.  On my workshops, I am here for you. A workshop is NOT an excuse for me or for Guy to take lots of pretty pictures on at your expense. From personal experience, I can let you know Guy has the same dedication to out attendees as I.  Check out some of the referrals here: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referralsDon’t wait to long to register–We’ll be full quickly!

I am sure you all are going to be quite pleased and frankly blown away with the time in the Sierra. I wish it was October tomorrow!

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2) NEW PAPER: I am experimenting with some new photographic paper and am really pleased with the results. It is from CANSON. This is not a new company by any means, but one of the world’s oldest paper manufactures.

My paper of choice currently is Ilford’s Gold Fiber Silk paper; however, after printing a few prints on Canson’s Infinity Baryta Photographique, I must say that after using up my last box of Gold Fiber Silk, I’ll be switching to the Chanson product. http://www.canson-infinity.com/en/baryta310.asp

                                                                  The B & W inage shown here is the print I made. The blacks & whites were amazing!

Though very similar to the Ilford GFS (a very close 2nd to the Canson IBP) paper, the CanImageson IBP paper is lightly whiter, thus more like the paper used for great B & W images. The surface is as smooth as Ilford’s but whiter.  I printed a B & W image first and the blacks and dark tones were discernibly more brilliant improved over the Ilford paper.

I would suggest trying a pack for yourself. Paper can be quite subjective. This is just my opinion.

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3) I just received my new TILOPA BC camera bag from F-Stop Gear  http://fstopgear.com/              http://fstopgear.com/en/tilopa-bc

I will be using it in the field in the coming weeks and will give you a review. At 1st glance I am really impressed. These guys “get it”….Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP a different look with some "glow" effect added, thanks NIK Software!

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

 
Hunts Mesa Sunrise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 WATER EFFECTS: Silky or Natural?

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

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

                                                                                     Natural          Blurred              Silky

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

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

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

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

COMPOSITION:

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

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

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

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

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

   a horizontal view of Proxy Falls!!

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

 LIGHTING & EXPOSURE:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Other important considerations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Get out and have fun

 2GREAT RESOURCES FOR WATERFALLS  IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST are :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    50th Annual NFRCC Convention

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

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SUNRISE AT MONUMENT VALLEY

SOUTHWEST PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP     SLOT CANYONS, MONUMENT VALLEY AND MORE

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

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

 

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

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

Tear Drop Window

 Some of the areas that we will photograph include:

 UPPER and LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

                      

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Sunrise, Monument Valley

MONUMENT

 VALLEY 

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

 

Big Water area

 

Big Water

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

 We’ll spend an afternoon out here! 

Paint Hills on the old Pariah Road

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Horseshoe Bend

 

HORSESHOE BEND

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

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

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

Late Afternoon at Lake Powell

 LAKE POWELL 

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

 

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

Coral Pink Sand Dune State Park, Utah

Lees Ferry (close to Vermilion Cliffs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 TRAVEL INFORMATION 

 By AIR:

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

 LODGING:

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

Toll-free:1-877-905-4495  

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

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

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

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

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

PHONE NUMBERS ARE FOUND BELOW:

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

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

 FOOD/DINING

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

Eating is not a problem on this workshop.

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

 WEATHER

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

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

Also:

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



What’s new… Utah,Jan 2011… CHINA , TIBET & ICELAND 2012 ANNOUNCEMENT

Please visit http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops

 For complete 2011 workshop information. Many workshops are filling up fast. Now that the holidays are over time is starting to fly by!!

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  Had a great time , as always in Utah!!!!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Presentation for the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge Photographic Society, Oregon ( Feb 3, 2012)

Presentation for the NFRCC ( Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Clubs)  50th annual convention, Niagara Falls, NY (Feb 25-27 2011)

Death Valley National Park Photography Workshop Feb 19-22 2012    SOLD OUT

NANPA SUMMIT( www.nanpa.org) Mc Allen Texas  (Mar 9-12)

MARCH—–Off the the southwest for workshops in the four corners area including Monument Valley, Slot Canyons , Hunt’s Mesa, Canyon de Chelly and more…

see:    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/great-american-photography-weekend-workshopslot-canyons-monument-valley-vermillion-cliffs-lake-powel

and http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/hunts-mesa-mystery-valley-withing-monument-valley-and-canyon-de-chelley   for details!!!!

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IN THIS EDITION….. there is lots of interesting information. Please read on to learn about China, Tibet and Iceland in 2012.

 In addition.. Check out the specials at Hunt’s Photo and Video  http://wbhunt.com/specials/.    Pre order Nik Software’s latest creation, Silver Efex Pro-2. Save 15% by using the code JGRAHAM on checkout! www.niksoftware.com

                                                                                                                           Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah    January 2011                                    ©Jack Graham

I spent some time recently in southwestern Utah.  Along with the pleasure of presenting a program for the COLOR CAMERA CLUB, located in St. George, I also spent some time with my good friends, and fellow photographers, Bob Kulon, http://www.bobkulonphoto.com/, Gerry Emery (thanks for the couch and the hospitality!), Debbie Bice and Jo Hickman.  We had a lot of laughs and I was quite pleased to come away with a few images as well. Even though Bryce Canyon NP has been photographed over and over. Bob and I drove over there thinking we might get some decent light and we were right. Add that to the rather large amount of snow, it made Bryce look somewhat different from what I have seen in the past. This image is a pan of 3 images shot vertically, making more of a square presentation and offering a wider /vertical view. It’s often a challenge to photograph iconic images different from others.

                                                                                        Morning glow in Snow Canyon State Park,  Utah at sunrise,    January 2011                                  © Jack Graham

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 LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PHOTOGRAPH IN JANUARY?

 Every month, I’ll be publishing some of the best places to photograph around the country according to my good friend Bob Hitchman and his Photograph America Newsletter. Here are the hot areas for January.  The numbers on the left of the location are the reference numbers of each of his. Publications. If you don’t already subscribe… please do yourself a favor and do it.

www.photographamerica.com

January
   1: Death Valley
   3: Winter in Wyoming
  11: Kauai—Na Pali Coast
  28: Winter in Yellowstone
  35: Canyonlands National Park
  45: Valley of Fire, Nevada
  49: Bosque/White Sands
  51: Louisiana Wildlife Refuges
 104: Back to Death Valley
 109: San Francisco in the Rain

NEW E BOOK:…….Later this month I’ll be publishing my SERIES 2 E-Book. Articles will include my 10 Commandments for Nature Photographers, A Guide to seeing, and more. Sty Tuned.

2012 CHINA & TIBET

 

CHINA, “Beyond the Wall”   June 20-July 4

TIBET,   (optional)              July 4-   July 11

I’ll be devoting a complete blog edition soon with complete details on these workshops. There is too much information to just breeze through it here.

However, the event IS as they say “put to bed” and ready to go. I’ll be joined by master tour guide and a quite accomplished photographer in her own right, Katherine Feng for a 3 week trip into far NW China along the old Silk Road, and Tibet (optional) Very few, if any,( and I don’t know of any yet) have led a photography workshop into this far away region. Few westerners, let alone photographers have ever seen what we’ll be able to see and experience.

 We have chosen STRABO TOURS to handle the booking. STRABO TOURS is long known for first class international photographic tours and workshops and this will be no exception. All travel within China, (passes, permits etc) will be handled by Strabo. Pricing includes EVERYTHING from Beijing and back. Our itinerary has been carefully planned. Katherine has herself been to this region many times and knows the ins and outs.

 An optional week in Tibet will follow….  Need I say more?

 Please visit  http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152 for details.

A very brief flyer on the trip. However please visit Strabo’s site for interesting information) 2012 CHINA/TIBET FLYER

 Please email me of you have questions but stay tuned… I’ll have even more details soon.

 This is a truly ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE, that few westerners will ever get to be part of.

 This trip will be limited to only 12 people so please don’t delay.

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 ICELAND 2012

 Right on the heals of the China trip, my 2012 ICELAND workshop will begin. Tentative dates are July 20-July 31.

 Our itinerary has been set and a few other details will be worked out this week. This will be an all inclusive trip. Transportation, accommodations (10 nights) meals, meeting facilities is included.

 In order to insure the best possible experience, we will have 3 experienced photographers to offer you the highest possible service. In addition to me, my good friend and award winning photographer Tim Vollmer, an Icelandic native with vast knowledge of the island along with another fellow workshop assistant Greg Duncan will guide you through the amazing sites found only here in Iceland. Greg has assisted me on may workshops here in the states. http://www.gregduncanphotography.com/-/gregduncanphotography/

 We will photograph the amazing geothermal areas as well as the mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, coastlines and icebergs. Accommodations are truly representative of Iceland.

 Complete details and pricing will be published here in about a week……….Every time I think about this event, I wish it were tomorrow!

 Again, contact me for information.   jack@jackgrahamphoto.com or 503-625-1430