Category Archives: tode pool photo workshops

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

                            Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

    Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

 

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Workshop FAQ’s GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noteworthy

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRPAHY MAGAZINE   http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/

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

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

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

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

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WHICH ONE WORKS?          #3

    “Composition, Processing challenges and the Feeling”

©Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography

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

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

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

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

You comments, as always are more than welcome.

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IMAGE # 1 Beaver Pond, Lundy Canyon,

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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TECH DATA:

Image 1 ( Horizontal )                                                                                                              Image # 2  (Vertical)

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

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

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

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

 

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

Here are the origional RAW FILES of each image

RAW file before processing

 

 

 

RAW file before processing

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

THE EDIT:   

 

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

IMAGE #2

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

2)       Strong  foreground

3)       Clouds more dramatic

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

5)       Somewhat better light

Let me now what you think!

 

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

 

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

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

www.18percentgraymatter.com

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

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

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

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

WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS   WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS

Jack’s Website   www.jackgrahamphoto.com

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

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

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WHAT’S NEW:

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

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

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

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

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

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Mary & Peter Andrade

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

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

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

http://matthewgrahamphoto.com/wp/

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

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

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

http://wbhunt.com/specials/

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

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

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

(Updated from my 2007 blog post)  ©J Graham

Bridalveil Falls, Ohio

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

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

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

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

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

Aspens in the Eastern Sierra, California

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

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

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

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

Fall in Oregon's Wine Country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              

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

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

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

www.foliagenetwork.net

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

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

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

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

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

For the west —- www.calphoto.com

                   

BREAK THE RULES.. but know them first! / News and Notes

WORKSHOPS:: www.jackgrahamphoto.com/photo-workshops (2011 & 2012 schedules are there)        PODCAST: www.18percentgraymatter.com

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY MAIN WEBSITE: www.jackgrahamphoto.com

 

OCTOBER 2011—–FALL in NE OHIO & a day with the AMISH —FILLING FAST   http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-color-ne-ohio-well-very-special-day-amish-oct-2011

 

 

             ICELAND 2012—FILLING FAST   http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News & Notes:

Outdoor Photo Gear recently had a reprint of an article from this blog on their site (they gave an excellent blog area). Today they used one of my photographs on their home page……

thanks guy’s !!     www.outdoorphotogear.com if you haven’t visited them (click on the banner below) & check them out. They are a truly 1 stop shop for the coolest photo accessories and more around.

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Naturephotgraphers.net (www.naturephotographers.net also published a new essay of mine “The 10 Commandments of Photography” recently. http://www.naturephotographers.net/farchives.html  Give it a read, as well as the other articles from Guy Tal and Alain Briot. NPN is THE premier online forum for photography.

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And don’t forget my friends at HUNT’S PHOTO & VIDEO. http://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/ ., by far the best in the industry—Call Gary Farber for the best pricing and selection, yes better than NYC!!! (800) 221-1830 x 2332 and tell Gary I said hi!

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And finally a new website advertising workshops both in the USA and abroad is up and running. . All Photo Adventures also contains lots of good tips from some excellent photographers.

They were kind enough to post an article from me as well https://www.allphotoadventures.com/protips.aspx .

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INTERNET EXPLORER 9 vs. FIREFOX & SAFARI

Let’ talk about looking at images on the web on your monitor for a minute. I bet a lot of you didn’t know this. Internet Explorer 9 is not color managed. I REPEAT—NOT COLOR MANAGED!!!

FIREFOX and SAFARI is color managed and will ensure sRGB is read correctly. The problem is with Internet Explorer 9. If you are using IE9 often the greens & yellows will have hues significantly different from your original image. Why this is I have NO idea.

Many folks often discuss, and often critique images using IE9. I think you see my point. To do this kind of exercise correctly, use either Firefox or Safari. If everyone is not on a color managed browser such as in FIREFOX or SAFARI (as well as a calibrated monitor) we are all looking at hues & colors that often are drastically different…….Consider this when viewing images on your (hopefully calibrated) monitor.

One way around this if you want to continue to use explorer 7 on up…. is here http://www.gballard.net/psd/go_live_page_profile/embeddedJPEGprofiles.html#

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New D400 from Nikon? I am hearing lots of rumors about a D400 coming in August. This would make a lot of sense since the D300 line, though extremely successful, has about reached it life cycle. Historically,  Nikon has unveiled follow-up cameras about every 2 years, and this August makes 2 years since the D300s came on the scene.

I would guess the MSRP on the D400 to be around that of the D300s. The “Sweet spot” these days for DSLR’s is $750- $1500.  Competitively, along with Canon & Sony there are many fine cameras in those price points. The D 400 will compete with all of them…………………………..I guess we’ll see in a few weeks!

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Break the Rules….but know them first

© Jack Graham all rights reserved

In all of the many books that attempt to teach one how to be a better photographer, I would bet that there is only a handful that actually talks about breaking the rules. We are so entrenched in getting things right, and following the many common rules of photography, we sometimes forget to experiment and let our creative side flourish.

So what are the “rules”? Without going into each specific photographic “rule”  suffice it to say, before going out into the field attempting to make quality images one must have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. It’s hard enough to “See” an image, but then how do want to communicate that through the lens. What mood do you want to project, and what equipment do you use.

I maintain that if you can be adept at the following basic “rules”, use the light to your advantage and slow down and give yourself the ability to see, you’ll come away with more quality images.

If you understand the basic rules, but do not incorporate them into your photography, you are in essence not using the rules at all and in turn, your images will reflect this lack of understanding. In some ways if you don’t adhere to the accepted photographic rules, you’re already breaking them, however by using accepted photographic rules; you’ll be more successful when you attempt to break them. It takes patience and lots of technique when you break one or more of the cardinal rules of photography. One had better study them, know them inside and out and understand these rules are accepted protocol.

I recently was told that a rather well-known nature photographer, when asked about rules, replied that he has no rules. I admire this person’s work and guarantee, he follows the common rules of photography, but at times successfully breaks them and comes away with great images. In this essay, I am doing to discuss a few common rules of photography and how you might successfully break them, let your creative juices flow and be successful in your photography.

Let’s look at a few, certainly not all basic rules of photography. I’ll demonstrate the use of them and how you can break them to a degree, but still come away with a pleasing image.

LIGHT

RULE: Bad light is bad light and good light is good light. Usually, but not always.

I know some excellent nature photographers that only shoot in the “sweet light” Sweet light is defined by the effects of the sun during the time of day when the sun is at a very low angle or when conditions provide for warm and dramatic light. Typically ½ hr before sunrise and ½-3/4 of an hr after sunset is when this sweet light occurs.

You must know and if possible if possible visualize the light under certain atmospheric conditions in order to make your time in the field successful.

Monument Valley in "sweet light"

BREAK the RULE: However, Can you break this rule and make acceptable images? Certainly for macro photography and in areas where you can control your environment, shooting only at certain times of the day are not relevant. In certain circumstances, you can come away with quality images.

The image on Monument Valley was shot at the so called”Golden hour”, in very good light.

Oregon Coast

The second  image was taken about 2PM on the Oregon Coast with a rather bright, but partly cloudy afternoon. First I limited all but a touch of sky and made the movement of the grasses the subject. I shot this 2/3rds under exposed to darken the image a bit. One might see this as being shot on an overcast day, but it was far from completely overcast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPOSITION:

RULE: Always follow the rule of thirds………………….  Well, not always

The rule of thirds is the most important rule of composition. It is intended to place subjects in areas that are aesthetically pleasing. This rule was not invented yesterday. It’s stood the test of time

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The “Rule of Thirds” divides each image into three areas both horizontally and vertically.  In turn, a grid with nine squares, similar to a tick-tack–toe board is created.  Each of the individual points of those squares is where your subject could be placed.  The basic idea of this rule is to avoid centering an object.

Following the rule. The male cardinal is  nowhere near the middle of the image. The rule of thirds is followed in this image.

In the two images below, it is easy to se why moving the center of the image just a bit makes for a much more pleasing image

This center of this image is kind of bulleseyed
the center is off center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAK THE RULE

Hawaiian Church

There are a few special times when centering an object or subject works. Most often is when the leading lines are all moving in concert to the center of the image.

The image of the church on the left is a good example of a centered subject. In this case the subject takes up most of the frame. The  flowers act as a leading line , bring you right up to the stairs and the front door of the church.  Though the subject is in the middle, the image looks just fine.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California ( image shot on Fuji Velvia--remember film?)

It is important to determine how much negative space you want to have in your image. Negative space is the area around the subject.  For example, if a subject happens to be is long and thin or on the smallish side, having more negative space will make the subject look lost within the image. Conversely, too little negative space might cut off the subject. …. And you may want that! Remember, if it works, break the rule.

Have I ever broken the centering rule, yes, when it works. If I choose to center an object because its shape allows the image to be more pleasing.  Circular objects are a good example.  A photo looking up into a domed ceiling usually works better with some centering

A round flower often needs centering to avoid cutting off portions of the petals. Buy why not cut off the petals, break the rule and get creative.

I never make breaking rules a habit, but sometimes it works.  In the end I usually use the “Rule of Thirds” as my guideline.

 

 

 

VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL

The other main decision with composition has to do the deciding if the subject lends itself to a horizontal or vertical image.

RULE: The amount of negative space required to make a pleasing images is a major factor in determining which format is the best….) and then as always, consider the rule of thirds in both formats when making the image)….. And think creativity. If I break the rule, would it improve my image?”

As a photographer when in the field I will typically shoot both formats of a subject if there is any question as to the best format. I then make the decision at a later date which format works for me. Usually, each format conveys a very different feeling.

When I photograph waterfalls, trees or flowers with long stems, I tend use the vertical format. However if the same waterfall, flower or tree is photographed without the long stem or falling water, then the horizontal format might be considered over the vertical so there is more space surrounding the subject.

Both images are of the identical waterfall.

Again, if breaking the rule makes for more pleasing images, then by all means do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HORIZON LINES in composition are critical.

RULE: Horizons should generally be low to feature the sky, or high to the foreground.  They should always be level straight and level.

Again, thinking creatively, you may want break this rule. Most often if I do, I exaggerate the horizons, making somewhat of an abstract image. You either want to follow this rule to the tea, or really break it and use your imagination.

   

The horizon line in the image of Monument Valley is almost right down the center of the image, however in this image I think it works quite well.

 

 

 

 

Green Heron on the prowl

One area I almost never break the rules is when photographing subjects that are not stationery.  Birds in flight, moving objects like boats, planes or cars should point in a direction they are moving towards.  Without this direction they look like they are running out of the frame and into an invisible dead-end on the end of the image.

Big Horn Ram, Wyoming

But I sais almost.  The ram below is almost dead center. I wanted to show the path from where he came from in the background. Did I break the rule, of course, but purposely to show the environment he lives in and appeared from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exposure

Exposure is basic. One must take Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO into consideration. Each has an effect on the other, though by themselves are separate considerations.

Rule: Smaller apertures will always give more depth of field, and a larger less. and a slower shutter speed will always cause more blurring, and a faster less. A higher ISO ( though modern technology is changing this drastically) will always create more noise in an image  Proper exposure comes from knowing how these three affect each other and thus making the right choice for each scene.

Oregon Coast, underexposed by 2/3 of a stop

Rule: Exposure itself should match whatever the lighting is in that situation.

Moonlit landscape at Death Valley... about a 40 second exposure at F4, ISO 400

For example, a moonlit landscape should look moonlit and not like mid afternoon. The rules for ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, are not debatable.  However, a we can use these rules them to convey a feeling using light. I often try to replicate the scene as I observed it when making the image. However, experiment, and perhaps underexpose your image (usually overexposure will be less advantageous). You may find a totally different feeling being felt. If it’s interesting and pleasing, by all means break the rule!

Even is you have an acceptable composition, a bad exposure will destroy the image. Break the rules of exposure only after you master them. By the end of a workshop, my attendees are usually sick of hearing me preach getting the exposure (and composition for that matter) right in the camera. Editing often can not fix everything.

Photographers use rules, or lack of, and creativity to make pleasing images. We all are different and see in different ways.  This is what makes each image and each photographer unique.  Remember; break the rules only when you have mastered them. Be creative

We are all using creativity when we photograph a subject. Just breaking the rules doesn’t work by itself. One should spend time experimenting with the composition and the light, Using your creativity is the way to make pleasing images while breaking the rules.  If a certain rule of photography blocks out your creativity, then choose to use it or try something different. Creativity along with other parameters is what makes one photographer stand out from another

Our life is filled with rules. We stop at red lights; sports are based on rule books. There are rules that we are not permitted to break. However in the arts and science, though based on rules as well. Many great discoveries were made by someone breaking a rule………………In photography, some rules can be more definitive and some more vague.

10 OF MY SECRET LOCATIONS

Listen to descriptions of these locations on an interview I did for NIK Radio ( see NIK SOFTWARE DISCOUNT on the blog-right hand column) CLICK HERE for the interview:

http://c4.libsyn.com/media/19968/nik100812.mp3?nvb=20100813165536&nva=20100814170536&sid=e8ab0a98100b1a36af78e2fb86a1fb39&t=019d465cbda3ece987148

Every professional photographer I know has a few “secret” locations that they like to go back to as often as possible. Many times these spots are very close to ones that are well known and visited by hoards of photographers, often photographing the icons of that well know location. I too shoot the icons, always I always look for a different vision ( o we need more postcards?) but more often then not, take that turn, away from the popular spots and head off to the roads less traveled.

Here I’ll discuss just a few of my spots, not as well known, but one I’s like to get back to more often. Some of these are becoming a bit more visited than years ago but are still in many instances close to areas that are much more photographed. I am not going to get into how to get to these locations, the internet can do that for you, but here are some tips when you get there.

If you have any specific questions please email me at jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

1. MYSTERY VALLEY, ARIZONA

Every year, thousands of photographers from all over the world come to Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border in the remote northwestern part of the Navajo Nation for the ultimate American western experience. Navajo guides accompany photographers by 4 wheel drive trucks or horseback through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park past the famous Mittens and other monoliths. The Navajo people have lived in this area for at least 500 years.

Mystery Valley is a relatively unknown destination that features ancient ruins, rock art and many box canyons along with breathtaking views of the wide open spaces within Monument Valley. Mystery Valley is actually located right next to Monument Valley but unlike the valley itself Mystery Valley has little or no tourist traffic and provides a myriad of photographic opportunities. Areas I like to photograph include: Mitchell Butte, Gray Whiskers and Sentinel Mesa.

There are many dwellings that are still in good condition. There are many theories on why the natives left so quickly, which is another story that I’ll discuss sometime, but much of the stone and mud construction still remains intact and the cliff dwellings remain as they were. While there, be sure to visit Square house Ruins (GPS coordinates 36o 53.491’N, 110o 11.416’W),… Baby House Ruins (GPS coordinates 36o 53.277’N, 110o 11.133’W),…. Honeymoon House Ruins GPS coordinates 36o 53.318’N, 110o 10.487’W….. and the House of Many Hands GPS coordinates 36o 54.144’N, 110o 10.160’W.

A Navajo guide is required.

2. THE PALOSE, SOUTHEASTERN WASHINTON

Located in southeastern Washington, the Palouse region is well know to photographers for its patterns of green wheat fields and never ending images of old barns, rolling wheat covered hills in unending shades of green. In August during the harvest season the same hills turn brown and then black after the harvest and burning. Because of its location, perfect rainfall and soil content, the Palouse is the richest wheat producing area in the world. Virtually no irrigation exists. This are, like Monument Valley is a Mecca for photographers from late May through August. Towns like Colfax, Palouse, Dusty, Steptoe, St John, and Rosalia are caught in a time warp. These areas offer great photographic opportunities and are throwbacks of 20-50 years ago.

There are endless opportunities in this are. Here are just a few of my favorite spots to travel through and look for great views and patterns in the fields. Barns, grain elevators and old buildings are everywhere.

While most folks are up at Steptoe Butte, why not check out some of these locations:

Washington State Route 27 out of Pullman—good afternoon spot

SR 272 out of Colfax heading east towards the town of Palouse

Baird Road off Hwy 195 (unpaved) at milepost 60.

Marvin Wells Road and Abbot Road—near Kamiak Butte County Park

File Road west of the town of McCoy between Rosalia and Oakesdale

Kelso Road—same area

Waverley Road—same area

Prairie View Road—same area

The bottom line is to try and stay on the unpaved roads. Some are marked “primitive” and some “summer road”. Get stuck in the deep mud o the “summer road” and you’ll quickly figure out why they are called summer roads. Be careful if there is any rain at all.

3. STRAWBERRY HILL STATE PARK, CENTRAL OREGON COAST

Just south of Yachats (pronounced yahots) on the central Oregon Coast many small State Parks such as Neptune SP and Stonefield Beach are quite popular with visitors and photographers alike. A small state park between Neptune SP and Carl S. Washburne SP is Strawberry Hill State Park… Don’t drive fast, you’ll miss it. Wonderful rock formations, tide pools and crashing waves at high tide make this a hidden gem. Low tide in the evening usually provides for great sunset opportunities.

4. CUYAHOGA NATIONAL PARK, OHIO

Blue Hen Falls

Why is a National Park on a list of secret locations? Frankly it’s because while living in the area for a few years, I rarely found photographers from outside the area and western Pennsylvania photographing there. Within this park are waterfalls, rolling hills, lakes and marshes with both landscape and wildlife photographic opportunities.

Here are a few of my favorites:

1)The Beaver Marsh and Boardwalk area ( great sunrises off the road looking the marsh when its fogs I the spring & summer)

2)Blue Hen, Bridleveil and Brandywine Falls —great in the spring and for fall color

3)The ledges.

4)Hale Farm area

5_Bath Blue Heron Rookery (on Bath Road in the park)—hundreds of herons nesting

… And more—-if you run into a local … say hi for me.

5. SNOW CANYON STATE PARK, SOUTHERN UTAH

Not long ago some good friends and fellow photographers moved to St George Utah. When I visited them they raved about a close area that offered. Snow Canyon SP is everything and more than they promised. I’ve been back a few times.

I was amazed at the lack of other photographers in an area close to Zion NP and other wonders of southern Utah. Striations and patterns in the rocks, along with some interesting plant life make for wonderful images. Is it “The Wave”? Well not really, but in my opinion, pretty close!

Snow Canyon SP is 11 miles west of St. George. Next time you get to Zion put this on your must see list. Get there in good light.

6. PANGUITCH LAKE , UTAH

I always love sunsets here. This good size lake is off HWY 143 ½ way between Cedar Breaks and the small town of Panguitch, Utah. Looking east across the lake at sunset can be great. The area also offers a lot photographically.

7. HOOD CANAL, WASHINGTON

Hood Canal flows for 65 miles at the base of the Olympic Mountains. The canl is kind between Puget Sound and the mountains. This area offers some of the most magnificent scenery anywhere. There are nine state parks along the canal. US 101 parallels the canal on the west side with easy access to the shoreline. At low tide oysters are plentiful on the mud flats. My favorite areas are the Toandos Peninsula, Quilecene Bay, Black Point, and Triton Head. Take your time and enjoy!

8. GRIZZLY ISLAND WILDLIFE REFUGE AND SUISUN MARSH, NO. CALIFORNIA

If you enjoy photographing birds, you’ll love this spot. Grizzly Island Wildlife Area is located in the heart if the great Suisun Marsh, approximately ten miles southeast of the City of Fairfield in Solano County, California The Suisun Marsh is the largest remaining contiguous area of coastal wetland in California. (It contains 54,000 acres of marsh and upland areas plus an additional 30,000 acres of waterways). In winter, it is an important feeding and resting area for waterfowl traveling the Pacific Flyway, at times with as many as 1,500,000 ducks and geese.

Within the Grizzly Island and Suisun Marsh it is common to be able to photograph hawks, great herons, egrets, Blue Herons and more right from your car (your car makes a great blind… bring a long lens and a beanbag. I use a window mount by Kirk Enterprises) Driving deeper into marsh the wildlife becomes more concentrated and varied. In the winter it’s common to see herds of Tule Elk feeding in the mornings.

The road into the marsh is paved until you reach Grizzly Island ( crossing a bridge). There the road quickly becomes unpaved. Be careful of fisherman driving fast as well as the dust. The canals and marshes offer some of the best waterfowl and wading bird photography anywhere.

Getting there:
From Interstate 80 in Solano County, exit CA 12 east (exit 43). Drive about 4 miles east on 12, then turn right onto Grizzly Island Road. Drive about 9 miles on Grizzly Island Road, to the park office on the left side of the road. Stop and register, then continue on Grizzly Island

9. LITTLE FINLAND (or HOBGLOBINS), NEVADA DESERT

Little Finland, ( has nothing to do with the country) also known as “Hobgoblin’s”, is located in a very, (and I mean very) remote area of Nevada, off a backcountry road named then Gold Butte Byway.
A high clearance 4WD vehicle, a GPS and topographic map are mandatory to get there. However, I guarantee that it’s worth the effort as you will get to photograph some of the most extraordinarily sandstone formations, with amazing and unusual and shapes reminding one of animals or other creatures Late afternoon or early morning( that means camping! Provide the warm light necessary to bring out the deep sandstone colors.

Over time, the sand cements into rock and is totally shaped, looking like fins ( thus the name Finland) by the wind, leaving some incredible formations. Some of the shapes look like dragons or beasts, other like faces.

Tread lightly as the formations are very fragile.=

Getting there is a tough trip, this isn’t a state park and there are NO facilities or water. Be prepared. This can be a dangerous trip. I suggest not going alone, and if possible take 2 vehicles. There is neither cell phone availability nor a way of communicating with the outside world…

DIRECTIONS: About five miles from Mesquite, take I-15 exit 112 towards Riverside/Bunkerville (about 1 hr from LAS VEGAS). Follow directions for Gold Butte Backcountry Byway and take a right onto the road. After a few miles the pavement ends and the road urns to dirt.

Follow signs for “Devil’s Throat” – a sinkhole. Where the road forks, bear right and follow it until it turns into Mud Wash, the river bed you will drive on. Follow it for a few miles and take the right branch again where it forks. This should lead you to Little Finland.

I would strongly suggest purchasing issue 113 of the PHOTOGRAPHIC AMERICA NEWSLETTER (Secrets of the Nevada Desert) and read it carefully before attempting this trip.( for that matter I’d buy all of these newsletters—if you do, tell Bob Hitchman I sent you) www.photographamerica.com

10. HIGHWAY 19 from the PAINTED HILLS north TO INTERSTATE 84, OREGON

Lots of photographers go to the beautiful John Day Fossil Beds and the Painted Hills of north central Oregon to make images of these beautiful formations. If you go (and you should) take a little extra time and follow the meandering state highway19 from the Painted Hills in Mitchell, OR north to Interstate 84 and the Columbia River. You’ll drive through towns like Fossil (yes you can dig them there) Condon, Mayville and others. These towns are similar to those in the Palouse as far as being about 30 years behind the times. The canyons, old barns offer lots of photographic opportunities. It’s about a 2 hour drive (so add time to photograph) up to the interstate.

News…June 2010

Logan Pass, Glacier NP, Montana

     It’s been a cool and wet spring here in Oregon. May was the wettest month in 15 years (and one of the coolest. June is following suit, however I think we are finally breaking out of the doldrums.

Proxy Falls, June 2010

 Our waterfalls are still gushing like early spring and Mt Hood still has plenty of snow on it. Included in this blog are a few images made in the past few weeks wither on my own or while conducting some workshops in the area.

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WORKSHOP AVABILITY

Please visit www.jackgrahamphoto.com for details and registration forms:

OREGON COAST                                         July 15 -19   –2 spots left

FALL in the EASTERN SIERRA-                 Oct 14- 17— sold out

FALL in SW Washington and NW Oregon Oct 27- 31— 2 spots left

FALL IN THE BAY AREA/ NAPA VALLEY  NOV 4-  7—   3 spots left

BIG HORN SHEEP& WYOMING WINTER LANDSCAPES /CODY Wyoming-Dec10-14 –Sold out

One on One workshops are available … please consider attending—see below

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NEW UPDATED WEBSITE: For those who may not have visited recently, I’ve revised my web site a bit, added some new content and upgraded the Links (lots of new ones!) and E-Commerce sites. I’ll be posting new images weekly, so please take a look when you get a minute…. www.jackgrahamphoto.com

PHOTOSHELTER: Many images that are not found on my website are available via Photoshelter http://jack.graham.photoshelter.com .

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ALABAMA HILLS

As some of you may know, there is an effort to make the Alabama Hills a National Monument. The Alabama Hills Stewardship group (local citizens, local politicians and concerned citizens). Some of these folks do not want National Monument status, which they feel would give to much control over the BLM, but  Some form of resolution will be coming down perhaps as soon as later this year. As photographers who have been to this beautiful area in the Eastern Sierra, we know that this area is very fragile and should be protected. Meeting between all concerned are held monthly in Lone Pine. I urge you to be part of this effort by contacting the following & voice your opinion

www.alabamahillsstewardsgroup.org/about  Kevin Mazzu

David Kirk, BLM David_Kirk@blm.gov

The Alabama Hills BLM www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bishop/scenic_byways/alabamas.html

The Alabama Hills Advisory Council Update

www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsbytes/2009/395_extra_-_.html

Quite a number of National Monuments and Scenic areas have come about from these grass route efforts.

PRO NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER, www.pronaturephotographer.com is a new website dedicated to the business of outdoor and nature photography was launched last February by Charles Borland, a 30 year veteran in the nature photography business.  Issues facing today’s pro nature, travel and adventure photographers are discussed. I have found this website to be very informative.

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NIK SOFTWARE

As some of you know, I am not an “over do processing” kind of guy. I try and make my images look as close to what I witnessed when making the photograph as possible. Yes I use CS4 & Lightroom, but more and more I am using my NIK software to complete the process. You can read about my processing in my current E-Book for sale http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/jack-graham-e-book-series-1 .

From Define 2.0, which to me is the state of the art noise reduction program, to Sliver Efex Pro, for Black & White conversions… NIK is simply the best and easiest to use. Not only that, their web site www.niksoftware.com offers tutorials, webiners and more product information than you’ll ever need.

And for an added bonus…. When purchasing any product from NIK you can receive an instant 15% discount by using the code JGRAHAM when checking out.

I recommend looking into “The Complete Collection” that includes all of Nik Software’s latest award-winning plug-in software titles for Photoshop®, Lightroom® and Aperture™ including: Dfine® 2.0, Viveza® 2, Color Efex Pro™ 3.0, Silver Efex Pro™, and Sharpener Pro™ 3.0. All products now feature Nik Software’s patented U Point® technology, giving photographers the most powerful tools for precise and natural photographic enhancements and corrections without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.

The Complete Collection offers two editions, the Complete Collection Ultimate Edition and the Complete Collection for Lightroom and Aperture. The Ultimate Edition includes support for every plug-in to work in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture, and offers Color Efex Pro 3.0 to work in Capture NX 2 as well. The Complete Collection for Lightroom and Aperture includes support for each plug-in to only work in Lightroom and Aperture

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ONE on ONE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS—Field & Studio

Getting personal instruction tailored to your specific needs, is a great way to become a better photographer. I am now offering one on one photography workshops in the field with a follow up session in my home studio. This is a chance to receive my personal undivided attention and have 100% undivided mentoring.

In the field, our time will be focused on everything from composition, technique, handling difficult lighting challenges, proper use of your equipment, how to make evocative images, to seeing an image and more. By letting me know your needs and expectations, I will customize a program that will meet and probably exceed your needs and expectations.

In our home studio session, we will review your images, either from the days shoot or ones you bring along with you. We will also discuss post processing and printing in depth. You will have full access to a state of the art computer system, including dual monitors with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop as well as the complete NIK Software system is available. We discuss the processing and printing topics in depth as well as pricng one or two of your images. Other applications, such as web use or other marketing strategies will also be covered.  

Here in the Portland Oregon area there is a wealth of amazing photographic locations. You can seem many images of these areas on my website. I am close to the Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge, and wine country of the Willamette Valley, the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Hood.

My One on One day rate is $500.00.

However during this special offer, you can sign up for a full day of field work as well as an evening in the studio for $400.00 per full day. As these days are limited, I recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible so we can work with your schedule as well.

This one on one workshop includes transportation from my home (I drive —you don’t!). You also have the opportunity to schedule 2 or more days at a special rate of $350.00 per day.

By attending one of my One on One workshops, you will also be entitled to a 10% discount on future Jack Graham Photography Workshops (group workshops) as well as discounts on NIK Software, Lensaby, Think Tank, Hunt’s Photo & Video and Photograph America Newsletter.

If you have questions that are not answered here, simply email me at jack@jackgrahamphoto.com or call me at 503-625-1430. You can sign up using any credit card. Simply call or email us with your information.

After your appointment scheduling is complete, I will email you with all the information needed for out time together

 (One on one workshops are available out of the area as well. In addition to the day cost, other travel, lodging costs are additional)

 IMAGE REVIEW AND MENTORING………I am availabel by the hour for image reviews and mentoring sessions either in person or by the phone. Simply upload you images to a hosting service like Photoghelter, Zenpholio, Smugmug etc and away we go. My charge is $40.00 per hour and can be paid via MC or Visa. Of course this service is always complimentary, at any time to my current workshop alumni

News and Notes / Upcoming Events /website update /E-Book now available

JUST PUBLISHED:  SERIES 1 of my E-Book SERIES available at www.jackgrahamphoto.com . Each series will contain between 2-3 essays on related subjects in nature photography. Series one covers preparation ( before) proportional photography( during) and processing(after).

SERIES 1      PREPARE  /  SHOOT  /  PROCESS

Series one of my E-Book Series encompasses three important steps in making quality photographs. All three essays are delivered in PDF format, downloadable at www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Essay1 …. PREPARATION COMES FIRST….. Preparation is essential. It seems like few photographers actually prepare properly for a day in the field. I explain the why’s how’s and reasons that preparation is important.

 Essay2…..PROPORTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: I discuss some everyday compositional issues, as well as well as subtle issues that can make a good image a great one. I discuss how to deal with issues that both complicate images and render them mediocre at best.  I bring these issues to light in both Landscape and Macro venues. Easy to understand concepts are discussed and depicted in this image filled essay.

 Essay3…..  QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO PROCESSING YOUR NATURE PHOTOGRAPHS

 This is just that, a reference guide to how I process my images. I use Adobe Lightroom and CS4 as well as software by NIK. Leaving the minutia to folks like Scott Kelby and others, this publication discusses topics such as:

1)     Why Lightroom® and CS4® are both important and how to integrate both easily.

2)     Examples of processing, controversial processing, photo-art, processing tools

3)     How to properly evaluate an image

4)     Typical workflow incorporating Lightroom®, Photoshop® and NIK Software®

5)     Processing challenges such as avoiding over processing, bad cropping, over sharpening………………….  And more!

 ALL 3 Essays in my E-BOOKS / SERIES 1 are available for sale at $ 9.99  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

 Use Adobe reader 5.0 or higher. LIGHTROOM™ and PHOTOSHOP™ are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Color Efex Pro3.0™, Viveza 2.0™, Define 2.0™, Sharpener Pro 3.0™ and Silver Efex Pro™ are trademarks of Nik Software Inc™

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REVISED WEBSITE…………… www.jackgrahamphoto.com

I am very proud to announce  my newly revised website www.jackgrahamphoto.com. Return visitors my thing things are the same .. but there are many changes.

IMAGES:…..In addition to my ability to add new images on a much ( and I mean much) more frequent basis, you now will be able to view my images than before by clicking on the thumbnail within each gallery. (Also you can now go images to image without going back to main gallery section page. Many new images going into gallery area over the next 2 weeks as time allows.

SERIES 1 of my new E-Book is now available. It is downloadable there on the website, and in addition you’ll receive an  individual email to download it as well if you wish.

The  e- commerce functions are much easier and smoother …  Coming products may include instructional DVD’s, more E Books, and more (any suggestions?)

Check out the LINKS page for lots of useful information and many great websites of my fellow nature photographers, well worth looking at!_____________________________________________________________________________________________

UP COMING WORKSHOPS:  

OREGON COAST and a Very Special Workshop with Mike Moats, Bill Fortney and Jack Graham in the Smoky Mountains….. FALL in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

OREGON COAST  JULY 15-19 2010

COAST WORKSHOPS OVERVIEW                        REG MASTER 2010

The Oregon coast in July is something special

The Oregon coastline offers the photographer some of them most beautiful and famous marine views anywhere in the world. This diverse landscape ranges from sandy beaches with 500-600 high cliffs dropping off on rocky beaches with crashing waves, to tide pools filled with marine life. Many working lighthouses offer unique photographic experiences. Many small fishing towns offer beautiful harbors with easy access to fishing boats to capture the essence of life on the Oregon Coast.

We will spend time photographing all of this and more during our 5 days on the coast. We will begin in Ecola State Park, where old growth rain forests abound. Views of the ocean and Tillamook Lighthouse make this area a must. From there we head down the coast to Cannon Beach, known for Haystack Rock and fabulous sunsets. The town of Tillamook is a bit further south (know for Tillamook Cheese!).

We will parallel the coast, often not driving on HWY 101 to shoot locations like Cape Lookout, Cape Mears, Devils Punchbowl, Cape Fowl weather, Haceta Head, Yaquina Head, Newport Harbor,  Charleston Harbor,Cape Blanco, and more great locations ( with great names!).  Itineries will be customized to light and weather conditions. We will shoot the many lighthouses that still even today, serves aids to mariners. We will spend evenings in, Tillamook, Newport, Florence, and Charleston, near Coos Bay.

 In addition to field, work time will be spent reviewing images made during the workshop. Critiques and information that will aid your photographic development are offered during these review sessions.

 We will also discuss the processing part of digital photography. Without exception, previous attendees have found these sessions invaluable.Not only will we be shooting the vistas, lighthouses etc, but we will be shooting some of the pristine landscapes as well as the close up world found in the many tide pools along the coast.

 Sunrises and sunsets can be amazing. We will get you to the right locations, at the right time of day and make the best use of the week on the coast.

 Please contact me for additional information……  This is a trip you won’t forget!    jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

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LANDSCAPE…….. CLOSEUP….and PHOTOGRAPHIC DESIGN  workshop, ownsend Tn, (Smoky Mountains)—JULY 29-Aug 1, 2010

  Bill Fortney( www.billfortney.net),  Mike Moats ( www.tinylandscapes,com)  and I are conducting a complete photographic workshop entitled LANDSCAPE, CLOSEUP and PHOTOGRAPHIC DESIGN in Late July, early August.   This is a one of a kind event will take place in Townsend Tn, the home of  Great Smoky Mt. National Park. I can guarantee you an unforgettable and unique experience, one that will make you all better nature photographers.

This will be a combination of classroom and field work. Field work will be in the early mornings when it’s not only the coolest, but the time when subject matter (in addition to the sunrise of course!) is something special, due to the normally heavy dew. Mid Day and afternoon classroom sessions will offer discussions beyond what you usually get in photography workshops.  Bill, Mike and Jack will offer their own vision and ideas which will be on display during this workshop. Each specializes in a different phase pf photography and therefore offers you a wide range of information.

Dont miss this one. It is rare to get three top nature photographers in one workshop setting.

Please contact Jack at jack@jackgrahamphoto for more details.

DETAILS CAN BE FOUND HERE  FMG_SCPD WORKSHOPS_TN_Summer2010v2     REG FORM F M&G

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FALL in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP  Jack Graham & Ralph Nordstrom

NOVEMBER 4-7  2010

Once again, Ralph Nordstrom (www.ralphnordstromphotography.com ) and Iwill be teaming up for an exceptional few days in Northern California in the fall. The tourists are gone, the kids are back to school and things are never better in this beautiful area of the country. The days are still warm and the smell of fall is in the air. We’ll be spending quality photographic time in the Napa Valley and on  the coast in and around San Francisco. We’ll also spend some time in San Francisco itself to capture some of the flavor of this unique city.

As always classroom sessions will take place to look at our work, and discuss important topics that will greatly aid in improving you photography.

Please read  this overview for lot’s more information and consider joining us for a very unique experience.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA-WORKSHOP INFO NOV 2010                REG MASTER 2010JGRN

GRAHAM and SON

I spend a lot of time conducting photography workshops all over the United States. I spend time with many return customers who have become friends over the years. I spend time with lots of new faces. Yes, I also spend a lot of time in my office (sometimes too much!) when I am not traveling in one form or another, and not nearly enough out by myself exploring and shooting like I would like to. Recently, I had time to not only get out shooting, but doing so with my son Matthew.

One happy guy.... ©Jack Graham

 About a year ago, I received a call from Matthew (who lives on the east coast) to tell me he acquired his first decent DSLR camera and he was really interested in learning how to properly take photographs. During what I would call his “initial plunge” into photography, he quickly learned that taking quality photographs isn’t nearly as easy as one may believe and that being outside, exploring the natural world is pretty cool.

Looking up the Columbia River ©Matthew Graham

Enter the old man………..Over the past months Matthew and I have spent lots of time looking at both his work and mine. I recommended him buying all the John Shaw books and others, and get out and enjoy photography. We’ve discussed all the things that I typically do on workshops and closely critique images. In the beginning of Matt’s foray into photography, I kind of left him to his own a bit to see if he was really serious… well, he’s serious alright!

The Pacific, from Yaquina Head, Oregon © Matthew Graham

 Matthew has upgraded his equiptment and is now shooting the Nikon D300 with some decent glass, a good tripod and quality ball head etc.

 Matthew is one of the busiest tattoo artists in the New Jersey, New York City area.

I really didn’t take his job this too seriously until I realized how good he is at it, how seriously he takes it and how he makes a decent living at it. It truly is an art form. (I have yet to receive my 1st tattoo yet, and I rather doubt I will). Going back to his childhood, Matthew’s artistic ability was amazing, primarily focused in drawing when mine was initially driven towards music. I can hardly draw a stick figure. His work is amazing and is a gift.

 Check his work out at on his website  www.njinkworks.com  (Click on Photo Gallery to see more of his photography)

Ochre Sea Stars, Seal Rock State Park tidepools, Oregon © Matthew Graham

                         

One of the things he quickly realized was that the basic principles of drawing and art overlaps into Photography. Perhaps this why his eye has developed as quickly as it has.

 While in New Jersey last summer for his sisters wedding, we made plans for him to come to the Pacific Northwest for a few days when we both could get out and shoot, and learn (Yes I am still learning everyday!). Recently Matthew came on out, and we spent many hours of driving, photographing and enjoying each other’s company. More importantly, it was a good time for us to spend time together… photography just made it more fun.

Latourell Falls ©Matthew Graham

Frankly, I was quite blown away on his vision and technique, for only been working on his photographic skills for such a small amount of time. He knows he has lots more to learn, but then again don’t we all. I have little doubt he’ll grow in photography. Trust me; Matthew rarely does anything half way.

Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge © Jack Graham

                              All of the images found here in this posting were taken on our too quick few days together.  The weather herein the Pacific NW has been changeable to say the least. However we dodged a few bullets weather wise, and made the best of what we had to deal with.

 I can’t wait for volume 2 of our photographic journey together… who knows you may even see him on a workshop next year… that is if he can get away from his busy job!

 Thank you Matthew for coming out, and for being you. Keep shooting; keep being critical of your work.

 I am proud of you!

 
 
 

Abstract, tree trunk ©Matthew Graham

 

 

Anderson Viewpoint, Oregon Coast ©Matthew Graham
        
Hood RiverValley Patterns, Fall Color ©Matthew Graham
Veins © Matthew Graham
Veins © Jack Graham
On the Ground © Jack Graham
Green Sea Anemone © Matthew Graham