Tag Archives: Fuji Lenses

Scouting before a Photography Workshop

© Jack Graham

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

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

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

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

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

  

 

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IMAGES FROM THE FUJI X-T2

I  received quite a bit of reaction to my blog post yesterday concerning the X-T2.  Last night I attended the VIP event in NYC for the formal “unveiling” of the camera. It was a great party and it was great to see my good friends at FUJIFILM  as well as other folks I know and respect in our industry

It sure was fun getting to shoot this camera for a few months before its formal announcement last night.I would like to thank my friends at FUJIFILM for the opportunity. I hope in some small way those of us who go to test the X-T2 and send along results to Fuji made a difference.

I got a lot of comments and requests to post more images I made using the X-T2.. I really tried to put the X-T2 through its paces.  While in the Palouse region of Eastern Washing I photographer a crop duster flying over an adjacent field.. Along with the X-T2 I used the Fujinon 100-400mm with and without the 2X converter. The image below is  Meta Data

016:06:09 06:51:36…..100-400mm @ 400mm    600mm (in 35mm film)

1/8000 sec, f8    ISO: 2000

WHAT WAS AMAZING TO ME WAS :in Wide Tracking the camera completely locked in and auto-focused perfectly at F8 !!!! impressive.

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Anyhow below are some images showing the detail and ability to render what is to me a visible improvement over the X-T1, which is a very decent  camera.  All Monochrome images were made using the new ACROS film simulation setting…..Enjoy!!!-JG

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FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR … IT’S HERE!

I am going to write my views on this magnificent lens without going overboard as to its quality, both in build and image quality – believe me it won’t be easy! The much anticipated FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is actually more than I expected in many ways … so on to some observations and results!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I know it’s not probably good to give the “Bottom Line” early in an article, but, the “Bottom Line” here is that the FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is right up there as with the 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR, and that’s saying something. This new ultra-zoom combines a really impressive construction quality with some outstanding optics; the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OIS WR zoom lens, along with the Fuji crop sensor will give the same angle of view as 150-600mm on a full frame camera.

Below are two images. The first is with the lens at 100MM and the second at 400MM.

_DSF0562When I unboxed this lens I was quite surprised by the size and weight – frankly, I was expecting a much heavier lens.

_DSF0563Placed inside the new FUJI 100-400MM lens is an astounding 21 elements in 14 groups (including 6 low dispersion elements and 1 extra low dispersion element.)

Comparable sizes and weights:

FUJI 50-140mm F2.8 –1093 grams, 6.9” Length

FUJI 100-400mm F 4.5 -5.6 — 1375 grams, 11.4 x 7.7 x 5.2″ Length

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The body of the lens contains the same aperture and OIS controls as the 50-140. There’s also a focus range selector. When in restricted mode the autofocus is somewhat faster when focusing on subjects more than 5 meters away.

FULL= 5M TO INFINITY RESTRICTED= 5M TO INFINITY

_DSF0566The lens comes with a sturdy collar mount, front and rear caps, a dedicated lens hood and Fuji’s cloth wrapping. As with the lens hood that comes with the 50-140mm, the hood for the new 100-400mm has an opening where you can adjust your polarizer rather than having to stick your hand deep into the hood. Leave it to Fuji to improve even the lens hood! The lens hood on the 100-400mm slides back and forth whereas the one on the 50-140mm has to be removed and can be lost. Little things like this is why I am a Fuji shooter. If they do this to a lens hood, you know they’re thinking the same way when developing cameras and lenses.

Even more surprising is that the lens takes 77mm filters. If memory serves me right, the rumor was the filter size was supposed to be 82. This in and of itself was worth the wait for me. Now I can use my 77mm filters on this lens along with my 16-55mm. I love shooting long exposure and use the Singh Ray Mor Slo ND’s which I own at 77mm – even more reason the 77mm thread size made me really happy.

The lens is also both water and dust resistant and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, so it’s suitable for use in a wide range of outdoor shooting conditions. A fluorine coating has also been applied to the front lens element to repel water and dirt, further improving the toughness of the lens. The lens features 13 water and dust resistant seals at 12 points, allowing you to shoot with confidence in tough outdoor environments.

I made some images with the Canon 500 D Diopter, which kind of turns this into a macro lens … again very impressive!

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(Above) Without the Canon 500D diopter
F22. 421mm (in 35mm film) 1/20 sec, f/5.2

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(Above) With Canon 500D diopters
F 22. 579mm (in 35mm film) 0.7 sec, f/16

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(Above) I made this image hand held with the OIS on, 1600 ISO …. 1/480 sec at F11 … fully extended to 600mm (in 35mm film)

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(Above) 421mm (in 35mm film) 1/20 sec, f/5.2

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(Above) 579mm (in 35mm film) 0.7 sec, f/16

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(Above) 378mm (in 35mm film) 1/12 sec, f/16

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(Above) 579mm (in 35mm film) 2.6 sec, f/22

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(Above) 764mm (in 35mm film—using the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter) 1/400 sec, f/8

BUILD QUALITY

_JGP7934True to form, the folks at Fuji design have really outdone themselves on this lens. The 100-400mm is constructed every bit as well as the 50-150. It is weather resistant (sealed) which is important to me living in the Pacific Northwest and recently spending a good amount of time in Iceland and Norway. The aperture ring has that feeling of quality when I click it.

The zoom ring is the larger of the two rings placed above the focusing ring. Both are just loose enough to allow for exact zooming and critical focusing. There is even a lock to keep the lens in the 100mm position if you want to secure it for travel.

The tripod collar is just a bit different than that of the 50-140. I happen to like this (lower profile) design a bit more.

(Above right) 600mm (in 35mm film) 1 sec, f/16

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(Above) 365mm (in 35mm film) 1/30 sec, f/16

FIELD USE

_JGP8026As I mentioned, I was expecting a somewhat bigger lens and was pleasantly surprised to see and feel the quality construction, size and weight. It is certainly no more difficult to manage than any of the current 70-200mm lenses. I use a Really Right Stuff tripod along with the RSS BH 55 ball head. I also use the Fuji MHG-XT grip on my Fuji X-T1 camera. The tripod collar is really a benefit in stabilizing the lens as well as allowing the weight of the lens to pull down on the camera when mounted on the tripod. Fuji XT-1. I found myself cradling the camera and lens like a baby before mounting it on the tripod!

_JGP8030I shot this lens out past 150-200mm most of the time. This maybe because I had been used to the 50 -140mm when shooting in that 100-150mm range.

What separates one zoom lens from another? To me it’s the ability to move in close, closer and then even closer while maintaining sharpness. The Fuji 100-400mm truly exceeded my expectations in this department. Again, I was pleased on the tightness of the focus ring. It was just right for me. No focus creeping here!

I shot subjects using the manual focus system along with the auto focus tracking system. Both performed equally as well as the Fuji 50-140mm. I was very impressed by the sensitivity and accuracy of the manual focus system even out beyond 400 mm.

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(Above) 452mm (in 35mm film) 1/8 sec, f/11 . 468mm (in 35mm film) 1/5 sec, f/11

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(Above) 150mm (in 35mm film) 1/15 sec, f/16

I can honestly say that this lens is as sharp as the 50-140mm F2.8 at comparable focal ranges. I made many images stopping down at long focal lengths to obtain max sharpness with great success.

I am not a sports or action shooter but I did take some images of moving things. The autofocus was as expected based on Fuji’s prior lenses and it updates the auto tracking system on my X-T1.

Winter is not prime time for wildlife here in the Pacific Northwest but I did manage to get in on some bald eagles and a great blue heron. For these opportunities I combined the 100-400 with the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter. At 400mm, along with the teleconverter I was out equal to 840mm (600mm x 1.4)!

I experimented with some close-up images both with and without the teleconverter. Again the lens performed better than I thought it would. Images were very sharp and well defined even on the edges. The first two images below did not use a teleconverter. What detail!

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(Above) 352mm (in 35mm film) 1/5 sec, f/16

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(Above) 295mm (in 35mm film) 1/5 sec, f/16

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(Above) No teleconverter – 275mm (in 35mm film) 1/900 sec, f/8

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(Above) With teleconverter – 800mm (in 35mm film) 1/1000 sec, f/7.7

RANDOM THOUGHTS

_JGP7830-EditWhy not make a 400mm 2.8? Yes, I am sure some folks will ask for that lens, perhaps believing that this one is too slow. Believe me, Fuji could produce this as well. It would be much bigger and way more costly. Using the Fuji “X” camera system and having the benefits of low noise at high ISO’s make this lens just fine for me, thank you. It’s just the right size and fits in my camera bag just great.

(Above-Right) 600mm (in 35mm film) 1/18 sec, f/16

The new Fuji 100-400 F 4.5 5.6 OIS WR will be priced very aggressively. As of today you CAN buy the Nikon 500mm F4 FL ED VR lens (weighs about 7 pounds) at B & H for … $ 10,295.95. I challenge anyone to justify the price difference!

We Fuji “X” photographers are quite spoiled by having some great glass to choose from. This year, I bought the 90mm 2.0. What a lens! The 50-140mm and 16-55 are truly amazing. Now this 100-400. In my pack I can now shoot from 15mm to 840mm with the best quality available. Thank you Fuji Film!

Conclusions: Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

Here is where we usually do our pros and cons. Frankly, I have no cons. Here are the quick points on what makes this lens a must have for me:

  • Amazing weather sealed construction and solid build. Much smaller in size and weight than I expected
  • Fast autofocus speed when mounted on the X-T1
  • Includes well-constructed tripod collar which stabilizes the weight when on my tripod
  • Solid, just right feeling zoom and focusing rings
  • Great OIS control when hand holding
  • 77MM filters
  • Very impressive image quality when using the teleconverter
  • Superb close-up performance
  • Priced so it won’t break the bank

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(Above) 485mm (in 35mm film) 1/40 sec, f/11

MORE IMAGES
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150mm (in 35mm film)

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300mm (in 35mm film)

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150mm (in 35mm film)

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300mm (in 35mm film)

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539mm (in 35mm film) 1/30 sec, f/16

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199mm (in 35mm film) 1/50 sec, f/11

A BUSY FEBRUARY..Whidbey Island, Death Valley…. now on to March!

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY WEB SITE
2015 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE            2015-Schedule-Discounts-Registration
ULTIMATE ICELAND                             ULTIMATE NORWAY

ALL IMAGES MADE WITH FUJI XT-1 CAMERA AND FUJINON LENSES

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After Iceland and Norway in January 2015, it was off to Whidbey Island here in Washington for a 2 day event, followed by my first of two workshops in Death Valley, California.

_JGP2595-Edit-Edit-2-Edit-EditWe had a good and eager group in Whidbey Island for two full days of presentations and some field work. I really love teaching at the Pacific Northwest Art School. Not only are the folks there great, but the classroom setup is first class. The night before my workshop I was asked to do a presentation on our ULTIMATE ICELAND trips over the years to Iceland and now over to Norway.

A local writer did a great article for the Whidbey / Camino Islands webpage on my workshop. (I was so busy I didn’t get them my images, but the ones they writer shot were really good… he was on our workshop as well!). You can read it by clicking :http://www.whidbeycamanoislands.com/thingstodo/arts/art_class_pacific_nw_art_schoo/

 

Pre Dawn in Coupeville, Whidbey Island
Pre Dawn in Coupeville, Whidbey Island

I would like to thank the PNWAS for their support and friendship. I will be running more events there in the summer and fall this year. Please consider joining me there for some very special priced workshops. Click HERE for information.

_JGP2587-Edit-Edit_JGP2643-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-EditDeath Valley…what can I say? We were fortunate to have great light and  weather along with an exceptional group of workshop attendees. It’s great when the whole group “gets it”. What I mean by that is they all bought in to my theory of slowing down, enjoying the moment, simplifying your images and learning to see. I’m stressing these theories more and more each workshop.

_JGP2666-EditMaking the image is the hard part. The best equipment isn’t going to allow you to become an artist, it just gives you the chance to make successful images. Successful photographers have to deliver images from the heart, and tell their story.

10915239_805705402835598_6833343020276407047_nSpeaking of equipment. I continue to be blown away with my Fuji XT-1 and the sharp glass. The new 55-140mm F2.8 LM OIS 2.8 (80-210 in 35mm) is incredibly sharp. Having said that I just sold my 18-55mm and ordered the XF16-55mmF2.8R LM WR, a lens that will pair great with XF50-140mmF2.8R LM OIS WR.
We still have an opening in Iceland this summer if you can make it.

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_JGP2709-Edit-2 I had a cancellation on my SW workshop (Slot Canyons, Horseshoe Bend and Monument valley—more.) in April. Our Hunt’s Mesa / Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelley event has an opening as well, also in April.
I’ll be leaving in 2 weeks for the southwest again for my workshops with Bill Fortney in Nelson, NV followed by our workshop in Canyonlands and Arches NP.

PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR UPDATES—Jack

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WINDY HERE IN LOFOTEN NORWAY — Red Fishing Cabins— 1st class living in an amazing area!

Some dramatic weather here on Norway’s western coast!   WIND–ABOUT 60 mph; SNOW–ICY DRIVING; The view from our cabin in Lofoten, Norway–Amazing!

These cabins have been reinvented into very comfortable accommodations with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen/-living room. Other than that, they are on stilts and the wind is so strong the place shakes a bit! It’s actually cool to be kind of trapped in the storm. Things should be over by the morning–however it’s still windy like crazy—lost power once—snowing—-crazy seas—the place is rockin’—but we’re cozy inside!  This is the view from our living room window just before sunset today (at 2:30pm!). Shooting was tough but I decided to make RED the color of the day!

INFORMATION about our 2016 photography workshops here will be coming soon

ALL IMAGES MADE WITH THE AMAZING FUJI XT-1 AND FUJI GLASS!

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MORE IMAGES: from today—-RED !

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Jack Graham Photography / TOP 10 IMAGES FROM 2014

Complete 2015 Workshop Schedule, Discounts and Registration Forms

 PRE JAN 1 REGISTRATION DISCOUNT EXTENDED THROUGH JAN 15, 2015

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Bill Fortney’s FUJI XT-1 Users Guide-

I recommend this highly!


TOP 10 IMAGES of 2014
©Jack Graham/ Jack Graham Photography

Seems these days everybody has their top 10 of everything from the previous year.
As I sit here in my office getting ready for 2015 on this rainy January 2nd (2015) …I’ve pulled out 10 images from 2014. I hope you enjoy them. I have lots of unprocessed images, but these stood out to me as memorable. Sometimes an image means more to me because of where I was, the conditions etc….. Not just the photography involved. I hope you enjoy them. All images were made using my FUJI XT-1 camera with Fuji glass, Really Right Stuff Tripod and Ball Head… unless noted…. I’ve written a short commentary on each.
Since these are already compressed JPEGS, I am going to show these full size in this WordPress blog for the best resolution I can get. These are not in any order of preference, just 10 images from 2014.
Interestingly enough, 5 of the 10 were shot in Iceland. Three were long exposures using my Singh-Ray 10 and 15 stop MOR SLO filters (the best you can buy!)
I wish you all a Happy and healthy 2015! —Jack

IMAGE 1—This image was made at Trillium Lake, Oregon last spring. We never got the classic sunrise there but the light was really magical for about 20 minutes.
Fuji 18-55mm, 12 seconds at F11 -2/3comp, ISO 200

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IMAGE 2—I spoke at a camera club near St George, Utah in November and visited Zion NP for a few hours of shooting before the sun encroached the canyon. It was fall in Zion… what a great time to be there ( I’ll be doing a workshop there next fall-INFO HERE)—that’s not why this image is here, I just loved the color against the canyon wall while utilizing a long exposure for the effect.               Fuji 10-24mm, 45 seconds at F16/ ISO 2500, Polarizer

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IMAGE 3 —-  We had great light but sunset looked impossible on this lake close to the Vatnajokull in South Eastern Iceland. We all noticed the patterns in the pack ice. We waited out the sunset and sure enough we got one. My workshop attendees often here me say “If you don’t go, you don’t know!”
Fuji XE-2 camera, Fuji 55-200 mm, 1/30 seconds at F16 -2/3comp, ISO 200

 

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IMAGE 4— Springtime in Canyon de Chelley (Arizona) can be so beautiful. The air feels warm and the breezes delightful. What makes it great for me is the greens that the cottonwood trees display against the red rock sandstone walls deep inside the canyon. This tree caught my eye immediately and my group all got the shot. We’ll be back again in April and fingers crossed, we’ll have the color we had in 2014.
Fuji 18-55 mm, 1/90sec at F8, ISO 1600

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IMAGE 5 — Cadillac Mountain at sunrise (Acadia National Park, Maine) is amazing. I decided to try and feature the lichen covered rocks as a path to the fall color of the area. Without an image you could not describe this color and area. I can’t wait to get back there with Bill Fortney in 2016 for a fall workshop.
Fuji 10-24mm, 1/125 sec at F20 -1comp, ISO 800

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IMAGE 6 — After our summer 10 day workshop in Southern Iceland, my friend and partner, Greg Duncan and I took a 3 day excursion to the West Fjords with the help of master photographer ( and winter workshop assistant) Orvar Thorgeirsson . Not many folks live up here as the conditions can be brutal. We drove along a one lane dirt bumpy, primitive road and came upon an empty farm house overlooking the fjord. The vastness of Iceland is amazing, thus the use of Fuji’s sharp as a tack 14mm lens.
Fuji 14mm, 1/30 sec at F16, ISO 200

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IMAGE 7 — Perhaps my personal favorite image of 2014 is this one. I am not know as a wildlife photographer but love to photograph animals when I get the chance. I got so caught up in getting this image, I didn’t realize until I put the camera down that these horses were only about 10 feet away from me. Fortunately they split away and didn’t run into me. I used an extremely high ISO to freeze their manes and action in this image. I love these horses. They are one of the most cooperative and favorite subjects of my workshop attendees to photograph in Iceland.
Image hand held / Fuji 18-55mmm, 1/2900 sec at F4.5 ISO 2000

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IMAGE 8 — Continuing with the wildlife theme, these puffins were photographed in the West Fjords on a high cliff overlooking the North Atlantic. They are accustomed to humans and are thus unafraid of us. The image was made while lying on my stomach literally about 5 feet from them. It was fun staring them down! This bird had some herring in its mouth on the way to feed their young.
Fuji 55-200mm (at about 70mm), 400 seconds at F5.6, ISO 3200

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IMAGE 9 — This image was made in Iceland last summer on the famous Jokulsarlon, a glacial lake with flowing ice that broke free of the glacier. This area is photographed quite frequently so I thought about getting a shot a bit different from what we normally see. I used the Singh-Ray 10 stop MOR SLO ND Filter to obtain a shutter speed of 56 seconds
Fuji 18-55mmm, 56 seconds at F22, ISO 200

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IMAGE 10 — Finally, this image was made in an old barn I take my attendees to in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington every June (I do this workshop with Bill Fortney as well). I was attracted by the light beams coming through the back of the barn. Just a small amount of compensation made them stand out. Again, the Fuji 14mm lens proved its worth. Anything other than monochrome would have done this image a disservice.
Fuji 14mm, 1/20 seconds at F11 -1/3comp, ISO 200

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

Last Minute Gifts for the Photographer

LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER

              Jack Graham Photography Website

Ultimate Iceland Photography Workshops Website

FOR COMPLETE 2015 Workshop info click the following link:2015 WORKSHOP_REG_DEP_FINAL

   Workshop Discounts—Click the following link:2015 WORKSHOP DISCOUNTS v3

_DSC1278-EditThe holidays are here!!!! It really feels like that time of year as well. I live only about 20 miles from Mt Rainier and the few days without clouds allowed a magnificent view of this now snow-capped mountain… amazing.

I am going to list a few ideas for gifts for either yourself or for other photographers. Every one is a product I own and use. I can honestly tell you they will help you make better images and enjoy photography.

First, for some shameless advertising! My workshops are filling quickly (take advantage of the discounts!). Locations in the American Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Iceland ( winter and summer!), the Eastern Sierra in October, Grand Teton NP for fall color and again for winter photography, The Palouse region of Eastern Washington, Death Valley NP in February and again in November… as well as some new spots like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Arches and Canyonlands NP. It’s also our year to get back to NE Ohio for our fall in Ohio featuring a full day with the Amish workshop in October then off to Zion NP.

I am fortunate to co-lead some of these workshops with my good friends and expert teachers and photographers Guy Tal and Bill Fortney.

Why not give a gift or treat yourself? As always contact me for more information.   jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

Heat 3 Smart Gloves (USE CODE JGP10 for 10% off and free shipping)

heat81v9P38xuqL._SL1500___24640.1415644514.1280.1280I personally tested and purchased these last month in Wyoming–yes it’s cold in December in the Tetons! Without reservation I can tell you these are the best gloves for warmth while allowing complete access to my camera dials and buttons. They were originally designed for the European Special Forces for warmth, grip and dexterity. They are the perfect extreme winter gloves for photography. I have looked for the best winter gloves that allows me full functionality of my camera while keeping as warm as possible. They simply do the trick.

They performed way above my expectations. Are they cheap? — NO! Are they the best? — YES! There is nothing like being warm when working in the field in extreme conditions.

Featuring the highest quality construction, the outer shell is made from an Elastic Microfiber with water-resistant and breathable qualities much like Gore-Tex. The palm has full goat leather for added grip, warmth and durability and the insulation is Prim aloft for optimal warmth. With a mitten and glove design, a zipper across the palm opens up to expose the fingers for working your camera. A magnetic clip holds the mitten top in place and the thumb cap uses Velcro. Heat packs can be installed on both sides of fingers and in the wrist. A draw string around the wrist of the extra-long cuffs keeps snow out and wrist safety harnesses are included. The thumb and index fingers are conductive for touch screen operations. The ultimate cold weather glove with the ultimate dexterity! —HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

E_BOOKS

There are literally thousands of really great E-Books available these days.

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FOR THE GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHER:–I would strongly suggest you consider Bill Fortney’s new e-book series on general photography. These books are geared to the beginner to the advanced amateur. They are easy to get through. I would compare these to the series of books published quite a few years ago by John Shaw. Bill takes you, step by step, through all the areas of photography one needs to be proficient at in order to make consistent quality images.

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In addition, for you Fuji XT-1 enthusiasts, Bill has a “Complete Guide to the XT-1” He will walk you through every menu setting carefully explaining the hows, whys and suggested settings. This is a MUST for Fuji owners.

Also check out his “Americana” e-book— it is impressive.

TAKING THINGS FURTHER— I strongly recommend buying and reading over and over every e-book written by Guy Tal. Click HERE for his selection. Guy is a thinker as well as an amazing photographer. There is not a better communicator of the art than Guy. You’ll get insights into all of the photographic processes as well as Guy’s intuitive insights into photography. You’ll be not only a better photographer for reading and learning from these books, but have a different way of looking at the world.

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MY FRIENDS at HUNT’S PHOTO and VIDEO

Check out my good friends at Hunt’s Photo and Video for Holiday specials… Call John Duggan 781-462-2314 and tell him I sent you for great (and I mean great) service. Hunt’s offers the BEST pricing with personal service! I just looked at their website and there are some really good deals going on.

Bataflae 26L Bataflae26L

I LOVE MY GURA GEAR—Yes I belong to the bag of the month club too, just like lots of you folks. However, just like The Really Right Stuff equipment, and Singh Ray filters etc… you do get what you pay for in bags.  NO, they are not the cheapest. Which bag do I use? Well, it all depends. Frankly I have one of each of Gura Gears Bags and they all serve a specific purpose.

They use the best zippers and material available. You will not be disappointed.

LONG EXPOSURES

I am noticing an increased interest in LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY both in my workshops as well as in images I view online. You’ll need 3 things to become a good long exposure. First is a good tripod and ball head. I recommend you buy the best early in your photography life and save a lot of money. I use the REALLY RIGHT STUFF Tvc-33. And the BH-55 head. Like the gloves, they are not cheap, but I know they are going to outlast me! Second you will need a good remote shutter release system.

I use the HAHNEL GIGA PRO 2.4Ghz wireless timer (I use the Canon on my Fuji XT-1… make sure you order the one for your camera).

mor-slo-filter MOR-SLO     ND’S..

Third and most important is using good quality ND filters. I see all kinds on my workshops. The bottom line is if you buy filters from anyone other than Singh-Ray you will most likely run into some color shift or lack of quality. Singh-Ray just makes the best. Again, are they cheap? —NO! Are they the best? —YES! They stand behind their products. I use a MOR-SLO 10 and 15 stop ND. I also would recommend the Vari ND. (If you call them use my code JACK10 for a 10% discount).READ MY ARTICLE ON LONG EXPOSURES ON THE CURRENT SINGH-RAY BLOG

Photograph America Newsletter

REMEMBER..  The best way to photograph America is by using Robert Hitchman’s PHOTOGRAPH AMERICA NEWSLETTER…Tell Bob I sent you!

MISC STUFF

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The best lens cleaning cloths–yes they are for auto detailing, but they are the best I’ve found for removing dust and water from my lenses, (Made by 3M).

I protect my Fuji Lenses in my GURA GEAR camera bags with pouches made by FOTO TECH…check them out!

FotoTech Extra Thick 4 pcs DSLR camera Drawstring Soft Neoprene Lens Pouch Bag Cover size S M L XL for Sony Canon Nikon Pentax Olympus Panasonic with FotoTech Velvet Bag. They are inexpensive and offer good protection…

91iJCbCdxHL._UX522_Protect your ears with the 180TEC Fleece Warmers!-these are really  are great!180s Tec Fleece Ear Warmers—

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FUJI BATTERIES--For under $30 you can get 2 batteries, a wall charger and an auto charger from Wasabi–click this link!—Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for Fujifilm NP-W126 and Fuji FinePix HS30EXR, HS33EXR, HS50EXR, X-A1, X-E1, X-E2, X-M1, X-Pro1, X-T1

What a deal—and they last as long as the factor ones from FUJI!

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NOTHING TO DO WITH PHOTOGRAPHY—but this is really cool!

Abco Tech Water Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Shower Speaker with Suction Cup and Hands-Free Speakerphone, Black

BOOKS

I don’t know about you but there is something about looking at a print in a book rather than on a monitor. Check out these two awesome NEW books:

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THE EARTH is MY WITNESS by Art Wolfe… Art’s most comprehensive collection yet.. A must have for any photographer—buy it and get inspired!

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THE EARTH”S LAST GREAT WILD PLACES by Thomas Mangelsen. Tom is one our greatest photographers and his new book is impressive. I highly recommend this as well.

FINALLY—— (and I will pour one after this blog post posts!)

I love a good gin and tonic. SO we pour 3/4th of the drink using store-bought shelf tonic-using good gin?  That doesn’t make sense.   —- I use Fever Tree Tonic-–very hard to find but you can find it on AMAZON .COM.

Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water launched in the UK in early 2005, the brand name chosen due to fever tree being the colloquial name for the cinchona tree in which quinine, a key ingredient for tonic, is found. The highest quality quinine was sourced from the Rwanda Congo border and blended with spring water and eight botanical flavours, including rare ingredients such as marigold extracts and a bitter orange from Tanzania. Crucially, no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavourings were added.

Fuji XT-1/ Fuji  55-200MM/ ISO 3200,  F 5.6 at  1/4000 sec
©Jack Graham Fuji XT-1/ Fuji 55-200MM/ ISO 3200,
F 5.6 at 1/4000 sec

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!—-JG

Winter Sunset, Iceland

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