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FUJIFILM “X”PHOTOGRAPHERS Travel and Nature Summit/ Portland Oregon September 6-10, 2017



September 6-10  /  PORTLAND, OREGON

Thanks to Dan Bailey for providing much of this text. All images © Jack Graham

… and no, you don’t need to be a FUJIFILM “X” Shooter to join us!

_JGP0283-Earlier this year the 1st FUJIFILM “X” Photographers Travel and Nature Summit was held in Townsend Tennessee (in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park). It was a great success. We brought together folks from all over along with some of FUJIFILM’S top management and technical field representatives. It was a great learning experience for everyone how not only gained important information from the instructors as well as the Fujifilm attendees, but from each other. This concept went far beyond what Bill Fortney and I had last year when we came up with this idea. Our thanks to Dan Bailey and Karen Hutton (both Fujifilm “X” Photographers as well) for being part of the program! Click HERE for a short Video done by Karen!


Below is essentially what the summit coming this fall to Portland Oregon is about!

  • Sponsored by FUJIFILM and specifically designed for X Series shooters and people who are interested in the X Series, these workshops will teach you how to maximize your creativity and technical abilities with the Fuji system.
  • Featuring Bill Fortney, Jack Graham, Dan Bailey and Dan Westergren, ( all dedicated workshop leaders) and learn a wide range of photography methods and techniques from each of us and get firsthand instruction about how we use the specific features of the Fuji cameras in our own image making. Click HERE for Bio’s on each of us.
  • Through a combination of field sessions, presentations, image reviews and talks about a wide range of photography topics, you’ll learn not just how to expand your photography abilities, but how to make use of the specific tools and features found on the Fuji cameras.
  • PDX_MASTERThere will be plenty of opportunity for personal, one-on-one time with all of the instructors and informal time to chat and get to know not only the instructors, but the other attendees, as well. You are guaranteed to come away with many new friends! Also, there will be FUJIFILM technical reps and other personnel on hand to provide loaner equipment, enhance your learning experience and answer any questions (or give your own feedback) about the X Series gear. There will even be some free giveaways!
  • Late summer/ early fall in the Pacific Northwest is beautiful… sometimes too beautiful! We will get out to a few locations to learn to use what you have learned at the summit.
  • LAORJAGDN3_20100505_3750YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A FUJIFILM SHOOTER! If you’re an X Series shooter… GREAT!… or if you’re JUST curious about the Fuji system, and you want the chance to learn from working pro Fuji shooters​, then I highly recommend the “X” Photographers Travel and Nature Summit in Portland Oregon this September.


  • Photography instruction specifically geared towards FUJIFILM X Series shooters. 
  • Exclusive and intensive, multi-day learning opportunity in a beautiful setting.
  • Field sessions, group presentations and personal image reviews.
  • Lots of time for informal, on-on-one interaction with the instructors.
    • Professional instruction in small group settings from 4 professional outdoor and travel shooters, all official FUJIFILM X Photographers 
  • FUJIFILM X Series cameras and lenses for you to try out



CS_PDX_STJohnBr2_111121_HF8Each day will begin with a morning field session in any number of beautiful landscape settings, followed by a late morning presentation. After lunch, there will be 2-3 afternoon seminars that will feature any number of topics, and a feature evening presentation by one of the four instructors. In the evening, there will be lots of downtime for informal one-on-one time with the instructors and other attendees.

Each of the X-Photographers will give at least two focused presentations during the summit, and you’ll also see demonstrations by the FUJIFILM staff that will range from technical aspects and creative use of the X Series gear.

During the summit, you’ll learn a wide range of techniques and creative methods from a small group of long-time working pro photographers. They’ll provide insight about their own creative and compositional methods, as well as specific instruction on how they use the features and tools found in the X Series cameras. You’ll learn how to see and compose powerful imagery, and how to use the dedicated settings and creative tools in the Fuji system to expand your own creative photography boundaries.


​Possible Topics

  • Tips towards making better images regardless of subject matter or location
  • Composition: Seeing creativity and effectively arranging your subject matter
  • What makes for a truly compelling image
  • How to be proficient with the different X Series cameras and lenses
  • Camera Settings: Making sure you know what each menu setting does and that your camera is set where you want it to be.
  • How to make the most of the gear you already have
  • Specific instruction on the dedicated modes and creative settings on the X Series gear
  • How to pull together light, subject and background into single dramatic frameDuring the field sessions, you’ll work in smaller groups of 15 people and one of the X Photographer instructors. All attendees will have at least one field sessions with each of the instructors.

LAOREPDX_PM1YES WE DO IMAGE REVIEWS: One of the best ways to learn is to have your own images reviewed by a professional. We’ll have a dedicated block set aside for image reviews and you’ll have the chance to submit two of your photographs for review and comment by each of the instructors. (Images should be on a USB thumb drive, 1600 pixels on the long side.)

During the review, the X Photographers will provide personal feedback about your image and give you expert tips on how to improve or expand the creative or technical aspects of your imagery and shooting style.


The cost for this 3 ½ day event is $699.00

Lodging is not included in the price of the summit, Information on Lodging and Registration can be found HERE

We will be basing our event out of the Portland Airport Courtyard by Marriott

  • All classroom sessions
  • Feature presentations
  • Image reviews
  • FUJIFILM X Series loaner gear and demos
  • Guided field sessions
  • Opportunities for one-on-one time with each of the instructors and FUJIFILM tech reps
  • Dedicated X Series instruction and support
  • The promise of amazing learning opportunities
  • Travel/transportation to the summit locations
  • Personal camera gear
  • Lodging
  • Meals and alcoholic beverages, tips gifts etc.
  • Any guarantees of perfectly clear weather

Please consider joining us. For more information contact Jack Graham

Bill and Jack2




Photographing in Monument Valley,……….. News and Notes, Workshop Information

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY  www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                           LEARN to CREATE


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

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

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

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

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

PODCAST: www.18percentgraymatter.com

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


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

You can view it at:


I am presently in Monument Valley. We’ll be heading up to Hunt’s Mesa and Canyon de Chelley later this week.  I’ll be heading back to the Pacific Northwest next week. Then up to Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula for two workshops in May.


2012 Workshop Info:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Featured Article:

One or Two Days in Monument Valley Tribal Park …  ……A Photographer’s Paradise         © Jack Graham

Totem Pole, Sunrise ©J. Graham

After completing two workshops here in Arizona, I began the first of a two day One on One workshop with one of my attendees from the workshop which just wrapped up the prior Sunday afternoon.. Then mages found here were made during this workshop.

A One on One workshop is a great opportunity to interact closely not only for my clients, but for me as well. Though my group workshops offer some benefits, and I encourage you all to do some workshops in a group setting, private time with an instructor can prove extremely valuable.

In the case of this client, my goal is to not only get him to some wonderful locations in beautiful Monument Valley,, at the perfect time, but to help him grow as a photographer. For these two days I am here with a fairly advanced photographer, Jay Gould, ( www.luvntravlnphotography.com)  an ex-pat now residing in Australia. Jay and I have done two other workshops. One was in the Eastern Sierra a few years ago and another in Death Valley. The one in Death Valley was a One on One workshop ( (actually a 2 on one as this was with his brother Steve Gould, a professional photographer in his own right! www.stevegouldphoto.com).  My mission on this 2 day workshop is to give Jay some  quality  field time while working on seeing images as well as defining what makes a good image, rather than an average one.

Totem Pole Panorama ©J.Gould

My good friend and workshop assistant Greg Duncan is here as well. Greg’s is assisting on my group workshops before and just after the completion of this One on One workshop. Check out Greg’s work here.   www.grdphotos.com . He is a superb photographer.

Photographers flock to Monument Valley as they do to other National Parks. It is almost an event seeing the photographers standing in line to capture the iconic image of the mittens at sunrise and sunset from the parking lot near new large hotel here in MV. My suggestion to those of you reading this is article is the same as I recommend to my clients. Get that iconic shot and then work to create a different way of shooting the subject, perhaps with more of an artistic eye, and with the help of a required native Navajo guide wander off into the valley to find those areas not photographed as often.

Please note the differences in the 3 Totem Pole sunrise images. You’ll see 3 different visions of the same area. It’s always interesting to see how everyone sees differently.

Sunrise, Totem Pole © G. Duncan

Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park. In Monument Valley, to get where you need to go, at the right time, you must use an authorized Navajo Guide. I recommend using Tom Phillips, tom@monumentvalley.com , www.monumentvalley.com . Tom has been guiding here for more years than he will tell you and still can out climb most of us, when we scamper up a hillside or a slick rock. Tom has five full time guides and a fleet of Chevy Suburbans that are specially outfitted to maneuver the sand, rocks and obstacles that are often encountered in your day in the valley. Visit his website for details www.monumentvalley.com  .

On the first morning,  we started about 1 hour before sunrise. We left the parking lot and headed down deep into the valley for our first destination called the” Totem Pole”. Juat as an aside,  Paramount Pictures is currently filming a sequel to “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp here in Monument Valley. The dust and traffic was much more than normal so we had to hustle to the Totem Pole for the really great light that lasts literally about2-3 minutes!. We made it in time. (The film area is the size of a small city.  Coming back up from the valley we had to wait for 20+ semi’s and other huge trucks to wind down the unpaved primitive road into the valley. This better be a good movie for the amount of people & equipment that is here!).

Photographing in Monument Valley offers so many different experiences. Monument Valley was completely under water about 575 years ago.. The natural forces around us are still creating the landscape today.

Monument Valley is about 6000’. You will see first light way before the actual sunrise. I strongly advise you being in place, ready to make your image at least one hour before sunrise. The best light is about 20 minutes to a half hour before sunrise. Also, almost without exception you need to use graduated neutral filters. I use Singh-Ray filters (www.singh-ray.com)

Briefly here are a few spots to get to if you just have one or two days.. There are hundreds more locations. These are just a few.

Dramatic Skies make great Black & White images ©J.Graham

1)      The Mittens from the parking lot near the “View” hotel.. Everyone shoots from the parking lot, looking east-northeast.  When looking out to the valley, look left toward the campground and walks down the dirt toad and walk out on the sand. There are plants, rocks and trees that can be used as foregrounds. You also have a different look at the mittens, one that will be something different from the iconic image.

2)      Totem Pole. You guide should be able to direct you where to look to make your sunrise images.  The rippled sand dunes make wonderful foregrounds. Use the vegetation as well to anchor your images. Typically the sun is at a 90 degrees from the direction you’ll be shooting. With wide angle lenses, be careful of over polarizing, creating a dark, unnatural blue sky on the right side of your image.

3)      3) Artist PointLooking up at Spearhead Mesa, Artist Point is a great sunrise place as well, especially in the early spring.

Tracks in the Sand ©J. Graham

It isn’t always the grand landscape. Look around, you will see a lot of subject matter amd detail all over. The image on the left contains tracks made by various creatures ( usually bugs, snakes, rabbits, etc) during the night, when the vally floor comes alive. Use these tracks in the sand to create interesting patterns.


"Cookies and Pancakes" area, mid morning © J. Gould

1)      The “Ear the Wind” is in a canyon filled with some great trees, lichen coated sandstone walls and of course the “eye” that offers a viewpoint to the sky. I like standing on the left side of the eye. Don’t miss some of the trees here as well. There is a great old dead tree still sanding against the opposite wall from the eye.

2)      “Sun’s Eye”. This location offers some outstanding petroglyphs as well as a great vie through the eye to the sky.

3)      John Ford Point which is named after the famous Hollywood director who made John Wayne famous. There are some great vistas. Hope for some clouds for added interest. The local family will be there. You can tip the folks and they may sit on a painted horse and allow you to make a photograph with the valley in the background.

4)      Get over to an area called “Cookies and Pancakes”. This area has a dramatic sandstone wall with rock formations looking like the namesake indicates. Look for some great foregrounds here.


I really like going into Mystery Valley about 2-3 hours before sunset. The area that the locals call the “Cow Pies” is an area you can spend forever photographing the patterns and swirls created by the water and wind over millions of years. There are some Anstasi ruins in the valley as well. You guide may show you them.

Mystery Valley ©J. Graham


1)      Tear Drop Window — This is just that, a tear drop in the rock that overlooks the valley. Get there 45 minutes before sunset.

2)       Mystery Valley afternoon. These red rocks look like saucers and offer great foregrounds.

3)      The Mittens can offer a good sunrise as well. Look in back of you. Sometimes the light is even better.

NIght Skies, Monument Valley ©G. Duncan


This is a great place to shoot the stars on clear evenings. Using some of the rock facades around the area you can get some amazing images. Try these settings to make well defined star images( not star trails, but images using the stars as your background):

1)      bulb setting

2)      Don’t shoot over 30 seconds. 20 seconds would be better is possible

3)      ISO 800 or higher. By increasing ISO you can add light or decrease your shutter speed

4)      Shoot wide opened. If you have a 2.8 lens… keep it at 2.8 etc.

5)      A quarter moons is ideal. A full moon may add too much light.

6)      If you can set up your image before dark. Focusing can be challenging to say the least when its dark.

If you really want an experience, travel up to HUNT’S MESA. You’ll have to camp overnight but you should get a great sunset and sunrise.

(left to right) Jack Graham, Tom Phillips (our guide) , Greg Duncan, Jackie & Jay Gould


1)      For the best areas of Monument Valley a Navajo Guise is required.

2)      Respect the land. Walk only on solid rock. Sandstone is relatively soft stone. Edges of the rock can break off easily.

3)      There is a lot of Micro-bionic soil. The soil is very fragile and literally alive. Avoid disturbing this as well.

4)      Do not remove any artifacts; break pottery etc. that you may find.

As I try and get my workshop attendees to do all the retime, please try and slow down, take your time , and create quality images. If you must, by all means get that iconic, post card image. Then try your best to expand your creativity and create something different, perhaps unique. Enjoy just being in this magical location.