Tag Archives: Photography Iceland

WINTER in ICELAND—DAY ONE !

©Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography LLC

All images made with FUJIFILM “X” SERIES cameras and lenses


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“Of all the things I’ve done in my career, I hold most dear the success I’ve had running workshops, and I feel  know a lot about that subject, enough to say that Jack Graham is probably the preeminent workshop provider in the field today!  His concern for his clients is amazing and he works tirelessly to see they get “more” than they paid for!  We have been friends for a long, long time.  He did his first workshop with me with the late Galen Rowell in the early nineties.  Jack was a big time professional musician playing with big names like Frank Sinatra!  He put that same effort into photography and has become one of the best out there today! Jack has become not only someone I admire, but someone I love very much, I’m thrilled we get to work together!”—Bill Fortney

I specialize in workshops with leader to attendee ratio’s that offer you the best experience in photography workshops. Please consider joining us! Please visit my website for more. …Thank you


WINTER in ICELAND…..DAY ONE

_jgx1851We began out  our 5 day workshop today. As usual winter in Iceland always provides weather that is never dull. Prior to today’s departure from Reykjavik,  I took 2 clients out for a day, venturing to some areas we are not going to during our time together starting today.

We had a day of wind, rain, sun rainbows, and dramatic light. Being patient was the order of the day. Here are a few images. We visited one of my favorite churches in Iceland and used the clouds to tell the story of drama. The black skies behind the lighthouse was from an exiting storm. We had a beam of bright sun that lasted about a minute that side-lit the lighthouse with some amazing light.

 

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DAY ONE: Day one was challenging. We had a fair amount of rain. Our group did get some great images from Skogarfoss. We made some really dramatic images of the huge crashing waves on the rocky beach in Vik, on the south coast of Iceland

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It’s Not the Camera….. it’s YOU !!

Jack’s Website                       2015 Workshop Schedule

2015-Schedule-Discounts-Registration

ULTIMATE ICELAND              ULTIMATE NORWAY

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             It’s Not the Camera…… It’s YOU !

©Jack Graham

_DSF7037-Edit-EditIn a current issue of a major American Nature Photography Magazine there is an article talking about taking rich and sharp images. Their quote in a large block next to the text of the article says:

“As a digital photographer you can learn a lot from Ansel Adams. Choose the right gear and emulate the attention to detail that Adams devoted to his craft to get your best possible landscape photos”

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed”…Ansel Adams

_DSF6984-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-2First we all can learn a lot from Ansel Adams, no matter if we are a “digital” photographer. How would Ansel handle the digital age? Ansel’s darkroom is our Photoshop. More so, Ansel’s attention to detail had nothing to do with equipment! It had to do with how he used his equipment but more so how he looked at scenes, way before pressing the shutter.
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In my photography workshops I stress slowing down, simplifying and learning to see. Communicating a scene and story in a photograph comes from within, not from your camera. You camera has no emotion. It does not see. It does not feel. It is piece of machinery and technology that without your proper involvement will certainly not take the “best possible Landscape Photos”.

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed”…Ansel Adams

How about I take the liberty to rewrite this paragraph from the magazine.
As a photographer, and developing artist you can learn a lot from Ansel Adams. Learn to see, think and create using your heart, feelings and senses to emulate the attention to detail that Adams devoted his craft, to get your best landscape photos. Don’t get caught up in that 50MP sensor. Get caught up in your vision and communication. Having the “right gear” only gives you the chance to make a good image.

Rhody's on the Oregon Coast
Rhody’s on the Oregon Coast

“Lack of attention to detail fails to explain why a 1999 camera in the hands of a meticulous PH.D who studies the instruction manual won’t produce as many images as a 1939 camera in the hands of a person with a refined photographic eye.” —Galen Rowell

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The material and images contained in this writing above may not be reproduced in any form .All Photographs as well as text appearing here is the property of Jack Graham and Jack Graham Photography LLC, unless otherwise noted.
These photos are protected by U.S.Copyright laws and are not to be reproduced or used in any way without the written permission of Jack Graham and Jack Graham Photography LLC
By entering these sites you accept these terms. If you need permission to use this material please call
503-625-1430 or email jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

BIG NEWS FROM NIK SOFTWARE

_EYE1155 jack giving direction_1JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

______________________________________________________________________

2013 Workshop schedule      Workshop Registration Form      Workshop Overview

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

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

nikNik Software, now owned by Google, is offering their complete collection now just $149 for all six plug-ins. These plug-ins works with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Please enter this code JGRAHAM when ordering online and save an additional 15% .

For a demo of how you can use this software easily and effectively, please take a few minutes to view the WEBINAR I recorded for Nik Software last year(I am going to be doing a new one in May 2013)

  •   HRD   Efex Pro 2 – From natural to artistic, explore the full potential of HDR   photography
  •   Color   Efex Pro 4 – A comprehensive set of filters for color correction,   retouching, and creative effects
  •   Silver   Efex Pro 2 – Master the art of black-and-white photography with   darkrooom-inspired controls
  •   Viveza   2 – Selectively adjust the color and tonality of your images without   complicated masks or selections
  •   Sharpener   Pro 3 – Bring out hidden details consistently with the professional’s   choice for image sharpening
  •   Dfine   2 – Improve your images with noise reduction tailored to your camera

You can read more details on the Nik Software click HERE to go to Nik’s website.

More photography news coming soon!

a recent image fro the Arizona Desert!

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LINK TO A PANAL DISCUSSION from the NANPA Summit in Jacksonville FL

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

______________________________________________________________________

2013 Workshop schedule      Workshop Registration Form      Workshop Overview

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

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

___________________________________________________________________________

Yesterday we did a panel discussion (live web streamed) held by Nik Software that was live (yesterday afternoon)  here at the NANPA Summit in Jacksonville.  Here is the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ayynO-BJQk

I was honored to be on a panel along with Justin Black, Lewis Kemper, Mike Moats, Piper McKay and Laurie Rubin (Nik ). Host Scott Sheppard of Nik Radio fame asked some great questions…..  Check it out!!!

More next week!–JG

Everything You Need to Know About Photographing Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, Arizona

  _EYE1155 jack giving direction_1JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

______________________________________________________________________

2013 Workshop schedule      Workshop Registration Form      Workshop Overview

Workshop FAQ’S       Workshop Referrals       One on One Individual Workshops

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

NEWS and NOTEWORTHY

I’ll be in Jacksonville Florida for the North American Nature Photography ( NANPA)  Summit Feb 28-Mar 3rd. This should be a great event with some great speakers (come here my friend Guy Tal!), breakout sessions and lots of learning and networking. Details can be found HERE.

I am proud to also announce that I’ve been asked so serve on NANPA’s Board of Directors.

In addition to our (almost full) July 4-14, 2013 Ultimate Iceland Workshop, we have added a second workshop in July with a completely different itinerary. You can access this information here. Again, seats on this workshop are limited.

ULTIMATE ICELAND “1”  July 2013

ULTIMATE ICELAND “2”  July 2013

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

LACAESMONO33_121016_2353_500PX This October, will be my 19th year conducting a workshop in the Eastern Sierra. Again, I’ll be joining forces with my good friend, an amazing photographer and thinker, and co-leader Guy Tal. Please consider joining us. This is a highlight of the year!. Details found HERE.

Also in October, I’ll be back in NE Ohio  for  our bi-annual FALL COLOR & A DAY with the AMISH PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. (including a private Amish dinner) with my Amish friends on their farm in Sugarcreek Ohio. I’ll be teaming up with my good friend, world class photographer and teacher Bill Fortney(www.billfortney.com) for a workshop you will not want to miss! I’ll be in Utah October 2013 for a late October workshop in the red rock country in and around Zion NP

 

I receive many requests for the link the webinar I conducted  for NIK SOFTWARE entitled, “Keeping it Simple .You can view it here: ( if you purchase any or all of the NIK Software package… enter code JGRAHAM and receive a 15% discount!!! HERE is the link to the webinar

________________________________________________________________

 

Everything You Need to Know about

Photographing Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons

©Jack Graham and Jack Graham Photography

LAAZLAC12_110331_4740HDR3Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons located in Page Arizona, are one of the many wonders of the world, as far as I am concerned.  The Colorado Plateau Located here in the southwestern United States contains many deep, narrow canyons that were carved out by water over millions of years. Under proper conditions, reflected sunlight makes the canyon walls glow with amazing shades of pink, brown, orange and yellow. These canyons attract photographers from around the world. Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons are also referred to as Corkscrew Canyon.

Dealing with photographing the canyons can be challenging if you don’t know what you are doing, however learning and preparing before you go is quite easy. The canyons are both located close to one another and are on Navajo land. Proper permits and admission fees are required.

It seems that we all, myself included who visit the over photographed Slot Canyons (Lower & Upper Antelope Canyon in Page AZ) look for that quintessential image that will forever be indelibly etched in our brains.  I always make attempts to get some images that are unique, and ones I have not seen in publications before.

Both Antelope canyons are uniquely different, but beautiful in their own way. Both offer some very different experiences. Being prepared for these experiences is essential for successful imagery in the canons.

 

What both canyons have in common

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To attain interesting images in all of the many slot canyons in the American Southwest, you need to look for light reflecting off the multi-colored canyon walls.  Often the sunlight is shining down directly on a wall. Look towards the opposite side of the canyon and you will usually see glowing oranges and reds. The parts of the canyon that is illuminated by reflected light will be the most dynamic. You will often find that adding saturation in post processing is not needed.

 

As your time in the canyon moves on, the light will constantly change and transform before your eyes. In the spring and fall, my favorite times to visit the peak times for both canyons are between 11am and 2 pm. I have photographed these canyons in every season with success.

 

Safety first! All slot canyons are prone to flash floods. If you are caught in a canyon during a flash flood you will most likely be unable to exit the canyon before it is too late. Floods can happen all year long but July through August, when the summer monsoons occur, is when the heaviest rainfall and thunderstorms occur. Though they weather may be clear you must be aware that rain falling miles away can drain into the canyons. Lower Antelope Canyon had a bad a flash flood that killed 11 tourists in 1997. There was little or no rain in Page, but miles away there was a deluge. These tourists ignored warnings and paid with their lives.

Upper Antelope Canyon:

LAAZUAC16_110331_4536Upper Antelope Canyon is shorter in length and easier to navigate. You literally walk through the canyon rather than descending down into the canyon. Because of the ease of accessibility, the Upper Antelope Canyon can be much more crowded than the Lower Antelope Canyon. You’ll notice many non-photographers walk through this canyon and depart.

The biggest difference between the two canyons is the availability of light as well as many more and large light beams or shafts of light shining down between the cracks in the sandstone walls. These beams are available from March through about mid-October.

The best time to photograph Upper Antelope Canyon is from around 11 am to 2 pm. Though the light beams last a bit longer during the summer months, I prefer the spring and fall. During the summer, this canyon is even more crowded than it is in the spring and fall.

It is necessary to use a Navajo Guide in this canyon. There are many guides available in nearby Page Az. As a photographer, make sure you ask for the longer “Photography tour” of the canyon. This costs a bit more, but will give you about 2 hours in the canyon, rather than the regular 45-minute to 1-hour tour. Most guides that cater to photographers will know the timing of individual shafts of light and precisely when they will appear. It is uncommon to be in Upper Antelope Canyon without crowds. You’ll need to cooperate with other photographers. Again, your guide should help you maneuver and work with other groups and photographers to allow you to get your image.

Most of the light beams appear and disappear quickly and will move across the canyon floor until they disappear. Since they only appear for a few minutes, you will need to be in place with your tripod and perhaps even make some exposures to make sure your settings are accurate.

Often your guide will throw sand straight up in the air allowing the light beam to reflect off the falling sand.  This creates a reflective area for the light to bounce off and create some very eerie formations.

Lower Antelope Canyon

LAAZLSC21_110416_5711Lower Antelope Canon is located just slightly down the road and across from the Upper Antelope Canyon. The Lower Antelope Canyon is much longer and much less crowded.  Though you must pay an entrance fee, there are no formal tours of this canyon. After paying the fee (ask for a photographer’s badge, you’ll get extra time in the canyon). You can explore and photograph the canyon at your own pace. There will be guides wandering around, perhaps playing a Navajo flute to answer questions and make sure that everyone is moving about in a mannerly fashion.

 

LAAZLAC17_120414bThe first time you approach the narrow slit which you have to climb down into to get inside the canyon you may become wary of the difficulty of getting through this narrow crack. Don’t let it worry you, it gets easier, and easier to navigate one you get lower and used to maneuvering the canyon walls. There are steel ladders attached to the sandstone walls. Years ago it was common to have to climb down wooden ladders, unattached to the walls. It is much easier now. Be prepared to not be as dust free when you exit.

 

Like Upper Antelope canyon I have found the best time to be there is between 10:30 and 1pm.

 

Many areas in this canyon are very narrow especially when carrying a backpack and tripod. Though the crowds are significantly less you may still need to move your equipment to allow other to pass through. At the very end of the canyon, there is a long spiral stairway that leads back up to the surface. You can easily walk back to the parking lot from there. I usually like to walk back through the canyon, tracing my route back to the entrance.. The light will be very different when you are exiting. You can buy water at the pay station after your trek.

 

Must Have Equipment

A tripod and cable release is mandatory. You’ll be making some long exposures. It is impossible to make quality photographs in these canyons while hand holding your camera.  Exposures of thirty seconds or longer are common due to the limited amount of light, as well as the need to use small apertures ( for depth of field) along with the need to use low ISO settings for the best image quality.  If you choose to use a polarizing filter, this will increase your exposure time even further. (Using of a polarizer will diminish undesired reflections and allow the amazing colors of the canyons to come through magnificently.

Lenses

I use wide-angle lens (16-35mm range on a full frame sensor) most of the time in the canyons, I also enjoy using a medium telephoto (50-80mm range) lens to bring out details on the rock walls. You will quickly figure out that there are images all everywhere you look..

Exposing in the canyons

LAAZ_UAC_12_1003_2889Exposures can be a little tricky your first time in the canyons. As always, use your histogram and LCD to evaluate your results. Today’s digital cameras are much more forgiving than those from back in the film days. There were only five stops between total overexposure and total underexposure using Fuji Velvia. We have many more tools now to tell us if we have the right exposure or not.

1)     Avoid using flash. It will not only ruin other photographer’s images but create unnatural images.

2)     First you need to set your ISO. By using lower ISO’s ( 100 -200) you to be able to make higher quality, large  prints  With today’s modern cameras, ISO’s of 400-800, or even higher are quite acceptable and allow you to attain more depth of field. Since you are using a tripod, shutter speeds are not that concerning. However different shutter speeds create different effects when photographing the sand falling through the light shafts in Upper Antelope Canyon, I always try to keep my exposure times to 30 seconds or less since longer exposures increase the digital noise

3)     I like to use apertures of F11-F16 when using my wide-angle lenses.  You will need to adjust your ISO, aperture and shutter speed depending on the conditions (especially the light beams as stated previously). The reality is that other than these beams and sand, there is nothing moving in the canyons, so shutter speeds of 2-10 seconds are acceptable.

4)     Different exposures will render different results. I recommend that you bracket your exposures and decide which you like when you get back to your studio.

5)     Avoid areas of rock that are directly lit by the sun. These areas will be a blown out. For very difficult exposures the proper use of HDR can be helpful.

 

Making Quality Images in the Canyons.

This subject is as important as any. We have talked about the canyons, and technique. Let’s talk about the experience and how you will come away with quality photographs.

The first time you visit these canyons, it can be overwhelming. You have seen thousands of images over the years and now you are finally there, at one of the must photograph locations on any photographers to do list, worldwide. Now, how do you make it so you come away with creative images?  There is one easy way. Slow Down! I always see photographers clicking away with no real purpose. Some figure that the more images they make the better chance of getting a great one is. This is false.

You have to be careful, from a physical aspect in these canyons. You also need to be sensitive to other visitors and photographers as you are attempting to capture images for yourself. By slowing down and studying the light, foregrounds, patterns and textures you will get those images that others won’t.

LAAZUAC17_110331_4550BWPerhaps think outside the box. Though the color can be quite amazing, sometimes a black and white or monochrome image might make for a even more powerful image. We all see images from these canyons in color, few in monochrome. Why not try it

Relax, enjoy the experience and work as a photographer, not the impatient tourist.

 

What to Avoid and Look Out For

1)     With very few exceptions do not include sky in your image. Again, avoid extreme highlights. Look for reflected light.

2)     Be careful of you and your equipment. Maneuvering in these canyons can be challenging to say the least.

3)     Avoid being hasty. Relax and enjoy the experience.

4)     Some are also extremely narrow passages, especially in Lower Antelope Canyon. A large camera bag may, make our movement through these, in spots, narrow canyon walls difficult. Carry as little as you need.

5)     Be careful to not knock your camera against the canyon walls when you are maneuvering through narrow passages. I’ve seen top of the line cameras come out of the canyons broken. That goes for lenses too!

6)     If there was recent rain, some of the canyon floors can be muddy. Be prepared for that and be careful as this mud can be very slippery

7)     It is important to consider dust when in the canyons. There is always lots of dust in the canyon, especially when your guide is throwing sand into the light shafts. On windy days sand can literally blow into the canyon from the surface. I suggest using some kind of wrap or even a shower cap to cover your camera when not in use. Believe me this dust can get into cameras and keeping out is sometimes tough. If at all possible never change in the canyon. There is dust in the air even if you can’t see it. You’ll start seeing dust spots on your images if you are not careful. I carry cans of compressed air to blow on my camera body when I finish my sessions in the canyons (never use this air on glass of LCD Screens!)

8)     Remember, this land belongs to the Navajo. This is sacred land. Please respect the canyons in all ways.

LAAZLAC11_10_03_2955What Else to Bring With You and Think About

1)     You may also want to bring a small flashlight and a bottle of water during the summer.

2)     I would bring a dust blower. Be careful removing dust off your lenses. This sand can scratch you lens easily. DO not use compressed air on your glass.  Remember again to think about protecting your lenses and cameras from dust.

3)     The temperature in the canyons is pretty constant in the spring, and fall. Temperatures are usually in the 60-70 degree range. Winters are colder, summers obviously hotter, but still cool compared to the heat of the summer in Page Az. Though it may be hotter on the surface, it can be a bit cool in the canyons so dress accordingly. Heavy coats are unnecessary.

4)     Good hiking boots are essential.

5)     You’ll be making some long exposures. That means batteries may run out. Bring extras, and make sure your batteries are fully charges before you venture into the canyon.

6)     Don’t forget enough memory as well.

 

Enjoy your experience. You’ll never forget your time here.

 

The right to download, store or output any content on these websites www.jackgrahamphoto.com and  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

 

Wrong is Sometimes Right…. and other considerations

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

______________________________________________________________________

2013 Workshop schedule      Workshop Registration Form      Workshop Overview

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

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

NEWS and NOTEWORTHY

I’ll be in Jacksonville Florida for the North American Nature Photography ( NANPA)  Summit Feb 28-Mar 3rd. This should be a great event with some great speakers (come here my friend Guy Tal!), breakout sessions and lots of learning and networking. Details can be found HERE.

I am proud to also announce that I’ve been asked so serve on NANPA’s Board of Directors.

I am featured in an article in Outdoor Photography Magazine ( published in the UK) this coming month called “Great Escapes—Wildflowers”—you can read it Here:

In addition to our (almost full) July 4-14, 2013 Ultimate Iceland Workshop, we have added a second workshop in July with a completely different itinerary. You can access this information here. Again, seats on this workshop are limited.

ULTIMATE ICELAND “1”  July 2013

ULTIMATE ICELAND “2”  July 2013

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

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

Also in October, I’ll be back in NE Ohio  for  our bi-annual FALL COLOR & A DAY with the AMISH PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. (including a private Amish dinner) with my Amish friends on their farm in Sugarcreek Ohio. I’ll be teaming up with my good friend, world class photographer and teacher Bill Fortney(www.billfortney.com) for a workshop you will not want to miss! I’ll be in Utah October 2013 for a late October workshop in the red rock country in and around Zion NP

I receive many requests for the link the webinar I conducted  for NIK SOFTWARE entitled, “Keeping it Simple .You can view it here: ( if you purchase any or all of the NIK Software package… enter code JGRAHAM and receive a 15% discount!!! HERE is the link to the webinar

___________________________________________________

Wrong is Sometimes Right….. And other considerations.

text and images ©Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography unless noted

There are a few traps that we photographers fall into at times that hinder our creativity. Perhaps the main trap often encountered is following rules especially when it comes to composition.

The four main rules most often considered are the rule of thirds, reading an image from left to right, avoiding having the horizon centered and finally,  not putting the center of interest in the center of the image. All are valid, however if you disregard these rules and the image in the end, “works”, is not the image a valid one?

Take the famous image by Ansel Adams, “Moonrise over Hernandez” 1941. How many of these rules were broken here? Many, however, this image works and  it is an extremely strong one at that.

adamslargemoonrise

What is important to a photography  is to make your image tell a story. Make it meaningful. If it means breaking the rules is necessary, by all means consider doing just that.  I see so many images in areas of immense beauty and natural wonderment that really don’t say anything about the location or tell a story. These snapshots are just that, nothing more than a post card. By just following rules, images are not guaranteed to deliver a message. Images that are made in haste are more often than not, doomed to fail. It is imperative to slow down, consider all aspects and above all strive to make a well thought out image. Knowing the basics of composition, but learning to see and think creatively as well as learning how to to deal with all of the above,  is the bedrock of making good photographs. Knowing how to make a strong image sometimes requires breaking the rules.

Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk. …Edward Weston

©Ansel Adams

  SICT8_110205_HF6B&Wgg

  Avoiding distractions

Unless you are always thinking about distractions,   we don’t often see things in the image that take away from the story. In order to make the subject primary, we have to be constantly aware of the entire frame and distracting areas that affect the subject. Distractions are weaknesses in your image. Strive to eliminate any and all weakness  in every image. If you need to make a crop in post processing, then do it. Experiment with different size formats for your image. Don’t be afraid to break the rules if it makes your image stronger.

LANPJT9_1003_1844   One of the things that I personally dislike in an image is framing the image with another object.  Many folks really love this technique. I really do not care for it. Consider the image on the left

What is wrong with this image? First, look at the distraction in the lower right hand corner. ( the small green part of a Joshua tree). Why is that even in the frame?   What is the story that is being told here?  Is it about the Joshua tree and where it lives? Perhaps. There is another Joshua tree in the image along with some recognizable rocks in the background trying to tell the viewer about the environment. The bigger problem here is the framing of the background….. using this Joshua tree as the frame. How does the form of this tree relate to the background? It doesn’t, and  if anything  it blocks the background out almost entirely. The tree is very overbearing and detracts from the story of the image. The form of the tree does not relate to the image at all. Also the image itself is cut off by the tree trunk. This is an example is that of just making a photograph without seeing in a photo-graphical way.

I like to feel that all my best photographs had strong personal visions and that a photograph that doesn’t have a personal vision or doesn’t communicate emotion fails”……Galen Rowell.   

At times framing can be used effectively, but rarely.

As another example, please consider the image as well.

LAWA_PALOUSE15_120616_8096-10

A few rules were broken here. The red barn in centered. However I don’t mind that it is in this image. The tree in the upper right is almost, but not quite a frame for the barn. The one aspect that saves this image is that the strong foreground of the blowing green grasses are pulling your eye from bottom right up to the upper left as  These patterns ( right to left are repeated in the form of the tree limb on the top. The framing technique used here adds to the composition and not detract or disrupt it.

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I like to feel that all my best photographs had strong personal visions and that a photograph that doesn’t have a personal vision or doesn’t communicate emotion fails”……Galen Rowell.

Slow and Slower

We have to really slow down and consider another variable when making the image. Consider how much of the subject you really can fit in your frame and will the viewer see on your photograph what you viewed in real time. If the subject is too far away, it will become irrelevant. This is a common mistake. When in the field I see other photographers taking many, many, more images than I as if it;s almost as if it’s a compulsion.  I can almost tell that they are not taking the things into account they are primary to making a good photograph.  Strive to tell an interesting story in every image and make an impact full statement in every image. Consider every image on its own merit. You’ll become a better photographer. Sometimes a picture in your mind is better than the one you just tried to take.

LAUT_FALLCOLOR1_121004_1902

The right to download, store or output any content on these websites www.jackgrahamphoto.com and  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

NEW NATIONAL PARK in California

JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com

LEARN to SEE                              LEARN to THINK                    LEARN to CREATE

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2013 Workshop schedule      Workshop Registration Form      Workshop Overview

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

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

NEWS and NOTEWORTHY

I’ll be in Jacksonville Florida for the North American Nature Photography ( NANPA)  Summit Feb 28-Mar 3rd. This should be a great event with some great speakers (come hear my friend Guy Tal!), breakout sessions and lots of learning and networking. Details can be found HERE.

I am proud to also announce that I’ve been asked to serve on NANPA’s Board of Directors.

FLDWF_FD1_1004_3327I am featured in an article in Outdoor Photography Magazine ( published in the UK) this coming month called “Great Escapes—Wildflowers”—you can read it OP162 Great Escapes:

I’ll be leaving next Tuesday for our Ultimate Iceland™ Winter Photography Adventure starting out in Reykjavik on January 18. We will be conducting 2 such workshops in 2014. We are taking only 5 attendees on each event. There are a few spots open. Register ASAP—HERE is the information

In addition to our (almost full) July 4-14, 2013 Ultimate Iceland Workshop, we have added a second workshop in July with a completely different itinerary. You can access this information here. Again, seats on this workshop are limited.

ULTIMATE ICELAND “1”  July 2013

ULTIMATE ICELAND “2”  July 2013    You can see some images made my last year’s attendees here http://jackgraham.photoshelter.com/gallery/2012-ICELAND-WORKSHOP-ATTENDEE-IMAGES/G0000dpVO0jXHKCI/

 Beaverpond Lundy Canyon
Beaverpond Lundy Canyon

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

Also in October, I’ll be back in NE Ohio  for  our bi-annual FALL COLOR & A DAY with the AMISH PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. (including a private Amish dinner) with my Amish friends on their farm in Sugarcreek Ohio. I’ll be teaming up with my good friend, world class photographer and teacher Bill Fortney(www.billfortney.com) for a workshop you will not want to miss! I’ll be in Utah October 2013 for a late October workshop in the red rock country in and around Zion NP

I receive many requests for the link the webinar I conducted  for NIK SOFTWARE entitled, “Keeping it Simple .You can view it here: ( if you purchase any or all of the NIK Software package… enter code JGRAHAM and receive a 15% discount!!! HERE is the link to the webinar

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NEW NATIONAL PARK  in CALIFORNIA  

TRAZ_CDC1_110411_5637Pinnacles National Monument Named National Park

Looks like we have a new National Park! See the derails HERE.

I’ll be trying to get over there before or after my DEATH VALLEY WORKSHOP in MARCH.

Off to Iceland in a few days!

 

 

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