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Hi Everyone. I’ve received a lot of emails asking for more content here on this bog–I promise 2017 will do just that! My time ( for various reasons) will allow this. So subscribe and you’ll get a notice when somethings posted!–Thank you.
Lenticular Clouds over Mt Rainier mean the weather is changing!
To be a good photographer you need to understand the weather. Ansel said “Bad weather makes for good photographs”. When the forecast says “Another beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest” I usually leave the camera gear in the bag. The the forecast says “Storms coming”etc I get excited.
For my friends in the Pacific N’West, BC in Canada and No California… hold onto your hats–a real dousy is ab out to hit us again!
I am sure you know that No California is going through its wettest winter on record. The empty reservoirs are full to their banks and rivers are already at or near flood stage. You probably have seen the news on the Orville Dam. Well perhaps the worst is yet to come.
Some areas in the Sierra Nevada Mountains have received over 20″ of water content in the recent weeks which is 200-400% of normal for those areas. Luckily they are sparely populated.
Starting tomorrow ( Wed Feb 15th) the hose will be on with a real blast this time.
Here is the precipitation forecast from the US model for the next 9 days. From the Cascade Mountains down to the Sierra and Coastal Ranges of California between 5-10 inches are forecast.
Looks like the whole west coast is getting blasted. Check out the plume of moisture forecasted to come on in from Wednesday on.Even So Cali will get into the act.
The blue indicates a lot of rain. Slight deviations to the forecasts you hear on the radio & TV can change things. Please be prepared.
We (in the Pacific Northwest..Washington) will feel the effects of this storm first on Wednesday then California will get into the act from north to South. San Francisco proper could see 2″ of rain by Friday night. Yet another storm will affect the Bay Area next Monday & Tuesday into Wednesday.
Some predictions( through Sat AM): Tacoma, Seattle, to Bellingham about 3″ rain”
Washington Coast, Olympic Peninsula 4-6 (Forks to Port Angeles)–even Sequim WA, in the rain shadow will get about 2″ !
Bay Area north to Portland Or. 2-3″ heavier near the mountains and immediate coast.
Paradise on Mt Rainier at about 5400′ elevation will get about 2″ of snow out of this storm!
THESE NUMBERS ARE JUST THROUGH SATURDAY!–BE SAFE… BE VIGILANTE!
Summer is amazing on Whidbey Island. I love it there in all seasons but when the temperature hits 70 degrees and the sun is out it doesn’t get much better than that. Granted the photography is a bit limited when the light’s bad ( early mornings and late evenings are best when its clear) but there is just so much to go on the island its amazing.
Go for a stroll on one of the driftwood beaches and check out the colorful rocks. Keep your eyes peeled for the many bald eagles flying around . They can show up just about anywhere at any time.
These few short weeks are prime time for the lavender fields found at the Lavender Wind Farm. They have a store in Coupeville as well as at the farm itself just about a 15 minutes ( beautiful) drive north of Coupeville. If you like to shop the stores in Langley are packed with stuff you’ll find only on Whidbey Island.
If you like mussels ( and any other seafood for that matter) have dinner at the Front Street Grill on the water in Coupeville. Tell Sean (Owner/manager) hi for me.
Jesse ( the best bartender I know) is there most of the time. He’s the best! The view of the harbor is amazing as well.
I like to stay at the Coupeville Inn. Nice clean rooms, good prices and you can walk to town instead of looking for parking when its crowded.
Coupeville is pretty much centrally located on the island. You can get up to Deception Pass in about 1/2 hr and to Langley , south island in the same amount of time.
You can get to Whidbey easily by taking the 20 minute ferry from Mukliteo… or a bit longer ferry ride from Port Townsend. You can also drive from the north to the island from Anacortes or points north and east.
Anyhow–if you are in the Seattle area get over to Whidbey ASAP…even for a day–JG
The Palouse region in Eastern Washington is in prime “green” color right now. The weather has been great.
I ran my Photography Workshop there last week with great success. I wrote an article about the Palouse and our time there on my regular blog…. you can access it HERE. There is lots of information there and many images to view.
If you can get over there this is the time. The Siesta Inn in Colfax is a great place to stay. Tell them I sent you.
Sprague Wa. is tight off Interstate 90 West of Spokane. After exiting, drive into town and look to the right….you’ll see all the old (mostly International and GMC) trucks from the 50’s and 60’s. about 3 blocks on your right. This is one place that cameras are welcome. It’s best to be here when its cloudy or even raining as the flat light makes for better images of the old rusted trucks.
I drove through here yesterday on the way to Jackson Wyoming. It was cloudy, windy and very cold but I was eager to try out a new Fuji Lens (90mm 2.0)
Sprague is an old farming town what offers some unique subject matter. Walk around and you’ll see what I mean. The great thing about Sprague is that it’s right off the interstate 90….. don’t miss this place! Continue Reading
Here are 3 images I made recently from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. I am constantly amazed at the sharpness of my Fujinon Lenses on my Fuji X-T1. The rocks and landscape on the Olympic Peninsula were made with the new 16-55mm 2.8. The fern image was made with the 50-150mm 2.8 — nothing done to this at all in post processing! Amazing!! Thank you Fuji!
Spring… Green is everywhere. Our brain is able to process more hues of green than any other color. Green is abundant … and so many hues … and a little rain really makes the greens pop. Add some rain and WOW! April & May are my favorite times to be here.
I spent a few hours scouting the area before my workshop (that starts tomorrow) for some good locations to take my attendees. Here are a few images taken off the normal path that most folks go to photograph. I’ve been coming here many years and this place never ceases to amaze me. The trick is to learn how to deal with the clutter and make simple, yet powerful images. I’ll be teaching this starting tomorrow!–JG
3 nights past a full moon + some light noise from Tacoma + no Aurora = a nice night chatting with other folks and getting a shot of Mt Rainier and Reflection Lake in moonlight. I have to say the Fuji X-T1 performed great—VERY little noise at ISO 1600 ( F4 17 second exposure) using the 10-14mm lens. No auroras, but oh well—it was a nice night on the mountain! —JG
For any of you who can get over to Eastern Washington and the Palouse Region… it’s now prime time to do so. The greens are at its richest hue and the temperatures are still comfortable. I stay in the town of Colfax centrally located with easy access to Steptoe Butte and the rest of the Palouse region.
The old barns make great subjects. be sure to ask permission if you want to go on private property
Explore the primitive as well as the seasonal roads. Take a GPS.
You’ll love everything about this place. As a photographer, its a never ending area of possibilities.
Send me a shot!
PHOTOGRAPH THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com
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Creating Mood, Motion and Emotion with Water
© Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography
While driving down from a workshops at Olympic National Park and Whidbey Island recently, I was thinking about some of the locations we visited. Though there are hundreds of miles of rainforest in the park, much of the park contains some diverse locations that feature water. There are some of the most picturesque rivers, waterfalls, shorelines and small spring fed streams, within the park, all with different dynamics that make for some great photos ops. So I made some notes to include within this essay.
Water is very important to me and my photography. Weather taking an image of a grand landscape, or a macro image I love including water as either a subject or as an accompaniment to the subject itself. In other words, water is often included in many of my favorite images. An ocean scene as well as dew drops on a leaf, both containing a water feature can convey a special feeling, that is unique different from scenes without water.
Water adds mood, reflects light, and depending on the light can be many different hues. Water is an unpredictable feature and therefore can be used to create photographs that transmit varied feelings.
Unlike mountains, canyons, forests, etc, one must be prudent in observing how water interacts within a scene. We need to take the textures, colors, tones, and form into account when including water in our images. Depending on the time of day, the light and shape of the water can change drastically. Knowing an area and the potential can really help when considering an image including water.
Like other aspects of nature photography, we must take the overall visual design into affect when photographing all types of water. Is one area detracting from others? Is the light working for you or against you? Do you need to relocate your position?
Water movement will change the mood of the image as well. Calm water, in great light before sunrise transmits a totally different feeling than moving water in similar locations. Time your trips, pay attention to the weather and do some scouting and return if necessary at the right time if needed. Experiment with different lenses. I love wide angle lenses on mirrors lakes with great skies.
Often we choose not to shoot when a breeze creates ripples on the water. I would suggest that you experiment with different shutter speeds. You can create impressionistic effects on the water by varying your shutter speed. Today we have access to a ND filter made by Singh-Ray ( www.singh-ray.com ) that can stop down to 8 stops.
Select a telephoto lens to move in and capture specific areas like reflections, rocks, plants or even a reflection of the land or even a building. Different times of the year yield more color and different effects as well. I love photographing the reflection of the fall color in water. The lower the camera is to the ground, the more color you’ll pick up. Include some leaves on rocks to add more interest to your photograph.
If you read many of the books written on general photography, we are told to use a polarizer when photography water to take the glare off the ware. Be careful, sometimes you shouldn’t use one. I rarely use a polarizer when photographing water at sunrise. The polarizer will remove a lot of the reflected light, color and subject matter from the water. I also like to photograph small intimate areas of streams with colored rocks, moss covered rocks that are under the water. I never use a polarizer when doing this. (TIP: when trying this look for smooth water, not white-water, and look for dips created by rocks to evoke the motion in the water).
When photographing waterfalls, take into account your shutter speeds. I suggest reading my article on waterfall photography. http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/blog/?s=waterfalls
Varying your shutter speed also creates different and at times surreal looks on moving water. Choose weather you want to freeze the water, or let it go to that silky effect to create the mood you want in your image. Use shutter speeds longer than ¼ second to create the silky effect. Conversely, I love to photographing crashing waves at high shitter speeds to capture the spray, frozen in the image that tells the viewer where I was and the dramatic sense of power in the wave itself. However, the ocean can convey a wonderful feeling using low shutter speeds, especially at low tide. The bottom line is to experiment!
I really love photographing at the ocean taking all the previously mentioned things into consideration. I especially love the tide pools found here on thePacificCoast. Use these as foregrounds if at all possible. Watch the tide, it can come in quick. Recently I just made it back on shore and only had to wade knee deep as the tide came in quicker than I thought. Always be aware of your surroundings and never turn your back on the ocean!
Experiment with different ISO’S. This will adjust your shutter speeds, while leaving your aperture of choice in place. (And of course remember your tripod and quality head). If you have leaves moving in a pool of water try a 5-10 second, or longer exposure and capture them moving for some interesting abstract images.
Consider where you have water in your location and how you can use it to create some special photographs. Go back to the same location at different times and use the water along with the subject matter to make some interesting images. Water adds never-ending possibilities to photography.