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Baja  Birthdays

It’s awkward having a birthday in December. Your big day is smack dab in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas. So when George (aka Mr. Aloha) and Lisa (visionary extraordinaire) invited us to join them at Rancho Pescadero, the incredible hotel/beach paradise they’ve built, in Todos Santos, Baja for a little birthday fun, we leapt at the chance.

George’s birthday is November 30, Eileen’s is December 1, and Elizabeth, who was our model for our first Rancho Pescadero photo shoot three years ago, has her birthday on November 28—and we all got together to celebrate with old friends and new for a great weekend at the Rancho.

The weekend coincided with a three-day culinary fest at Rancho so we were lucky enough to enjoy great dinners, cooking classes, and cooking demonstrations by visiting chefs Jeff and Susan Mall of Zin restaurant in Healdsburg, chef Kelly Liken of Top Chef fame and Kelly Liken Restaurant in Vail, Colorado, and Rancho’s own head chef Bueno Rodrigo. Good food? Oh yeah, the best. Great company? Yep. We couldn’t have asked for a better group. So. Much. Fun.

And the beach wasn’t bad either…

To see more of my photos of Rancho Pescadero, visit or check out their Facebook page.

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Eileen’s incredible shot of the Golden Gate Bridge captured this past Labor Day at 6:24 am while rowing under the Golden Gate Bridge. She adjusted and fine tuned the photo using the Lightroom skills learned in my January Lightroom workshop.

Lightroom 4 – everything but the camera. Smart tools for standout images. Bring out the best in every shot with the powerfully simple one-click adjustments and a full range of cutting-edge advanced controls. Craft elegant photo books and effortlessly share your best shots on social networks, in web galleries, and more. Perfect your images, organize all your photographs, and share your vision – all in one fast, intuitive application.

About the workshop – My workshop will focus on teaching you a creative, organized workflow using Adobe’s Lightoom 4. We’ll spend an intense day and a half in October learning the fundamentals of Lightroom 4 and follow up with a half day in November to recap and solidify what you’ve learned. This will be a small workshop with a maximum of six participants.

Saturday October 20th, 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday October 21st, 1 pm to 5 pm, and Saturday November 3rd, 10 am to 2 pm

Reserve your spot today. Have questions? Click here to receive more information.

To see shots of and comments from the last workshop please click here.

Upcoming Exhibit at Cavallo Point – I’ll be one of three artists showing work at the Cavallo Point Art Gallery running from October 1st through December 31st. I’ll send out more information later.

Don’t forget the ICB Artists Winter Open Studios. Discover hundresds of works of art in over 80 artist’s studios. My studio is #106 on the west side of the building, first floor with the entry on the west deck. Studios will be open Saturday, the 1st from 11 am to 6 pm, and Sunday the 2nd from 11 am to 6 pm

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Recently, Eileen and I were lucky enough to experience three incredible safari camps operated by Wilderness Safaris in Africa. We stayed at two of Wilderness Safari’s Classic Camps, Toka Leya Camp, located in Zambia near Victoria Falls, and Chitabe Lediba Camp, located in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The last camp we stayed at was a Wilderness Safari Collection Camp, the amazing Abu Camp, located deep in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Abu Camp has a resident herd of rescued elephants that we interacted with daily, going on walks with them, catching rides on them, and feeding them. It was an unforgettable experience. On the last night we slept in the Abu Camp “Star Bed.” It’s a beautiful bed out in the open on a two-story deck right alongside the elephant boma. Elephants on one side and the delta with hippos dipping in and out of the water on the other. What a way to end our safari. It took us 35 hours door-to-door to get there and we were only there six short days. Still, it was worth it. We’ll try to post more photos and our daily reports later, but here’s a taste.

For more info on the best sources on all things safari and Africa, check out the links below:

Africa Discovery

Wilderness Safari Camps


  • Vanessa Murphy - April 30, 2012 - 8:10 am

    Hi Jay + Eileen, your pictures are beautiful Jay! It looks and sounds like a magical trip! Thanks for sharing your images and sending you both my best, Vanessa

  • jaygraham - May 2, 2012 - 5:51 am

    Thanks Vanessa – it was an incredible adventure!

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Bella Notte Linens

Bella Notte Linens book in progress

Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom 4 was released this morning. As usual with adobe, it’s an upgrade that’s well worth getting. Adobe has also lowered the price from $299 to $149 for the full version. The upgrade is just $79.

Now you can make Blurb books within Lightroom 4 – no plug-in download required, no need to use another tool to design your book. It was so easy to switch between proofing and editing. Any changes that I needed to make to an image were just a click away. Never leaving the program you’ve gotten used to and use for everything from organizing and archiving your library to final output is awesome. Nice to be using just one piece of software. I am always blown away by the quality of Blurb books. I just received my Large Square (12 x 12) book, Bella Notte Linens (one of my favorite clients),  this morning. It’s one of my favorite books so far. You can check it out here.

What’s new in Lightoom 4:

• Video Support
• Manage images by location with the Map Module
• Simplified Basic Adjustments
• Powerful new Shadow & Highlight controls
• Additional local adjustments including Noise Reduction and White Balance
• Soft Proofing Reinvented
• Elegant Photo Book creation with Blurb
• Email from directly within Lightroom
• Publish videos directly to Facebook or Flickr
• Enhanced DNG workflows

My favorite tool just got better!


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Along the Way & Indochine, The books

Now is a good time to buy those books you’ve been wanting to get. Blurb is offering $10 off your purchase. Do it soon, the offer expires February 27th. Just enter the code: “SAVE10” when you check out.

You can preview and buy Along the Way by clicking here and Indochine by clicking here.

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