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Jay Graham was Awarded: 3rd place in Special – Travel/Tourism category for the winning entry Golden Gate Commute

About IPA:

The International Photography Awards is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, where the top three winners are announced at the annual Lucie Awards ceremony. The awards event will be held at the Lincoln Center in New York on October 24, 2011, before returning to Los Angeles in 2012 in celebration of the 10-year anniversary. Over 8,000 submissions from 90 countries were received for the 2011 International Photography Awards with over 70 jurors, the largest to date. The Foundation’s mission is to honor master photographers, discover new and emerging talent, and promote the appreciation of photography. IPA is dedicated to recognizing contemporary photographers’ accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition. Visit for more details.

Workshop coming up: Don’t forget to sign up for the workshop happening this October.

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Bruce and his buddies celebrating his 60th aboard the Schooner Gas Light

Bruce and his buddies celebrating his 60th aboard the Schooner Gas Light

It was one of those wonderful evenings on San Francisco Bay when the fog starts to roll in over the hills above Sausalito. Nanette organized a surprise birthday party for Bruce aboard the Schooner Gas Light out of Sausalito. We all met at Schoonmakers and sailed to the cove just below Kayak Camp on Angel Island. Bruce was on one of his regular Friday sails with John Callahan and friends aboard Django. Bruce was at the helm as they sailed through Racoon Straight. He was about two boat lengths from Gas Light before he realized it was packed with his friends, food, and cheer. Great party!

The only camera I had with me at the time was my trusty iPhone 4. I had fun capturing stills and a couple of videos. This shot showed the most potential but the red foul weather gear was an odd color and lacked any texture. I decided to play with the image in Lightroom and see what I could make. I ended up using one of Lightroom’s presets, B&W Creative – Antique Grayscale. I couldn’t stop there so I did some fine tuning of density, a little cropping, brushed in some texture, dodged a face or two, added some grain and did a slight post-crop vignette. Not bad for a mobile phone.


  • Andrew Faulkner - October 2, 2011 - 7:29 am

    Amazing shots at the West Point Inn! – Makes me feel like I was there. Great blog Jay…

  • Jay Graham - October 2, 2011 - 8:56 am

    Thanks Andrew! The West Point Inn is one of our favorite places for a quick getaway.

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Eileen and I hiked to the West Point Inn on Mt. Tamalpais to spend the night and celebrate our anniversary. We woke up Friday morning to this beautiful sunrise looking over the top of the fog to Mt. Diablo. I grabbed my iPhone (the first camera within reach), and before getting out of bed, held it over my head and got this first shot of the day. After reading, coffee, and a snack, we hiked back down the mountain, enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and then headed off to work.

Friday evening was a real treat. We’d been invited to The Photoshop & You Experience: Grand Opening Event at Adobe’s pop-up location at 550 Sutter Street in San Francisco. We experienced great photography, good conversation, and fine wines and food but the real treat was seeing the high resolution slideshow on the way out. As we watched the slideshow on the mosaic of six large flat screen tv’s, we realized that 10 of the images were my images from my recent spotlight interview with Adobe. This was sure a welcome surprise! Check out the schedule for The Photography & You experience. Adobe and Blurb are presenting a lunch session called Limitless Creative Freedom on Thursday, August 4. It’s free and open to the public. Take a look at the full list of workshops and rsvp for the Blurb event if you plan on going (they’re providing lunch!). The Adobe pop-up experience runs through August 6 – don’t miss it. And for more photography instruction and an information-packed (and fun) weekend learning  the ins and outs of Lightroom, sign up for my October workshop in Mendocino.

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Great News:

Adobe published an interview with me on my favorite shooting techniques and Lightroom tools. Check it out at in the Spotlights section. Here’s an excerpt from the interview in which I talk about the Lightroom and Photoshop techniques I used to create my award-winning “Ghosts” photograph.

Showcasing stunning locations

For some of his most stunning landscape and architectural photography, San Francisco Bay Area-based photographer Jay Graham strays no further than his own proverbial backyard.


I started doing a series on Angel Island a couple of years ago. I’d kayak from Sausalito to the far side of Angel Island. I’d leave Sausalito about an hour before sunrise so that I could be in the old, abandoned hospital taking advantage of the low-angle light flooding in just after sunrise.

For the Ghosts shot I had the camera on a tripod and took multiple exposures using the self timer on the camera. I positioned myself in different areas of the shot for each exposure. When I got back to the studio I selected three different images, did preliminary exposure, contrast, and correction adjustments in Lightroom and then sent them to Photoshop. I blended them together in Photoshop and then went back to Lightroom to finalize the final composite. I used one of the presets in Lightroom to give it a cool blue look. It won third place in the International Photography Awards (IPA) contest in the historical architecture category.


To learn more about Lightroom and shooting on location, take a closer look at the Mendocino Workshop coming October 28, 29, and 30, 2011.

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“Sea View”

October 28, 29, and 30, 2011

Join me for a three-day workshop in Mendocino on the rugged Northern California Coast. We’ll be doing outdoor shoots daily and every day will include one-on-one sessions where I’ll work with you to fine tune your skills and techniques, and help you reach your goals, whether it’s learning to push your creative edge or increasing your technical knowledge.

Outdoor venues will include the seashore, the Big River basin, the historic town of Mendocino, and nearby meadows and woodlands. Our indoor group tutorials will focus on photographic tips and tools, with an emphasis on using Adobe’s Lightroom 3 to organize and process images. The workshop is open to photographers of all abilities.

Workshop Schedule:

We’ll begin Friday afternoon after your 3:00 pm check in. After a brief introductory session, I’ll review each participant’s work (sent before the start of the workshop) and discuss specific areas to focus on. After the evening wine and dinner buffet, I’ll do a slideshow presentation and hand out specific assignments for each participant. You’ll start working on your assignment Saturday morning at 7:30 am. Breakfast will be between 8:30 and 9:30. After breakfast, everyone will continue to work on their individual assignments, have lunch in Mendocino, and return to the inn by 1:30 for a demonstration and instructions using Lightroom 3. One-on-one sessions will run until 5:30. After the evening wine hour/buffet, we’ll have a general viewing and critique of everyone’s work and discuss the assignments for Sunday. Sunday will again begin with shooting at 7:30 am, breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30, and assignment shooting until 11:00 am. We’ll return to the inn for individual critiques and instruction sessions, and wrap up at 1:30 p.m.


We’ll be staying and operating out of one of the area’s most beautiful and accommodating inns, The Brewery Gulch Inn. It has won many awards including Trip Adviser’s #1 inn in Mendocino, the BayList 2010 best Wine Country Bed and Breakfast, and was just listed in Heartland Trails Top Ten List of California Bed and Breakfasts. The inn is noted for its beautiful accommodations, incredible cooked-to-order breakfasts, and evening wine hour, which includes tastings of local wines and beer, and a wonderful buffet of light foods and dessert prepared by the inn’s chef. Breakfast and evening wine hours are included in the accommodation cost.


The cost of the workshop is $425 plus the cost of your accommodations. The Brewery Gulch Inn has reserved rooms at a special 10% discount for workshop participants for a limited time only. Please call the inn soon as the rooms go quickly (there are only 10 rooms and they fill up fast). Call the inn at 800-578-4454 (rather than booking online) to secure your discounted reservation.

Here’s what past workshop participants have said about the inn and the workshop:

“The Brewery Gulch is a delightful place. Sounds a bit pricey at first, but considering that it includes really spectacular breakfasts and buffet dinners with good local wines, it’s really a bargain. Very comfy and elegant rooms, great views, ready access to lots of hiking trails, lovely people running the place, late night snacks, huge DVD library for late night movie viewing — hard to beat.”

“Jay is an excellent teacher with a calm demeanor which makes it a pleasure to learn from him.”

“Jay, thank you for your amazing patience and insight.”

“Loved learning how to shoot properly and correct lighting using tools in Lightroom.”

“Everything you showed in Lightroom was great. I didn’t know any of the tips you showed us.”

Reserve your spot today. Have questions? Click here to receive more information. Jay is scheduled to be a featured photographer on Adobe’s Stay tuned for details.

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