Jordan Lake — vol.1


This is the inaugural free downloadable folio in what hopefully will be a continuing series. There will be no set schedule as to when new folios become available, so it’s best to subscribe (below) to receive an email when a new blog is posted containing the link for the latest free folio.

Just click on the photo below and you’ll be taken to a new window in your browser where, it may take a few seconds, the folio will be available for viewing and downloading. Downloading the file is accomplished by clicking the down-facing arrow at the top right of the screen. If you’re using Adobe Reader, pressing Command or Control-L will go to full screen with a black background. Press Escape to return to normal viewing.

Jordan Lake — vol.1

Today, please remember those who sacrificed so much for us to live with the freedoms we enjoy in this great country…


Hazy Dawn — Jordan Lake, NC © jj raia

In early 2014, about 18 months after switching to digital, I did a few experiments with what I called blurred images, but have since learned they are properly identified as Intentional Camera Movement, or ICM. Even though I had done some previously with a basic digital point & shoot camera about five years earlier (below), there were plenty of limitations using that camera and wanted to experiment with the new DSLR having much more control over the shutter speed, aperture, etc. It was a method I would eventually use extensively later that year on a month-long trip photographing the golden leaves and white trunks of aspens in autumn.

Dancing Irises – © jj raia

Free Downloadable pdf Coming Soon!

Foggy Sunrise — Jordan Lake, NC © jj raia

Beginning soon, the first in a series of small portfolios, focused on a single theme, will become available for free download. The initial folio will be from the continuing project of photographing North Carolina’s Jordan Lake (including the image above), with additional folios of differing themes to follow from time to time without any particular schedule. In order to receive an email notification when a new folio becomes available, you’ll have to sign up by filling in your email and click the Subscribe button below. Once enrolled, you’ll receive an email notification when another folio is available for free downloading through this blog. It’s that simple. If you’re already signed up for blog notifications, you don’t need to enroll, you’re already included.

Wildlife in the Landscape

Pronghorn — Grand Teton NP © jj raia

Almost five years ago on a trip out west to neighboring Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, I ran into a photographer who happened to be a Nikon Ambassador. We had just failed miserably in attempting to photograph the first rays of sunlight on the Tetons from Schwabacher’s Landing (along with dozens of other photographers), because the peaks were completely blocked by low hanging clouds and there wasn’t much to see. We talked for a while, and the conversation eventually turned to photographing the wildlife in these two parks because he was about to lead a workshop that included photographing the wildlife there. And he said something interesting that has stuck with me since then about certain compositions in wildlife photography. He said, “The world doesn’t need another perfectly exposed and perfectly focused, full frame shot of the front face of a bison, or any other animal for that matter!” He said he now concentrates his efforts more on the wild animal within its habitat; a kind of environmental portrait.

Non-Abstract Abstracts

Reflections No.1 — Jordan Lake, NC © jj raia

Not too long ago, a short discussion in the blog was devoted to the idea of a Non-Abstract Abstract as a simple way to describe a particular type of image that has managed to find its way in front of the camera quite often over the years. In the past, I generally referred to them as “Natural Abstractions”, but have also seen them referred to as “Natural Extractions” or simply abstracts, and I’m sure there are many other monikers for this type image taken directly from a landscape. It’s difficult to provide a specific definition since a descriptor is better suited to convey an understanding of just what is meant by this term.