News from Rod Barbee Photography
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April 2011 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Greetings
You may remember me telling you that March, here in the Pacific Northwest, came in like a lion. Well it went out the same way: windy and rainy. And now spring is here and so is opening day (today, as I write this) for my Seattle Mariners. I've long dreamed of the Mariners in the World Series. We came close ten years ago. This may be one of my far off dreams that never comes true.

But another of my far off dreams is coming true: a trip to Iceland. Details below.

Web Galleries!
 
Hey, I've finally gone and done it. Well, I've started it anyway. I've created image galleries for my website. I'm still a ways away from completion but I've got a few of them up and available for your viewing pleasure (I know, I'm assuming here).
I still have several galleries to create and upload and some galleries need to have more images added. And some galleries, no doubt, need images removed. Like most photographers, I suffer from wanting to show a lot of images. Maybe too many. So once I get over the initial excitement of finally getting galleries on the web, I'll get around to perhaps editing them.

I created all these galleries and the index pages containing them from within Lightroom using plug-ins by The Turning Gate. In fact, I could create my entire web site using these plug-ins (and I've actually mapped out how to do it), but for now these galleries will have to do.
If you want to create your own galleries from Lightroom using these plug-ins, they're affordable, easy to use (once you get used to the layout), and there is all sorts of help from the author via the online forum. And I'm getting pretty handy with the plug-ins I'm using and would be happy to answer any questions. I've no affiliation with this company other than being a very satisfied user.

18% Gray Matter
 
Looking for a photography podcast that's low on BS and high on solid information? Jack Graham (who's been leading workshops for many years) and Bob Kulon produce the weekly 18 Percent Gray Matter photography podcast. In one episode Jack shares his enthusiasm for weather as well as his sources for keeping track of it. Weather is very important to us outdoor photographer types so it's nice to learn about these resources.

You'll find plenty of good information in each podcast and some great ideas. I've even picked up a few teaching ideas I can steal, ummmm, incorporate, yeah, that's it, incorporate, for my own teaching.
In one recent podcast Bob spoke about the difference in kit lenses. And during that talk he got on the subject of protective filters and how all they really do is increase the profits of camera stores. He went on to say that cheap UV filters used for lens "protection" actually degrade image quality and that you're better off using a lens hood for protection while shooting and a lens cap when you're not shooting. Gee, where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, I'm always harping on it. I knew there was a reason I liked these guys.

Not only did Bob talk about "protective" filters, he mentioned the importance of something else near and dear to me: the depth of field preview button.
And for each podcast Jack and Bob provide show notes on their website. And if they've been discussing specific images, you'll find those as well. So if you need "yet another photography podcast" to listen to, give Jack and Bob a try. Either visit their website or search for 18 Percent Gray Matter in the iTunes store. It's free!

Photographer's Ephemeris on the iPod
 
On the subject of knowing conditions before you arrive, the always handy Photographer's Ephemeris is now available as an ipod/iphone/ipad app.
Profiles by Rick
 
Once upon a time I wrote a post about a great place to have printer profiles made. Well it appears that this particular company is no longer operating. The website is still up, and the Paypal link still works and will still take your money. But profiles aren't showing up and emails go unanswered (and I waited too long to file a case with PayPal). So I went online to see if others were having the same problem with this particular profile maker, and they were. And they also recommended some alternatives. One of those alternatives was Profiles by Rick. So I surfed on over and saw that Rick was offering the same profiling service for about $10 per profile less. So I gave him a try. I downloaded the profile targets and order form. Printed the targets, filled out the form, sent Rick a PayPal payment and mailed off the targets. A couple of days (yes, about two days) later, I get an email from Rick with a web link to download my profiles.
Very simple and very quick. And very professional. And the profiles work just fine. So if you need custom printer profiles, give Rick a try. The prices are right and the service is top drawer.
Another service I read about is Eric Chan's. He seems to come highly recommended. I haven't used his service yet so I won't make any recommendation. His profiles are $20.
Yet another handy iPhone app
 
A couple of weeks ago I saw a discussion on an email list about depth of field for "cropped sensor" digital cameras versus full-frame or 35mm film cameras. This was on a stock photography email list so I was rather stunned to see all the incorrect information that started flowing. Some people were saying that you get less depth of field with the smaller digital sensors. It's actually the other way around. The reason for this is that the bigger the sensor (or piece of film) gets, the more you have to magnify a subject to get the same framing. And as magnification increases, depth of field decreases. That's just the nature of the thing. So if you want a frame filling portrait on 35mm film or full frame digital sensor, that's easy to do. If you want a frame filling portrait on 8x10 film, that's also easy to do with a big enough lens.
Think about it. A frame filling portrait of a person on 8x10 film is practically a 1:1 ratio. The subject size in real life is about the same as it is on the film. A frame filling portrait on 35mm film of a full frame is probably at 1:8. In other words, you'll have to magnify the image a lot more when you use a larger piece of film or a larger sensor. And what happens to depth of field when you magnify? Yep, it gets shallower.
So if you have a camera with a cropped sensor, you actually need to magnify your subject less than on a full frame sensor to get the exact same framing. You're filling a smaller space with the smaller sensor so it stands to reason you'd need less magnification. Less magnification means more depth of field (at any given f-stop).

Anyway, that's a long way to go to get to my actual point. My actual point here is that after reading all the bad information on the email list I went to my web page, brought up my article on hyperfocal focusing, and clicked on the link that led to another article on another site. This site had a handy Excel file you could download to create your own charts. Well, that site no longer exists. So I had to change that part of my article. But I still wanted to reference a web resource.
And what I found was a neat iPhone/iPod App from DOFMaster. It's pretty easy to use and will be handy to have in the field. Whew. That was a long way to go.

A simple composition tip
 
Whenever I talk about composition in workshops I always work in the word "graphics." Heck, it is part of photographic isn't it? Anybody who knows me and my photography knows that I'm drawn toward graphic images: lines, curves, shapes, etc. And what I tell people is this: Don't necessarily look for "things" to photograph, look for graphics. When you do you'll not only find more subjects to photograph, but your photographs will become more interesting.
So give it a try. Instead of looking for a flower, a stream, a mountain, or a sunset, try looking for a shape, a line, an S-curve, repeating triangles, zig-zags, reflections of a circle. My guess is that you'll start to actually see more. That's what happened to me 20 years ago when I began this adventure in photography.
Zion National Park
 
A couple of weeks ago I posted a workshops update and asked if there would be any interest in a Zion trip. Well, there certainly was. So I've scheduled a Zion workshop for November 2-6. This will be a regular workshop, not just a tour, and besides all the usual invaluable and insightful photography tips and suggestions I impart, we'll also be spending time in the classroom getting up to speed with Lightroom. If you've been struggling with this most awesome of programs this is a chance to at least start getting a handle on it while at the same time capturing one of our most scenic parks in prime time fall color. We'll also take some time to visit Bryce Canyon for a sunrise.
This workshop is limited to eight and four of the spaces have already been spoken for.
Iceland
 
And finally. A couple of weeks ago I cryptically hinted at a trip that was not in North America. Some of you figured it out. Granted, it wasn't that hard, I've only been talking about going to Iceland for a couple of years after all.
Anyway, I've hooked up with a photographer named Tim Vollmer who lives in Iceland and we've put together a 10-day trip in August of 2012. Tim's working with some of the best in the business including Art Wolfe and the aforementioned Jack Graham. This trip is limited to 12 and I know that six or seven spaces have already been tentatively spoken for (but I will need deposits to positively hold a space).

For more information, including the proposed itinerary (complete with virtually unpronounceable place names), visit the Iceland page on my website. Pictures from Tim will be coming soon.

Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls
 
I guess that wasn't finally. I wanted to make sure to mention that I still have space remaining in my Columbia Gorge Waterfalls Photo Tour. Waterfalls are a perenial favorite of nature lovers, hikers, and buyers of nature images.
This tour is limited to seven.
 

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Rod Barbee Photography | 172 Robin Lane | Port Ludlow | WA | 98365