News from Rod Barbee Photography
June 2011 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Wow. It's June 1st already. And guess what? That's right, it's still raining here. But I guess that's not unusual for the Pacific Northwest. It's just that last June was really rainy too.
But the flowers are growing and the lawn always seems to need mowing (and I've got another backyard project in mind) so I suppose that means summer is pretty close.
Olympic National Park Tour
Due to a cancellation, I now have two openings in my July 12-17 Olympic National Park Semi-Private Photo Tour. This tour starts in Port Angeles where we'll concentrate on mountain landscape, sub-alpine flowers, waterfalls, a lavender farm, and the Lake Crescent area. (The picture at the top of the email is Sol Duc Falls, one place we'll be going).
We'll then move to Forks where we'll photograph the rainforest and beach areas. We may even see a few elk if we're lucky.
This trip is limited to only seven participants. Small groups like this are great. We're more flexible, we don't get in each other's way (as much), and it's easier for me to get around to everybody who needs help. Plus, small groups make it easier to get to know everybody and make new friends.

With only two spaces left, I'm expecting that this trip will fill so grab your spot before it's gone!

Peace of mind while traveling
I was just reading about a photographer named David DuChemin (I actually have a couple of his books) who was in Italy and fell about 20-30 feet from a wall and was injured pretty badly. I went over to his blog and read a little bit about it.
Anyway, he's home in Ottawa recovering. And one of the reasons that he's home now is because he has a membership in MedJet Assist, which provides medical evacuation from just about anywhere in the world to the hospital of your choice. And the membership is dirt cheap. A one year membership is only $250 for an individual and $385 for a family. They also have short term memberships like 21 days for $150.
Unfortunately, being a resident of Washington State, I can't buy this membership. Turns out that because of our insurance laws, companies like MedJet Assist can't sell in Washington. But they can sell everywhere else.
Think Tank camera bags
Think Tank Photo makes camera packs, carrying systems, and cases that have gotten a pretty good reputation. Recently I got one of their rolling camera packs: The Airport TakeOff Rolling Camera Bag. It's a rolling camera pack with shoulder straps. It also has a large front pocket big enough to hold a laptop in one of their custom padded laptop bags.
As I just got it I can only give first impressions.

As per their reputation, the bag is well built. There are plenty of dividers in the main compartment for customizing the interior. And it can hold a lot of gear. I was able to get everything I normally carry in my LowePro ProTrekker inside this bag, which includes two pro-size Nikon bodies, four lenses, filters, flash, tool kit, and lens hoods. The inside of the cover has two large pockets for things like bubble levels, cleaning cloths, tools, or whatever you normally put there. The outside pocket is big enough to hold my reflector and diffuser along with some other extras.
The pack also comes with a rain cover and straps to attach a tripod on the outside as well as a couple of small outside pockets for stuff like papers, wallet, etc.
I was pretty impressed with the pack's shoulder straps too. The only thing the pack really lacks is a waist strap, making this pack more suited to trips where you won't be far from the car. If I was going to be hiking more than a mile or so, or over rough terrain, I'd use one of my packs that has a waist strap instead. That being said, if I was flying to a location and knew I wasn't going to be doing any heavy hiking, this pack would work just fine.

One issue I've had with every single LowePro pack I've owned is zipper problems. After awhile, either the zipper tears loose from the pack or the zipper slide won't close the teeth properly. I've had to have every Lowe pack I've owned repaired over zipper issues. Think Tank uses only high quality YYK zippers (and they brag about it) so I'm really counting on them holding up.
I'll be giving this pack a more thorough test drive later this month in the Palouse and I'll pass on what I think.
If you're interested in any ThinkTank gear, use this link to go to their site. By using this link you can get a free gift if you end up ordering anything over $50.

Your signature as a watermark
Ever want to use your own signature as a watermark that you can then use in Lightroom? It's actually pretty easy to do. Visit my blog and I'll show you how. I've also posted it as an article on my website.
Quite a Sightly Place
Some of you already know David Middleton. And if you do, you probably also know that besides being a great photographer, he's perhaps an even better writer. Over the last few years that I've co-led workshops with him in Vermont, we've visited a dairy farm that's been in the same family for over 150 years.
Well David wrote a book about the farm, really a book about the family that owns and runs the farm.
David recently sent me a copy of the book and I've really been enjoying it. David is a natural story teller and this book has plenty of his well-known sense of humor. It's been a delight to read, especially since I've met a few of the people he writes about.
If you enjoy good photography and good story telling, do yourself a favor and get this book for yourself. If you know anybody who grew up in rural Vermont or the general New England area, get this book for them.
Mt. Rainier
And finally, there's still room in all remaining 2011 workshops (except Palouse).
Mt. Rainier is coming up in two months. The hotel cut off date was today but I was able to get it extended to June 30th. So it's not too late to sign up and still be able to stay at the same hotel.
A busy summer ahead
Besides the summer workshops, scouting for the upcoming Oregon Wineries tour, my latest backyard mystery project, and playing with Bailey the dog, I've now got a new book project to work on.
I'll be spending a portion of the next three months photographing the Oregon Coast for another one of David Middleton's brainstorms. Fortunately, I already have many of the pictures needed. But it's still a great excuse to spend some time in one of my favorite areas. I hope that wine shop in Newport is still open.

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