News from Rod Barbee Photography
September 2011 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Hi all. Hope those of you on the east coast made it through Irene without trouble.
On this side of the country it's looking like spring, summer, and fall all at the same time. The flowers are in the mountains are finally out, we're supposed to have hot weather this weekend, and the alder leaves are already falling. Plus we've had some strange, fall-like mini-storms pass through.

And there was finally a bit of summer out on the Oregon Coast so I was able to finish up (mostly) my book project there.

Get the shots while you can
Some of you know that I'm working on a new book on the Oregon Coast. What it boils down to is that I needed to get pictures in touristy places where tourists go at tourist times of day. This is a situation that, up until now, I've tried to avoid like a kid avoiding bedtime.
What it also means is that while I was working on The Photographer's Guide to the Oregon Coast (available at my website!) I could have been getting a lot of the pictures that I ended up having to cram into a month of shooting.
I don't know how many times I kicked myself in my metaphoric butt for not photographing in some places when I had the chance just because I'm as adverse to crowds as a kid is to a bath (I'm talking about you, Cannon Beach!).

But on the other hand, forcing myself (or, more precisely, being forced) to mingle with tourists in their native habitat led me to some fun images I otherwise would never have seen ("see" accompanying photo) and to visit some fun places that I might not visit otherwise, like the Prehistoric Gardens just south of Port Orford. There were dinosaurs. Big dinosaurs and little dinosaurs. I like dinosaurs. And I liked this place just like a kid likes---um---dinosaurs.
I also photographed at a couple of golf courses early in the morning and late in the afternoon. You know what? It looked like fun. Not just the golf part but the whole part about walking around some pretty place with your friends and just shooting the breeze. Which is probably all I'd hit anyway since I don't golf. But I might want to learn now.

Another lesson
Another thing I've learned while working on this book project is that it's a pain to have to change lenses on a windy beach and that some of my lenses (well, one in particular) just wasn't up to the task. I mainly used my Nikon 24-120 AF-S VR and my Tokina 12-24 lenses for just about everything. But sometimes I needed to go longer than 120mm and that's when I would grab either my 80-200 f/2.8 or the much lighter and more pocketable 70-300 f/4-5.6. After awhile I opted to carry the extra weight of the 80-200. The 70-300, while an ok all around lens, just didn't do the job I wanted it to do. The images were ok, as long as I didn't zoom past around 200mm. After that things started getting softer. And, of course, it's much harder to get quality images hand held from a longer lens, which I was doing a lot of while wandering the towns and beaches (and dinosaur parks). My 70-300 is an older model without fast autofocus or VR (vibration reduction) and it can't compare to my 80-200.

So I just bit the bullet and ordered the Nikon 28-300 AF-S VRII, which has been getting some pretty good reviews by folks like Bob Krist and which my friend David Middleton has been using to great effect (David's doing just fine by the way).
So now I can carry just the two lenses (the 12-24 and the 28-300) to do just about everything I need for the times I need to go light.
I know this is a little like closing the door after the horse has left the barn but I'll find plenty of uses for the new lens. I'll let you know what I think after I get a chance to use it.

2012 workshops
I'll be doing my best to get a 2012 schedule posted before the next newsletter. What I can tell you is that Don Mammoser will be back and we're planning trips to the slot canyons/Monument Valley for late April, Yosemite for mid-May, possibly Mt. Rainier for early August, and Canadian Rockies as well as Colorado Fall colors for September.

I'll also be teaming with my friend Kim Hoshal for trips to Death Valley (late Feb.), White Sands in mid September, a possible Columbia Gorge/Northern Oregon coast trip in late May, and more. We're even talking about doing an HDR weekend workshop in her studio near Sedona.
There will also be the usual Olympic and Palouse trips (though I just heard that Steptoe Butte will be closed starting in the spring to replace a couple of cell towers-we'll see) and probably a full Oregon coast workshop.

Oh, and there's Iceland in case you've forgotten (August 13-22, 2012). And if you need some enticement, my co-leader Tim Vollmer, along with his wife, just produced an e-book for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch full of his stunning Iceland images. Tim's an expert on Iceland (he lives there, after all) and I am really looking forward to our trip and capturing images of one of the world's most interesting and alluring landscapes.

If you've been thinking of coming along there is still space available. But if all of those who've expressed a serious interest actually sign up, this trip will fill.

Other things
There is still room in the Oregon Coast: Newport workshop I'm co-leading with Bob Stahl coming up in about two weeks. I'm starting to feel like I'm living on the Oregon Coast I've spent so much time there lately.
And there is still room in the Wineries of the Willamette Valley tour coming up in late October. This is a great opportunity to get all sorts of images from vineyard landscapes in fall color, to clusters of grapes on the vine, to people in tasting rooms and vineyard workers. And according to the vineyard reports, things are running late: very similar to last year. And last year we had lots and lots and lots of grapes on the vine to photograph and the vineyard crews were out and picking.

And in case you're wondering, no, I haven't made any progress on my backyard ponds/waterfall project. Too busy living on the Oregon coast. I'm hoping that once I get the book done and finish up this next workshop that I'll have time to work on it. Could be that my summer project turns into a winter project (to go along with that winter do-do list I have that dates back to the mid-nineties).


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