News from Rod Barbee Photography
January 2012 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Happy winter everybody! Hope you all made it through the holidays intact, thoroughly merried, completely jollied, and sufficiently nogged (or, in my case, chocolated). We had a calm and uneventful time and now the pretty lights are down and we're totally de-infestived. Or is that disinfestived? Uninfestived? Never mind.
Well, I've got news and some hopefully helpful hints. So let's get on with it, shall we?
New website design
First of all, I'm rather excited that I've finally completed one of the items on my winter projects list (you know, the one that goes back to 1997 or so). To be fair, this particular project wasn't on the list in 1997, but it certainly feels like it has been.
Anyway, I've redesigned my website! I have two words for that: Woo! and Hoo!
This never would have gotten done if it wasn't for the fabulous Lightroom web gallery plug-ins made by Matthew Campagna at The Turning Gate. Pop on over to my website and take a look. I'll wait.

Back yet?
So, just about everything you see on my website was created from within Lightroom. There are still a few things like my articles and the newsletter archives that were created outside of Lightroom, but all of the main pages and all of the galleries (even the WordPress blog theme) were created right in Lightroom. Amazing, huh?
I really love the ability to do this. Not only does it create a consistent look, but it's so much easier to manage my web site, especially galleries and workshop pages, from Lightroom.
One of the great new features in the CE2 galleries line up is the mobile galleries. When you export the gallery from Lightroom, it actually creates two separate galleries: one for viewing on a desktop computer, and one for mobile devices. So if you're browse to one of these galleries on your iPhone or other smart phone, you'll be taken to a mobile gallery, which makes viewing much easier.

I still have some updating to do to bring the workshops pages in line with the new design and there may be some links that need fixing, but over all, I'm really happy with it so far.

New plug-ins from The Turning Gate
To continue my effervescent excitement over my updated site, I want to tell you more about the Lightroom plug-ins available from The Turning Gate (TTG). Matt has just released his latest set of web plug-ins: TTG CE2. CE stands for Core Elements. These plug-ins are designed to work together to create an entire website, but you can get any of the gallery plug-ins and create stand alone galleries. In fact, that's what I've been doing for the past few months. My workshop pages are actually image galleries with text. So I've been using these plug-ins for awhile now just as galleries. But now, with the release of the CE2 web engines, I've been going hog-wild and have used the TTG Pages CE2 plug-in to create the framework for my entire site.
The power of these plug-ins is in their design flexibility and ease of implementation. And if you know anything about PHP programming, then there seems to be no limits as to what you can do. But you don't need to know programming. So don't be scared. I don't know much at all about it (I'm starting to learn, gotta keep my brain flexible you know). Everything you see on my site was done "out of the box" so to speak.
One of the neatest new things Matt has come up with is a Theme for WordPress plug-in. With this I've matched my WordPress blog to my site, and it's super easy to use.

So if you're a Lightroom user looking for a web page solution for yourself, then take a look at the Turning Gate plug-ins.
And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to drop me an email, I'll do my best to answer them. (Also, there is a very helpful user forum at TTG and Matt's pretty active on it so you can get answers right from the plug-in author)

2012 metadata presets
So now that we're into a new year, have you updated your metadata presets? I know, that sounds like a rather personal question. I use metadata presets (or templates) in Lightroom and Downloader Pro to automatically add contact and copyright information to all my images, and if you add the year to your copyright notice, then be sure to update your presets.
Don't know how to create a metadata preset in Lightroom? Never fear. I've been working on handout material and I just happen to have a handout on making metadata and filename templates. You can get the PDF here. You're welcome.
NIK Discount
You may remember me writing something about obtaining a discount code for NIK software. Well, I've got. It's a 15% discount on any individual product. So if you've been thinking of getting ColorEfex Pro 4 or SilverEfex Pro, or Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, or any other NIK product, you can get 15% by using the discount code RBARBEE at checkout.
Some of my favorite images of 2011
This picture of a curve in some ice on a pond ended up being my favorite image of 2011 for a few reasons. One is that it's a very simple composition and simple is always good. Plus I like curves.
It was made on a very cold January morning while Bailey (the labradoodle) and I were on a morning walk. I spotted this on our walk the day before but didn't have a camera with me. What I liked about the scene, besides the graphics, was the light coming through the trees and adding a touch of glowing color to the ice. So we returned the next morning and I made several pictures of ice. But it was this composition that I liked the best.
2012 Workshops
There is still plenty of room in all of my 2012 trips with one notable exception. That would be Iceland. Right now there are officially three spaces remaining, but I've been told that another registration is probably on the way. So in reality there are probably only two spaces left.

If you've been getting updates from Don Mammoser, you know that he's been to a lot of places in the eastern world this past year, his latest update being from Cambodia. But Don will be back this spring and we've got several workshops planned. First up is the Slot Canyons and Monument Valley beginning on April 24th. This one is starting to fill but there are still spaces to be had. The other workshop that's starting to fill is the ever popular Canadian Rockies (one of my favorite places). Be sure to visit the workshops page on my newly designed website (did I mentioned that I just redesigned things?) for information on any of my workshops.

First image of 2012
One of Bailey's favorite past times is staring up a tree at a raccoon. And the barking. She loves the barking. So when she alerted me to this little guy up a tree in the back yard, I grabbed my tripod and camera, put on my 300mm f/4 with 1.4x teleconverter, and got started on my 2012 image making.
Let's hope we all make some great images in the coming year.

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