News from Rod Barbee Photography
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February 2012 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Greetings
Well, after a few weeks of real, genuine, winter-like weather, we're back to pretty much normal. Cool days, clouds, a bit of rain here and there. Typical northwest winter.
What I'm really hoping doesn't happen is a repeat of last spring where we had a stretch of cold weather and rain that translated into massive piles of snow in the mountains. So massive that summer didn't come to the mountains until nearly fall. So massive that in early August there was still over eight feet of snow at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park when there should have been fields of wild flowers.
That cold spring set the stage for all sorts of natural tardiness from crops in the Palouse, to fish runs, to tulips in the Skagit, to sub-alpine flowers in Olympic and Rainier.
So I've got my fingers crossed.
Upcoming workshops
 
Just to let you know, Kim Hoshal and I canceled the Death Valley workshop we had scheduled for Feb. 22-26. We're now aiming for 2013, tentatively planning for Feb. 20-24. So that gives you a bit of time to contemplate things.

But there are other workshops coming up. Don Mammoser and I are leading a trip to the slot canyons and Monument Valley scheduled for April 24-28. As of now there are still eight spaces available. This will be Don's first workshop in over a year so you just know he'll be full of energy (or full of something) and tall tales from his world travels. You won't want to miss the spectacle. But we'll need a few more people to sign up to make it possible for both of us to lead this trip. So if you've been thinking about it, let me know. That will help me and Don make any decisions we need to make.
Don and I have another upcoming trip to Yosemite. As of now there are 12 spaces available. Which means nobody has signed up. Doesn't that just make you sad? So what happened to all of those who were requesting another Yosemite workshop? Anyway, if you're even remotely interested in this one, let me know as it will help me in making decisions about hotel and meeting room arrangements.

Also, the Canadian Rockies trip is now over half full. This one isn't until September so there's still plenty of time, but this trip has always sold out in the past.

And finally, I still have three spaces left for the Iceland trip.

Getting started with TTG Web plug ins
 
If you've been intrigued by the web plug-ins available from The Turning Gate, believe me, I know how you feel. I've owned some of these for about a year, but it's been only the last few months that I've really put them to use other than creating a few galleries.

For the past few years I'd been wanting to do a couple of things with my website: I wanted to post galleries and I wanted to completely redesign my site or pay somebody to do it. Considering there was never any real "design" to my site, this felt like a major undertaking. It wasn't until I started using Lightroom and the TTG plug-ins that I was really able to do this in a way where I had complete control, it was easy to do, and I liked the results. Love the results would be more accurate.
So if any of you have started using these and are a little lost, or if you've been thinking about it, I've posted a getting started guide on my blog.
Camera disaster?
 
Speaking of the blog, I'm slowly transitioning my articles to blog posts. This will help in site consistency and it's easy content to add to the blog (read: I'm too lazy to write new stuff). Plus some people may not have had the distinct privilege of reading my sometimes witty prose. Like that there.
Anyway, one of the most recent of these recycled wonders is a short article on apparent camera disasters. I say apparent because usually it's not a disaster. But why am I explaining that here. Go read the blog!
Lightroom 4 Beta is here
 
You may have heard that the latest version of Lightroom is on its way and available for Beta testing. Since I find beta software scarier than spiders, I have not downloaded it. So don't ask me how it works since I'll just refer you to my preferred source on all things Lightroom: the Lightroom Queen.
If you want to read up on all the cool new features in Lightroom 4, Victoria Bampton has a blog post outlining all the improvements and new goodies.
And if you want to get the flavor of how people are using or struggling with all that newy Lightroom newness, just troll the LR4 beta forum and get a leg up on how to use the new features.
Fotomoto
 
Have you been wanting to open your own e-commerce site to sell your images? There are plenty of websites out there that will help you do this. One of those is Fotomoto. As you know, my web galleries were created using the aforementioned TTG Lightroom Web plug-ins. One of the many features of the TTG Galleries are their easy integration with e-commerce. There are two e-commerce options. One is the TTG Cart for those wanting to do their own order fulfillment. The other is the option to integrate a Fotomoto cart with any or all of your galleries. This way, when you sell a print, all you have to do is to upload the full resolution file to Fotomoto and they take care of the rest.
I set up a Fotomoto integrated test gallery on my website to test it out. Ordering a print was easy and standard delivery took about five days.

I ordered a standard glossy print (they also have a luster/matte surface) and it looks great. I'm looking forward to seeing what their fine art prints and canvas wraps look like. Maybe I'll have them make a gallery wrap of Bailey from when she was a puppy. See how cute she was? She's still cute, but look at that nose. And those ears!
If you want to try it for yourself, it's easy to set up an account. To order your own test print, create a coupon that will set the price of the print at cost. All you do is pay actual cost plus shipping. All the instructions are on the Fotomoto site.

Padfolios
 
Do you have pictures on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad? Tired of having to scroll through all those boring pictures of beautiful landscapes just to get to the fabulous pictures of your dog (who is, by the way, the cutest thing EVER!). Frustrated by the fact that you have absolutely no control over organizing them in the Photos app?
I feel your pain.
Fortunately, there's an app for that. Actually there are lots of apps for that. But I've only tried this one and I'm pretty happy with it. It's called PadFolios and it allows you to create up to 30 separate albums of images. It's also very customizable. It's not cheap as iPhone/iPad apps go ($9.99) but it sure does solve some problems so now I don't have to bore people with my other pictures when all they really want to see is Bailey.
And In Conclusion
 
Well that's all we have time for this month. Join me next month when I'll be discussing tripod fetishes, film nostalgia, colormunkies, wandering eye cups, and laptop dances. Until then, check out my blog or subscribe to the RRS feed. You never know what wisdom or whimsy might be there, ready and waiting to fill your eyeballs.
 

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