News from Rod Barbee Photography
May 2012 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Wow, April was an eventful, even harrowing, month. I had two near death experiences (three if you count the ride to the top of Hunt's Mesa in Monument Valley), taught a local class, and made a trip to Arizona for a workshop. May looks to be a little less eventful but I do have lots of things on my to-do list. Mostly doing stuff around the yard. I might even post pictures since it's been awhile since I've posted about mundane domestic projects like tiling the shower, or building backyard stairs, or even digging holes for our new ponds (a project that still needs finishing).
So let's get started, shall we?
I fought off a cougar with my bare hands
And by bare hands I mean waving one in the air and throwing rocks with the other. It's a riveting tale.
And then I was nearly murdered by a giant spider
This story might be even scarier, but only because spiders are scarier (and sneakier) than cats.
Another offer from Think Tank
that's a heck of a segue.

Anyway. Think Tank Photo is offering a free Artificial Intelligence laptop sleeve with any purchase of one of their rolling camera bags. Here's their announcement:

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced a special deal on their popular rolling camera bags. Order their Airport Security V2.0, Airport International V2.0, Airport Airstream, or Airport TakeOff rolling camera bags before May 31, 2012 and you will receive one of their Artificial Intelligence V2.0 laptop sleeves for free! This is a $59 value.
Their Airport rolling camera bags are considered the best designed, most durable in the industry. Backed by Think Tank's "No Rhetoric Warranty" and great customer service, their rollers have traveled millions of miles and been used on every continent.
All of Think Tank's rollers are designed with the intention of helping you keep your bodies, lenses, and accessories near you at all times, even while flying. Think Tank actually designs their rollers to comply with airline carry-on size requirements.

All of the rollers share three levels of security (TSA approved combination locks, front laptop cable and lock, and back cable and lock for securing entire bag to fixed object). They employ the highest grade materials, including all fabric exterior treated with DWR (underside fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance), 1680D ballistic nylon, abrasion resistant YKK® RC Fuse zippers, custom designed extra tall skid plates, replaceable in-line skate wheels, antique nickel plated metal hardware, nylon webbing, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread. If you are looking to buy a roller before you head out this summer, this is a great time to do so!

Workshop updates
There are still spaces remaining in my upcoming workshops. The Palouse, part 1 (The Shooting) workshop is filling, but there are still a few spaces remaining. Part 2, digital workflow using Lightroom 3/4 (that's not three quarters, smarty pants) has room as well. I'm teaching these with my friend Victoria Dye, who has been teaching Lightroom and digital workflow for several years now.
The Palouse is a remarkable place to photograph and explore, so don't miss out.
My Olympic workshop is also beginning to fill. This workshop is a day longer than usual to give us more time for exploring this photo-rich environment. I'm hoping for a more normal summer so we can visit areas like Obstruction Point and Deer Park. Both places have outstanding views, wildlife, and flowers.
We'll also be visiting a local lavender farm at prime time. This visit is always a workshop favorite.
My pal Don Mammoser is back. For awhile at least. At any rate, he'll still be around when it comes time for our Canadian Rockies workshop this September. This trip is over half full and I'm sure it's going to fill up. So grab your spot soon.
Still one spot left for Iceland
The Iceland trip is coming up soon, just a little over three months from now. Wow, that sure snuck up fast. Anyway, I still have one spot available on this tour.
And speaking of Iceland, I'm still considering putting together a winter trip to Iceland to photograph the landscape and do some aurora hunting. A few people have expressed interest in this and if a few more do, I'll pursue it. So let me know. I've got a proposed itinerary I can send to those interested.
Lightroom 4 updates
Some of you may have noticed some sluggishness when it comes to Lightroom 4. Well Lightroom 4.1 is on the way with cures for some (all?) of these ailments. LR 4.1 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) solved some of the problems, like slider slowness in the Develop Module. But it didn't address the glacial slowness of image processing in the Web Module, where I do a lot of my Lightroom work (my entire site was built within Lightroom). But thankfully LR 4.1 RC2 seems to have solved the Web Module problem.
You can either wait for the official release of LR 4.1 or go get the current Release Candidate here.
Slot canyons on cloudy days
Despite the cloudy weather in Page, AZ last week, we still had some pretty good luck in both Upper and Lower Antelope canyons. Without the amazing glowing walls and light beams, I found myself looking closer for other compositions. This one was pointed out to me by our Vernon, our guide in Upper Antelope.
I actually enjoyed Lower Antelope Canyon more, even though it was cloudier and we even got rained on a bit (and attacked by a spider). For one, Lower Antelope is A LOT less crowded than Upper Antelope. In fact, there were long stretches of time when we were the only people around. And the time that two of the guides came by playing guitars and singing was simply magical. So if you go, I recommend skipping Upper Antelope (despite all those amazing light beams) and spend some quality time in Lower Antelope Canyon.
Future trips to the slot canyons
Speaking of the slot canyons, Vernon, our guide in Upper Antelope, mentioned something that the company he works for is considering. And that is offering their own workshops to individual photographers or to groups. Their trip would consist of two days in slot canyons to which they have the only access, and an overnight trip to Almstrom Point on Lake Powell. I've seen pictures of this area and I'm really tempted to just have them take me out there for an overnight trip. So if and when I arrange another workshop to the slots, I think I'm going seriously consider this. It would be so much nicer than dealing with the crowds in Upper Antelope and would be different than what everybody else is photographing.
Drop me a line if this is something you might be interested in.
Are you prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse?
Apparently, the CDC is. I find this oddly reassuring. Not because the government is finally taking this problem seriously, but because they're also using this opportunity to warn people to prepare for lesser apocalypses--apocalpsi??--whatever--like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or the Kardashians.
Always remember, clean water is zombie-free water.
Parting words
And with that, I'll leave you. But not for long. I may have some further updates or questions this month. So don't be too surprised if there's a mid-May newsletter. Ignore it at your peril.

Oh, one more thing. I've been adding more good stuff to the Lessons Page of my web site. I'll try to add even more in the coming days and weeks. Check it out and let me know what you think.
This picture is a sunrise from last Sunday atop Hunt's Mesa in Monument Valley. I've been to Hunt's Mesa once before but not to this particular sunrise location, so there's always a bit of a learning curve. I think all of us from my workshop group did well considering it was a first visit.


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