News from Rod Barbee Photography
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July 2012 Rod Barbee Photography Newsletter
Greetings
I hope all of you in the United States had an enjoyable and safe Fourth of July. Isn't it weird that we now wish each other a "safe" Fourth? But every year we see the reports on the local news about someone blowing his hand off, lighting hair on fire, or losing a kangaroo. It's getting old, people, so just quit it already.
Palouse report
 
Well this year's Palouse workshop, a two-part affair with the first part for shooting and the second concentrating on Lightroom, was one of the best I've ever had.
Even though the Palouse wasn't looking as good as it has in past years (there were more fallow fields and a lot of Conservation Resource Program areas), good light, good clouds, and good subjects beat all that.
Because the first part of the workshop was designed for more shooting and less classroom time, we were able to spend a bit more time exploring (though we did get in some shooting during the second part as well).
We had a grand time in the loft of an old barn one morning, fairly even lighting at Palouse Falls, big puffy white clouds racing across the sky, shadow patterns on the landscape, barns and more barns, remarkable views, and intimate details.
One sunset brought us dramatically dark clouds in the east, making the old house that was lit up by the late afternoon light really stand out. We found a collection of interesting old trucks with a vintage gas station. There was good light (and little wind for once) from atop Steptoe Butte for sunrise and sunset. And there was a moose. Yes. A moose. A Palouse moose.
Those who were there will remember.
And photographers at home a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not there,
And hold their lens-hoods cheap whiles any speaks
That shot with us upon Palouse Moose Day.

(with apologies to William Shakespeare)

Anyway. . . .
Since this two-part format seemed to work out so well for everyone involved (at least I thought so; there was plenty of time for hands-on Lightroom playing), Victoria and I are already planning next year's trip. We'll do a two-part workshop again, with tentative dates of June 15-19 for part one and June 19-22 for part two. Let me know if you're interested and I'll put you on our early-bird list. There may even be some benefit to being on that list.
And take a peak at my Latest Images gallery for a taste of what we found this year.

Canadian Rockies
 
Hey! There are still a few spaces available for the Canadian Rockies workshop I'm leading with world traveler and very tall person, Don Mammoser. The dates are Sept. 17-22, right in the prime time for fall color. In the past we've had yellow aspens, fresh snow, and brilliant blue skies. And the occasional elk. But the real draw is the mountain landscape photography. Some of the grandest mountain landscapes are found in the Canadian Rockies.
The Banff/Lake Louise and Icefields Parkway areas are some of my favorite places for great landscapes. The whole area is a place I'd like to go just for a vacation, with the time to really soak it in. And the autumn is the perfect time. Cool, crisp days, no bugs, and sunrise and sunset are at reasonable times.
Since this is such a target rich environment, we'll be spending most of our time in the field shooting. We'll probably use at least one day to go far afield to explore what can be found along the Icefields Parkway. But we won't neglect critiques and teaching sessions as they're an important part to any workshop. It always helps to get feedback on your images, whether they've been made during the workshop or are images from your portfolio. Seriously, if you like mountain landscapes and crisp autumn days, this is the trip for you.
Damn you iPad 3 with retinal display!!
 
My wife Tracy just made me buy a new iPad. I am so abused!
Anyway, when I first looked at my web galleries on my new iPad I nearly gagged. The problem with these great new high resolution displays is that lower resolution, made-for-web images don't look nearly as good. So I've been spending all morning regenerating my web galleries and increasing the images size so that they look half way decent on the iPad.
The trade off, of course, is slower loading times for images. For those with fast broadband connections it makes no real difference. But for those still on dial-up (gasp!) or those of us with slow DSL, it can add some time to page loads. But things do look better.
By the way, I do like the iPad. I've been putting all sorts of useful things on it like Victoria Bampton's Lightroom Missing FAQ book, a couple of guides by Jason Odell on using Nik Software, Landscape Photographer Magazine, and the Photographer's Ephemeris.
Think Tank Shape Shifter backpack
 
I've been struggling with the bag I've been using for when I want to go semi-light yet still have a good range of lenses and accessories. I've been using a LowePro Slingshot 30 for just such needs but it doesn't really fit the way I shoot and I find it awkward to work from (plus I've yet to own a LowePro bag that didn't have a zipper failure of some sort and this one was no exception).
I don't really need to be able to sling a bag around to get to gear quickly, I'm more of a lay-the-bag-on-the-ground-and-work-from-it kind of photographer, which is why I really prefer backpacks.
So with my trip to Iceland coming up I wanted to get a new bag that would carry all I needed yet would be small enough for airplanes as well as comfortable to wear and easy to work from. I think I found it with the Think Tank Shape Shifter backpack.
Not only is it well built, it has room to carry quite a bit. I'll be packing two camera bodies and two lenses for Iceland and I'd still have room for an additional lens. There's also plenty of space for things like filters, tools, flash, my gps unit, snacks, and more. Oh yeah, my laptop too. There's even a compartment for a laptop. And when I'm not using that, it's a great place for a jacket or rain pants or my diffuser and reflector. In fact, there are so many nooks and crannies that it's going to take me awhile to remember where I put everything.
If you happen to decide to get a new Think Tank bag, be sure to use my affiliate link to get a free gift with your order.
Death Valley 2013
 
I'm starting to get my 2013 schedule set. In addition to Iceland in the winter and the Palouse trip I mentioned earlier, Kim Hoshal and I have scheduled (I guess that's actually rescheduled) our Death Valley workshop for Feb. 1-5, 2013. I haven't posted it yet on the website but if you're interested in this trip drop me an email and I'll put you on the "early bird" list with all the advantages, perks, bonuses, and special treatment that implies. Or so it's rumored.

I'm also trying to put together some other trips for next year and maybe even another for later this year. So if you all don't mind too much, I may be sending more frequent workshop updates in addition to the regular newsletter.

Keep cool
 
Ok, that's all I can think of right now. Did I mention how great the Palouse trip was this year? I bet it's going to be even better next year. . . .

Hope all of you in the hot parts of the country are keeping cool. Summer has just now arrived here in western Washington after one of the coolest, wettest Junes on record.

 

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