News from Rod Barbee Photography
January 2018


Happy New Year!

Well, my Seahawks didn’t make it to the playoffs for the first time in six years. Bit of a disappointment but I’m over it. Really.

My 2017 favorites

Photographically, 2017 was an interesting year. I managed to capture some new favorite images from some very familiar locations; places I’ve been to year after year after year. Olympic National Park and the Palouse were particularly good to me this last year.

The lesson, of course, is that if you’ve got a place you can get to often, go there often. Your images will just get that much better for it.

Take a look at my favorites from 2017 on my blog.

Update your copyright metadata presets

It’s a new year and time once again to update your copyright metadata presets in Lightroom or whichever program you’re using.
I actually remembered to create a new preset before the year ended. So yay for me!

Olympic National Park in the spring

Last spring in the middle of May, my workshop group and I walked into the Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park. We arrived early in the morning to beat any crowds and were the first ones there. It was a cool, overcast morning. The night before there had even been a bit of snow falling, all of which had melted away.
It was still. Quiet too; occasional gentle drips being the only sound.
Wet leaves, wet ground, diffused light. And in May, everything is new and green, the perfect time to be in the forest.
The Hall of Mosses is just a short distance from the parking lot, you can walk to it in just a few minutes. But when it’s quiet like it was on this morning, you can imagine being miles and miles from any civilization. And even though I’m sure it wasn’t more than a couple of hours, we had what seemed like hours and hours to ourselves that morning. That was just one morning.
On another morning we visited Sol Duc Falls. Along the trail to the falls is small stream with moss-covered boulders. In the spring the little stream has a nice flow to it and you could spend a lot of time here photographing pieces of the stream. Then on to Sol Duc Falls, an icon in the park.
Besides the forests, streams, and waterfalls, we also spent time on the coast. We even managed a couple of decent sunsets. I like springtime sunsets better than those in the summer; there are more clouds in the sky making the sunsets more colorful and dramatic.
If you like forests, waterfalls, and coastal sunsets, Olympic National Park in the spring is a great place to be. And since it is spring, the park is a lot less crowded and a lot more peaceful, a perfect getaway.
Want to join me this May? Check out my 2018 Olympic workshop.

Palouse in the summer

Every year I trek across the state to the rolling farmland of the Palouse. Every year I know what I’ll find. And every year I know that I’ll find something new. If you like photographing graphic landscapes and old barns and you’ve never been to the Palouse, you really should put it on your list.
And if you have photographed the Palouse before, you should really go back. Especially if you liked it the first time. Every year there’s something new to find. And you never know what excitement the weather will bring. Even in mid-summer.
If you’re tempted, take a look at my Palouse workshop for 2018.

Backlight from The Turning Gate

Since I haven’t mentioned it lately, I thought I’d just put in a plug for The Turning Gate’s web site creation tool, Backlight.
I’ve been a TTG (The Turning Gate) customer for nearly seven years. I’ve been using their Lightroom plug-ins to create my website since that time. (I’m also a support forum moderator and a beta tester)
Two years ago they created Backlight, a web-based app aimed at photographers who want to create their own websites. The Web Gallery plug-ins they created for Lightroom were wonderful. Backlight is magnificent. Creating and modifying websites is now much faster and easier than it ever was before with the Lightroom plug-ins.
Yes, you could use WordPress or other platforms (and TTG also has a WordPress theme creation module for Backlight) and purchase a gallery plug-in (or use free, limited-feature plug-ins), but the gallery options in Backlight make it so you don’t have to. And, a big plus, you can manage all your galleries directly from Lightroom. With WordPress galleries, you need to take a two step process of exporting your images and then uploading them to WordPress for use in a gallery.

I use both Backlight and WordPress for my own sites. For a site not intended to display lots of photography, I use WordPress. But for my own personal photography site, I see no reason to use anything other than Backlight. (I use WordPress with a TTG created theme for my blog).

Anyway, that’s my plug, and I’m sticking to it. I’ve got no financial stake in The Turning Gate so if you buy anything from them the only thing I get out of it is the vicarious thrill of perhaps having a hand in spending some of your money.
I’m easily amused.
Plus, if you do start using their products, now you know who to hit up in case you need help.
Check out what The Turning Gate offers on their website.

Iceland update

Sólfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture
It's looking more and more like the Iceland trip next fall will be a go. I've tentatively reached the minimum so it's looking really good. That also means that there are a few spots remaining.
Iceland is a marvelous place, and it's not just the landscape with its waterfalls, floating ice, mountains and auroras. I found that it was just a great place to be. The last time I went, my wife was able to join me for the last day of the tour and we spent a few more days there, taking another day tour, wandering around Reykjavik and just thoroughly enjoying being there. The people were wonderful, the food was good, and the atmosphere laid back and welcoming. I'm really looking forward to returning.

If you're up for joining me, check out the Iceland tour page on my Workshops site.

Winter is here

I really like this time of year. I like seeing the sun low in the sky all day (keeps the temperatures nice and cool, just the way I like it). I like taking walks in the woods with Bailey and our shadows on cool days; she seems to like it more too. She still finds plenty of stuff to sniff but she doesn’t get too warm and isn’t tempted to lay down in the mud puddles. She barks at ice dragons. She thinks they’re dragons. They're just crows though.

You know, if it wasn’t for just a few missed field goals (three missed in the one game I went to that they lost by 3 freaking points!), the Seahawks would have made the playoffs. Those missed kicks probably cost us three games!
Really, I’m over it.
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