News from Rod Barbee Photography
September 2017


What a summer! It's been really hot and dry here in the Pacific Northwest and the fire danger is high (more on that below). And some of you know how much I "like" hot weather. Ack.
But I (personally) can't complain too much after seeing the devastation happening in Texas and Puerto Rico and what's coming to Florida. So I hope everyone is staying safe.

Auroras 2018

I’ve got tentative dates for my 2018 Aurora photo tour to Yellowknife: September 7-14, 2018.
For this trip, I’ll be teaming up with John Barclay, an award-winning photographer and popular workshop/tour leader.

One change I’m making to this tour is adding an extra day just to accommodate arrival to Yellowknife. Seems like every year it gets harder and harder to arrive at a decent time of day without the need for leaving the day before. For 2018 I’ve included an arrival day (often it’s actually an arrival night) of Sept. 7th. We’ll then officially get things started the afternoon of the 8th.

I’ve already had a few people expressing interest in this trip and I know John also has several people on his list. If you’re intrigued by photographing auroras in North America's premier aurora viewing location, then be sure to email me to get on the early notification list as I think this one may sell out.
We’ll be opening this tour to registrations in October, but we’ll be sending an early notice to those who’ve requested it.

Patagonia 2019

Patagonia…I’ve been there once before and was blown away. Right now I’m in the process of finalizing arrangements for an April 2019 trip, during the Patagonian autumn and all its color.
The 12-day itinerary we’re putting together includes Los Glaciares National Park, Mt. Fitzroy area, and several days in Torres del Paine National Park. And a day looking for pumas!
More details coming soon, but be sure to let me know if you’re interested and I’ll add you to the early-notice list.

Sitka trip report

We had another great time in Sitka this year. Unfortunately, with little rain during the summer, the rivers weren’t very high and there were very few salmon moving up the river. Toward the end of the week we got some rain and the salmon began to move, but we ran out of time before they really started filling the rivers.

We did get to see lots of whales and otters and fishing boats though. The forests looked great and I also saw plenty of nice shots from the harbors and some nice portraits of fisherman.

Speaking of whales and otters and such, if you ever go to Sitka and want a first-rate wildlife tour of Sitka Sound, the guy to call is Paul Davis of Gallant Adventures. Paul is knowledgeable, personable, and full of great stories. He knows the critters, the geology, and just about everyone in Sitka. He has a small boat which means a small group.

You don’t need a huge lens either. You can get away with a 70-200. I usually use my 28-300. Something like an 80-400 is probably ideal. Except when those whales decide to come close…
You can contact Paulie through his website or Facebook page.

And of course, we visited the Alaska Raptor Center again. The group photographed a Saw-whet owl (my favorite), a Great Horned owl, a Snowy owl and an immature bald eagle, among others, along with getting pictures of the grounds, the handlers, and visitors. All images that can be used to help promote the mission of the Alaska Raptor Center.

Eagle Creek fire

This one’s painful. Eagle Creek is in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, east of Portland and is hugely popular. A few days ago some teenagers went hiking up the Eagle Creek Trail, supplied with the stupidity of youth and some fireworks.

Well, put stupid and fireworks together and you get the ruination of one of the most beautiful places in the county.
As of this writing, 31,000 acres have burned. I’m not looking forward to finding out how much of the gorge has been destroyed. I’ve not seen anything definitive of the area affected, but I think it’s safe to say that any pictures of Punchbowl Falls can now be considered historic photos; I doubt I’ll ever see it again as it once was (above).

Frankly, I don't know what this means for any future photography (let alone photo workshops) in this area. We'll just have to wait and see.
More here, if you can bear it.

Beach Bailey

And now something to cheer us all up. Pictures of Bailey.
Over the long weekend, Tracy and I took her down to our community beach. She got to chew on barnacles, a crab claw, and sand dollars. She got to chase sea gulls. And she plunged into some water that she didn’t expect to be so deep. So she went swimming. And she ran. And ran. And ran. And rolled in stuff too. She likes that.

But I should let her tell the story on her blog...

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