Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New book by Rod Barbee

The photographer Rod Barbee has his first solo book out, "The Photographer's Guide to Puget Sound and Northwest Washington", by Countryman Press. And, my thoughts, being an ordinary photographer having lived here the last twenty-plus years?

Well, I bought a copy for myself and I plan use it for my photography and borrow notes as I work on my just getting started Photography Guide to Mt Rainier NP - ok, it's in its infancy which I expect will take a few years. I like this book and will recommend it for any photographer visiting the Puget Sound or Western Washington. You can easily sit down with a map and this book and outline a good photo trip.

The book has an excellent overview chapter on his recommendations for photo equipment. Some of it is personal experience, and who can argue with this work, and a good photographer can make the appropriate adjustments with the equipment to their interests. I can only add my two personal comments. First, I like UV, Skylight or haze filters, especially useful at higher elevations or to reduce haze. Second, while reflectors are useful, be careful they're not allowed or appreciated in some places or under some circumstances.

While that's a good section, the best part of the book is the individual sections on areas in the Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. The areas include the diverse photo opportunities for nature, landscape, city, parks, etc. Each area, the South, Middle and Northern Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and the Olympic Peninsula are well covered and described for excellent photo ops. I think it wouldn't be hard to add places, but that's the nature of our beautiful Western Washington, we're not lacking for photo ops.

Aside from that, it's well worth the $15 or so if you plan a visit and especially a photography trip here. And if you like that and plan a trip down the Oregon coast, he also has Photographer's Guide to the Oregon Coast with David Middleton. Having done a lot of road trips up and down the Oregon coast for four years, it's also a great book. The only problem with this one is that you could easily spend a lot of your life there as here.

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