Let ‘er buck! That’s the phrase that rings throughout the small town of Pendleton, Oregon during the second full week of September where over 50,000 people descend to watch or participate in the Pendleton Round Up Rodeo. This rodeo is unique in that since its inception in 1910 it has included a large Native American presence. Over 300 tee pees are set up on the rodeo grounds where members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla gather to visit with one another and participate in displays of their culture. One of my favorite events was the Indian Relay race where members of several tribes compete in a bareback horse race around the track. It’s mind blowing to think that these athletes are able to ride at tremendous speed without the need for saddles, spurs or any of the other trappings of horse racing to which I am accustomed. On the Saturday morning of the big rodeo weekend, the tribes invite the public to come down to the grass field of the stadium and watch as the tribal dance competitions take place. There is drumming, singing and dancing where contestants are divided up by age and gender, then judged on their dancing skills. Below are some of my favorite images from the 4 days that I covered just last weekend. Enjoy and let ‘er buck!
Pendleton has long been known for the Round Up, a rodeo that has been drawing thousands since its inception in 1910. The city as a travel destination unto itself is a relatively new phenomenon. Situated about 3 hours east of Portland in the high desert, Pendleton is a classic Western town. One of the biggest draws is to visit the Pendleton Woolen Mills. Now, you can sample craft beer, order custom cowboy boots, shop the antique stores, have a great steak dinner in a beautiful, Western themed restaurant and visit a contemporary art space. I recently had the chance to spend some time there photographing a story about some of the city’s craftsmen. Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the shoot. Check out the story online at TravelOregon.com.
Recently I was assigned by National Geographic Traveler Magazine to photograph the process of making salt from sea water harvested from Netarts Bay, Oregon, at the Jacobsen Salt Company. The story has been published in the February/March 2016 issue of the magazine, which focuses on water-loving getaways. The idea for the project was to document the entire process of making salt – from sea water to the pure crystalline mineral. The shoot was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, but when I saw the awful weather forecast, I left Portland early so that I could arrive Sunday to scout, and possibly photograph. Arriving a day early turned out to be a good decision because we ended up having a nice afternoon with sun breaks and an astonishingly beautiful sunset. The following two days were solid rain as a very large storm slammed into Netarts. Working under an umbrella held by a heavy-duty C-stand allowed me to continue to work outside, despite the deluge. I truly enjoyed working with Ben Jacobsen and his crew. They made it easy to get some great images, despite the typically challenging weather at the Oregon coast. Below are a few of my favorites.
All of the images were photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III with various Canon lenses. All of the images were shot in RAW and processed using Adobe’s Lightroom CC software. All photographs are copyright © 2016 Susan Seubert and may not be used in any form without prior written permission from Susan Seubert.
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From Australia to Antarctica, Albany to Alaska, 2015 was filled with photographic adventures!
I trained for back country emergency medicine with courses through REI and NOLS, rounding it out with CPR certification. It was an enlightening experience. The course is taught outdoors, and the weather was nice enough that it was actually fun to work through all sorts of emergency scenarios. I now am prepared to help first-responders in the event of an emergency, should one arise while I’m on assignment in a remote area.
…took me whale watching in Maui.
One of the best times to visit Maui is February when the population of Alaska Humpbacks migrates to the ‘Au ‘Au Channel to mate and give birth, right outside our back door. It’s amazing to sit on the beach and watch these gigantic animals frolic in relatively shallow water. If you stick your head underwater, you can hear the males singing. It’s truly magical! I took several whale watching trips and have settled on my favorite – the VIP Ultimate Whale Watch out of Lahaina. We will be returning February 2016 to go and see these majestic creatures.
It was so fun to work on a back lot at Universal Studios plus it’s always nice to go to sunny climates for work. It was great to make new friends and I look forward to working with Staples in 2016!
…opened my show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight,” at the Froelick Gallery. I was pleased with the response, and it was covered well by the press. The opening also overlapped with the highly regarded Portland photography event, Photolucida.
…and we were back to our island home in Maui for a couple of weeks to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Mid-trip I headed to New York City to give a talk with Ralph Lee Hopkins, Dan Westergren, Bob Krist, and Art Wolfe for a very well-attended OPTIC 2015 conference. I was one of the 5 keynote speakers on the first day of the OPTIC event. Working with National Geographic, Lindblad, and B&H was a very satisfying experience. I look forward to OPTIC 2016!
… on the train from Seattle to the Jasper/Banff areas to photograph a story about the Rocky Mountaineer for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. This was a technically challenging shoot, but good planning helped me get “the shot” of the train at sunrise. It was also the first time I worked on the side of a mountain – the Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay – where I had to photograph while rock climbing. It was exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the people were fantastic, and the landscape was breathtaking.
… found me trekking across the globe to Broome, Australia, where I met the National Geographic Orion for an adventure with National Geographic Expeditions on the Kimberley Coast of Australia. The geology is some of the most unique in the world and there is an abundance of wildlife. Sea snakes, crocodiles, sharks, dolphins, wallabies, and a myriad of bird species made this trip spectacular.
…exploring the inside passage of Alaska, one of the most unspoiled places on earth, is best visited by small ship. This expedition is one of my favorites. On this expedition we explored small fjords and remote islands, then transited into British Columbia where several First Nations tribes reside, including the Haida people. This area includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of SGaang Gwaii. While anchored outside of Glacier National Park, we were treated to a display the Northern Lights. Among the amazing wildlife sightings were the rare displays of cooperative bubblenet feeding by humpback whales, the very same population that I had seen earlier in the year in Maui.
… I headed to Tucson, Arizona for a shoot with the Tanque Verde Ranch and J Public Relations. I love riding horses. It was great fun riding through the desert landscape and quite a contrast to the lush green of my Pacific Northwest. There were also the unforgettable prickly pear margaritas!
As a digital photographer, I must keep current with the software I use to process those thousands of files. In my experience, the finest training is the D-65 course taught by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer, offered only in their home in Florida. The side benefit of the class is the great wine and food! If you are looking to take your digital workflow to the next level, I recommend this course.
Castagna Restaurant has been a long-time commercial client. This year I photographed a gallery refresh for their cafe and restaurant, two of my favorite places to eat in Portland. We had a great time making images for their photography needs. This award winning restaurant is not to be missed whether you are a native to the city or an out of town guest looking to sample some of the finest Pacific Northwest cuisine.
…and I’m flying from coast to coast twice in one week! I enjoyed sharing speakers’ duties with Ralph Lee Hopkins, this time at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY for National Geographic Seminars. We had a great day with good attendance. What a pleasure it is to work with personable and talented colleagues.
As soon as I touched down in Portland, it was back to the East Coast to do a shoot for Smithsonian Magazine in Washington, D.C. Keep your eyes peeled for the April 2016 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. Here are some behind-the-scenes shots to give you a taste of what’s to come.
Having returned from DC, I headed straight to Netarts, Oregon, where I was on assignment for National Geographic Traveler to photograph a story about salt for their upcoming issue which will feature water as a theme. Keep your eyes peeled for that one, too! Here are a few BTS to whet your appetite.
…headed all the way south, down to Ushuaia, Argentina, where I boarded the ship, the National Geographic Explorer, for 3 weeks of exploring the Antarctic peninsula with National Geographic Expeditions. Penguins, whales, seals, and ice were the dominating subjects of this adventure. Our amazing Expedition Leader, Lisa Kelley, along with the captain, worked hard to make sure that we did not miss a thing. We hiked in waist high snow, we sat and watched Elephant Seal pups, we watched Humpback Whales feeding, and then there was the ice. Blue is the dominant color, and in Antarctica we saw miles of it.
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Thank you for visiting my blog! Please remember that these images are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and may not be used in any form without prior written permission from Susan Seubert.
As I was preparing for my forthcoming National Geographic Seminars, I realized that in the last 10 years I’ve photographed over 30 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, ranging from Beaujolais to Bangkok to Birmingham. 🙂
I look forward to sharing my experiences, tips and tricks of the trade for all who attend the National Geographic seminars on The Travel Assignment in Los Angeles and Portland. For the schedule of events, click here.