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Ashland photographer puts focus on Oregon with expanding book series

Ashland resident Barbara Tricarico has launched four new lavish, photo-rich books showcasing the natural and architectural beauty of Oregon, as well three purse-sized books on the Oregon Coast, Central Oregon and Southern Oregon.

They augment her much-prized photo books — “Ashland, Oregon” and “Day Trips from Ashland,” all of which show off the best photos she could find from over 50 Oregon photographers.

In “Southern Oregon,” you see many are lively pics you might find in travel brochures, including a bear, kids diving in Crater Lake, rafters on the Rogue River and a Medford Rogues baseball game, and there are haunting shots of rivers, wheat fields, pear blossoms nestled under Roxy Ann Peak, snow-dusted Pilot Rock and the Milky Way with a wildfire burning below it at Applegate Lake.

They’re all designed to tug at your heartstrings and twang memories of all you love about this state and may be starting to take for granted, says Tricarico, but that won’t ever happen.

“You can sit with one of these books for hours and get lost in it,” said Tricarico. “You identify with them if you’re from here. Some give you a good feeling about what people are doing, some are good art photos, and some just really capture a place. You buy them for gifts. You send one to your sister because you want her to move here. I find them at wineries, B&Bs, my dentist’s office.”

Tricarico, who is president of the Southern Oregon Photographer’s Association, edits the books, curates photos from skilled, dedicated photographers, contributes some of her own photos, and provides cutlines and very little text. They are published by Schiffer Publishing in Pennsylvania, which, she adds, has a full-time staff and does a great job of marketing them.

Tricarico and her husband lived in Virginia for 40 years, raising a family. They moved here in 2010, after an old high school friend urged them to come stay in her condo and check out Ashland.

“On the second day in Ashland, we got a real estate agent, and when we retired, he had the perfect house.”

Her book ventures are no cash cow, but the books sell in a steady stream, though in these pandemic times, it’s harder to promote them and impossible to have book signings.

The “Oregon Coast” book shows an intriguing and sometimes whimsical set of images — people tramping out a labyrinth in the sand, Charleston Harbor lit at night, sea kayak instruction at Port Orford, the wreck of the Mary D. Hume, built 1881, in Gold Beach, an old locomotive on Tillamook Bay and more.

The “Central Oregon” book highlights Bend, Smith Rock, Mt. Bachelor Ski Area, lonely old car hulks rusting in the desert, the Three Sisters Mountains.

Three more photo books will publish in 2021, on Eastern Oregon, Portland and the Willamette Valley. The books are on sale in Ashland shops and, given the difficulty of the COVID economy, Tricarico says she will deliver books in person if you email her at btricarico@gmail.com or visit her website barbaratricarico.com.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

"Oregon" features Crater Lake by Brandon Herring.
Brandon Herring shot the cover of “Oregon Coast.”