“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” ~ John Muir

“How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.” ~Edward Abbey

"What I know of the divine sciences and Holy Scriptures, I learned in woods and fields. I have no other masters than the beeches and the oaks." ~Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature." ~Socrates

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...
~Jack Kerouac

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
~H. G. Wells

Wind: friend and foe

20 gusting to 35 knots… it was hard to get my enthusiasm up beyond “your kidding right?”

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It turned into a leg searing, grimaced faced, beautiful ride. Pros; The trails are just about empty that much wind keeps most people home, it’s a great workout, dealing with wind takes practice, mental practice. Cons; riding in granny gear straight into 25 knots is humbling/demoralizing and one hell of a workout going essentially nowhere really slowly.

It’s a funny thing, Murphy’s Law. I seemed to always have the wind in my face and never on my back.

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Clear trails and sunny skies. It truly is the simple things in life.

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The wind gusts kept knocking the bike over, I just about gave up on the stand-up bike pictures.

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Did not want to drag the DSLR around this day so all photo’s were taken with an iPhone 4 using an HDR app. It does a pretty good job, but overall I’m not happy with the picture quality. It would help to upgrade the phone (more pixels) and use a small tripod.

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This approach was a little bit beyond my limits…

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Beautiful day and ride. Wind truly is a friend and foe.

 

Get Outside… (even in 20 gusting to 35)

Photo Challenge #1 ~ A Mountain Drive

A little background on my photo challenges. I don’t remember now where I read about it, but I liked the idea of it. Basically it’s going out doing anything you want and taking pictures, coming home and posting them for all to see. It’s practice I guess, a challenge to view the world thru your camera looking for all the magical things that make a good photograph. Like most things nothing trumps plain old experience. Taking lots and lots of photographs and learning what you like.

There are some really cool challenges, one of my favorites is 365project.org they have over 130,000 people taking a daily photo for one year. It’s a great way to document a year. Some of my best memories are invoked by looking at pictures.

Back to my challenge, It’s just heading out with my camera taking pictures. There is no set amount or time frame. Coming home, picking the best ones, processing them and posting them whether they are great, good, or suck. Making myself post them to the blog makes me commit to the challenge and try my best, plus you get a timeline over the years on how your photography has changed. With experience, personal styles can really change over years.

Photo Challenge ~ A Mountain Drive:

We had family in town that is thinking about moving to Colorado and wanted to drive up into the mountains and look at several towns. Perfect opportunity for a photo challenge. This is the result.

 

 

Gear: I’m a firm believer in using what you have. Ride what you have, shoot what you have. I’ve taken pictures that I am very proud of with my iPhone, old plastic Holgas, and various small point and shoots. It doesn’t matter what equipment that you have right now, go shoot it! If you love doing it you can upgrade after some research into what exactly your needs are.

I’m using a Nikon D-80 with several different lenses. I had a Nikon D-300 that I really, really, loved. I scratched the sensor so bad cleaning it that it is basically junk. It costs more to replace the sensor than it does to replace it. I even took a class on how to clean it!! I had cleaned the sensor many times with no trouble but the last time I scratched it really good. Now the camera is only good for taking “grunge” shots or something. I’ve had professionals look at it, it’s done. So, I’m back on my trusty D-80. It’s a good camera, solid. Not a full frame sensor, has lots of noise in the pictures, but none-the-less, it’s what I have. I’m shooting it!

I shoot my pictures in raw and process them in Adobe LightRoom.

I’m learning what I need and want, I mostly take pictures while hiking or biking and the D-80 is just really big to pack around. This fall I am bike packing the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango and it pains me to think about lugging the D-80 over 530 miles. Researching has commenced on a full frame, full featured, smaller camera. I’ve heard lots of good reports on the Nikon 1 v3 I would love to take it out on a photo challenge and put it to the test. Glenn Charles (amazing bike/photography blog) has a good blog post on the new Nikon 1 with a video. I’m sure he will be posting his thoughts after using the camera for awhile. He has one on pre-order. Check out the post here.

Get Outside…

From the Archives #1

A small selection of favorites from days, months, and years past. I’m trying to unearth small batches of personal favorites from storage and get them posted every few months. Taken with an iPhone, Nikon D300/D80 and various small point and shoots. Edited with LightRoom.

(click a picture to start a carousel slideshow)