Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Something to fill space

I figured I should come back and pay some attention to the blog! Actually, I've been working on something but it has taken a bit of time to get the pieces in place.

In the meantime, I read a post over at Scooter in the Sticks. Steve's been playing with taking and posting photos by means of an iPhone. Some of the photos aren't up to the high standards he's set. Readers seem to be calling Steve to task about it. Hmmm, spoiled, aren't we? In the meantime, folks like me are happy just to get a good photo once in a while. I'm certainly not suffering from the same dilemma as Steve. Maybe being blissfully average in some things has its advantages, eh?
I have my own struggles with photos. It's been an amazingly fun and rewarding journey as I follow the sound of my electronically enhanced shutter. Like folks learning to ride a motorcycle with proficiency, there's so many things to blend into the recipe. There's this point where you know the individual elements. However, while concentrating on one thing, we forget about the others. Here's an example.

You've seen a picture like this before. I recently had lunch with Mike. He took some photos of our bikes and put them in a post about our lunch. Here's a similar view of the bikes from my camera.

Interestingly, we both took photos of our bikes with what you might call an "artistic" rendition. If you look at Mike's post there's a shot of the front of our two bikes taken from one side. Mike commented how we both had the same model of Givi tail trunk on our bikes. I had this great idea for my own "artistic" photo. My shot is from the same side of the bikes but focuses on the trunks instead of the front half of the bikes.

So I'm all involved in setting up the shot. I want the picture to sort of flow across from left to right. I'm working on getting the relationship between the two Givi cases just right. All that "rule of thirds" stuff is bouncing around in my head. I like the way the saddlebag on Mike's bike sort of adds a neat accent between the tail trunks. The saddlebag is located somewhere near the lower right crosshair of the grid marking the thirds. By the way, there are rain drops on our trunks. It was rainy and windy but the two of us braved the elements! Although I do have to admit that we were cozy inside Subway when the worst of the rain drenched the world.

Most of the shot turned out how I wanted. It was only after uploading it to the computer that I noticed the Burger King sign and the parked car right behind the bikes. I cropped out most of the sign. Now there's just a blue pole that's not too intrusive. I don't think I could have found a workable angle to get the trunks just right without the car in the background. Maybe a lot of work with Photoshop, I suppose,

If I was really thinking at the time I took the photo, I could have adjusted the aperature setting to kind of blur the background more. Did I think of it then? I think the answer is obvious!

Hopefully I will one day look back on these kinds of things and laugh at my own ineptitude. Come to think of it, I'm laughing along with you all right now! I didn't start out as a professional motorcycle rider, either, you know. These days I figure I'm pretty good. Maybe the same will hold true for my photography skills. I'll just keep learning and practicing.

In the meantime, though, aaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!!!

Stay tuned for a couple of posts about avoiding ambushes. It will be material from a writer much more famous than me!

Miles and smiles,



kathy said...

Some days I like my shots - other days not so much. I figure that the blog is about motorcycling though, so awesome photography is a bonus.

I've noticed that quite a few of us blogging about motorcycles are also photographers practicing our art. You're so right - we all begin as novices - whether as riders or photographers - we just need lots of practice and a lot of digital space. My tactic lately is to take the same shot using as many different settings as I can try in the time I have. Then I pick the one I like best because most of them are duds. At least I'm learning about what settings work best in different conditions.

No matter what - it's all good as long as we enjoy the adventure that is life.

Mike said...

We should stitch our two shots together to make complete bikes. That wasn't the best background at the Subway but your shot could be an ad for Givi.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

I find myself scrounging for photos from other guys I ride with, who are usually far more attentive to details (regarding pictures) than I am.

Yet I have discovered that if I can't get the shot, 1,000 words fills in the gap nicely.

Nice top cases.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Steve Williams said...

I can never decide if pictures or text are more important.

Pictures are easier for me than writing but how many times can people look at the Vespa....

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks