Saturday, January 09, 2010

Kodak moments that got away.

Thanks to the insidious ( the seductive definition applies ) influence of you all I'm now running around with at least the G11 in my pocket. Trying to document my life and find some art in the process. It's interesting how some of the most priceless moments aren't easily captured. They sneak up on you so quickly that they're done and over before you can get the camera out. Since I'm not going to live my whole life through a viewfinder some of the moments are going to have to live on as mental pictures only.

Such was the case yesterday. By the way, the photos are just some odd ones captured by the G11 in a parking lot. They're thrown in gratuitously to emphasize that the stories are motorcycle related if not directly about riding. The photos aren't worked over at all. However they came out of the camera is how they are. I did take one with the white balance set to "cloudy". It seems to add just a bit of warmth. The photos are taken in color but look pretty much black and white due to the subject and the day. I'm not saying they're good photos. Consider them filler in the meat loaf.

Yesterday I stopped at Lancaster Mall in Salem. That's where Elvira was parked in the photo I posted last night. The reason I stopped was to visit the Shutterbug store in the mall. Why didn't you people tell me that "fast" lenses were available for low light situations? I had to find out by reading a book. Some friends. :)

The manager at Shutterbug is pretty good about sharing information with me. I've spent a fair bit of money there so we both get what we want. I was looking at a 50mm f/1.4 lense. Didn't buy it, just checking it out. After looking at the lense I strolled down the mall corridor headed back to the bike. I'm still wearing the 'Stich, jacket unzipped, and carrying my helmet in my hand. One of the stores in the mall is Victoria's Secret.

As you know, the posters in the storefront windows tend to draw a guy's attention. The current series of posters are done in grayscale. As a budding photographer, I was interested in the photographic techniques used. I know, it's like saying we buy Playboy for the articles. I only plead that our recent blog posts validate my statement about grayscale and black & white. I'm pretty sure I wasn't drooling or walking along with my tongue hanging out. My pace was a steady, if not fast, walk. I was merely observing the composition and shading. Ok, the subject matter is interesting, too. Happy?

Having come to the end of the window displays, I shifted my gaze back to mall traffic. Right into the eyes of an older woman coming at me from the opposite direction. Her expression was a Kodak moment that got away.

She was tall; taller than me. Which helped her in looking down on me. The woman was lean with sharp features. The image put me in mind of a starving bird of prey. Gray hair was pulled tightly back into a bun at the back of her head. Clothing was neutral colored grays and brown. Skirt and blouse. Nylons dark enough to be black. Her face held a frown. The frown looked like it had lived on her face for a decade and was content to stay there. The cold eyes and frown were aimed squarely at me. She'd seen me looking at the posters. I must be a low life.

Meeting her gaze, I summoned my best boyish grin. Full of fun and mischief.

"Wanna go shopping in there with me?", I asked.

She made a gesture that looked like pulling an imaginary shawl tighter around her shoulders. Body armor against the pervert, I guess. The temperature of her stare and frown dropped several more degrees. I could almost feel the chill as she moved against the wall and walked on by. I continued out to Elvira, watching over my shoulder for Security as I went.

Speaking of chill, I just broke out into a cold sweat thinking of something? What if she had said "yes"? Shudder. Do they sell leather whips in there?

Some moments come because my reputation precedes me. Sometimes it works to my advantage, sometimes not.

As I mentioned last night, there was rain off and on yesterday. The temperature hovered near 40 ( f ). Between the rain, the wind chill, and a hundred and fifty miles on the bike, I was pretty chilled when I got home late last night. Yes, I had a week off between Christmas and New Year's. No, I didn't get the bike wired for electrics. Heck, it's nearly Spring. Why bother now?

Katie was sitting at the kitchen table looking at recipes when I came in the back door. I took off my helmet and offered a greeting.

"I have hypothermia. You're going to have to do your heroic duty and save me." ( I'm leaving out the more graphic part. You know the standard operating procedure: bare skin for heat transfer thing ).

Her look was another of those uncaptured Kodak moments.

"Yeah, right. Mr. "think nothing of riding two hundred miles in below freezing temperatures" suddenly has hypothermia when it's well above freezing? Give me a break."

I guess even Florence Nightengale had her limits.

So I played with Photoshop and posted the photos until bedtime!

Miles and smiles,



bobskoot said...

Mr Irondad:

I think if you had asked me for some "heat" transfer, I would have declined too, unless I could transfer to a proxy of my choosing first.

I cannot remember how many times I have not had a camera by my side. My hands have cameras growing out of them, just in case. While wearing my riding jacket I just hang the camera around my neck and jip the jacket enclosing it which keeps it warm in the cold. It is in a place "ready for action" . It is easier than fumbling into your pocket(s). You can thank me later for this riding tip

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Chuck Pefley said...


Your description of the tall gentrified woman was worthy of a Robert Ludlum novel. Very nicely crafted. My condolences to you in resorting to Photoshop for the warmth of hearth and home -:)

I think I'd advise passing on Bobskoots pseudo offer.

Chuck Pefley said...

Uh, to clarify, I was referring to the heat transfer ... not his gratuitous photo tip. LOL!!

bluekat said...

Ah yes, the fine art of balancing photography and life. Sometimes the camera can put a cramp on a nice ride or hike. Sometimes it should just be about the ride. Still, I can't bring myself to leave it home anymore.

As to the fast lenses. I don't have a fast lens. You can't have one either! It's a rule. That 50mm prime looks like one sweet lens. I like the idea of taking 1 nice prime and working within the constraints of no zoom. Something pure about that. I'm still lusting for a wide angle though.

Victoria's Secret...uh-huh. Sure. ;)
LOL-The Scary lady. Did you really say that? Ok, that is just too funny! Excellent write up, btw!

Hypothermia. Do guys actually believe that us gals will buy this stuff? What was that movie with Danny DeVito and Mathew Broderick? Oh yeah, "Deck the Halls". There ya go. Give Danny a call. He fix ya right up.

Anonymous said...

As to the nun outside of Victoria's Secret; excrement happens, and then you step in it.
Hypothermia? Isn't that cold looks from prudish women?
Have Katie bake you something you
like, then pour each of you a cup of coffee and play snuggle up. After all
you'll soon be grandpsarents.
Practice makes perfect, sense.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sir:

Wouldn't it be great if a process existed whereby the subject of a photograph could improved as easily as the image of the same is altered by PhotoShop?

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Orin said...

I've found relatively inexpensive point-n-shoot cameras to be an excellent solution. Small, thin, fit in the pocket easily, and boot up quickly when the moment presents itself. The quality of the images still amazes me. And while it's never happened, if I drop the thing and it quits working, the cost of a replacement is low.

The downside is the tendency of such cameras to work best in ideal lighting conditions, and not so well otherwise. I like what a G11 can do, but its size gives me pause, at least as something to have while riding.

In the movie, The Brother from Another Planet, the title character is able to remove one of his eyes and record video with it. Many is the time I've wished I could do that!

Scootin' Old Skool

Eve said...

A very funny post Irondad. It brings back great memories for me when me and my first bike, 1994 Ninja 250R, would race to the mall and I would wander, helmet in hand, searching for the perfect leather accessory to make the ride more comfy! No, I wasn't looking in Victoria's Secret for that, but if some dude saw me coming and asked me to shop, I would have taken that as a compliment!! hahaha!
I've just recently took to strapping my G9 around my neck while riding as does bobskoot. I wish I'd taken more photos back when I first started many wonderful memories left just in my head.
I like your blog and your header is very thought provoking. Comical, but yet a bit scary!!
I'll never forget the time I nearly hit an already dead snapping turtle the size of my gas tank! Whew!

irondad said...


I actually had the camera in the slash pocket of the 'Stich. The look the woman gave me was priceless, but fleeting. Even with the camera around my neck, I would have missed it. Unless, of course, she would have been willing to re-stage it for me!

Good tip about the camera on the neck. That would certainly help with the cold factor.

As to body heat, thanks for declining my offer!


Thank you for the compliment on the writing. I checked out Robert Ludlum. Impressive.

I did wonder if that was a veiled offer from bobskoot. :)

Take care,


irondad said...


I bid on a 50mm on ebay but the bid went higher than I was willing to go. It's no deal when the bid is within a few bucks of what I could go plop down on somebody's counter. So the rule still holds. You're still safe.

Yes, I actually did say that. I have to get over being shy, I guess. I seem to have a knack for saying these kind of things and the person isn't quite sure if I'm being a smart aleck. I like mind games too much, it seems.

Danny Devito, eh? I may wait a bit for that invitation if it's all the same to you!


Cold look from a prudish woman? That pretty much sums it up!


What an awesome idea! Sort of like a Star Trek transporter and replicator combined!

Of course, a few stiff drinks does the same thing and uses less electricity.


The G11 seems to work well for me for everyday carry. Like I mentioned to bobskoot up above, its' not having the camera, it's having it turned on and focused at the exact right moment.

I'd like the eyeball camera better if I didn't have to remove it to use it!


Thank you for gracing my blog. As I commented on your site, I had just found yours.

I carry the helmet because I feel sort of odd wearing the gear with no helmet to explain it.

Since we really just met virtually, I won't touch the shopping invitation comment. Love your attitude about it, though!

Take care,


David said...

Dan, be careful of that fast prime lens. It can be addicting! Soon you'll be trying to score the perfect 100mm for portraits. Then comes the macro addiction. Finally you'll get the itch for "heavy glass", yep, those 600mm super lenses you see on the sidelines at sporting events. You might even begin to deal to feed your habit. (Selling photos to buy more gear, of course!) It's a slippery slope my friend.

Seriously, one drawback of a very fast (1.4, 1.2 etc) prime lens is sharpness. Historically (I haven't read any reviews of the latest lenses) high speed glass has been less sharp at the edges. If you stop down to f8 or so, the sharpness returns, but you can do that with a cheaper f2 lens.

Of course I've got camera bags full of lenses for my old Contax/Yashica film cameras. Some fast, some slow, but all fun to work with. :)

Dave T.