Monday, June 07, 2010

Quick update.

Life has been flying by. Speaking of flying, I'm off to Chicago early tomorrow morning. I'll be there the rest of the week for some corporate stuff. With any luck I'll get home late Friday night and have a weekend off to kick back. Sort of forgot what a weekend off is like.

We got a police training class in last week. It was touch and go with the rain. We had a couple of sprinkles but the main bit seemed to just wrap around us and leave us alone. For once I had the chance to spend a lot of time taking photos. I'm shooting in raw these days. I actually filled the Nikon's memory card. There's a lot of great pictures to process. In the meantime, I pulled a couple out to share. Look for more photos and stories later. We were at an airport as well as the track. There's some photos of planes and motorcycles almost sharing the same space.

Here's a photo of Laurie's bike. Somehow I managed to make the bike pop out by using the telephoto to compress the scene and a large aperature to blur the background. I can almost do this on purpose, now!

This is Scott's Duc at the end of a maximum braking demo run at 70 mph. The forks are fully compressed and the front tire is squashed down a bit. Scott's darn good. This bike doesn't have ABS, either.


My fellow instructor Dan was mugging for the camera. Interestingly, the camera was dangling from my hand at the time. I shot this one from the hip. Sometimes those work out.


One great side affect was that I got my new rear tire properly scrubbed in. It's always worth a bit of bragging rights when you scrub the Metzeler elephants off a tire.

I took some action shots of Laurie then she returned the favor using my camera and 70-300mm lense. I told her to get my best side. Apparently we have a difference of opinion about which side that is. Most of her shots are of my backside.


I experimented with panning. It's surprisingly hard to get just right. This one came out halfway well. The background is blurred. The bike is almost focused sharply. You can still see some motion in the wheels. I should clone out the cyclone fence rail at the bottom. Still, though, it does convey a sense of speed, doesn't it? Not bad for the first practice session, if I say so myself. The vibration resistance in the Nikon lense works quite well. This is hand held at 170 mm focal length with a 1/100 shutter speed. All while moving the camera to follow the bike.



Later in the week I had to go look at some stuff on this fancy house. Factory rep and all that. The contractor tells me the house itself cost almost two million dollars. Funny. To me it looks like an industrial office building. It's very stark inside. Quite sterile. To each their own, I guess. The great news is that I took the back way into Newberg. In the process I discovered a road called Bald Peak Road. It's really windy as it goes up and over the hill then down the other side. The view from the top of the peak is outstanding.



Taught a class this weekend. Saturday was almost sunny. We got drenched on Sunday. That seems to be the normal pattern anymore. Great stories from this class, too. Plenty of material, just have to write it all down sometime.



It looks like things will finally settle down once I get the Chicago thing over with. Look for posts on cornering, downhill curves, braking, and the old "lay it down" thing. There are also plenty of great stories locked up. The plan is to revive the energy here. Thanks to those who have been hanging in here during the quiet time.

Miles and smiles,

Dan

19 comments:

cpa3485 said...

That's a nice picture of the moving bike. Well done!
I hear you about the ideas for the blog. I have about 3 articles, mostly done, that I may never post. It was like something else better came along and one got put on the shelf. It may die there.
Looking forward to new articles from you. Sory about the rain.
Jim

Richard Machida said...

Very nice pan. I could never get those to come out. You mentioned that you are shooting raw. What software are you using for post processing?

Someone mentioned this to me today:
What do you call two days of rain followed by a day of sun?

Monday

Dave said...

Dan

All to often life gets in the way of what we like to do.

Don’t feel pressed to post.
It should be something to enjoy when you have time to enjoy it.

Oh and happy new shoes for Elvira : )

Just when I thought I had that cone monkey off my back I had to put new tires on my scooter.
Now I am getting them broke in. ; )


AKA OldF

SonjaM said...

Nice shots! Don't rush yourself with the posting. Your musings are well worth the wait ;-)

tedder said...

Aha, so *you* are one of the saps that taught during the torrential downpours that were Saturday and Sunday.

And.. scrubbing the elephants, excellent!

(I'm leaving Oregon and Team Oregon, but I'll continue to follow your blog)

Gary France said...

I like the shot of the maximum braking demo – it captures the action very well and the compression of the forks is demonstrated excellently. Good luck with your trip to Chicago, one of my favourite US cities.

Sojourner rides said...

I sure hope that when in Chicago, you'll get a chance to take in the beauty that is Chicago! Message me if you need a break and the name of some great places to eat. Don't forget to get to Millennium Park and Grant Park. A stroll along the lakefront shouldn't be missed.

Lots of opportunity to apply your photo bug skills.

Charlie6 said...

Irondad

so, will you have access to a motorcycle while in the windy city?

capturing moving motorcycles, quite tricky, your shots came out pretty good, mine are not so good....

Bryce said...

Employment alway seems to intrude on pleasure. That monolithic house
looks very interesting. At $2M
a mere drop in the pocket for some
people.

As to those missing elephants, tusk, tusk, tusk!

Mike said...

Nice photos Dan! I like the pan shot too... nicely done! Bald Peak road is a favorite - nice twisties and elevation. Good photo ops there too. My blog header was taken there.

Have a great trip to Chicago! Be safe.

irondad said...

Jim,

It's raining in Chicago as I write this. Eventually we will get some warm weather somewhere, somehow.

I sometimes do the same thing. I get an idea for a post but shelve it. There's a lot of great stuff sitting on the shelf. Have to dust it off someday. Both of us!

Richard,

Interestingly, I started thinking more about the panning shots a few days later. I likely could have gotten a sharper image of the bike by turning off vibration resistance in the lense. It was probably fighting the effect somewhat.

I'm using Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 with the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in for processing the images.

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Dave,

Perhaps the answer is to become a professional blogger and photographer! Then it becomes all one and the same.

I hope you have fun scrubbing in those new tires. Dedicate some lean angle to me, won't you?

Sonja,

Thank you for the kind words. As to the blog, I feel that if it is offered up there should be continual fresh content. It's like a restaurant that only opens once in a while! So I feel like I'm not doing it justice.

On the other hand, I don't want to completely fold it up, either. It can all make a person crazy, can't it?

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Tedder,

I'm sorry we are losing you. Good for you, I'm sure but not so much for us. There are still so many small animals to ride!

Thank you for your loyalty to the blog and may fortune smile on you in the new location.

Gary,

Thank you for noticing. I spent a lot of time trying to capture shots of the bike and rider at what you might call "ultimate moments". I hope to be able to share more of them later.

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Sharon,

Thank you for your offer of tour guide information. If only I had time! Last time I was here there was plenty of sightseeing opportunity. I saw a lot of sights in downtown and along Michigan Avenue. Even went to the top of the Sears Tower.

This time they have us going from 7 AM to 9 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. We go until 1 on Friday and my flight is at 3:30.

Although we have got to sneak out for some Chicago Pizza. I seem to remember a place near downtown called Uno's or something. Is that anywhere near correct?

Take care,

Dan

irondad said...

Charlie6,

Sigh!!! No bike, no time.

Thank you for the compliments on the photo. I eventually realized I had to quit reading the "how to" and just go out and take photos. I also threw a lot away!

Bryce,

Nice pun. Not quite gold standard, but I will concede you ivory points.

Mike,

Next time we make a lunch date, let's skip Subway and chase each other up and down that road, instead!

Take care,

Dan

Mike Simmons said...

The only problem with your plan on Bald Peak is, although I got a new Metzeler rear tire about a week after you, I'm still proudly wearing my elephants! I'm sure trying to keep up with you would change that. :)

Steve Williams said...

I keep expecting you to post that you are running a new riding and photography workshop.

And you have found the magic mojo of telephoto motorcycle portraits!

bluekat said...

Nice series of photos from the track, and good job on the panning. The s-curve with all the bikes is pretty cool looking too. That would make a nice video.

Safe journeys!

Chuck Pefley said...

That expensive house looks more like a penitentiary block of cells to my eye. Whew! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

Panning takes practice, just like riding. Nice first try. The trick is to begin shooting before and after where you really want the action to be ... and swing your whole body through the full range of motion.