2012 Chico Stage Race

While my action-sequence-panorama is in the post-processing stages, which has turned into an incredibly fun and time-consuming undertaking, I thought that I would toss up a quick post of a local event I recently attended.

I had a ton of fun going out and watching this event put on by Chico Corsa Cycling Club. It was really impressive to these guys and girls fly around downtown and it provided a great opportunity to tinker around with my camera. I was having some trouble shooting in the harsh mid-day light, and I was continually underestimating just how fast the racers were going. I’m not sure I’ve ever had to shoot anything going this fast. As a result of that underestimation, a lot of the shots came out with some motion blur, and I think motion blur can be a really cool effect but wasn’t what I was hoping for. I finally got my camera dialed in with a shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second!

Regardless of the outcome of the photographs, doing this is exactly what this blog was really for: making more time for pictures, becoming more involved with our Chico scene, and hopefully becoming a better photographer in the process.

So, go check my flickr set via this link or by clicking my flickr widget on the sidebar for a few shots from the day.

Building Bridges Part 1: R&D

I’m a dabbler, that is, I dabble. I play around in different media just long enough to get the basics before I move on and look for something new. This sort of approach amounts to the figure of speech, ” Jack of all trades, master of none,” being a very real personal condition. Another very real personal condition is my inability to build bridges between media. I keep separate all the different art forms I’ve dabbled in (and some skills have helped or hindered my ability in new media, but I’m never really cognizant of this). I thought a good start to this blog would be to challenge my compartmentalization of art forms. So, here goes.

A spark of inspiration occurred while watching this video, Industrial Revolutions, which was beautifully shot by Cut Media. Apart from this being a video of some of the most epic-rad riding by Danny Macaskill I’ve seen, it’s also become a model to me of a thoughtful, skillful, and imaginative capture (judging by its over 5 million views, it’s probably become the same for many others). But the spark of inspiration was in all the slow pans (when the video camera turns to follow the subject) and thinking about how this could transfer to a photograph (or a series of photographs). Using what little knowledge I have of photographic techniques, I thought it would be cool to combine panorama style photographs with action sequence photography to create a photographic version of a pan.

Here are two examples of panoramas, which are a series of photographs stitched together (using any number of programs and methods) to create a wider view of what can be displayed  in a single photograph. The first looks to be about an eight photo stitch that is still in the post-processing stages. The second is a completed panorama. HERE are 20 more examples. (Also, some photographers are doing wicked 360 degree panoramas)

Jason Kottke

David Illif, 2006

Below is an example of action sequence photography (ASP) (And HERE are 25 more ridiculously-gnarly examples). Although I’ve seen images like this in skateboarding and biking magazines, I never gave thought to just how cool this technique really is, and how this is truly capturing movement through time just as a video would.

Lev Akhsanov

So, at the start I had ideas of how to accomplish this though there were some holes I still needed to fill. I knew I was going to need my tri-pod, a fast shutter speed (to freeze the subject), a somewhat small aperture (to keep everything in focus), and a willing subject. I did what I always do and turned to my trusty advisor on all things, google. I put together a brief resource on all the awesome tutorials, apps, and groups related to ASP.

Resources

1. Flickr                                  
2. 25 AMAZING examples
3. NabitApp                           
4. Short Video Tutorial      
5. Text & Image Tutorial   

 

 So, now I’ve got my resources, my camera, my willing subject (the GF and her beautiful blue single-speed), and my work cut out for me to actualize that spark of inspiration. Part 2 of this post will be just that.

But to tide over the masses (pfff!) heres a recent shot taken on my walk to school.

 

A Fresh Start

Hey all!!

So, this is my new blog. I suppose I should start out by telling you a little about where/how the idea(s) for this bad boy came along…

It all started on a dark and stormy night. I gazed out a window as raindrops raced down the glass. In the distance lightning cracked the sky and lit the world without a sound…no…that’s not right at all…it was actually really hot and humid. And everyone around me was speaking different languages. Okay, let me start over.

Last Summer I was lucky enough to spend 3-weeks in Spain. It. Was. Incredible. I traveled all over Spain. I went from Southern towns and cities like Sevilla and Cordoba to Northern cities like San Sebastian (my absolute favorite) and Bilbao. I also spent time in the Central cities like Madrid and Segovia and Eastern coastal cities like Barcelona and Sitges. Overall, I spent 22 days roaming around Spain eating amazing food, seeing incredible sites, and taking an insane amount of pictures. 6,000 of them.


While I was there  something odd happened. I fell in love. I had heard stories of the lure of the Spanish women, cuisine, and lifestyle and been cautioned to protect my heart, but none had warned me of the bikes. WHAT?!? That’s right, I said it, the bikes (which is a really strange thing to fall in love with) but it’s true. It was the oddest thing. I was surrounded by magnificent cathedrals and gorgeous beaches, and despite this, I spent most of my time taking pictures of bikes.

Thinking back, it was in Barcelona that my love affair began. I remember thinking it was so strange to see so many abandoned bicycles. They were chained up everywhere. Their weathered frames and deflated tires, the ocean air really did a number on those poor things. Yet, the eroding paint and rusting metal made them unique and I saw them as an incredible subject. Below are a couple of shots of bikes I saw in Spain. Here is the completed series. 

 

So, I took lots of pictures of bikes in Spain. They were everywhere, too many to stop and take pictures of, (my stupid vacation was getting in the way of my photography-firstworldproblems). But then I came home and I stopped taking pictures of bikes and started doing super-boring, and terrible, portraits –gagg-. When I finally realized how artistically unfulfilling this was, I did something even more terrible, I stopped taking pictures all together…

That’s why I’m starting this blog. I want to make time and space to pursue my passion. Well, several of them.

Here’s what I’m hoping I’ll get out of this blog:

  • Make/take more time for taking pictures (of bikes).
  • (subsequently) Become a better photographer
  • Create a hub for new photographic techniques to try and reflect on
  • Participate in the local bike scene more (I live in a small town with an incredible biking community)
  • Find more dude-bros and guidettes to blog/bike/shoot with

So, yeah…That’s my intro and I’m sticking to it. Or something like that. Now I’m going to stop gabbing on about it, grab my gear, and do work.