Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back from Stumptown!

Who says you can't take it with you?

Got back in from Portland at 2am. 20 hours on the road in a car is BRUTAL. I'm still recovering (took a nice 6 hour bike excursion today). Anyway, still sorting through the pics, but here are a few I like...

An hour or two on the road is romantic, but 20 is torture. Never again!

An endless snake of cars undulating through the grapevine.

Our furry companions on the trip, Mosely and Suki.

Finally on a bike! Riding the Portland riverfront in the late afternoon is sublime.

I'm definitely moving here!

View from the Mark Spencer.

Costumed denizens playing croquet with bowling balls and sledgehammers...just another day in Portland.

Yes. It is biking heaven and this is its halo.

Todd from CleverCycles gives my friend Jon a ride on a sweet Freight bike by Henry Work Cycles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gone Adventure-ing!

Leaving for Portland (Bike-Mecca) tonight! Any PDX readers, if you spot me, say hi! I'll be riding a Dahon Speed TR all week and will be at the Brewer's Festival.

Just got sent this photo from a friend of mine during one of our bike adventures. We maneuvered over this fence after following a road that ended at some railroad tracks...we then followed the railroad tracks until it ran into another road, which eventually led to this fence :)

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A room with a view....

Photographed Bob Foster, the mayor of Long Beach in his office for an article on his 2 years in office. The room has a great view from the 14th floor. I was planning to shoot with a view of the Queen Mary but I couldn't get the reflection out of the window and there was nothing to lean him against to create that nice warm halo. You do what you can, so I decided to lose the background and just set up something simple that focused on him.

And another one. No strobes, just available light. I think it looks nicer in BW. It has that historical portrait feel to it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bike Saturday!

How do two bikey people carry bike parts to their local bikeshop to assemble them? By bike, of course!

Laura took the Dahon Speed TR and loaded it up with bike parts for her new Surly Long Haul Trucker!

Yes, that's a fork poking out of the pannier...

Some handbuilt wheels (by me) strapped to a Carradice Camper Longflap...

Tires, fender and frame on the front of the Bilenky...

Laura getting ready to put on the headset..

Starting to look like a bicycle!

The organic design goes well with the components in a yin-yang sort of way.

The headset and her headbadge look awesome together...

While she rode her new bike home, I was tasked with carrying the Dahon back on my Bilenky...who needs a spare tube when you can have a spare bike!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tour d' Pier

Some snaps of my Bilenky during my ride to Manhattan beach.

The Bilenky at Redondo Beach...I actually overshot the pier and had to ride back to find it.

The Bilenky at Hermosa Beach. A testmaent to the Bilenky's superior build and cargo carrying capacity, note how it supports two small children and a bronze surfing man with ease and aplomb.

The Bilenky draws the gaze of many a sunglass wearing beach dweller at Manhattan Baech.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

There be hills...

Today I went on a bit of a bike adventure, riding from Long Beach to the REI in Manhattan Beach. Came out to something like 34 miles. It's funny, since the last few bike trips we've taken which have included a fair amount of climbing (and pushing bikes up dirt grades), the local stuff here isn't so bad.

When people talk about "doing hills" around here, they usually mean the hills in Palos Verdes. In my head, they had been built up as some impossible thing to ride. Only cyclists with super human strength and the tightest lycra dare scale its peaks.

Well, today I took the Bilenky out and rode over some of those hills...and it wasn't so bad. There was a little steep bit in the beginning, but after you gained some altitude there were some nice rollers. There was a point that I started getting this nice cool ocean breeze and I knew I had passed the top.

Now, I'm not saying I've become a super climber by any stretch of the imagination, but I know I can get to the top, albeit slowly and with a lot of sweat.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Antisha Re-dux

A few months ago I photographed an Olympic athlete for Memorial Hospital. I revisted a few of the pictures and did a little more finishing with photoshop. I think they look better than ever before.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

District Cover!

Got the cover of the DW this week. It came out really well and so did the inside lede picture. I'm much happier with the selective focus look I'm getting now. Noticeable but subtle. Doesn't scream out at you, but it adds to the picture.

I like how the lighting came out. Catch-lights in both eyes. Nice Rembrandt lighting (triangular patch of light on the shadow side) and a nice subtle rim and hair light.

Monday, July 07, 2008

LBMA After Dark Slideshow....

Some snaps from LBMA's After Dark series...

Click on the image for the slideshow!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fine tuning....

Shot a portrait yesterday for DW. I started playing with some CTO gels to get a warm/cool effect. I was able to transform a sort of run-of-the-mill bamboo bush/tree into something that I think feels like some mystical forest. I set the white balance to tungsten to cool the daylight and taped some CTOs to my little Nikon strobe. Shot on the shady side so I could control the light.

I also ran a little high-pass filtering to give it a slightly Dave Hill look, desaturated the image to get it closer to Fuji NPH and then applied some selective lens blur to make a softer looking background and really put the focus on the subject. Whew. I'm really liking the selective focus look I'm getting now (some convoluted use of creating an alpha channel and a depth mask).

In a time when everyone on Strobist is going for that hard illustrated look of Dave Hill, I'm going to run in the opposite direction. Just how I roll.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Laura's pics....

I'm always encouraging Laura to take more pics when we go on trips, so I have proof that I went too! She took some great ones from our wacky adventure this weekend.

Riding on the level part of Refugio Road.

Fixing a chain that I snapped going up San Marcos Road!

A great sunset at Lake Cachuma

Nomad on two wheels....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The "Not What I Signed Up For" Bike Tour...

We were the only ones on the Amtrak bus from Long Beach to Union Station.

Wide shot of camp our first day.

Just got back from our bike trip pedaling around the central coast. It can be best summed up as "this is not what I signed up for." First, we had some train trouble (bike spaces being full and not being allowed to board).

Second, there was a lot of climbing! On the second day of our trip we went up and over the Santa Ynez mountains (the FIRST of two crossings) with 100 degree weather and running low on water.

Throwing caution to the wind, we choose the road less traveled.

The pavement less traveled ends in 500ft...where the adventure begins.

Pushing our bikes up 20% grades in deeply rutted roads with rocks is our idea of a vacation?

On the third day of our trip, we crossed those same mountains AGAIN, this time taking Refugio Road. It was suppose to be a pleasant back country road (in our heads anyway) and it was for a few hundred feet, where it became a rock garden with some pitches of 20% grade! We literally walked up the mountain pushing our bikes most of the way. We rode where we could and walked where we couldn't.

Anyway, here are just a few snaps from our tiring but very fun and exciting mini bike tour.

We did have fun though. Yes, those are two IKEA folding chairs we took with us.

A beautiful sunset at Lake Cachuma.

We rode up some crazy stuff!

But we always made it tot he top.

A view of the Santa Barbara county and beyond...

Cartwheels at Refugio State Beach.