Friday, February 27, 2009

What's so eco-friendly about bicycling?

I get this question a lot, believe it or not. When I first had the sign on my bike made, I thought it was pretty clear. A sort of short-hand about what I do. I needed a quick way to explain to people why I was arriving by bike. It wasn't because I couldn't afford a car or that I was destitute. I just thought it was a good thing to do for myself, others and the environment.

Eco-Friendly Bicycling Photographer.


However, it seems to be interpreted like a strange haiku sometimes. What's eco-friendly about bicycling? Do you only take photos of bikes? Do you only take photos FROM your bike? Do you strap cameras to your bike and take pictures? Do you strap cameras to your bike and take photos of other bikes? Etc.,

Like I said, a haiku :)

Maybe I should make this graph into a sign (hat tip to Ecovelo for pointing it out) or atleast print it out and hand it to people.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Welcome Sunset Magazine readers!

I just got word that the Sunset Magazine issue is out where I have a little profile (March 2009). So if you found your way from there to here, welcome! Here's a little vid of me in action. And don't forget, I'm open for assignments.

Some ramblings

I took a ride up Signal Hill for the first time this morning. Posted some ramblings about it on my touring blog, Epicurean Cyclist.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ack..the flu..

I was getting a tingle in my throat the last few days that I wrote off as a cold or some throat irritation from trying to resurrect a campfire from small burning embers. However last night, I woke up choking because my throat was swollen and irritated! Ack. I spent the rest of the night sitting bolt upright trying to sleep because any other position was making it hard to breathe and swallow.

Today, I went to the doctor (very slowly by bicycle, of course) and he told me that I had the flu, that it was going around, and I just had to suck it up for the next week. Ugh. This is the second time, I've been sick in the last month, something that never happens. I'm usually pretty resilient, which I like to think comes from all the cycling, but I think the stress of other commitments is really taking its toll.

At least for now, I'm able to sit and type but my mind wanders and I want to sleep mostly. What a bummer.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Some snaps from the ride...

(Can you tell I like the color orange? Orange wool Riv cycling cap, orange wool Kucharik headband, orange Marmot down jacket :)

Back from our trip to Ojai and thereabouts. It was a wonderful and relaxing trip with lots of great back roads and vistas. The weather was cold but manageable. We got a little rain on the last day (and some hail) but nothing that we weren't prepared for. Again, I'm a little sad that it ended so early but it was a fun trip nonetheless.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More food...

Shot a 50s diner-style place last night, complete with car hops skating around with trays of food. A bit of sensory overload for me, but fascinating nonetheless.

Awareness Campaign Ideas

I'm involved in the often times frustrating work of bike advocacy in Long Beach. It has its highs and lows. Its moments of feeling like you can make a change to those moments when you want to throw your hands and scream, "why bother?" It's a war of attrition. It's closer to crawling on your belly in the mud sliding beneath barb wire fences than it is a glorious and noble battle.

Anyways, enough venting.

One idea I've been floating around is an aggressive media campaign to coincide with some of their upcoming projects. I've been floating it around for the last few weeks, but little has come of it.

The concept of the campaign would be to 1) show that bicycles are PEOPLE and not traffic obstacles 2) show the wide range of users on bikes. This is in hopes that by humanizing cyclists, some peace can be made with motorists, or atleast they are more willing to empathize. Anyway, here are some rough comps I've been kicking around. Hopefully, someone will think it's a good idea.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where the fork meets the pork!

Got to shoot one of my favorite restaurants today, Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. It is simply the best place to get beer anywhere in Long Beach and hey, the food is great too! They have 20+ taps of craft beer that changes constantly. In fact, they have a HopCam, a little camera that is focused on their beer board so you can see what they have on tap before you come in! How friggin awesome is that!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

mini bike photography

I just put up a post about using a Dahon Speed TR in combination with the Ortlieb Shuttle Bike to go on photoshoots on When I can't bring my Bilenky, I use this combination and it works great!

The low overall center of gravity of the Dahon Speed TR balances out any potential top-heaviness from really loading up the Shuttle Bike. When I have lots of bus/train connections to make, this would be my set-up of choice. It also makes a great credit-card or S240 touring set up.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Feeling a bit lost...

Going on these short bike trips is wonderful but there is always a bit of depression that sets in afterwards. Whenever I am away, I feel light as a feather. "In the moment," I suppose. The only thing I have to worry about is what is right in front of my tire.

When I return home, the weight of my responsibilities falls again on my shoulders. Rent. Bills. Taxes. Bike advocacy. My commitments to the various groups I belong to. Granted, relative to others, it is not very much. I don't have a mortgage or am a CEO of a failing institution. I have it pretty good. Kahil Gibran put it best when he wrote, "the cup of misery is always full." However big or small our burdens, they consume us.

So, I'm at my desk. Fishing through my emails that have accumulated in the three days I haven't been checking it. And a little bit at a time, that lightness I had gets heavier and heavier. I look at the photos from this past weekend to make sure I wasn't dreaming. And although I only just got back yesterday, it begins to feel like an eternity. Did I really stand around a campfire talking with friends as the rain fell around us? Did I really ride all the way from the ocean to the mountains? Was I dreaming that beautiful vanilla colored light that hit our tents just before the sun went behind the trees?

Is there a way for me to just keep "going"? I read of others that are on multi-year world tours and I'm envious. But can I really do it? Can I cut the umbilical cord and go? It gets tempting every time I contemplate it and in my head I have already started to say my good-bye's to this life as I prepare for my next.

O'Neill Regional Park...again..

Some snaps from our latest trip to O'Neill Regional Park, this time with some friends! It was very enjoyable despite the rain, hail and more rain :)

Monday, February 02, 2009


It's that time of year again...dining guide time! Which means for a few blessed weeks I get to sample some of the finest cooking in Long Beach :) My food shooting kit fits in my LowePro backpack is small and easy to set up. I can usually get the light dialed in about 10 minutes. Almost all these shots were photographed using an XS Chimera softbox with an old Nikon SB-28 as the strobe and some Alien Bees wireless triggers. No tripod. All handheld (or I'm using the back of a chair for support). Sometimes its a real blessed life :)

After doing a few of these, I'm convinced that bicycling to these shoots is the way to do it. You shoot. Eat. Then burn off some of the food on the way to the next assignment. Repeat. I imagine that by doing it by car you must feel pretty gross at the end of the day.

For something more uplifting...

What do bike-y Southern Californians do during 80 degree January afternoons? Have a paella party, of course. Chris, played chef for the evening cooking up some paella with a paella pan he picked while touring in Spain. It was quite the event as we all watched the dish build into a crescendo (it took about an hour to cook and required a careful sequencing of ingredients.)