Canon S500 for Fiona…

30 04 2013
Time for some new adventures...

Time for some new adventures…

My trusty Canon Powershot S500 has been with me on many adventures…from India to Mexico and all over the Western US and Canada. I’ve taken some great photos with it and Canon has given me excellent customer service. All in all it’s been a pleasure to use. I’ve since bought newer Canon point and shoot cameras that have spoilt me with larger LCD screens, higher resolution and image stabilization. That’s left the S500 languishing in a drawer for the last few years.

Fiona co-piloting the family CETMA cargo bike...

Fiona co-piloting the family CETMA cargo bike…

I was talking to my buddy Doug and he mentioned his daughter Fiona was in need of a new camera so I am sending the S500 east to Calgary for her to use. I’m glad this camera will have a new home with someone who is sure to take it on many new adventures. :)





Pop!

3 07 2012

Bright colours make for vibrant photos in the trees…

Taking nice mountain bike photos in BC’s gloomy rainforest can be a challenge.

A little red sure helps…

One thing that can really help and doesn’t cost a lot of money is having riders wear bright coloured clothing.

A bright bike doesn’t hurt either…

A brightly coloured bike doesn’t hurt either. Obviously you can’t readily change the colour of your ride just for a photo shoot, but if you live somewhere that’s dark and want to take photos on rides it does make sense to keep this in mind when the time comes for a new bike or a new paint job is in the works.

Our bikes are easy to spot in the forest…

We got lucky as both our bikes are pretty brightly coloured even though back in Calgary this aspect wasn’t nearly as important for taking MTB photos.

White is right!

Compared to Scott’s black Jones my Nomad shows up much better in the forest. I also wear a white helmet and white gloves to improve my visibility.

Spot Sharon….

Sharon’s colourful top and pink grips pop in this photo.

Sharon trying to stick to the high ground…

If you do have a dark bike you can help it pop with contrasting accessories like grips, cable housing, rims, fork, bars, etc…

Sharon happy to pop!

When Sharon saw this jersey at a shop she wasn’t sure she’d like it. I don’t normally get involved in clothing advice issues [I’m too smart for that!], but I did mention that it would show up nicely in photos. Once she saw some photos of herself in the jersey she was stoked to have bought it since it really brightens up each frame.

Even a bit of colour helps…

Aaron isn’t into wearing hot pink, but even the small detail of some red trim on his shirt really does help make him stand out in the photo above.

Kurt knows the score…

Kurt was smart about this subject before I even clued in how important it was. I came to realize his MTB photos always turned out better than mine and finally it occurred to me he wore a lot of bright colour coordinated clothing when he rides.

Maybe I went a bit too far?….;)

Now if you are thinking mountain biking is supposed to be about riding the bike not some sort of fashion show in the forest I don’t blame you. We spend a lot of time snapping photos on our rides. It’s just what we do and it’s not something essential. In fact it gets in the way of the riding to some extent, but we often have experts, intermediates and beginners on the same ride so stopping to session a tech section and photograph it gives the hardcore folks more riding time while the newbies can rejoin the group and catch their breathe. It also allows the less skilled riders to see what the hot shots are doing and try some stuff they’d skip if they were already 5 minutes behind the group.

Bright colours are helpful even when you can see the sun…

The BC rainforest makes bright colours really important, but even in the desert where there is a ton of light wearing bright contrasting colours still helps the subject pop in a photo.

Moab…





The DSLR Dilema…

25 04 2012

Canon T2i DSLR...

Now that I have a DSLR in my camera fleet again I’m making an effort to use it as much as I can. It’s a big camera and I feel the need to treat it gently so the hassle level of taking it along on a ride or even to an event I drive to is significant. That’s okay if I get really great photos from it, but the trouble with a camera like this is that you also have the potential for some exceptionally craptacular photos. Point and shoot cameras have less potential performance and give you less control of the photos you take. However, they tend to deliver reasonably consistent picture quality within that performance envelope. A DSLR on the other hand offers the potential for a much nicer image IF you use the correct settings and that’s a big IF.

Since getting the Canon T2i I have been rewarded with some really spiffy photos that my Canon S95 couldn’t deliver. I have also been punished with a whole bunch of crappy photos that made my S95 snicker at its big brother and puff out its diminutive chest a bit. I can live with a bad photo in my backyard when documenting a bike upgrade, but when I am out and about taking shots of something that’s special – like an event – it’s critical I don’t f**k sh*t up often. Having been disappointed by the pictures I’ve taken on two recent “important” occasions I’m starting to worry about my choice of picking up the DSLR vs. point and shoot for those type of missions.

I know logically that I just need to learn from my mistakes and that unless I keep using the DSLR I’ll never master it. I also know I could set the DSLR to auto mode and have it do all the heavy lifting, but my ego get’s in the way of that!

I’ll just keep plugging away at my DSLR with the hopes of becoming a photo Jedi. Excuse a few less than rockstar images in the process!….;-)





Transition Bikes Stop Motion Build…

4 04 2012

One of the most fun stop motion bike builds I’ve seen. It’s even better once the bike is ready to roll. Watch it in HD fullscreen.





Jeff Jones Spaceframe bike porn…

29 03 2012

My photo of Scott on the Jeff Jones homepage...





Canon 50mm f/1.4 EF USM

17 03 2012

My fast prime rainforest action lens!

This is just a bookmark for myself when I have some $$ to buy a prime lens for the Canon T2i DSLR that Airmiles sent me. The Canon 50mm f/1.4 seems like a good choice given my needs and budget.