1. Last Light New Build

    I think I am allowed to brag about the colour in this photo. That lovely and subtle gradient from a purple horizon to a pale blue sky. I love it.

    I know it’s a thing to post #nofilter … I know that with the advent of vscocam or the controls afforded by Flickr or instagram, that it is easy to create colour like this.  But, this really is no filter - nothing, not even a UV filter on the end of this lens.

    This photo is just me driving around town on sunset with 3 photos to empty a roll of film and looking for something, anything, that said dusk.  I am happy with this, I looked away from the sunset, turned my back on the lurid oranges on offer and pursued this purple.

     
  2. Where do I go for inspiration?

    This weekend I rode from home to my Dad’s place at the beach.  125km, 1km of climbing, 25km of gravel, 1km of tunnel.  To me an epic adventure of 6 hours riding, a 5km descent of constant glee-hollering-whooping-giggling, lovely badinage with lovely people, a chocolate bar, a Devonshire Cream Tea, a sourdough German toasty, two cars that slowed to a crawl to act as a road shield when they foresaw me approaching blind narrow bridges, and 3 litres of water.

    To put this in perspective, my all day adventure would take the very average roadie well under 4 hours.  So whilst to me, my accomplishment is a little bit of a pride generating moment, I recognise it isn’t a strava segment winner!!!

    However, there are a number of people, bike mentors, who certainly don’t know I exist, who made this special for me.

    • Erik Nohlin - whose writings teach me that black stretch denim cut off are the best touring shorts in the land (he is right, btw, imho, fwiw)
    • Bike Snob - constantly rails against cliques and the Velominati and barracks that your non-gravel bike is ok on gravel!
    • The Blayleys - do eeppiicc rides in amazing places at a rapid pace (and I’ve met them, they’re (surprisingly) human)!
    • Lovely Bike - dangled the lure of a big, big cassette on the back, and as I sat down and spun up any incline, dying and unable to stand, I thanked her for the 34 front 32 rear combo I had on!

    So this is a post for two reasons: One - posterity and a diary for me!  I rode to my Dad’s house with a homemade handlebar bag via the Hauraki Rail Trail, and; Two - gratitude! All the blogs and adventures I read of that motivate me to challenge myself, thank you!

     

  3. "We have the view that sport in general has been losing its sense of magic and wonder in recent times. In part due to scandal and in part to the reduction of all achievements to a bunch of numbers and all title-winning efforts to a scientifically predetermined plan."
    — 

    http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/04/thereabouts/

    Change sport for life in this quote and it’s truer than anything.

     
  4. Date Night Story Film

    Twelve Photo Notes and Twelve Photos

    A few weeks ago my Daddy ferried my cameras home from the UK for me.  Long missed and oft thought of was my MPP Microcord.  A catch up: I bought a Microcord when I couldn’t envisage finding, nor affording, a Rolleicord.

    As my first (and so far… [panto wink] only) TLR I was missing the use of my Microcord.  Upon its return I bought some FP4 and decided to introduce Ms. to TLR through a full date night film.

    We took 12 photos: All of which are on my Flickr.  I love the journey; I love the reminder that trying for focus with the Microcord is perilous; that square format is such a different medium…

     

  5. "

    I feel a good approach for a photographer is to start by closing his eyes and listening to the voice of his heart. The obsession and intuition that he has never taken notice of can lead him to photograph in the right way. And then the photographer edits the photographs while personally critiquing them. Such an editing process should be the best teacher for that person. I am opposed to taking photographs with the forced intent of a pre-determined concept.


    With intelligence and knowledge, a photographer can easily take photographs that can be sold at high prices. But I don’t want people to take photographs of that nature. First of all, one continuously takes a series of photographs. In the subsequent editing process, the concept will emerge. This is also the method I used to create “the Americans.”

    "
    — 

    -Robert Frank

    (source)

    (Source: valerian)

     

  6. A decent chunk of this blog has, so far, been devoted to capturing experiences past, to have or recall in the future.  Whether this has been done for posterity, or portentous pride, I am unsure.  But high on the pompousness of hindsight, I see that at times I am doing no more than capturing an experience or an emotion of a time.  Today, it is brow furrowed into the forces foresight that I recognise a missive of memory for my own future cherishing. 

    This time very nearly one year ago I was riding Lady Huck and Ol’ Bess (depending on who was in functional fettle) for both work and play.  Lady Huck was cobbled together and holding on through sometimes no more than tenacity.  Ol’ Bess was in slightly better shape, I cleaned and re-greased things, I adjusted cones and replaced chains…  But still, fundamentally, they were both ancient bikes; attacked by time and neglect; scarred by salt and sand.  I loved them, but every pedal stroke was a fight against friction inherent in old components.  A clench of the quadriceps resulted in feedback and resitive force from seizing pedals and chattering cranks, before the intended power even made it as far as chains and hubs. 

    5th October 2013 - I was on Ol’ Bess and attempting an attack on Ballyhacket.  I rode 15mi to the bottom of the hill and then began my climb.  It was only 200 meters over 3 kilometers but the last frame bending push was 13% - in a gear more suited to breezing on coastal roads than climbing anything.  I remember the entire physical effort required to get each crank past TDC and forwarded, my hands almost unable to hold to the bars as I pushed so hard on the pedals.  I hope I remember this day for a long time, because there was nothing quite like collapsing on the picnic table at the viewing point atop the peak, gasping and feeling my entire body course with blood, knowing that me and something I had built conquered a minor demon. 

    24th September 2014 - I was on Edith and utterly surprised by the response rewarded in pedal strokes.  A brand new bike, albeit attenuated by compromise.  She’s a catchall bike, robust commuter, rail trailer, light tourer and cafe-in-jandals-machine.  Still, she is new, tight and freshly greased, unsullied by rain.  Each and every effort into the bike results in a tangible reward of speed.  I rode from work to my sister’s.  I leapt in through a window and ate the leftovers in her fridge before carrying on to the northern boundaries of town, crossing the river and working my way south on the river path.  I didn’t even change gear at short sharp inclines, a rise from the saddle and a few purposeful pushes and I was up and over.  I found a part of town I never knew existed, I dropped into my climbing gear and meandered, seated, up 10% for a little look at the top and then coasted back down.  I rode home and felt lovely and fresh, a good little shakedown ride, 20km and it felt like I had been to the dairy and back…. 

    Now I find myself excited and brimming in anticipation at what I can do with Genevieve’s new build…  She is a sound chromoly frame and I have dreams of her draped in new 105 and weighing less than 10kg.  Just where to get started! 

     

  7. "

    With photography, the best thing to do is look straight at the person, place, or situation you are photographing and just press the shutter without thinking about anything. By doing this, the power of the subject comes across, and this is the strength of the photographic genre. I feel that among recent submissions to the competition, perhaps too many have been mentally conceptualized beforehand, or suffered from the overuse of sophisticated camera functions.

    Photographers should remind themselves of the basic truth that if the subject is not good, the photograph won’t be any good either. They need to take more of a hands-off approach, and focus on having encounters with things and people. So for this year’s competition, I chose works that gave me the impression that the photographer had done just that.

    I didn’t feel that the submissions to this year’s competition were particularly different from those submitted at previous competitions. Even so, it’s a fact that the skill level is so high now that I just assume all the work I look at will demonstrate a high level of skill. This means that it’s pointless to pick winners and losers on the basis of skill alone. In addition, elaborately produced photographs that have been forced to incorporate some kind of drama inevitably turn out to be weak.

    Photographs must depict things that are important in the lives of the individuals who take them. Photographs that show you that the photographer got wet, sweated, or was breathing heavily can often move the viewer. It’s good to be honest and straightforward towards both your subject and your own feelings.

    "
    — 

    -Nobuyoshi Araki

    excerpt from his statement at the Grand Prize selection open-committee meeting for the 2007 Canon New Cosmos award.

    source

    (via valerian)

    Read, believe, photograph.

    (via tokyo-camera-style)

     
  8. Andreas Gursky (b. 1955) - Paris, Montparnasse

    http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140922-how-to-take-photos-of-buildings?ocid=global_bbccom_email_22092014_culture

    Buildings:

    • Mirrors of society
    • Capture the calm of tradition
    • Discover the abstract
    • There is beauty in decay
    • Architecture is all around
     
  9. Welcome Home, Edith

    She isn’t quite yet complete, but she’s rideable and I am happy for that.  Now let us begin the tuning and fettling and finishing.

    Felt 2014 F65x Cyclocross
    Volkswagen Relfex Silver and bbllaacckk mates-rates-paint
    Brooks Swallow Select
    Specialized Fatboys 700 x 45 (and millimetres of rear clearance [gulp])
    11-32 Cassette

    … for now.

     

  10. "I don’t have a philosophy. I have a camera."