Cycling, hiking, camping, etc — now back in southern Indiana. Words and photos.

Archive for March, 2011

A singlespeed and a lensbaby

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I went for a ride on the singlespeed after work, and took my DSLR with my new lensbaby along for the ride. Here are some shots from my brief ride.

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A visit from David

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Last weekend, David was on a bike tour. He was headed to Indianapolis, by way of Bloomington. We offered to have him stay at our house overnight.

David had a hugely epic first day planned — Louisville to Bloomington — 110 hilly miles, into a headwind, carrying lots of weight. He made it as far as Bedford, IN, 80 miles into his ride, and called me to let me know he was behind schedule. I offered to come pick him up and he accepted.

It was great to have him stay with us. The evening was spent drinking beer, talking photos and GPSes, and generally goofing around. Good times.

On Sunday, David was rolling out for the second leg of his trip: 80 miles to Indianapolis. I decided to join him for part of the ride.

Read David’s post about Sunday’s ride here.

I ended up riding with David as far as Martinsville, and then turning back toward home. I had 60 miles for the day, on the Trucker, with tough headwinds and more hills on the return trip. But, I was glad to have a headwind, because that meant David would have a strong tailwind most of the day. Here’s a map of my route for the day.

In the morning, it was 40 degrees and raining — nasty. We went out for breakfast and relaxed for a while, and the rain subsided. We headed out.

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You can only sort of see them, but there were a few flowers blooming alongside the road.

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David was riding well. On the downhills, he flew well ahead of me. I guess the extra weight in his panniers pulled him down the hills at high speeds.

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David was using some new Arkel panniers. They are HUGE, and badass.

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Morgan-Monroe State Forest had some great riding in store for us.

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After riding down a big hill, we found ourselves on flat ground, with a tailwind. We were flying, for a little while.

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Before long, we reached Martinsville. We stopped at a gas station to get more water, and whatever else we needed. After this stop, we parted ways, he headed up to Indianapolis, and I was headed back to Bloomington, but I took a different route back.

My route back was hillier, and straight into the wind most of the way. It was quite tiring, and the Trucker felt absolutely dog slow. I’ve been spoiled, riding the Bianchi.

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What started out as a nasty, cold, rainy day turned into a beautiful day for riding. It must have been in the 60s later in the day. I ended up shedding layers until I was riding in just shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Riding relatively unencumbered felt great.

It was a pleasure to have David stay with us, and I’m glad we got to ride together, as well.

Pinhole photos

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Some of the very first cameras were pinhole cameras. Basically, rather than a lens, they have a very small hole that lets light in. The smaller the hole, the sharper the image — though smaller holes mean longer exposures. You can make film pinhole cameras out of very simple objects such as matchboxes and oatmeal cans. But then you have to deal with the film, which pretty much requires using a darkroom.

Since I don’t have access to a darkroom, a few years ago, I created a pinhole “lens” for my DSLR. It’s very simple to make one. This article explains it, though I actually left some of these steps out. I took a few shots but never really did much with it. Part of the problem was, my pinhole lens wasn’t great.

Recently, I got interested in pinhole photography again and decided to make a new “lens.” I probably did a worse job this time. I have some ideas on how to improve on it, but the biggest problem was, I accidentally poked two holes instead of one. The result is an odd double-image effect. In some cases it’s interesting, and in some cases it ruins the shots.

I poked a hole in a small piece of aluminum foil with a needle, basically as small a hole as I could make. My exposures ranged from about 1-30 seconds. This requires a tripod, of course.

Here are a few photos that I think turned out to be interesting. These are just from a walk around our neighborhood.

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A few images had this rainbow light streaks across them. I think that I need to sand the hole after I make it, and put black marker on it to reduce reflections (both were steps I skipped from the article). Although the effect is actually sort of interesting, sometimes.

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Here’s where things started getting a little more abstract. As I walked home, I started shooting and moving the camera around while I did.

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The next shot is the sky. I know it’s just a big blue box, but I love the color.

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For this next shot (and some other similar ones I’m not posting), I had the camera on the tripod, held the tripod out, and spun around with the camera pointed at the sky, hitting the shutter button, until I was too dizzy to continue. The streak of light is the sun.

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Here’s another abstract. Subtle, but I like the tones in this image.

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