I was asked to judge at the Idaho State Professional Photographers Convention, and because I didn’t need any equipment at this event or really anything other than a dress suit, I decided to ride my motorcycle. It was just shy of 800 miles round trip and I took some images along the way.
Due to safety, I couldn’t look through the viewfinder, and had to shoot one handed off the cuff, framing in my mind. I had slung my professional point-and-shoot camera over one shoulder so that I could grab it when I needed. I set the exposure manually (which is one of the things I love about that camera) and would swing it up when needed, and swing it back down after the shot, never looking through the viewfinder. Coincidentally, I have not cropped any of these images. I love how they came out exactly. Each is perfectly cropped as it is, and I love that about them.
I have not sharpened or blurred any of these images in post production. They are as I shot them. What is sharp and what is blurry is natural and only accentuates the images for me. The vibration of the bike in the image below works great, and even zoomed in the ground is crystal clear, and perfectly sharp, in a motion blur kind-of way. I love the sharp lines that the road creates, juxtaposed against the vibration of the bike.
I decided to process out these next two as black and white and really like them. In the first, I love the swoop of the clouds filling the negative space created by the mirror and handlebars. And the mirror just barely touches the side of the image.
And this broken sign was just standing like this with awesome cirrus clouds behind it, waiting for me to drive by and capture it. It’s the kind of thing you only see in small towns or off the beaten path.
There is a small grove of trees on the west side of the freeway, and I had one shot at getting it — no turning back. As you drive by, you see each perfect row flash light at you from the end – bam, bam, bam, bam, and then it’s past. This image showing one of those rows with the blurry foreground is one of my favorites from the ride.
When you’re on a bike, you’re IN the scenery. You’re not observing it from within the confines of a car, or looking at it through some frame. You instead are really in it. You see the road beneath you, you smell the fields that you pass, you feel the warm and cold air pockets, and you look around at great scenes like this that surround you.
As I got closer to returning home, the awesome skies made up for the colder and colder weather. I was trying to beat a storm at my back and didn’t want to ride in the rain. I was getting cold enough. But storms bring great, dramatic skies, and great skies make for a great ride.
I love the lines of these clouds. This was to my far right side, almost over my shoulder.
Getting closer now, crossing the border back to Utah. You can see I’m much colder as the temperature was now about 50º, which is especially cold with the wind chill of riding through the air.
And one last one getting closer to my town.
During my ride, I listened to one of my favorite books on audio, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” A book on neither Zen Buddhism nor on mechanics, it’s a philosophical book on a man’s search for Quality, Purpose, and the search for Values. I tend to re-read it every few years or so, and this time opted for the audio version while riding. It was the perfect book for the ride to stir my thoughts during that long solitary time.
I wrote about the same book years ago after finishing it again, and I wrote this blog post (for those who follow me regularly, you may remember it). In any case, the ride was great and I’m especially excited about the images that came from it.
If you are need of great portraits for spring, something artistic and meaningful like some updated family portraits, let me know. It’s a great time to get in. 801-728-3317.