Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Shooting up the countryside

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Years back, I got a Sears 34mm SLR camera in a trade.  I found out later that it was a Pentax and a fine camera it was, too.  It finally bit the dust, though, and the outdated camera repair guys in San Antonio said that parts were not longer available.
We went to a camera shop where our faces were known when we shopped for a replacement and came away with a Nikon FM10.

The FM10 is much like our old Sears, with a built-in indicator of under and over exposure, auto shutter and preview. Other than that, its a manual camera.  We were told that manual cameras would travel well in a saddle bag, while auto focus cameras and those with sophisticated electronics would not. The man was correct, the Nikon has been way down the road with us.

Since Jill often had the vantage of the pillion (“snatch pad” for you old school types), she became our photographer and has taken a lot of very good photographs while we were in the wind.  The wind itself could be something of a nuisance, though, blowing against the 35-70mm zoom lens and blurring the image.  While the camera is not particularly big, it could seem bulky between two people on a motorcycle.  Focusing could be problematic, at speed, and one-handed shooting was out of the question.  Along about 2004 we began to think about joining the 20th Century and finding a digital camera.

The digital point-and-shoot we’ve been using is a Sony Cybershot 7.2 mpxl.  On the day it was purchased, it was pretty much state of the art for that kind of camera. Its been a workhorse and Jill has developed a one-handed technique that allows some pretty snazzy photography even when she’s piloting her own bike.   Digital technology tends to become less expensive, in time.  The high dollar digital watch of ten years ago is now available, free, in a happy meal.  Recently, I’ve seen very good still photography and video taken with digital cameras that cost under $100.00 US.

Digital photography is, if nothing else, convenient.  If I need some advice on a repair, I can photograph the part in question and immediately post it to the technical message board or email it to my guru.  It takes a lot of guesswork out of describing the problem.  Preview takes the guesswork out of how good a picture was taken and you don’t feel like you have to burn up a whole roll of film just to get that first picture.
So, as you might guess, I’ve neglected the film camera.

Goliad Lunch 1
I didn’t realize how much I’d neglected the “real” camera till I took some pictures with it set for the wrong speed of film, forgetting that I could read the film canister through a little window.
I took another run at it but used film that was intended or low light instead of the bright sunlight I was standing in.

I’d taken the camera to the ill-concieved “Lagarto Burnout”.  As noted in my post “Blowing Smoke” the day was salvaged when I got up with Harleychik, and her friends.  Before getting in the wind, the ladies posed for some scrap book pictures.

The picture of Harleychik, like the others taken that day, looked grainy and underexposed. I guess the fast shutter speed didn’t allow for good color saturation, so I saturated it myself with handy photo software on my PC.
Photo quality aside, I think I captured Harleychik.

Goliad Lunch 2

She’s outgoing and confident, as were all the ladies in that group.

Goliad Lunch 3

After leaving Lagarto we rode over a wide spot called “Swinney Switch” and stopped at the bar.  It’s called “Horneys”, believe it or not, and is a page out of real Texas.

Goliad Lunch 4

After cooling down we were ready to get back into the heat and on the road.  I don’t recall the details surrounding this picture, but I doubt I was going for a close-up the fellow in the foreground but  I guess he’s good for contrast, though,  if you catch my drift.

Goliad Lunch 5

A positive aspect of using a camera capable of using different lens openings and shutter speeds is the ability to to have some control over exposure and how much of the picture is in focus.  This can also slow you down and result in missed shots. While I was focusing, someone walked into my shot.

Goliad Lunch 6

Notice the red lollipop in the rider’s right hand. I missed capturing her staring down the road with the candy in her mouth. It was one of those times you can see the kid and the adult in one person. She’s a good gal, though, and mugged for me when she saw I wanted her picture.



Written by fiddle mike

June 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm

One Response

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  1. I love Photography and Harleys….the females are always a huge plus.




    June 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm

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