Today, Wednesday, 9-9-09, I received a question from one of the viewers to North Texas Bikers. I hadn't really thought about what he asked before, but I will respond with a post as his question may be the same one many other viewers may be thinking. So, scroll down and I will do my best to answer why I do things the way I do. The only pic on this particular post to click on & make bigger is the flyer below of the Fun Run we are putting on here on Sept. 19, 2009.
I received an email from an a.k.a of "The Vermont Mad Biker". He said in part " JOHN, I have been looking at the North Texas Biker blogs and they are good blogs but your photography is lacking. Have you considered getting a decent camera and maybe getting some professional advice on how to take a proper photo".
For starters, back in the early 70's I took courses from the School of Modern Photography in New York City. I know how to take professional quality pictures. Trouble is, I am not a professional photographer on a bike, I am a biker on a bike who happens to carry a camera.
The drink holder on my handlebars is where I put my camera, not my drink. My bottle drink, I wedge between the bars & windshield. My camera is a little Kodak EasyShare C813, which runs about $120 at the local Wally World, that I got for $59 off of Woot.com. It runs on rechargeable batteries and can accept memory cards. I currently keep a 2 gig memory card in it and although the camera is an 8.3 MPX, I take my pics at 3.1 mpx. This is so I can get 3700 pics per memory card
Why I use this camera is: I do 90% of my picture taking on the bike at speeds of 70 mph or greater, one handed and usually riding with many others in a staggered formation. I can take pics with this camera wearing riding gloves, fingerless gloves, or barehanded. So, far, wearing gauntlets in cold weather have been my only obstacle. I get around that by wedging the hand between my leg & gas tank and removing the gauntlet. I then take the desired picture, put the camera back in the cup holder and then put the glove back on. A little cold at times, but it works for me.
This would be impossible to do with a larger Nikon, Cannon or whatever make of 35mm or digital "professional" camera you'd choose. And this is for several reasons. First off, it is dangerous enough doing this one handed in formation at speeds. To use the larger camera would take a rider to the no handed position, and, in my humble opinion, only a fricken idiot would do this. I would not do this because: A. The riders in the formation would not tolerate it and, B. I would not put ANY of my biker brother or sisters in any danger by attempting this. I have the art of one handed, high speed picture taking down from lots of experience, but even on those days of high winds & crosswinds, for safety reasons, I refrain on the picture taking. I want NO injury or death on my conscience because I had to have that one picture.
Now, if you have one of those "professional cameras" and want professional grade photo's, I might suggest packing a passenger who knows how to take pics and let them do the photo taking. That way you wouldn't risk dropping that $800 or more camera while getting it in the picture taking position while going no handed at speed on your bike, and it would more than likely save your dumbass from some serious road rash or death. I get a death grip on my camera before getting it totally out of the drink holder so I don't drop it. But if it ever happens and I do drop it, I can retrieve my memory card and go get another $59 digital camera. Where I come from, money doesn't grow on trees and I would be hard pressed to replace another $800 or more camera and a possible motorcycle or two. I may not be very smart but I do have an extreme amount of common sense that has kept me alive most of my years.
But, I have to thank you, Vermont Mad Biker, for giving me food for thought. I am considering a better digital camera for in the saddle bag, when we do our food/rest stops. Maybe I can get some better quality, professional style pics of the brothers & sisters in the food places or on bathroom breaks. Gonna love seeing those in "professional quality". Ride Safe bro, and however YOU take YOUR pics out there on the East Coast, be safe doing it and remember: it's all fun & it's all good.
That will conclude this post. I enjoy all the comments & email I get from everyone. This blog may be done by me, but it is all of you that makes it happen, thus this is every body's blog.
Scroll down for more rides, events & posts and don't forget to click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of EACH page for more rides and posts. Check out North Texas Bikers (1) at http://www.jjskewlstuff.blogspot.com/ for rides, events & posts from January 08-November 08. and North Texas Bikers II at: http://www.jjskewlstuffii.blogspot.com/ for rides, events & posts from Nov. 08-July 09. Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, ride safe, keep the rubber on the road & pray for our Troops & Pattie & Manuel................JOHN
THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO ALL BIKERS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND WORLDWIDE. TO ALL THE VETERANS; THOSE LIVING AND TO THOSE WHO GAVE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE; TO THOSE CURRENTLY SERVING AND TO THOSE IN THE FUTURE, WHO WILL SERVE LONG AFTER WE HAVE GONE, TO PRESERVE THE FREEDOM THAT THOSE IN THE PAST, WE IN THE PRESENT AND THOSE IN THE FUTURE HAVE ENJOYED, ARE ENJOYING AND WILL ENJOY, AS WE RIDE FREE AND ENJOY LIFE ON OUR CHOSEN MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: MOTORCYCLES.
NORTH TEXAS BIKERS III
NORTH TEXAS BIKERS III