Thursday, September 24, 2009

All about Chuck: (Pefley)

Sort of an open letter to my new found riding buddy, Chuck Pefley One a day - mostly Seattle ( <-- click link) . I know how it is. Always on the taking end of the camera, but seldom in front. Boxes full of photos with pictures of every one else.
Recently we had a chance to get acquainted with each other on a ride to Vancouver Island.

(Chuck on his MP3-400, Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Tsawwassen, BC)

I have been taking photos all of my life but as an advanced amateur. Chuck has been a professional for over 30 years. He makes his living taking photos. I, on the other hand view photography as a large bucket to which you throw in money to keep it afloat. Of course, being in close quarters for a couple of days you learn a lot about the other person and their philosophies towards life and attitudes.

I learned that Chuck has a lucky Duck

(Good luck charm affixed to the front wheel of his Piaggio MP3-400)

(approaching dock, Swartz Bay, Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island)

I had been looking forward to my time with Chuck. We met a few years ago, I think at one of the Hamster Scooter Rallies down in Bellingham when he rode his Vespa GTS. I have seen his work at the Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA and if you have never viewed his work, I must tell you that they are stunning.

(Totem Pole, Patricia Bay, Saanich Peninsula, Saanich, BC)

Take a look at his photoBLOG (link above), his photos have lots of life and colour. I am sure he works some sort of magic on them and I was interested in his technique and equipment. I told Chuck that I intended to follow his every move, put my shoes in his footprints, put my tripod in the same spots and aim my camera in the same general direction.

A few corners later we noticed a rainbow, which is a good luck omen, so we stopped at the next viewpoint to get our cameras out

(Coast Guard dock, Patricia Bay, North Saanich, BC)

I have the photo of Chuck taking the photo which he posted on his BLOG
(<-- click link for Chuck's photo)

Like myself, Chuck always has a camera by his side

(Food truck, Jordan River, BC - West Coast Vancouver Island)

He doesn't miss a shot. There are lots of interesting things to photograph

(Marina: Port Renfrew, BC)

I turned my head for a moment and noticed Chuck taking a photo of something, so naturally after he stepped away I went over to photograph too. I was in covert mode hoping that Chuck was noticing what I was doing

(Chuck: Forest service road between Port Renfrew & Mesachie Lake, BC)

I realize that Chuck goes on a lot of solo rides so there are seldom opportunities to take the time for self portraits. It's not the most pleasing backdrop with all that visible clearcut.

Eventually we arrive in Cowichan Bay, where we decided to spend the night. Of course we had to snap some photos before dinner before we "lost" the light. Again I have an excellent spot looking over Chuck's shoulder

(Public wharf: Cowichan Bay, BC)

I quickly get into COVERT mode again


This time I am close enough to view his LCD Screen and manage to snap a photo for myself

(Boats: Cowichan Bay, BC)

I didn't like the way he framed it so I moved my lens a few degrees to the right and cropped a little closer. That's what photography is all about. It's about what you like and what pleases your personal eye

Finally we decided to pack up our cameras and have dinner at a local pub with a waterfront view. I asked Chuck to give me his best "Mona Lisa" smile

(Chuck Pefley, overlooking Cowichan Bay, BC)

The next morning we had breakfast at a lovely old Log Cabin, the Pioneer Inn, Whippletree Junction just south of Duncan, BC. We thought it was old but were informed by one of the sous chefs that it was recently built, perhaps 20-30 years ago but the bar was over 100 years old

(Pioneer Inn, Whippletree Junction, Duncan, BC)

Always looking for a photo opp, Chuck decided to park his scoot by the ornate chimney

(Chuck in action)

I snapped a quick grab shot and think he would have gotten something like this, perhaps cropped a little on both sides. Mine is unretouched and uncropped.

(MP3-400: Pioneer Inn, Cobble Hill, BC)

Now, I don't know what really happened. Chuck may have slipped on a banana, or he had some alcoholic beverage disguised as coffee, but somehow he had fallen to the ground. Luckily he did not drop his camera as I see it is safely in his hands



He was rolling around on the ground in perceived pain so naturally I had to lend a hand


We took a few more photos and were on our way

(Chuck Pefley, Wippletree Junction, Cobble Hill, BC)

That MP3-400 sure balances easily. We head north towards Chemainus, the city of murals and we find Chuck in action again. This time he has brought out his BIG camera, with the White Lens. This is serious work

(Chemainus, BC: City of Murals)

Aiming my Camera in the same general direction, over Chuck's shoulder method, got me this image


We were heading south on Cowichan Bay road to experience some of the local flavour when we were shadowed by this BMW rider on his new F800ST . He waved us down when we missed the signal light and was frantically waving at Chuck. We all pulled over and met Dave who had the day off and was just goofing off. He told us about this over road to Cherry Point that I had never ridden and said he would lead us all the way to the Mill Bay Ferry. When we got close to our destination he pulled into a local strip mall parking lot. That was when Chuck wanted to go over to the dark side and forget about scooters

(Chuck, astride a BMW F800ST, his dream bike)

Chuck is very serious about his blog and his Tweeting. We had some time before the ferry arrived and Chuck found a free spot on the ground, in the shade, to do his interneting. Lucky I had my internet stick with us

(Mill Bay Ferry Ramp)

We eventually found our way aboard BC Ferries to take us back to Tsawwassen. We are on the upper deck (of 7 levels) to find Chuck at work again. Active Pass is about the mid-point of our ferry journey and it is normal to pass other ferries in this narrow body of water


This particular photo op resulted in T H I S (<-- click link)

I had a great two days with Chuck and wished that we could have continued to explore. I think we have the same riding philosophies and daily regimen. We both take pictures and know when to stop or not stop. And while Chuck looks serious, we had many humorous moments. He's quite the jokester.

I love you Chuck and hope that we can do this again

(Chuck Pefley on his MP3-400: Port Renfrew, BC)


  1. Dear Bobskoot:

    For the record, I think you take great pictures and have a unique perspective that is a great asset to this blog. You have presented your readers with a rich tapestry that blends light and color -- time and time again -- with interesting text that is informative and highly humanistic.

    I hope it was a good experience for you, to look over the shoulder of Chuck Pefley... Because he was undoubted looking over yours when you stepped up to the plate.

    I hope you will continue to take us to the spectacular overlooks around Whistler and Squamish, as well as the fish markets, coffee houses, and bordellos of Vancouver -- from your own perspective.

    Still, it's great running around with new riding partners.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad

  2. Dear Bobskoot,

    What a fun chronicle of our two-day adventure on Vancouver Island! Thanks for the memories, the ride, and your sincere flattery.

    For the record (as Mr. Toad say's), I've no interest in that BMW upon which you show me astride ... other than the academic question so often posed by one such as I possessing significant vertical challenges. As you know, my MP3-400 had barely 800 miles on its odometer when we began our odyssey and my opinion of the scooter was still being formed. I will tell you that after riding some 2300 miles in the 10 days after leaving you in Vancouver, I am completely satisfied with my decision to purchase that machine. The ride is awesome.

    Also, just for the record, it was indeed coffee. The real story is that you woke me up way too early that morning and I needed a short nap -:)

    Thanks, Bob, for your kind documentation. You're right that when it comes to cameras, I'm usually the one focusing and not the subject being focused upon. A refreshing change and my thanks for your photos. We will have to plan another adventure before too long. One request, though ... please pay a bit more for your weather advice next time around.

    With my very kindest regards,
    Chuck Pefley

  3. It doesn't get much better than this. An accomplished photographer taking pictures of another excellent photographer, taking pictures of scooters and BMW's.
    I myself will admit to some fondness for that BMW. It's a nice size and looks great. If I ever take up touring, that might be the vehicle for me. But then again, that MP3 looks great also.

  4. Nice texture composition and lighting. You have more talent than even those brown-nosers riepe or cpa 1234 realise. I am your real friend.

  5. Very nice post Bobskoot. It shows two guys enjoying friendship with the common interests of photography and riding and in nice scenery. As someone new to the blogosphere it's entertaining and interesting to read.

    Thank you,

  6. Bob, thanks for giving us a glimpse into Chuck Pefley - I will have to check his work out at the Pike Place Market!

  7. what a fabulous weekend it seems to have been. thanks for taking us all along.

    and ive learned something. i need to learn about "internet sticks". hmmm...

  8. Jack "r":

    Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate comments from faithful readers, such as yourself


    I had a great time too. You are great company. You are the artist and I am the photojournalist. I have spent many years doing street photography on the east side of Vancouver.
    You should do an article on the strengths and myths of that 3rd wheel


    For many years I have surrounded myself with photographers, and familiar with their antics. Before I document anything I have a purpose outlined in my mind. I already decided before this trip that I was going to do a post on Chuck and the photos I took during those days only re-inforced my direction. I even told Chuck during the time not to be offended with what I posted as it would only be done "in fun".

    Mr Conchscooter:

    I consider you my friend too. I only wished that you lived closer. Being on the opposite ends of the continent doesn't make it easier.


    Common bonds give us a reason to interact. Whether it be through bikes, scooters or photography. Once we understand each other's attitudes and philosphies and find that we have similar interests then friendships are born.


    His "booth" is on the street level towards the west, nearly straight across from the original Starbucks Coffee (hint, hint) He loves his coffee

    Ms M:

    I look back on our days together with good memories. If only . . . it didn't rain so much on the first day. It was a washout for pictures, we didn't want to ruin our cameras.
    An internet stick is about the size of a USB flash drive. It plugs into a USB port and gets the internet using cell phone signals.