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)