A few weeks ago during the heat of summer a few of us decided to go for an evening ride. We are all members of the Urban Riders, so we are an odd mixture of varying bike types. We decided to meet at the local bike night BBQ
There is something about a smoky BBQ which makes the hamburgers taste better. As we come from different directions we find that the BBQ is more or less in the middle and I do not like to ride with an empty stomach. I line up for my snack which consists of a hamburger, bag of chips and bottled water (all for $5.00 donation). As I am munching on my burger I walk around to look at all the bikes
Vintage machinery always catches my attention. I would love to have an older machine but then there is the problem with securing parts and going to swap meets, scanning eBay for parts. I used to have a classic car so I know the feeling of searching all over the country for that elusive part that you require to keep it running.
Lovely to touch but thankfully it belongs to someone else. I'll stick to something modern with fuel injection (and the requisite tachometer), of which this Indian is missing
It is nearing 8:30p and the sun is setting fast. Soon it will be dark so we suit up and get on our way. We head east to New Westminster so Jeff can get his bike
While we were waiting, Doug wanted to try sitting on the GS. He has had his Burgman for many years and has decided to purchase another bike. He was thinking that perhaps he should try a bike for a change for a different experience.
Tonight there are 4 of us: Mark (Kymco Xciting 500Ri maxi-scoot), Jeff (Suzuki GS500), Doug (Suzuki Burgman 400) and Myself (Suzuki V-strom 650). No one is willing to take the lead so we drew straws and Jeff lost. He decided to take us up to Burnaby Mountain
By the time we get to the top of the mountain the sun has nearly set
So here we are with our bikes parked in the asphalt parking lot looking at the surrounding trees in the dark. The Simon Fraser University has their campus up here and there are lots of security vehicles driving past wondering what we were doing. I say to the group that there are better places to hang around in the dark, such as somewhere by the water on a pier. Luckily there was such a place very close by so we headed down the mountain and east towards Port Moody
and plopped ourselves down on a picnic bench at Rocky Point Park
(Rocky Point Park, looking towards Ioco)
in the dark and talked for an hour or so solving the world's problems. It was a very pleasant warm evening and the water was calm. A perfect time to enjoy, with friends.
Some photographic thoughts:
While I have bulkier cameras capable of setting manually I have been using a small point and shoot which will fit in my pocket. It takes excellent photos but you have to be aware of its limitations. It is not very good at night shots. During the past year, for most of my photos I have been using a Panasonic Lumix ZS3 . It is prone to slight overexposure in bright light and is also limited in some settings such as Auto ISO. You cannot actually set the iso, rather you set the max iso and the camera will decide what it will do without you knowing. Also you cannot set the aperature which is a problem with night photography. The replacement model ZS7 now has a manual mode.
My Canon G10 which hardly gets used has now been dusted off and will shoot images in RAW mode. I actually found the setup disk which came with the camera and I have installed the DPP Raw converter which Canon supplies FREE of charge with every camera they sell which shoots RAW, unlike Nikon who charges for their NEF converter. It just didn`t make sense to have the right tool for the job but leave it at home and use something not suited for the task.
You may wonder why I am spilling my guts out with my photography thoughts, but I had been speaking to a fellow Blogger about photography, camera equipment and RAW mode and I thought that HE may be interested in my reasons for doing what I do, and why I purchase what I buy. I have to have at least one camera with remote capabilities for attaching a radio shutter release.
Last weekend I had a chance to ride around the city looking for places to shoot night shots. I have also had some inspiration from another photographer in Chicago who has been posting some of her photos on flickr.
(Astoria Hotel & V-Strom, Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC)
Canon T2i: 10 sec F:8 ISO: 100 18mm
(Granville Street, Vancouver, BC)
Canon T2i: 5 sec F22 ISO: 100 55mm