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Serendipitous moments June 22, 2010

Posted by Bill in Photography, Reflection.
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Any photo shoot of a public place can get complicated when people don’t want their pictures taken.  While photographers have the statutory right to collect images in public places, the pleasure of the shoot can be quickly undermined by bad blood and misunderstanding.  To avoid that outcome, I generally attempt to get permission of subjects before they wind up in a photo.

Such permission I sought from this family, who by their excellent choice of picnic sites, wound up in the middle of one of the better angles on the Fair Oaks trestle bridge. 

When I approached them with my usual apologies, not only were they very okay being in the shot, they voiced concern that I might be in need of some of their chipotle barbecue chicken, it being the dinner hour, after all.  I declined, but only because I was rapidly losing my low-angle sunlight and I had more photo stops to make on this stretch of the river.  With shots taken, I was left much enriched by their warmth and hospitality.  Not only did it make my day, I am reminded of their warmth each time I see this image.

On the other side of the balance was the shot I took of a fifty-ish white guy on his road bike as he approached on the bike path.  As he passed, he muttered in as hostile a tone he could muster at 15 mph, “You don’t have my permission!”  That’s cool, and it’s only remarkable because he stands alone in my memory of hundreds of shots taken for this project.   In every other circumstance I was either waved to, smiled at, nodded to, or ignored.  Mostly ignored.  Frankly, he needn’t have worried, as I didn’t use any shots of obviously unhappy people.  They don’t make for good photos for promoting bicycling, so while I didn’t need his permission to publish the shot of him, he did not receive my permission to pollute this blog or the State Fair photo exhibit with his unhappy mug.  Ugly doesn’t sell.  I may dig it out when I do a piece on “grumpy old men on bikes,” but until I do, his dour visage is safe from publication.

Too little time – June 12, 2010

Posted by Bill in Equipment, Photography.
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My intention has been to regularly post the photography generated by the request from the kind people at the California State Fair for the benefit of the Pedaling to Adventure bicycle exhibit, and my blogging time has been overridden (pun intended) by the balance of life.  My apologies to friends who have been looking for promised posts.

Quite apart from this photo assignment has been the infrastructure of my ride, the ways and means by which it can happen.  Without the ride, there is no blog.  As mentioned before, my wife has joined me in this interest such that our life includes the bicycle, in in a form that gives me enormous pleasure.  She is the true foundation & rebar of my bicycle infrastructure.

Earlier posts have detailed the process of the ’08 Madone 6.9 coming into existence, with its debut last February.  bicycle madone 6.9I built this thing up from parts acquired through a number of sources – see those posts – but the combining of parts alone, without the finesse of experience, does not let one of these lovely bikes sing.  I have thrown together kids’ bikes from scrounged parts, and they worked fine.  What I did not understand was that the tolerances of adjustments in bikes designed to go fast with little mass were well beyond the instincts of a newbie.  A half degree on the angle of a derailleur hanger is critical.  Whodathunk?

So meet Brendan:

Brendan, at City Bikes Citrus Heights

Brendan not only did the final tune and handle bar wrap for my Madone, when the bike turned up with an annoying tick coming from the rear wheel, he cheerfully rechecked the tune, finding (and repairing) a very slightly out-of-true hanger.  This photo collection for the state fair could not be complete without due credit.  I already have a link to City Bicycles on this blog, as they have brought me great pleasure and security that someone in this town knows what they’re doing with bikes, and does it cheerfully and with passion in what has to be a very competitive business.  If you know City Bicycles, don’t feel you need to schlep into downtown Sac to get the job done.  Go see Brendan in Citrus Heights, on Greenback just west of Sunrise.

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