23 December 2021

Two years in the making

 There are some photographs that take me years to execute.

While most of my photography is opportunistic, some images are the result of a concept that I hatch and then let simmer in my mind until the right location is found. Often I scout a place and take a note of the condition and light, hoping to come back when the desired elements are right.

For a while I wanted to create an image that would showcase a motorcycle and capture the close relation of the rider that took the time to customize it his way. My riding buddy Trevor has the right motorcycle, and the right shed where he spends many hours tinkering and improving his motorcycles.

I waited for a clear evening, with the sun set and the blue hour illuminating enough of the bike and the ceiling lights balancing the interior. The production took only half an hour but I spent about 10 hours editing the image to create that feel of  "man cave".


Scoot and Putt

Nikon Z-5 with refitted Yashinon-DX 40mm f1.7 

17 September 2021

Creating, not capturing



To me photography has grown into something beyond the mere "capturing a moment" but more into "creating" one.

Manual focus lenses allow me to carefully study and compose by focusing on the very precise spot in the image. Older lens designs are often used to create the illusion of a mood, would that be by quirky bokeh, flare or other "optical faults".

Last but not least I find the manual focusing so much more rewarding than just pointing the camera and pressing a button, spraying a dozen images in succession to maybe get something.
I am no fisherman but the analogy could be like comparing fishing with a net and fly fishing: both capture fish, I just think one is more rewarding  😉


spider's carousel
projection lens Aldis 8.5cm f2.5



the secret dance
refitted Canon SE 45mm f1.7 (from Canonet)



painted with light
Meyer-Optik Trioplan 50mm f2.9




.


27 April 2021

 It's all about the light, that precious and fickle element to photography.

More so crucial to me when photographing in subtropical locations where often it's so harsh and crisp that leads to high contrast images. 

But now, coming closer to the winter solstice, it's softer, warmer and the sun lingers longer over the horizon before it sets giving more time to create a few softer images.

On a camping trip with a riding buddy.

sunset ride


twins at camp


first fire




18 February 2021

Away from crowds

Australia Day is usually a very busy day on the roads. 

A lot of folk likes to pop down to the beach and local park to get drunk, disguised for what they call "celebration". I am not a fan of the mob and even less the rather embarrassing scenes of some parties. I like to get away from all that.


Northern Rivers rural roads_c


As soon as I headed inland, away from popular spots, even the main roads were surprisingly empty. I like to explore and find a spot to spend the night away from amenities and noisy neighbors, a place that I discover by accident, not because an Instacrap post recommended it. Rural dirt roads don't always go through and occasionally I have to backtrack; that however ensures I get to see places that most don't.


ferntrees track


If am lucky, at the end of the day I find a spot on a creek or by the river, where I wash off the dust of riding on dirt roads.


washing off the dust


A simple tarp is enough to keep the dew off me at night while still allowing to be in contact with nature.

River camp


.

26 November 2020

Modern lens with an "old school" look

 In my search for a lens that would perform well (read sharp) wide open on distant subjects, as well as close-ups, I stumbled across a Chinese made lens touted to be usable even wide open, at a blistering aperture of f1.2. 

Triumph tank


This manual-focus only lens, Pergear 35mm f1.2, is rather new and there were only a few sample images that I could find online. The samples  were promising and since the lens was inexpensive I had to try it. 

Triumph Speed Triple


Now, I can get a native lens from Olympus is a similar focal length that is also super bright but it's way heavier, bulkier and needless to say way more expensive. 

river hour


The bokeh of this Chinese lens reminds me of some Russian vintage glass, where the out of focus areas are rendered with a "swirly" effect. That particular trait and the inability of holding back flare when direct light falls onto the front of the lens are the things I was looking for in this lens, that I often use for "dreamy" concepts when creating a non-clinical image.


in the grass



.

20 October 2020

Working on a moto-centric project

 A buddy of mine has agreed on working with me for a slide-show of discovering the pleasure of riding his motorcycle on country roads.


dusty road


For the last two month, on evening and weekends, we have been leaving the city and headed West, to the rural areas not too far from the city. The search for the vanishing dirt roads has granted us some wonderful moments.


ride to the country_c



gorge road


The conditions are always best at sunset, where the shadows are longer and softer, the light warmer and illuminating from the side. David is happy to pose for the camera and doesn't mind to do a few passes for me so I can frame him correctly. I use almost exclusively adapted old lenses to create the mood and look I need.


speeding through the grass_b_JX090216


.

28 August 2020

Urban motorcycles

I am not a big fan of urban riding with all the stop-go traffic and congestion. But admittedly there are some spots in the city that lend themselves as a backdrop for interesting images.

  XSR700 blue hour_b
Yamaha XSR700. M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8


Alex's CB650R
Honda CB650R.  Zonlai Discover 25mm f1.8


Keith's XSR_b
Yamaha XSR700. Kodak Cine 102mm f2.7



the touch
Yamaha XSR700.  Cosmicar 50mm f1.4  (C-mount)


bike and rider_bw
Yamaha XSR700. M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8


riders
Yamaha XSR700.  Cosmicar 50mm f1.4  (C-mount)


Benji
Benji. Cosmicar 50mm f1.4  (C-mount)

16 July 2020

Winter riding

Best time of the year to be riding.
I don't risk dehydration on longer rides when I get caught out without a hydration pack and I can wear my protective gear without overheating.
The lower angle of the sun finally gives me "European" light conditions where the sunset lasts more than mere minutes.

Winter grass
Adapted E.Zuiko 100mm f3.5 (for Pen-F system)

The light during the day is lower creating longer shadows and more pleasant contrast.


rural traffic



The air is crisp and dry with little chance of an afternoon thunderstorm to get caught in. But mornings call for a decent jacket and maybe thicker gloves.


K Break track
adapted D.O. Industries Naviata 75mm f1.3 (C-mount)



flooded valley
adapted Canon TV-16 50mm f1.4  (C-mount)


14 October 2019

Dodging fires

The land is parched, it has been a long time since it has seen rain, and yet I hoped to reach some green spots higher on the Main Range.
The forecast was calling for high 30's maybe even 40C but nights could be still crisp.
I headed West with a vague idea of where I wanted to spend a few nights, not sure how the bush will look like.

The smoke from a week old fire was still creeping on a ridge not too far away.

burned country

When taking a wrong turn I ended up on a dead-end dirt road where the sides were all blackened, some stumps still smoldering. The local rural fire brigade saved this wonderful timber hut from the flames.

saved from fire

Eventually I found my way out of there and headed South where previously I spotted a great place to spend the night. Away from any highway I was hoping for a stunning view of the lower hills at sunset, but the smoke was veiling the sun giving the place an eerie orange look.

smoky sunset

The grass was still thick and green enough to call that my camp for the night. At lunchtime the heat in the valleys reached body temperature, and yet now I was wearing a down jacket just as the night was falling.

dinner's ready


night spark


Vanilla joined me the following day. We rode some incredibly bumpy "sealed" roads but then were relived to find dirt roads were smoother than the paved ones. The afternoon sun became just too much to be riding in the bush. A great spot on the banks of a rather shrunk river (from the drought) where shade convinced us siesta was a better idea than pushing on. At the early camp we shared the afternoon with the an incredible variety of chatterbox birds, attracted by the flowering trees.

siesta


Northern Rivers

Sadly the temperatures rose even further next day and the wind picked up. The place was a tinderbox and fires flared up turning deadly.
Our planned route to explore some remote forest tracks changed to safer main roads where travelling at speed kept us relatively much cooler than slogging in the bush.


.

08 July 2019

The road less traveled

When I come in a fork in the road I take it.
I take the road less traveled as it gives me a different perspective to the predictable.


heading home

Winter sunset over the Scenic Rim of South East Queensland.


.

17 May 2019

Outback camping.

Long time sea kayaking buddy, companion of many expeditions, joined me on an overnight ride to the country. We picked the roads less traveled and in the late afternoon we ended up on dusty unsealed ones. We were looking for a secluded spot to camp for the night.

gravel road
Canon TV-16 50mm f1.4


commanding respect
Vanilla sporting that kind of look that commands respect, the face of wisdom.     Canon TV-16 50mm f1.4


Towards sunset we found what we wanted: a seldom used rural track that was a wide corridor of trees and short grass, with the occasional tree-trunk to sit on.

beloved bush

We were travelling light with tarps instead of tents for shelter. There was a light breeze in the air but it calmed down once dark. No frost yet but it is just a matter of weeks before that will happen.
Clear skies and no light-pollution from the urban sprawl; there was a meteor shower although peaking too early in the morning for me to care waking up and getting a proper look.

ideal campsite


.

14 March 2019

Vintage wheels

In a society avidly seeking Artificial Intelligence to drive our daily lives some revel in the counter-culture of analogue, where mechanical triumphs over electronic.
I am not here or there but I not particularly fond of machines making all the decisions for me :-)

the machine


On one of my recent outings I stumbled across a peculiar gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts that enjoy to reminiscent an era where motorcycles were a bit crude and needed much more input from the rider to keep those wheels on the road.


red Triumph




old and newer


It was an outing from member of the Brisbane Cafe Racers making The Gantry their destination that day.
In the mix of many shiny motorcycles there were a few modern ones but the emphases seemed to be on non water-cooled or electric-start engines.


polished


 Needless to say that there were many vintage motorcycles of different eras and purpose, from road racers to low-powered commuters to scooters. Some adhere to the pristine look of original unaltered style while others are happy to mix&match parts from several bikes.


chrome Triumph




tool roll


I felt a vibe of laid-back attitude permeating under the roof of the old saw mill. Some took the look of their rides very seriously while others almost seemed to mock them with unkempt beat-up sleds.


racing stripe




battle Vespa



The banter was friendly and the conversation jovial, and while I wanted to know more about this club I was overwhelmed by the visual feast in front of me. I was busy looking and photographing the bikes until time came that they had to move on to their next riding destination.


bubble visor




biker bitch


All images created on Olympus E-M1 and a refitted F.Zuiko 32mm f1.7


.