Thursday, August 21, 2014

"License and Registration..."

Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Training Seminar

If you see one of these guys in your rear view mirror, remember they can ride better than you can drive! Motor cops from all over were there to hone their riding skills and on the final day, to share their skills in the spirit of competition.

I used to know a lot of these motor cops, but there are a lot of new guys – and gals – in the cadre. Still some familiar faces: some retired, some not. Luc, for instance, from the RCMP in Ottawa (forgive me for not posting his last name here) is the Staff Sergeant in charge of training for his crew. I made a mistake, joking with him "if you drop your bike, give me a heads-up so I can get a picture!" Don't be mad, Luc, I didn't mean to jinx you! But I won't publish the picture. That is, if you put a package of small unmarked bills... kidding, kidding!

This is one of Luc's group, in perfect control of that big 'ole Harley. A fun edit with heavy-duty tone mapping and some added warmth. 

But even he isn't immune:

When you push the edges of the envelope, sometimes you get a paper cut! 

This was interesting: it's an electric bike. "Zero" was there with a bunch of bikes for the motor cops to try out. Without a clutch, I can only imagine how it is to ride in these tough low-speed exercises. 

I'll leave you with two "people" pictures.

He didn't see the humour when I suggested he shouldn't do that while riding!  

I was there with my friend Lori who actually said she LIKES this picture! I'm flabbergasted. This is the first time she said she liked a picture of herself! 

More Flowers

From there I drove to Humber College where I said hi to my former motorcycle instructor colleagues and took an hour to shoot in the Arboretum behind the campus. It's a good spot to visit if you're a photographer, free access (unless you're shooting a wedding or something in which case you need to arrange with them).

My goal was to shoot some more flower images for my black and white series. I still haven't figured out the optimum subjects for that treatment, but I'm getting there. I'm going to write a tutorial on how to do this, and put it in an eBook format. Watch this space or drop me a note and I'll tell you when it's ready.

I actually shot this one at the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Minden a few days earlier.

This one too... 

This one was shot at the Arboretum. And lots more, no time to edit them!

Shooting Stars

As most of you know, I ran a 2-part workshop last month on shooting the stars. But the weather gods have not cooperated: there hasn't been a single suitable night for shooting stars since the end of June!

PS: at last night's camera club meeting, one of my students said I could count on him NOT to come out to shoot stars in February. LOL. However, I do have an idea that involves making use of an ice fishing hut...

A couple of nights ago, I woke up from a 'nap' in front of the TV at around 12:30, went outside and saw, "STARS"! I loaded up the car and headed out to check out one of the spots I had pre-selected for the field portion of the workshop, when and if the weather cooperates. I got out there, set up and sure enough, clouds started moving in, so I didn't get a suitable sequence long enough for stacking. However, I did get a couple of shots:

This is facing East. That's the moon coming up on the right.  Click the picture to see it better. I was going to brighten it up but it lost the mood when I did.

Zooming the lens while the shutter was open produced this image. And a little help from Topaz Adjust which is on sale for 50% off until the end of August. Click the link at right and use "augadjust" in the code field at checkout.
Boat HDR

Yesterday I took the boat out and shot this 5-shot bracketed group. The Topaz Simplify filter produced this "painterly" effect. 
Free eBook

If you're reading this and you haven't yet downloaded your free eBook on shooting Fall Colours, get to it! There are some early red leaves out there... click the "Newsletter" button at top right. If you're already subscribed, you got an email with a link to the eBook. If you've lost it, send me an email.

I'll be running a photowalk day into Algonquin Park around the peak colour season for the Haliburton Highlands Camera Club. If you've never been up there at that time of year, bring your sunglasses because the colours are so bright you'll burn your eyeballs out. Oh, and DO NOT come up on a weekend. Last year the stop-and-go lineup into the Park was over 20 km long and the outfitting store/restaurant was a mob scene.

This weekend is the PanAm Games test event at the whitewater, with the entire following week taken up by the Minden Invitational National Kayaking Championships. Guess what you can expect in  the next blog post?

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