Have Camera, Will Travel: Canada to Argentina

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by peekay, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Mara Loochezarny

    Mara Loochezarny Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    KZ KG UZ TJ
    Nice! The thought came to me once - to visit these places. Dream)
    #41
  2. peekay

    peekay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Toronto, ON

    Great eye, BeemerChef! I'm using two DSLRs: a Nikon D700 and a D7000. I also have a point & shoot, a Canon S95 that is quite lovely for its size. Lastly I have a helmet cam, a POV.HD (which I haven't used very often).

    In the early days of this journey I was overly "ambitious" (read: stupid). Just riding to Argentina wasn't enough -- I had lots of "side projects" I wanted to do along the way. Such as populating my blog with travel photography tips.

    I overnighted in Bakersfield after my "coolant" incident. Luckily there was gas station near the Super 8 motel I was staying at: I bought some anti-freeze there and re-filled the radiator. My bike was due for service in a few days and I'll have the radiator issue checked by the shop. Next stop was Silicon Valley.

    Oddly enough, just as I checked into my hotel room in Santa Clara, I had one of my "travel photography tip" ideas (thanks for the segue BeemerChef). If you've ever tried to take a nice sunset picture from your hotel room, chances are it might look like this:


    [​IMG]
    Just pointing your camera outside might not work well

    What you get is tons of reflections from the room, blown out scenery, etc. The result would be even worse if the flash was used.

    There are some "tricks" to remove reflections like using a fancy circular polarizing filter, or try pointing the camera in different angles, etc. But an easy one that's often overlooked is simply to turn off the room lights!

    Combined with a longer exposure (best with help from a tripod), you can get decent results.


    [​IMG]
    Set for a longer exposure, just need to turn off room lights

    And just like that, you have a sunset picture from right inside your room:


    [​IMG]
    Look Ma! No Reflections!

    Admittedly, it wasn't the greatest photograph… I think I gave up on the "photo tips" idea after this one.

    The U.S. portion of my trip was closing to an end. In the next few days I planned to visit my Bay Area friends, get my bike serviced, head south to San Diego, then finally cross the southern border into Baja.
    #42
  3. BeemerChef

    BeemerChef Wandering Homeless

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,329
    Location:
    Living under the Stars...
    Thanks!!! I use an S-95 (of course now the S-100 is out!!!... more chrome...) for all my close ups and food photos! That camera amazes me!!!
    I have many Friends that use Nikon and as I use Canon "L" lenses (an I have no clue why! just started that way...) I truly feel that Nikon lenses are sharper!!!...
    Well, we were there about a month ago... If you are passing by Big Bend (Texas) let us (Spirit & I) know... Plenty of space, 4 fire pits, smoker, solar oven... and some great riding and lately incredible Sunsets. My SPOT can tell you where we are... You can cross near by, safe around here.
    Be well... always.
    Ara and Spirit
    #43
  4. Pray4Snow

    Pray4Snow Saddle Monkey

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    PK,
    Lovin' the RR ... keep 'em coming!
    As a relative noob to blogging from the road, I'm curious what sort of setup you're using for writing, compiling, and uploading your updates (software, hardware, etc.).
    Cheers,
    P4S
    #44
  5. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    936
    Location:
    Ontario, CANADA
    Great pics, keep 'em coming. Travel safe.:norton
    Daryll
    #45
  6. Hosebag

    Hosebag Difficult but Useful

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
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    1,116
    Location:
    Douchevillia
    #46
  7. peekay

    peekay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Toronto, ON

    To write my updates I just use a simple text editor called TextEdit on the Mac -- similar to WordPad on the PC. I process the pictures using Aperture 3 (plus Photoshop sometimes). After processing, I upload the pictures to Amazon S3 for hosting, but there are more convenient sites like SmugMug, Flickr, pbase and PhotoBucket. I've met a few riders on the road who are using Google's free Picasa editing software + hosting service.

    Hardware-wise, I'm using a MacBook Air with a few external hard-drives from LaCie for storage & backup.

    Take care,
    #47
  8. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,645
    Location:
    home again packing for the next one
    Thanks from me also for the info, appreciated:clap Slowphil
    #48
  9. peekay

    peekay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    When I first seriously considered embarking on this trip, my plan was to quickly head "south of the border", speeding through Mexico and into Central America. Many opinions on ADV and HUBB deemed the U.S. "too expensive" and Mexico "too dangerous", so quickly dispensing with both seemed logical.

    My plans changed. I realized that this trip is not solely about riding south. It's also an opportunity to visit old friends, some of which I haven't seen in many many years. Accordingly my route meandered from Toronto to Chicago, down to Texas, back up to Colorado, then westward through Arizona and Nevada. I did a huge detour but I'm glad I took the time to see familiar faces.

    It was now time to visit some friends in California and to get the bike serviced one last time before entering Mexico.



    [​IMG]
    Visiting Ellie in San Francisco

    Ellie's brother Ramon was one of my best friends back in high school. Their oldest brother, Dani, lives in nearby Aptos (beside Santa Cruz) -- just minutes from Ted Porter's BeemerShop. How convenient!

    I gave Dani a call and he answered: "we're going shooting, wanna meet us at the gun range?" D'oh, of course!!


    [​IMG]
    Dani having fun at Los Altos Gun Club

    Pistols, rifles, shotgunsÂ… we had a blast. Living in Canada, I don't get many opportunities for sport shooting; it was a treat.

    The ride from Santa Clara to the gun club in Los Gatos was pretty fun too, mainly because I took the wrong turn (despite the GPS). I ended up riding through a small, super-twisty road. Some of the curves were so steep and tight that even in 1st gear I almost scraped the pegs!


    [​IMG]
    Many nice roads to explore near Los Gatos

    My service appointment at BeemerShop was still a few days away, so I just chilled out at Dani's place and checked out the Santa Cruz area, including Aptos itself and nearby Capitola.

    [​IMG]
    S.S. Palo Alto, Seacliff State Beach, Aptos

    I headed to the beach and was bewildered by the sight. By the pier was the Palo Alto, a ship made out of concrete! The ship (a tanker) was built during World War I. Steel was in short supply then so instead the U.S. Naval Shipyard constructed the tanker using concrete. However, by the time the Palo Alto was completed in 1919, the war had already ended.

    [​IMG]
    Capitola at Sunset

    I really enjoyed hanging out in Santa Cruz and the greater Bay Area. Being an I.T. nerd, I've often considered moving to the area, but my few trips to Silicon Valley never really impressed me. Now I can totally see the appeal of living there.

    Tomorrow I'm taking my bike in for service & new tires at the BeemerShop, followed by a quick ride down Highway 1 to Monterrey Bay and Carmel, before finally, Mexico.
    #49
  10. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    878
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    C'mon Peekay, we need an update......:evil
    #50
  11. EmilianoXR650L

    EmilianoXR650L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Playa Azul & Zihuatanejo
    Estaremos pendientes del viaje y de mas fotos !!!!!
    #51
  12. Chiasmus

    Chiasmus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    San Francisco
    If you need anything while heading down through LA, let me know. Hell--depending on the day you're down maybe I'll cruise to the border with you. ;)
    #52
  13. Mister Richard

    Mister Richard Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Off Route 66 in Oklahoma
    Really enjoying the photos and narration. :clap
    #53
  14. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    Looks to me like his last update was from December. Does he have a website he is updating? Has anyone heard from him and know if he is still riding and OK?
    #54
  15. aDave

    aDave Lovin' Life!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    185
    Location:
    the Ozark suburbs
    Pretty interesting read on a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon.

    Love to see more!

    Dave
    #55
  16. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    878
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    I checked his SPOT link in the first page and looks like he is in Ecuador.
    #56
  17. peekay

    peekay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Apologies everyone! I got waaayy behind in posting. I meant to resume this RR after I finished the ride (originally planned for Dec/Jan), yet here we are in mid-March and I'm still on the road!! I have so much respect for those who are updating their ride reports in real-time!!

    Lots have happened since my last post (mainly good). I was having some beers with
    Radioman back in Medellin and he quipped "hey you're still in the U.S. according to your thread!" :shog

    It's time to re-start this thread. Thanks everyone (and especially Sunday Rider) for keeping me honest!!!
    #57
  18. =[BAD]=TEX

    =[BAD]=TEX Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Lindale TX
    Good!:jive We're all glad to hear from you! We were beginning to think you fell off the face of the earth!:rofl:roflor maybe......:flush:oscar:oscar
    #58
  19. BTL

    BTL No more snow!!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    St Albert. Alberta Canada. IBA Member 50093
    Wow great posting...I really enjoyed this and look forward to more...:D
    #59
  20. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    878
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    Excellent Peekay glad you are well. Post when you can, life on the road is tough enough.

    On your SPOT page it has the finish date as March 31, 2012. Does that mean it will not update past that date?

    Keep well.
    #60