Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. MarkVeeMarkADV

    MarkVeeMarkADV sharing misinformation and useless trivia

    Joined:
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    Location:
    at the MA/VT/NH border
    yup,home for me- town has volunteer fire dept, one police car for the chief,no gas station or grocery or local bar and the recently built school
    is not to be re-opened. but it does have a water fountain on the common for the horse. or u and me.
    from Warwick,respectfully
    Sully
    KMichael and popscycle like this.
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Back Yard Was Bordering On Depressing: I took this picture one week ago when the yard had a little color left late in the afternoon.

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    Now that it's all brown and down, you can see and feel the first vestiges of the ill wind of winter moving in.
    KMichael, Shaggie, franken and 5 others like this.
  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bike At A Bridge: Below are pics taken at one of the bridges I cross when chasing trains.

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    Just over the bridge and up the hill is a triangular railroad junction where you can sometimes find trains waiting for clearance in one direction or another.

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    No trains, but there was decent color on the river.

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    The bridge was a part of a very good ride.
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  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Shortcuts Aren't: There are a number of shortcuts that I take while riding to and from places around the state. The best ones, however, are untraveled gravel, such as the road below.

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    Although a little hilly and twisty, you can make really good time down this road and I have flown down it once or twice over the past 7 years. Now, however, I have come full circle. The first time down it, I duck-walked a good portion of the turns, being unfamiliar and uncomfortable with riding on loose gravel. Then, I got faster - much faster. Now, I've gotten slower by often stopping to stretch and enjoy the peace and quiet. In all these years, I think I've only met one car here. In this particular day, I stopped on the bridge to enjoy the little stream, whose sounds shortly caused my bladder to wake up.

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    As a result of these stops, the shortcut usually turns into a "longcut" where I can easily loose 10 or more minutes instead of saving several. On this particular day (i.e., Oct. 22), I only stopped once and took all the pictures at this little bridge.

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    With some new 80/20 tires (probably in the offing this winter), I could readily tear down this road; however, I probably won't. The slow, quiet ride is just too nice. What some cruiser riders may find disquieting is that I like to ride down the middle of the road where the road is smoother and the gravel looser. Like tar snakes, loose gravel puts a little wiggle in your walk.
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  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Blast From The Past: I miss the days when it didn't rain so much during fall foliage, when off-road trails aren't mud and when there were interesting things to be found in triangular railroad junctions.

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    These days, it is hard to find anything on the tracks.

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    If I want to see stuff on railroad tracks, it seems I have to either wait around form something to roll by or ride to a railroad yard. In the fall, I choose the yard over hanging around some place.

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    Maybe as I continue to age, the aches and pains will make me more amenable to lollygagging around someplace. As best I can tell, better places to do that are the Rochelle (IL) diamond, the Horseshoe Curve (PA) or Ft. Madison (IA) and those are now car trips.
  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Comp Color On The River: A pic I took that gets up close and personal with foliage along the river.

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    I took this thinking it might make a good backdrop for some composed picture in the future, if not just a simple study of autumn color.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Silk Purse Out Of A Sow's Butt? I would have used "out of a sow's ear" however that would have been too tame for the awful nature of what emerged from various raw converters. The worst auto conversion was the return from Photoshop's Camera Raw. It was dark, dingy and way underexposed, probably due to the preponderance of (overcast) sky light, and not worth posting. Much less so was what came out of the DXO auto conversion, shown below.

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    Again, upping the exposure and pushing some of the colors could help the above image but it's still a dull picture that only a gravel rider could like. The wife looks at it and says, "Blah." Not wanting to ignore the image, I took the liberty of replacing the sky and giving the colors, contrasts and details a gentle nudge. Below is what resulted.

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    Having ridden this road many times in the past, the composed picture better reflects my memory of this spot. As a general rule, I don't compose pictures like this but this image needed it in my mind.
    KMichael, Shaggie, storyer and 3 others like this.
  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Color On The Road: Another foliage pic taken on Papermill Road.

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    I had gotten off the redhead to take pictures from the bridge.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    More Color On The River: Just another pic I took looking upstream over Millers River from the Papermill Road bridge. I managed to catch this one at or around peak color.

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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Well, If This Doesn't Suck! Looking out into the outback (our name for the back yard) this morning. This is our first snowfall of this fall. It could have waited another 30 days or so.

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    The white stuff is starting to stick on the streets. With wet leaves underneath that, riding in whatever can get nasty on secondary roads.
    KMichael, black 8, B10Dave and 2 others like this.
  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    What The Redhead Saw
    : The driveway view early this morning (just got photo converted).

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    I can't say that I hate it when your late riding season turns white this early but I don't like it very much.
  12. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Few flurries here today John but nothing sticking. Will be 13 or 14 C. Wed and Thurs. Planning to ride one or both days.
    popscycle likes this.
  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Chevy On the Levy: Pic was taken this time last year of nearly-hidden old truck in the weeds adjacent to the CT River.

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    Edit Note: The corpse got into the passenger side last night. It was a handful.
    red bud, KMichael, B10Dave and 4 others like this.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Halloween Worthy: This repost of an old place high up on a hill in Orange is worthy of spooky images, but I resisted the urge to put any ghouls, ghosts or dead bodies in the windows. The only mod I made was to make the sky a little more sinister.

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    I don't know if the old place is still there, not having been in Orange for several years. At the time I took this picture several years ago, people adjacent to this once-grand old house didn't know if it was deserted or not.
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Really Nice Bit Of Road: I took back roads out of Greenfield on my way into the Berkshires on one of the few nice days we had late last month. These are pictures taken on one of these roads.

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    There was one particular area where the road wasn't closed in by trees.

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    That last quarter mile of the road was paved

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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Finding A Good Home On The (Dynamic) Range:: An alternate title could be "Use It Or Lose It." This post could be a lesson on how to take really crappy pictures with a really good camera. I am pretty good at doing exactly that some times. I often get so focused on the ride that stopping to take a picture becomes an unwanted irritation to be dealt with as fast and with as little fuss as possible. As a result, I forget that the camera has a good set of mode functions other than AUTO, with one being SCN (Scene) - Landscape. It's easy to get to that mode - just one click of the mode wheel and one of the function wheel and, viola, you're there. Landscape mode does a better job handling the often uneven luminosity between the (comparatively bright) sky and the (comparatively darker) landscape for a better dynamic range. Forgetting to make that switch can result in a cruddy, muddy photo that takes a more work to pull a better picture out of the raw file. I forget to use that mode a lot. Below is such a photo with a straight, nothing-touched conversion from RAW of a photo taken in AUTO, rather than SCN mode.

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    The picture above, which came out of DXO, is pretty close to what you'd get from Adobe (Camera Raw or Lightroom). Looking at it you'd almost get the idea that it was quite cloudy and ready to rain or drizzle a bit. That wasn't the case as there was a good bit of sunlight coming through the thin layer of clouds. With AUTO mode trying to strike a balance between sky and ground, details of both were lost in the straight conversion; however, the details of both were in the RAW file. With a little work, I was able to dig out the details, as shown in the conversion below.

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    Now the above picture is closer to what I saw but the exposure may be a tad much and the colors in the hills a smidgen over the top. Although more pleasant to my eye, finding the right balance or dynamic range, color, contrast, clarity, noise, etc. is a challenge, especially if you're trying to portray an honest, rather than dramatic or artsy, picture. Such is the challenge of the amateur photog who values riding over fussing with cameras. There was a time I liked to mess with light meters, shutter speeds, f-stops, film, etc. A long time ago, I enjoyed walking the streets around Pigalle, Montmartre in Paris and taking pictures both day and night with a camera bag full of paraphernalia. I remember spending almost an hour making sure I got a good picture of the Sacré-Cœur at night. Today, I just want to enjoy the symphony of images that unfold from astride the bike with only minimal picture-taking interruption. To that end, digital photography is wonderful, providing you can remember to use the proper, easy-to-use functions. That second rendering above would have been more easily reached with a better outcome if I had remembered and used the camera's SCN-Landscape function.
    KMichael, klaviator, black 8 and 3 others like this.
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Color Of New Salem: New Salem, MA, is a small village of around 1,000 that was first settled in the early 1700s. Once industrious, prosperous and thriving, the town lost most of its land in the early 1900s to the state's largest reservoir (Quabbin). I rode through the town several weeks ago and took these pictures.

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    As is almost always the case, I later kick myself for not taking more pictures when I was there. While out, however, mind and body gravitate towards motorcycle rather than camera.
  18. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Great stuff John!
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  19. black 8

    black 8 motographer

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    Nice summary John...

    I shoot predominantly in aperture mode but sometimes use manual and shutter priority depending on the light conditions. I always leave it in landscape mode and use a circular polarizer to cut some of the sunlight bouncing off foliage and other objects...

    Like you, stopping often for photos sometimes gets irritating and takes away from the ride however, it's a necessary evil if we want to capture moments in our lives...

    Thanks for reminding me as I often get lazy with the camera settings when I hop off the bike...
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks for reminding me that I need to get a polarizing filter. Back in the day, I always carried one and there's room in the camera bag since it doesn't carry anything other than an extra battery and lens cleaner.
    B10Dave and black 8 like this.