Starting Again

Does soccer really ever end? Fall season, tournaments, winter training, spring season, state cup, tournaments, tryouts, a month off. Then practices, tournaments, new season…  To answer my own question–not really.

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Flat Trackin’

In the name of trying to better myself and grow as a photographer, I have found myself in some odd places this summer. From standing in the mosquito infested woods shooting grass roots mountain bike racing on a Thursday night; to the stands of a rodeo at the Isabella County Fair; to most recently, trackside at a flat track motocross race at the Polka Dots Motorcycle Club on the outskirts of Midland, Michigan. All of the events posed a variety of challenges to me as a growing photographer, and they were all entertaining to shoot and to spectate. 

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Saved With Black & White?

Over the past two weeks, I made the 20-minute drive south to Alma, Michigan to shoots some photos at the Thursday Night Alma Mountain Bike Time Trial. For most of the first race I had some success, finding a spot in the woods with enough light to capture the action without getting too high in the ISO department. A week later I was not so lucky. I tried a different location and found myself fighting with the light (and the mosquitos) and shooting at a super high ISO. It felt like a huge waste of my time.

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Salvaging A Ride

My ride this past Wednesday was extremely lackluster. I didn’t eat a proper breakfast (a hard boiled egg, coffee, and some almonds), and my legs were just dead. The air was thick, the sun was hot, and I had nothing. I thought that the initial mile of climbing would wake my legs up, but it only served to make it feel worse.

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At The County Fair

For just the second time in my life, I found myself at a county fair. I really dig seeing all the pigs and the cows up close and not caked with mud and bodily excrement that I normally see them caked in while I’m out riding on the dirt roads. These show animals are amazingly cared for and it was cool to mingle amongst them and see them being fed, brushed, and even shaved by their caretakers.

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A Dinner at Gino’s

This post is a little bit a lot different from what I normally do here. There are no bikes, hikes, woods, critters, gravel roads, or miles–junk or otherwise–involved here. There are photos though.

My family and I recently did an overnight trip down to Grand Rapids to celebrate a week that included my 46th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary. My wife got us a swank hotel room for free with some hotel points accrued through her business travels, I got us some tickets for a Grand Rapids FC match, and we set out for a quick 24 hour trip with our son.

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A Wetland Walk

My son had to help out with a coaching clinic that his soccer club was putting on this past Saturday morning and I was in charge of getting him to and from. The complex is 45 minutes away from home and it didn’t make sense to make all those trips back in forth, so I figured I would just find a way to kill some of those four hours.

My plan was to drive down the road to the Chippewa Nature Center to hike around in the mist with my camera. The temperatures were nice and I got a few miles of hiking walking in before the rain got too steady and forced me to the car. The cooler summer temps and rain felt great, but it also made the mosquitos unbearable. I was covered from head to toe in layers of bug spray and still got a ton of bites.

I walked a little over three miles and despite taking a ton of photos I really didn’t feel like I came away with anything. In fact, as I was heading back towards my car, I passed a couple walking. They asked me if I got any good shots and I said: “No, nothing too good today.” Then later that day as I processed the photos I found myself thinking that I actually got some pretty good shots in just a couple of hours, in some less than ideal conditions.

Here is a look at some of the shots I got that morning as I enjoyed some forest bathing… I mean hiking in the woods.

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At The Races

As my love of photography (some might say picture taking) continues, this summer I have tried to get out and shoot some races. In some cases I did it to earn a few dollars, in other cases such as my recent trip down to Alma to shoot the low-key Thursday night MTB time trials, I did it for the practice and a want to help promote the series in which my LBS is one of the prime supporters. 

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2017 Sweat Shaker Photos

I drove up to the trails at Mid Michigan Community College on Saturday and spent a few hours taking photos of the 2017 Sweat Shaker XC Mountain Bike Race. I’m still in the process of editing the 300+ images but have uploaded about half of them to the Junk Miles Media Smugmug site for purchasing (if you desire). The rest will be added in the next 48 hours.

In the coming days, I’m sure I will be posting up some of my favorite images from the race. Looking forward to getting to more races this summer, and more importantly getting back up to MMCC to actually ride my bike!

Thanks for looking.

Some Recent Faves

It’s been a busy summer thus far, but thing thins are starting to settle down and I’m getting into a rhythm of riding, shooting, and hopefully more posting here. Remember, if you dig what you see on this site, you can always follow me on Instagram @thesoiledchamois.

For now here is a batch of some of my favorite shots from the past few weeks, some of which (like the green wheat above), were taken with my new Nikon D500. Most of the others were taken with my go to on bike camera, the Fuji X-T1. 

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