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Beard of Zeus Faves

The act of actually racing my bike gets further and further away from my mind, as the act of photographing races gets further and further a part of reality. With that in mind I drove up to Traverse City this past Saturday to shoot some photos at the 2017 Beard of Zeus race. The race was the Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series finale, and the 90 minute cyclocross-like format really lends itself to moving around the course and catching the action in various locations.

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Fat Nats in Black & White

In the past I was never a huge fan of black and white photography. However I know what I like when I see it. In my own photography (picture taking) I’ve grown to accept that some shots are just better in black and white. Often the absence of color adds to the drama and feel of a photo. Because of that I continue to work on finding my own style when it comes to black and white.

I was really happy with some of the photos I took at Nats, yet I couldn’t stop tinkering with a few, working to find the look I wanted for the shots in black and white. Some of these photos you would have seen in my first post after Nats, but I’ve included them again because I tweaked them to get a consistent look to my black and white processing.

Thanks for looking.

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Rural Textures

Texture is of course the way an object feels to the touch. A texture can also be an image, element, or design used in Photoshop, or other imaging program, to add a dimension or look to a photo or illustration. I use the term “texture” here in reference to the various materials, surfaces, patina, abstract geometry and designs seen on many of structures that I ride past here in rural Michigan.

I’ve always been intrigued with the shear amount of grungy textures just one building can offer, and over the past couple years have found myself attempting to capture that as best I can.

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The Return to Dirt (Roads)

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With the Thanksgiving holiday behind me, I turned my attention to getting back on the bike on Sunday to ride some dirt roads south of Junk Miles HQ. The temps were cool, it was overcast, misty and foggy, and the roads were in crap condition from some recent rain and snow. In other words it was awesome.

For the ride I took my Fuji X-T1 and the 55-200 lens. The 55-200’s focal range is a bit limited for close ups and landscapes but comes in handy for just about everything else. In a perfect world I would use the 18-135mm but that’s not in the budget right now, which is a shame because many places have it on sale right now.

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And Back To Soccer

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Earlier this week I went to a Mt. Pleasant High School soccer match with the goal of getting some photos to post on the MP Soccer Club website that I created last year and continue to maintain for them. My son Brennan played six seasons (3 years) with the club, and while he no longer plays for them–having moved on to play on a premier team with another club–I continue to lend a creative hand since I want to see the game grow here in our town, and I feel a debt of gratitude to the club for getting him hooked on “the beautiful game.”

Many of the boys that play for the high school in the fall also play for the club in the spring (with the high school girls playing club soccer in the fall), so the club tries to support the high school teams and vice versa.  I also went with the goal of working on my “picture taking.”

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Winter Rambling

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After a November and December that looked as if winter might be choosing to bypass Michigan, the new year has already brought some decent snow fall. Not enough to satisfy my cross-country skiing friends, not sure there’s ever enough for them, but enough to allow those of us with access to girthly wheeled fat bikes to enjoy riding over snowy fat bike trails in the woods or, in this case, on snow packed dirt roads (also knows as snirt roads) that surround many small towns in rural Michigan like mine.

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Winter & The In Between

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The first of the year brought snow and good fat biking conditions in the woods. That was soon followed by warming temperatures, ice, rain and fog. Trail conditions took a turn for the worse and the dirt roads became covered with mud, ruts and long solid sheets of ice. Not to be deterred from riding altogether I changed my fat bike tires over to the studs and squeezed a couple of rides in. I also was able to get out for quick road ride on my cross bike before another round of snow moved in the night before last.

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