Archive for the 'Photography' Category


The Weekend Everybody Smiled

Sep 20, 2012 in Photography

wpid-DSC_0093-2012-09-20-17-45.jpgLast weekend I volunteered as photographer together with Ginn at the two day Wine Country Ramble bike tour organized by Cindy, Scott and others.

This was a women-only bike tour with its ride starts at the Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua. Saturday afternoon after the rides featured a wine tasting at the Gardens and then in the evening dinner at the Culinary Center. Each day had different routes of different lengths. Saturday mostly on the west side of the lake and Sunday mostly on the east side of the lake. Especially the 88 and 103 mile rides on Saturday had a serious amount of climbing in them. But also the short rides on each day featured a few hills that had to be conquered.

Cindy had tricked Ginn and me into volunteering. She sends us an email saying “I’m looking for two photographers. Can you help?”. “Yes!” we said. Cindy told us we could take whatever pictures we wanted and then gave us a long list of photographic suggestions.

wpid-DSC_0185-2012-09-20-17-45.jpgThis was the first time this event was organized. About 80 women signed up. Some from this area, some from elsewhere in New York state, from Pennsylvania and other places. Some were experienced riders but for many this was their first organized bike ride, their first time climbing our hills, their first century ride.

Luckily, the weather fully cooperated. While on Friday there were some impressive rain showers, both Saturday and Sunday were really nice.

It was an amazing event to be taking pictures at.


Everybody smiled for the whole two days. Some of the smiles were perhaps a bit nervous before the start of the ride on Saturday. Some of the smiles became a bit strained halfway up the hills around Naples. But the smiles stayed nonetheless.

An important focus on the event was to introduce more women to riding, help them feel comfortable not just riding their bikes on country roads but also fix tires, how to shift and so on. For this both days there were several clinics. Trek sponsored the event and made very nice racing bikes available women could try out on a ride on Saturday or Sunday.

wpid-DSC_0417-2012-09-20-17-45.jpgWhile these were two long days (getting up at 4 am on Saturday, hello), it was a blast. Many of the riders moved their boundaries. Everybody was smiling. And everybody said thank you each time Ginn or I took their picture. And we took a lot. So much that I heard one woman proclaim, spotting me taking yet another photo, while climbing up from the Vine Valley rest stop: “Oh, all those paparazzi! I can’t live like this.”

Our photos are up here. About half the images were by Ginn, the other half by me.

If you want to enjoy more of Ginn’s work then please go here.

Rochester Architecture

Jun 25, 2012 in Photography

wpid-skyline-2012-06-25-19-57.jpgThis Saturday I took a break from cycling – well, not that I’m riding that much this season – took the camera instead and walked around downtown. The camera set to black&white and letting inspiration strike me where it chose. I hadn’t been on a photo-taking mission for a while so it was fun to do this again. Rochester has some interesting architecture – interesting as in beautiful, intriguing, weird and ugly – you’ll see examples of each in the gallery.

While it didn’t attract me specifically – I knew of its existence – I spent some time in the old subway tunnel. Yes, Rochester had a subway once ( The photos are from under the Dinosaur BBQ restaurant. It was quite intriguing – the water reservoir and the old tracks and tunnel – and a little creepy.

At the start of the evening I made my way back to the East Ave area where the jazz festival was just getting underway. Took some pictures there too but those are for a later post.

This trip’s photos are here.

Rush and Mendon

Apr 15, 2012 in Photography

wpid-rush-mendon-2012-04-15-16-25.jpgA blog post inspired by cycling but not about cycling notwithstanding the cyclist in the last image in this set.

Many of our bike rides are in this area. A few times we started from Sara and Billy’s place in West-Rush. Then, while we are riding I often see landscapes I want to photograph but I often don’t like stopping to take pictures while riding just for the taking of the picture – the clash between two hobbies. A few days ago there was a really nice sunny day. In the morning before going to work I put the camera plus tripod in the car and then after work drove zigzagging along the country roads trying to re-find what I saw during our bike rides. This is always a bit of a challenge: the much higher speed and the different point of view make it hard to spot the spots.

I was shooting for a while near the two farms on Quaker Road and River Road. A couple of young people were working on the land. After a while they came over. Am I from RIT, one of them asked? Apparently RIT has some agricultural projects in the area. No, I explained, we often ride our bikes in the area making me want to shoot pictures of the landscape, this evening had a nice low stroking light and so…

One shot I had in mind didn’t come together: the sun was on the wrong side. This is near East River and West Rush. When we got through there on our bikes at the beginning of our ride it is (early) morning. Now it is evening…

The photos are in the gallery.

Around the Public Market

Feb 26, 2012 in Photography

wpid-Tracks2-2012-02-26-11-02.jpgIn the eight years or so that I’ve been here I still have to visit the Public Market. Yesterday’s photo excursion doesn’t count as I was there mid-afternoon and so too late for the market although there were still a few vendors going strong. Instead the focus of the trip were the buildings and train tracks in that area. Combined with the strong winds and the drifting snow I was hoping that it would lend itself to photos with some character. Whether I succeeded you can assess for yourself in the gallery.

These photos were edited on my iPad with Snapseed. I am falling love with that app! Nik Software now also released a Mac OS version of the app.

To pick up from the previous blog entry, I found a new home to display the photos. As mentioned, Apple is discontinuing the MobileME Gallery and so I was pondering what to do. I do post on Flickr as well which is nice for getting comments and ratings on my work but I don’t really like the display options there – it is very cluttered. After some searching and browsing I came upon It has similarly nice presentation options as MobileME has (or had), it integrates with Aperture, it looks nice on iPads as well. So, will be new photographic home. Let me know what you think?

Yesterday and Friday evening were also productive times for another hobby: the web site for the Day Rides program, now renamed to Impromptu Rides: In two or three days time we will launch the new version I’ve been working on for a few weeks. And I made good progress on the Club Rides app for the ’12 season as well! I should be submitting the update to Apple today or tomorrow – a few loose ends still to tie up.

Charlotte at Night

Feb 13, 2012 in Photography

wpid-roofs-icon-2012-02-13-15-32.jpgYesterday evening was about the first chance this winter to take some snowy pictures. And, it being evening and all, an opportunity to continue my quest to take after dark pictures. I was meeting with Cindy later on in Charlotte to discuss the new features to the Day Rides, now called Impromptu Rides, web site, and so went over a little earlier armed with camera and tripod.

I’ve taken pictures there a few times before. It has a certain scenic appeal. I first hiked around the lighthouse and the (defunct?) train station and then up to the pier. There I saw that the snow and the dark clouds inspired photographic inspiration upon another couple of photographers as well. There is something about the snow, the fading natural light and the emerging streetlight.

You’ll find the photos on Flickr. As part of its move to iCloud, Apple is phasing out the MobileME photo gallery I had been using. Which reminds me that I have till June to through the blog posts and fix what will become dead links to photo albums…

Early Morning Photo Excursion

Dec 06, 2011 in Photography

wpid-Floating-2011-12-6-20-15.jpgOn my morning commute to work I drive down Empire Boulevard in Webster toward the 590 highway. It goes past Irondequoit Bay. If the light is right, that is often a beautiful sight making me think to bring tripod plus camera and stop to record this for posterity.

Not having done much photographic activity since the Boston trip except for the occasional iPhone picture the need to take the camera out has been slowly rising the last few weeks. The recent weekends became decision moments between bike rides and photo trips. As the weather has been pretty amazing for November the bicycle won until this Sunday. And even then it was a close call, the lure of a bike ride strongly calling because recently there has been someone making the bike rides even more fun.

As this blog post demonstrates the camera won for this morning. I set the alarm for 6 and managed to get out of the door a little after seven, in time for the 7:25 am sunrise. I wanted to try two locations: the south or bottom-end of the bay, and the northern part. The south location would give me the sun in the back stroking over the bay; the other providing the opportunity for back light. I decided to shoot in that order.

Another motivation to go shoot pictures has been my lens baby. I got it many weeks ago but – except for some quick indoor shots – hadn’t played with it yet. A lens baby has a twistable front section so that you can move the focal point around and at an angle to the camera. Wonderful distortions are the result.

The lens baby photos are taken in Tryon Park in Rochester. Many trails cross through the park; mountain bike routes labeled like ski slopes are. Even the green trails still looked tricky to me. The blue and red trails are certainly above my MTB skill level.

In the gallery you’ll find the outcome of my getting up before the sun.

iPad photo and blog workflow

Jul 28, 2011 in Photography

This post explores two things I’ve become more and more interested in: editing photos on the iPad and posting blog entries from the iPad containing those photos. In other words, do I still need a computer in between? is based on wordpress. They have a nice iPad app in which I am typing this text. There is an ever-growing list of photo editing apps. I use Filterstorm, Pixelmagic and recently also Nik Software’s Snapseed. For getting the photos from the camera on the iPad I use Apple’s iPad camera kit.

So far so good. Except that the wordpress app is not scrolling up the text as I am typing so this paragraph is disappearing under the keyboard. It seems I have to dismiss the keyboard, tap in the window to bring it back and then the app scrolls up the text.

On to the photography. I played with one image in Snapseed using its auto-correct, drama and organic frames filters. The result you see below. The original image is somewhere in my gallery and the difference is indeed dramatic.


Previously I would edit the photos in Aperture on my Mac then upload them to my MobileMe gallery. This is the one step that while possible is awkward to do on iPad: can only upload one photo at a time, and it must be to an existing album: can’t create an album from the device?

What about archiving? By uploading photos to my Mac they’ll automatically get backed up. I used to sync my iPhone and iPad with my Mac/iTunes regularly but I hardly do that anymore. Thus to keep an archive of the original photos and the edited results it seems I’ll still need the real computer.

But still, this quick exercise has shown me that for trips like the upcoming one back to Amsterdam I could travel lightly, leave the laptop at home and perhaps keep the images on the SD card and do the archiving when I get back.

In Flight

Feb 12, 2011 in Photography

wpid-inflight2-2011-02-12-14-131.jpgThis week I continued my hobby of taking pictures during airplane travel.

This requires a bit of luck:
– a window seat
– but not above the wing
– window glass that is not scratched
– no cloud cover or nice storm clouds

And of course a continental flight is a little more entertaining than flying over an ocean.

Wander over to the gallery.

Sodus Bay revisited

Dec 19, 2010 in Photography

wpid-sodus-winter-2010-12-19-11-00.jpgLast year on a sunny November day I drove to Sodus Bay for a photo excursion. A year and a month later I decided to see how things would look now. At least that became the plan. I started driving out from Webster along Lake Road to take pictures of what I would see there. But nothing really struck me other than the too obvious snowy christmas postcards. In part this is caused by traveling by car: you’re just going too fast and don’t really see anything. I prefer to walk (or bike) around then you see things that otherwise stay hidden. Thus I arrived in Sodus Bay village without having taken a picture yet and so made the theme of the trip the contrast with last year’s effort.

I am still on the black & white streak although I’m throwing in one color photo at the end of the album in the gallery. I just like very much what the Nikon camera does in the B&W setting.

Around Webster

Sep 26, 2010 in Photography

webstersunday-2010-09-26-12-031.jpgLast Sunday the sun was low in the sky, there were some clouds and a bit of wind. In other words time to grab the camera, put on the walking shoes and hike about the neighborhood. I moved here in June when the house was finally sold and so a Webster photo trip was more than overdue!

This album builds on the previous black&white excursion. I am falling newly in love with grey tones and I really like the camera’s performance in the b&w setting.

This trip I took off on foot from the front door of the apartment. At first the plan was to focus on autumn pictures. I did take some of those but as you can see from the album those didn’t make it in the final selection. Instead I let myself drive by what I encountered along the way.

Go to the gallery.

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