Desert Ramble – The People!

After a week of exploring the desert southwest with 9 others and after 17 hours of driving, I am back in MN. I left the desert tired & inspired and returned to snow. Crazy. Yet, even with snow I can’t curb my enthusiasm for this past trip. While it didn’t go as planned, it took its own life and it went perfectly as it should. That is what “ramble” means to me….Let’s see where we can go and what can we do even if it isn’t what we intended when we started out.

Some of my regular followers know I’ve been bike touring for 20+ years now. In some form or fashion I’ve taken a camera with me on all these trips. Some of you may even know my style of shooting and documenting these trips. I hope that my imagery below may surprise you a bit. I intentionally did things different on this trip.  Why?

Well, I knew the talent on this trip from Cass, Eric, Erik, Glenn, Bobby, Tim, & JB. I also knew the other folks would be shooting too. I knew they’d capture the big moments and that I would be challenged to take better shots than them. Instead, I challenged myself to look at this trip differently and to find a way to show something new about these trips that others don’t seem to fully focus on, the people. My whole desire and intent for photography on this trip was to show the people. I also captured other things and images in my regular style, but for this trip, I wanted to try something different. After all, it is the people that do these things and inspire me/us!

For this project, I wanted to do two things. Tell the truth with portraits of everyone with their gear AND try to get at some of the emotional parts of bikepacking and touring. It isn’t always roses. So….At the beginning of the trip I had them write down what they were feeling before the start. One word. Picture. Phrase.  Whatever. Then on the last night out around a fire, I had them write down what they were feeling now. And while much like the route didn’t turn out as planned or go perfect, this photo project isn’t perfect either. But…in the end, it turned out even better than I could have imagined.

A few details for the camera geeks. I shared my camera gear in the previous post but I will give you a few more details here. I shot all the bike portraits with the 30 year old 90mm f2.8 Elmarit. I shot it wide open. They are soft but that is intentional. I also see a little fogging from the moisture but again, with a focus on the truth and finding pictures that tell stories, I went with it. All the postcard shots were focused on the card, not the people, and shot with my 30 year old 35 f2 (a truly incredible lens).

So…With that, please meet the crew. Sincerely thanks to all my friends that made this trip special and let me take pics and shared a bit of what they were thinking and experiencing.  Hope you enjoy.  I’ll be back later in the week with more images from the route as well as some other words and insights from the experience.

Glenn Charles – The Traveling Vagabond

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Tim Lucking – Works at Gates Carbon Drive

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Eric Benjamin – The Adventure Monkey

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Bobby Wintle – District Cycles proprietor and Landrun 100 Promoter

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Lelan Dains – DK 200 Promoter

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Jim Cummins – DK 200 Promoter

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J Brady Moore – JB Camera Designs Proprietor

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Erik Mathy – An IT wiz and Sometimes Photographer & film shooter

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Cass Gilbert – While Out Riding

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ME! – Well…I didn’t take any self portraits but the postcard said “free and inspired” and here is my Surly ICT @ Dewey Bridge.


Thank you all. Stories and pics to come…..

8 thoughts on “Desert Ramble – The People!

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