Eurobike 2015 – Have bike. Will travel.

It’s been a few weeks and I am finally getting back around to going through my Eurobike images and thoughts. I am not going to write too much about bikes other than share my favorite bike of the show. It’s a looker for sure and represents a trend I suspect you will see for the coming years.

But before I get to pictures, let me talk a little bit about Eurobike. It’s the biggest and best industry tradeshow in the world. Unlike Interbike, held in the armpit of hell called Las Vegas, it is held in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Friedrichshafen is on the beautiful Lake Konstaz and the lake boarders Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The lake itself has a very popular bike route around the lake of roughly 220Km that tours folks through little towns, beautiful countryside, farms, hop fields, apple orchards, wine estates and on and on and on. It is one of my favorite areas I’ve ever traveled.

My pre Eurobike plans always include a flight to Zurich where I build my bike in the airport, check the bike bag into long term “held baggage” and leave. This year I took the train to Romanshorn Switzerland and rode around the southern tip of Lake Konstanz and up to the apartment we rent about 15km from the show. All in all stunning.

For this trip, I took two cameras. The first being an old Yashica T4 point and shoot film camera and the second being a Ricoh GR (which I returned after the trip due to a glitch and manufacturing issue). Two tiny cameras. Here are just a couple of my shots that I love followed by a much larger gallery of images.

Solace on Lake Konstanz

Solace on Lake Konstanz

A room with a view - My rooftop sleeping quarters

A room with a view – My rooftop sleeping quarters

An evening in Langenargen, Germany

An evening in Langenargen, Germany

Sunset in Langenargen

Sunset in Langenargen

Kilometer after Kilometer of hops

Kilometer after Kilometer of hops

My trusty steed for the week.

My trusty steed for the week.

An evening flight - I held the shutter open during takeoff just to see what it looked like

An evening flight – I held the shutter open during takeoff just to see what it looked like

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The German countryside isn’t just hops, apples, pears and plums. Beauty is everywhere.

All in all, an incredible trip. I had a couple of crazy moments though. The first being a bee that crawled into my beer and I took a drink ending in a bee sting on my tongue. The other being when I got to the airport to fly home and I left my passport in the apartment I stayed at (many Km’s away). It all worked out and I got home after what could be it’s own movie of boats, trains and bicycles. But….I  made it.  Here are a few more pics.

Oh….And here is my favorite bike of the show. A Van Nicholas custom ti B+ (27.5+) with a custom titanium lefty fork. Wowzers!  So good.

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That’s a wrap. Onto the crummy Interbike Las Vegas experience…..If you can’t tell, I HATE that place.

The film dumping grounds

Recently, my desk at work has become the dumping grounds for film, old cameras and misc old photo gear that no one wants to deal with anymore. Honestly, I don’t mind one bit. In recent months I have been on the receiving end of a really nice old filter set, 35mm film, 12omm film, an old Yashica film camera, an Olympus Stylus epic zoom camera, and an old Holga. Sweet. Take a look for yourself!

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When do I have time to use all this stuff? Great question really. Given that I’ve been enamored with shooting digital these days, it takes special days and moments to bring out film. Not long ago I grabbed a handful of film and loaded an expired roll of Fuji color film in each of my film cameras, a Yashica T4 point and shoot that I carry on my bicycle and my Contax G2. I threw the T4 in my jersey pocket and hit the country.

I really did not know what to expect. I had never shot whatever Fuji film I grabbed. It was also expired. I didn’t really care but I must say, I sure had fun and the results are better than I expected. The old film certainly has some color variations to it (look at the blacks, or what should be black). There is also a purple/violet color in some of the blue sky. Honestly, I don’t care. It is a fun way to look back. When I look beyond the color, I see images with much more depth and more “feel” to them. I love it. Nothing I’d present or anything that I am super proud of, but good enough where I’ll certainly do that again.

Here are a few snaps of the day. Taken on some expired roll of ASA 200 speed Fujifilm.

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After I scanned these, I threw my Contax G2 into my back pack. I gotta get through another roll or two.

Worth waiting for – The forgotten roll of film

Well…..After 4 months I finally developed a roll of film that I started back at the end of February of 2014. When I saw the prints I was once again blown away. Man do I love film. Yeah, these shots below are not 100% sharp, perfectly focused or developed/printed perfectly.  Nope. I know folks can get that good with this stuff, but dang it, I don’t care. I could look at these pics all day because of the rendering and the feel of the image. I look at these images and I think maybe it is worth waiting for? Maybe my digital, wifi transfer to ipad/iphone, quick edit followed by a quick update to some social channel isn’t the direction I should be going. I love film. I love having images printed and on hand to look at, hold, feel and smell. I love that I can scan them quickly and get images that I think are just not replicable in digital despite my best efforts (I try a lot). I am considering a photo project where I only shoot film.

One of these days I need to delve into film/negative storage as well as print storage, but that is a story for another day. If anyone wants to comment here on how they store and archive their film, please do so. I need the help.

So what is worth waiting for?  Let me tell you.  I brought my camera last February to a party hosted by the folks at All-City Cycles. Given it was at the eagles club and prom themed, I knew it would be fairly dark. I loaded my old Contax G2 with Delta 3200 and put on the brightest lens I have, the 45mm f2. I took the following shots that night and since I did not finish the roll that evening, I ended up doing nothing with it. I set the camera aside. I finally developed those pictures after 4 months and here are a few of my favorite shots of the night.

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After a month or so in my bag, I also managed to take it out a few early spring bike rides. This particular day was cold, dark and rainy. Again, perfect for film and Delta 3200. It was a great day.

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Last but not least, recently, I headed out for a quick spin one evening and went up to Minnehaha Falls to see the raging water. Wow the water levels are high and the mass and power of Minnehaha Falls is truly incredible. Here are a few of my favorite shots of the evening.

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As I sit here looking over these images and remembering the moments, I can’t help but think that somewhere I may have gone wrong. Really. I am serious. There is a true pleasure of waiting for these. Yeah, I know they are not perfect. That is not the point of taking pictures, at least for me. I take pictures and look them searching and feeling for an emotional response. Film helps that and I think it is worth waiting for.

So….Two old film cameras loaded and ready for the coming days and weeks….Or months.  Who knows. This time I loaded some old expired film that someone dropped off at my desk at work. Who knows what I’ll get, but I do know it will give me something special that is worth waiting for.

My 2012 Film Project – May – Japan

I dug back in the vault today to look over some old posts. Partly for curiousity and partly for inspiration. This old post from Japan 2012 really struck a chord today. Hard to believe this trip was exactly 2 years ago. It got my wanderlust going as well as reminding me how much I personally love and prefer film photography over digital.
Anyway, I thought it was worth a second look. Hope you enjoy it too.

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I’m excited to share my May installment of my 2012 film project. I went into May with a great plan. I would bring my film camera to Japan and use it shoot some non work, street and portraits. I rented a 50mm Zeiss 2.0 lens to shoot available light only and loaded 5 rolls of film, 4 Tri-X 400 and 1 roll of Portra 400. I picked 5 rolls because I looked at our trip itinerary and thought that I would shoot 1 role in each of the key regions we were visiting and then have one roll of back up just in case I really found a place to shoot two rolls. Always good to have back up too.

Well….My plan didn’t exactly go as planned. Truthfully, it felt like I was carrying around a useless brick in my back pack. I just didn’t have, or take, the time…

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Getting back to my roots – Fargo, Friends, Coffee & Film

About a month ago, I wrote the following sentence in my Catching Up – Where Have I been post – “I just think it is time to start getting back to the things that are important to me”.  The list of things that of what is important to me is fairly short in all honesty. Of course my faith & family come first as well as being a good provider, a good person, and a good employee. Over the past year one of the things that I has taken a back seat is me. I need to take care of me.  So….This year I am setting out to change that.

While I may not have the big trips, worlds travels and personal endurance feats to keep me challenged, I do have my home land, open space and my imagination to keep me going. To that end, I have taken a few steps back so that I can move forward again. Things that I enjoy and need? My bike. My camera. My friends. My time.

On the topic of my time, I don’t have that much time so my rides need to be early, fairly short (less than a few hours). Recently I have been packing all the things I love in short rides.  Today I’d like to share a few images about one of the recent rides connecting my new Fargo, film, friends, coffee, and riding in the country.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much rides like this help me.

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Lastly, I shot all of these images on film (Portra 400) with a super old Yashica T4 film camera.  I’ll write about that camera at a later date once I get more shooting and more images.  Do a google search though, it’s a killer little weatherproof pocket film camera with a really nice Zeiss 35mm lens.  More to come about that camera in the coming weeks and months.