My Spring Wildflower Ride

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taosports
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My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby taosports » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:13 am

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Spring is one of my favorite times of the year to go riding so this past weekend, I took my camera for a ride. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Near my home is this red barn that I often ride by. In the spring, the red contrasts beautifully with the green of the hills and the vibrant yellow of the mustard. (Insert Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" tune here)
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I passed an almond orchard in full bloom and as I stopped for a closer look at the blossoms, this honeybee was making her rounds busy as a you-know-what collecting pollen on her hind legs.
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Overhead, this red-shouldered hawk gave me a wary eye as he flew away. If looks could kill... :shock:
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The poppies were out in full bloom in shades of vibrant yellow and orange. Beautiful flowers that in my neck of the woods always signal the approaching spring. It's no wonder they are California's state flower.
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This hillside was full of poppies that almost looked red...on top was an old oak with boughs of mistletoe.
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This road is just 45 minutes from my doorstep...40 if I'm feeling frisky. :evil:
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There are 3 other curves identical to this one on this road. :D :D :D
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The great weather brought everyone out on their bikes including these Harley riders. I smiled and waved...they did not.
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Blankets of wildflowers painted the oak-studded valleys. Wish I could have identified them, but that would have meant trespassing on private property.
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But these flowers were accessible, allowing a close up view to marvel just how beautiful nature can be. Do you think those friendly Harley riders noticed?

Golden violet
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Lupine
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Buttercup
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Indian paintbrush
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Shooting stars
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Every good ride must come to an end so as the sun was setting, I headed back to the red barn hoping to catch the low evening light on the emerald colored hills surrounding it. Was a bit late and the sunset a bit subtle but still, a nice, pretty way to end a ride. =D>
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Thanks for looking!

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sjbmw
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby sjbmw » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:34 am

Wow. Incredible.

You are the KING of desktop Wallpaper.

Thank you, I have a years worth of images to create office stoppies.
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mnnden
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby mnnden » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:07 pm

Great Pictures, I have tried to pick a favorite, but can't do it, Thanks for posting, Den
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awagnon
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby awagnon » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:22 pm

Certainly beautiful pictures. Thanks.
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby RedRider » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:41 pm

Great pics.Makes me look forward to Spring in my corner of the world.

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Buckster
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby Buckster » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:59 pm

Thanks for sharing....nice pics!
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cruiser
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby cruiser » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:24 pm

Wonderful photography of your beautiful part of the world, Michael... thanks for sharing and for bringing a little bit of sunny California - and its lovely nature - into my home today! :D

btw, how on earth did you take the first shot?? :-k

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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby DSKYZD » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:45 pm

Thanks for the reminder to stop and smell the flowers every now and then. Great camera work.

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GypsyRR
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby GypsyRR » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:46 pm

WOOOO HOOOOOO Finally another ride report from Taosports. It's been too long since you posted a ride report, Michael. Incredible photographs again!! THANKS!!! =D>

But......... ....... it's too bad you don't have the pretty Texas Wildflowers in California. That's the only thing that could have made your photos a little better!. :lol:
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby fj_pastor » Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:42 pm

Thanks for the report and for the pics.

They are incredible (colours, composition, light .... mood ... )

A nice way to appreciate, enjoy and share a world.

My compliments

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taosports
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby taosports » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:37 pm

Thanks everyone for the kind comments. =D>

cruiser wrote:...btw, how on earth did you take the first shot??


The first photo is something I've been wanting to do for some time now. I'm always looking for different ways to photograph my rides and when I got access to a device called appropriately enough the "magic arm", I knew that what I had envisioned could work.

This is the "magic arm" made by Bogen-Manfrotto. I use it to set up remote cameras in locations where I cannot be. It's infinitely adjustable and works like a charm. It's also expensive but fortunately, my generous employer bought it for me.
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It's clamped to the left passenger foot peg. This gives me that low angle I was looking for, and with a slow shutter speed and a wide angle lens, a feeling of movement.
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It's triggered by a wire that I have running from the camera, under the seat and tank and up to a switch on my left hand guard.
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I'm happy with the photo but I know I can do better so you'll probably see a few more pics with my magic arm...either that or a shot of what a camera looks like with road rash :shock: :oops:

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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby Boxer Briefs » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:39 pm

Very nice photos! I particularly liked the hairpin with the "wide angle" lens, and the closer. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby 1MPH » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:14 pm

Outstanding Photos Michael. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Where were you riding if you don't mind my asking. TIA, Jack
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r1150rider
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby r1150rider » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:42 pm

Thanks for the images of the magic arm, Michael. I was looking through the Bogen (okay, Manfrotto) site last week and saw that, wondered if it would work on the moto. Obviously, it does! My stepson and I both have ideas for some on-board video, I want more than the typical tank-top mount. And a great bunch of images, too- I think the last one with the "folds" of the ridgelines is my favorite.
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taosports
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby taosports » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:55 pm

Thanks Ed.

Think the magic arm could work with video - the only drawback is that when the arm is extended out away from the clamp, any weight on the end becomes an issue, especially when you combine any kind of speed. The camera can tend to bounce around - not a big issue with the still image but certainly one with video.

For my lead photo, I used the lightest camera I have - the Canon 5D - and with a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second and a speed of @25mph it all worked. The bike remained tack sharp while giving the viewer a sense of speed with the blur of the pavement. Had I used a heavier camera or a slower shutter speed, I don't think it would have worked - too much bouncing around.

Anyway, the magic arm is a fun tool to get that unique perspective. I'll be playing around with it further and will post more photos on my next little adventure

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taosports
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby taosports » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:57 pm

1MPH wrote:Outstanding Photos Michael. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Where were you riding if you don't mind my asking. TIA, Jack


Thanks Jack. Most of the photos were taken out on Mines Road and San Antonio Valley, leading up the east flank of Mount Hamilton - a great ride if you've never been.

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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby r1150rider » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:32 pm

The other issue might be vibration- perhaps amplified by virtue of the arm being extended. I would think it would have a lot to do with where you clamped the magic arm onto the bike, the rear footpeg subframe is one of the places I had in mind. But I would also like to fool around with mounting a still camera, just need to get a remote!

I've done a little on-board video with a "tank mount" and it truly begs for different perspectives. Just a static looking-straight-ahead pov is really kind of boring, for me. I think I can do better! Way back in the 80's a friend and I rigged the first on-board cameras ever used at Laguna Seca and also in some desert races, nobody thought it would work but it sure did... we even rigged a set-up at a Supercross for press-day video, the camera got crunched but we got the shot!
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby R4R&R » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:18 pm

WOW - incredible pictures! That series look like something from a National Geographic magazine, where lots of hours and photographers were involved. VERY NICE. (I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy.)
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby MikeCam » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:27 pm

Michael,

In the last picture, did you do any post processing or is that impossible shade of green natural?
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Re: My Spring Wildflower Ride

Postby duckdave » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:55 pm

Wow! and thanks for sharing the "how-to". I need to get a better camera.
Thanks.
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