Category: NY


Hi all!  I wanted to share some very exciting news with you.  I have been asked to write a blog for the local newspaper.  The Times Union has recruited me to write a Biker blog and share the biker lifestyle with you.

Please head over and check it out at the Times Union site and tell me what you think.   Let me first preface your trip with this:  The banner has the default text in it and I don’t have the controls to change it from my end.  So, I will be working to get that changed ASAP.

Thanks for stopping by!

Last night, a few members of the TCRPMG went to Washington Park to apply what they had learned in the Camera Basics 101 course led by John Iannelli.  I think it was a huge success.  While we were there, I couldn’t help but grab this shot of the statue in the fountain and the amazing sky he was facing.

From where I was standing, it looked like he was yelling to the heavens, perhaps asking for rain.  The texture of the sky made it even more appealing.  I was really happy that I had been there at that exact time.

At the meetup, we discussed how light affects how your image comes out.  We also discussed shutter speed and aperture.  The main components when used together can make some really amazing shots.

We found a nice flower and took pictures of it, with the goal of having a sharply focused main subject with a blurred background (bokeh effect).  It was a great exercise and I think the members really enjoyed learning how this effect was accomplished.

McLarenF1

Back in 1992, Gordon Murray and McLaren Automotive made the fast production car in the world.  The McLaren F1 was, and still is the fastest normally aspirated production car in the world.

I remember it like it was just yesterday.  I was in London in March of 1998 and the news channels were buzzing with the story –  The McLaren F1 became the fastest production car with a top speed of 240 miles per hour.  That was straight from the factory with no mods.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to see a few of these cars in person.  The picture here is one that Turner Motorsports brought every year.  There was also another one that came to Lime Rock that had raced in the 24 Hours at Le Mans.  That was a serious privilege.  Not many people get to see a car with that kind of history.

One day at the track, I saw a lucky reporter get a ride in the McLaren.  It was every car lover’s dream.  If you’re not familiar with the McLaren, the driver seat is actually in the middle.  There are two seats that are set back on either side of the driver’s seat.  The three seats sort of look like a triangle.  That reported climbed in, got buckled, and probably got the ride of his life.  I was very envious that day.

I wanted to write this story because Gordon Murray has just released his T25 concept “city car“.  It is smaller than a Smart ForTwo and has the same seating setup as the McLaren F1.  It is a 51hp car that is said to get 61.9 miles per gallon.  That is impressive!  One of his main purposes for designing this car was to cut down on congestion and being able to park 2 T25s in a single parking space.

Their new MP4-12C looks like it has a Ferrari front end and roofline, paired with a Lamborghini lower half and vents on the side.  Not an original design if you ask me.  But with 600hp, I bet it’s a blast to drive.

When I started blogging back in January, I had two ideas in mind.  First, I wanted a blog that was about photography.  I wanted to share my love for photography with my readers, and offer help should they want it.  Second, I wanted to start doing product reviews.

From time to time, companies will send products to bloggers to let them test it out and write about them.  The logic behind this being that the blogger can get the word out about their product to many, many people with a real world opinion about the product.  It helps the company gain potential customers and gets the bloggers more traffic.

A few months ago, I started a second blog solely dedicated to product reviews.  I also post the reviews on this blog when I do them, but that blog will only have product reviews on it.  When I review a product, it goes on both sites.

I have only found a few companies so far to review products for, and would really like to find a few more.  So far, LowePro has been great about sending me camera bags to test and review.  I am trying to keep the focus of the blog to photography products, but will add motorcycle products as well.  Both genres play a huge part in my life, and I think I can bring a great deal of info to both markets.

Not only do I have my reader base, but I have Twitter and Facebook.  Along with them, I have 2,700 people that are members of The Product Review Place to share the information with.  So, the products would get a ton of exposure.  My reviews are posted on that site as well.

So, if you are a company that has a product that you need reviewed, please leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you about what we may be able to do for each other.  See ya soon!

*Image courtesy of Consolidated Freight Co.

Actually, it’s hot and I have some spices growing in the garden.  I wanted to give you all an update on the progress in the garden.  Things are really taking off, and I couldn’t be happier.  The basil and parsley are technically herbs, but that wouldn’t sound as catchy in the title.  Humor me, will ya?

With the extremely hot weather we are having, I am making sure that they are watered well, so they don’t wilt.  If you haven’t read this blog before, you should know that this is the first time I have planted a garden and (knock on wood) it is going much better than I had hoped.

There has been a slight learning curve, but all in all it is going well.  The peppers (red, yellow and cubanelle) are growing taller and I see a few small buds on a couple.  Hopefully, they will turn into delicious peppers in just a few short weeks.

The zucchini plant is getting huge and trying to take over the garden space.  I had no idea how big these things grew.  Next year, I will give it a lot more space.  I am afraid it might overshadow a few of the pepper plants around it and they might not get enough sunlight.  I have about 18 pepper plants, so losing one or two wont be a total disaster.

The tomato plants are really impressing me.  The have started to grow over the tops of the 33 inch cages I have around them.  On top of that, most (if not all) have at least one tiny tomato growing on them.  Some even have 5 or 6 green tomatoes growing.  I have a few different types to choose from when they are ripe.  I planted Big Boy, Early Girl, Jet Star, Roma, Cherry and Grape tomatoes.  If they grow and ripen, we will have more tomatoes than we know what to do with.

I guess I better learn a little about canning…

Well, obviously you can read, or you wouldn’t be here reading this.  I guess what I am really asking is Can you make time to read? A book that is.

You see, I haven’t sat down and read a book in a few years.  Yes, it’s true.  Flame away.   I guess I just get too wrapped up in the internet to take the time and get into a book.  I have the best of intentions to read, but I can’t seem to put the computer down long enough to get into the book.

A week or so ago, I was at the library with Rose and I saw a book that sparked my interest.  It was in large print, so I figured I would give it a shot and see if the larger print would help me get into it a little more.  (Insert old fart joke here!)  My eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

What types of books do I like to read you ask?  Glad you asked!  I really enjoy the military/political thriller fiction type books.  One of my favorite authors is Dale Brown.  He has a great series about super high tech future stealth planes called Dreamland.  He was helped out by Jim DeFelice for quite a few of those books, and when I read some of them a few years ago, I couldn’t put them down.  I am currently reading Dale Brown’s “Strike Force”.

Along the same lines as Dale Brown, W. E. B. Griffin and Tom Clancy write great books that are very interesting to me.  I guess it’s just the military angle that really grabs me.  I have always been fascinated with jets and submarines, so it’s no surprise that these books appeal to me.

I also really enjoyed Hunter S. Thompson’sHell’s Angels“.  From a motorcycle junkie’s point of view, it was a great first-hand look inside the life of an outlaw biker gang.  William Queen’s “Under and Alone“.  Queen wrote about his time as an undercover agent infiltrating the Hell’s Angels.  Both books were great reads.  I really enjoyed them.

What type of books do you like to read?  Favorite author? Fiction?  Non-Fiction?

On this holiday weekend, let’s remember that it is about more than just another reason to get drunk.  It is the 234th anniversary of this great country of ours.  Have a great fourth of July and thank a veteran!  See ya soon!

If you’re anything like me, you must have thousands and thousands of pictures floating around on your hard drive, external(s) and DVDs.  Hopefully they are on externals and not just on your computer and not backed up.  If they aren’t, please go now.  Stop reading this and back up.

As I was reading this month’s edition of Digital Photo Pro, I started thinking about printing some pictures for galleries or personal use.  Then, I came up with a question for my readers  –

What photo service do you trust to print your photos?

There are tons of companies out there, and I have used a few of them.  There are a bunch that I have not tried yet.  I probably couldn’t come close to listing all of the companies out there, but I will list the bigger name companies that I do know of.  Please feel free to add any that you use.  I would also love it if you would list ones you don’t recommend so readers can not end up with bad prints.

Here are some I use and a little about them;

Shutterfly – I’ve been using them for many years.  They were one of the first companies I ever used.
Snapfish – Used them way back when.
Canvas On Demand – I had an amazing 16×20 canvas done by them.  You get it free when you sign up for a Pro Account.  Highly recommend them.
Local Ritz Camera – My local guy will color correct how I need it.  Great customer service in a pinch.
McGreevy’s – Local print shop in Albany.  I have never used them, but have heard great things about them.
Mpix – I haven’t used them much, but they are a great company from what I have heard.

Those are the main sites I know of or use.  Please feel free to share your experiences with these companies and add more.  See you soon!

On the way home from shooting at Five Rivers the other night, I just missed a storm that rolled through the area.

I got a call that it was pouring at home, so I hopped in the car and started heading home before it got to me out in the wild.  I could see by the wet roads and dripping trees that I had just missed it.  Not to far from home, I came across the scene above.  By the time I could get stopped in a place with a good view and get the camera ready, it was almost gone.

There was a double rainbow and a deep, dark sky.  The storm was moving over or just past downtown Albany.  I had missed it, but none of that mattered.  All that mattered was that I got to see this gorgeous scene.  It made a great day even better.