Mountain, drop, bike, bar

A few months ago, after seeing how badly my bike was in need for a thorough tlc, I came across and mentioned an article series about converting a standard hardtail mountain bike to accommodate a drop bar.

With my track record for finishing what at first might sound like an excellent idea, why start a project like that when there is one* commercially available?

Or in other words: Welcome, little green friend!

* There are others, I’m just fairly certain they would have exceeded my budget by an even greater margin than this one did.

When

When you want nothing more than to find your integrity. Your core. To sit down and have a long discussion with it. Ask it for the answers to your most important questions. And you think it is in there somewhere yet you can see no trace of it, all you see is the hole where it should be. All you see is the pain where it should be.

Ten seconds, approximately

I rode my bike past a man alone tonight.

Alone as in physically alone, not with anyone, but also much more alone as in not having anyone, anywhere, at all.

Everything about him, from the way he put the cigarette to his mouth to how he moved one foot in front of the other to how his right arm nervously and hardly noticeably swung as he walked, it all said the same thing.

I am alone. And I am aware of it, I can hardly see anything else. And it’s killing me.

 

There are enough men alone in the world, aren’t there?

Panorama stitches, two approaches

Easy vs. less easy. Heavy vs. light. Field of view vs. field of view. Rotating a knob vs. rotating a camera.

Each of these two photographs is made from a few images. The top is made using three frames, the bottom used five. Stitched in Photoshop to make each one, using different methods. With one of it the camera didn’t move at all. For the other the camera had to be rotated between exposures. Very different cameras, optics too. A Canon 5DII with a 24mm shift optic and a Fuji X100S with the 28–ish wide angle aux. lens mounted in a panohead I had laying about. No nodal plate to correct for parallax error. In other words, not quite according to the pano manuals.

Canon 5DII, 24/3.5 shifted 12mm left and right, Photoshop stitched (reposition) and cropped to 2,35:1.

Fujifilm X100S with the WCL-X100 aux. lens, 5 images rotated at 15° intervals in a non–parallax corrected pano head. Photoshop stitched (circular) and cropped to 2,35:1.

The two show about the same horizontal field of view, but quite different on the vertical scale. Fundamentally different approaches to recording raw material as well as stitching, resulting in very different outcome.

As much as I’d love to love the 5D pano for its simplistic and orthodox approach (and the fact that I don’t have to purhcase anything to do it properly–ish) I seem to prefer the rotated results of the Fuji. And now I’m referring only to the geometry in the image, and how it lacks the stretched–edge effect that often shows up with rectlinear superwides. Of course, the stretched–edge could be compensated for, it might even be possible to record a simple action that automated much of the process. On the other hand I’m a hopeless Fuji fanboy when it comes to file quality, or character. Oh choices.

More testing is in order. I don’t quite understand this pano thing anyway.

Click pics for more pixels, at Flickr. Neither is checked for stitching errors.

Newspaper boy

Nearly every household on the Paper Route was a subscriber. Which is more than a little scary, considering whose interests the paper represented—and still does, to an even greater degree in recent times. The fact that the neighbourhood was an established middle/upper–middle class area might explain it to some extent, still the feeling I’m left with is that during the 80’s there was a thick blanket of uncritical thinking—apathy even—keeping a good part of the Icelandic nation warm. That may be an overstatement though, I’m certainly no historian.

The grocery store closed a long time ago. Sometimes in between then and now people more or less stopped shopping at the smaller local stores, and took up driving to shopping centres to get hold of their necessities. That’s pretty much all that is left now, shopping centres.

The retirement home next door is still up and running though. I wonder where they buy their groceries these days.

Of course none of this had anything to do with me at the time—I was twelve, worrying about being twelve.

Way home—empty bags

I first wrote about the Paper Route here.

All photos can be clicked for more pixels.