Photography

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Yesterday, Brian Jensen was planning on going over to Emporia and ride some parts of the Dirty Kanza 200 race, that is about a month away. He wanted to know if Bill and I wanted to go. I bailed pretty quickly.

I would have liked to go, but had sort of fallen apart, riding in the heat to Lawrence on gravel on Tuesday, plus he wanted to meet in Emporia, which is an hour away, at 7 ish in the morning. I’d not slept enough for 4 nights straight, so I wanted to try to catch up some. But the real reason was that it was going to be in the 90’s and the wind was going to be blowing over 30 mph all day. It was hot on Tuesday and I noticed that if my Garmin read over 93 or so, I felt pretty crummy, but when I was riding home, and a front moved in, the temperature dropped into the low 80’s and I felt much, much better. Anyway, I didn’t go. But, I asked Brian to take some pictures, because I knew that riding through the Flint Hills, in May, would be very scenic.

When I got some old photos from Jim Safford, a couple days ago, it got me thinking about how much taking pictures has changed in the last couple decades. Or maybe during my lifetime.

My family didn’t really have cameras around. My grandfather, my mom’s mother, used to do photography as a hobby and I have trays of slides, from all over North America. Plus, a ton of old cameras, a Rolleflex and such. But, I guess my parents didn’t continue the traditon. There aren’t too many pictures around of Kris and I growing up. Hardly any.

I got Trudi a Cannon A-1 camera when we first met. It was that or a Nikon. Eventually she got a motor drive and would blow through a roll of film in nothing flat. Anyway, there are tons and tons of old bike racing pictures and slides that I haven’t looked at forever somewhere. I don’t even know if there is a slide projector around to look at the slides.

My friend Stacie, from Louisville, called me yesterday and was seeing if she could get ahold of some old photos. We got talking about how strange it seems to think back upon the days when you used to take a roll of film to the camera store and then go back a few days later and get your prints. I remember when Walmart first did the return the photos the next day thing. We could take the film into any Walmart in the town we were racing on Saturday, and get the photos back by Sunday. Eventually it became an hour.

Digital cameras were the game changer. I think the first digital camera I had was an Olympus something. Maybe a megapixel and it probably cost $400. That is really when I started taking pictures, when it became convenient and instant. Unlimited pictures for nearly free, after getting the camera.

Now, my phone is my camera. It is a better camera than I’ve ever owned and it just comes with the phone. The majority of the time I have my phone with me, I’d rank the importance of the functions of the phone as follows-camera, internet access, then 3rd, phone. It is great having a camera accessible at all times.

So, I’ve been thinking about digging into the old photos, and slides, and digitally downloading them, even though I haven’t looked at them forever. Vincent knows a place that turns, slides into a digital format for.22 a slide. It would cost alot, but they would be in a way more usable state. Sounds like a big project.

Anyway, taking pictures and recording memories has really changed recently. To the better. Sometimes I wonder if I worry more about recording the experience than experience the experience, but I’ll probably never have a concrete answer to that question.

This is from a Norba National in Deer Valley, Utah.   Lance was just testing the MTB waters alittle, but ended up hitting the ground, more than once.

This is from a Norba National in Deer Valley, Utah. Lance was just testing the MTB waters alittle, but ended up hitting the ground, more than once.

Photo by Jim Safford

Brian riding the Dirty Kanza course yesterday.

Brian riding the Dirty Kanza course yesterday.

I don't usually put pictures of dead animals on here much, but you don't see many badgers in Kansas.

I don’t usually put pictures of dead animals on here much, but you don’t see many badgers in Kansas.

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Trudi with her Canon A-1 at the Morgul Bismark course at the Coor’s Classic-Trudi, Shelley Verses, April Fatka, April Wilburn

9 thoughts on “Photography

  1. Stu

    Steve, you could do a kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) to get the funds to digitize all of your photos. I bet if you broadcast that out to the cycling community you would get more than enough to get the photos hosted somewhere if people could access them. Maybe even just put up a paypal donation link on your blog. I would chip in a few bucks to see these photos. If you need any help with this project it doesn’t hurt to ask. I guarantee that someone who frequents this site has plenty of expertise and advice to get you going.

     
  2. Brian

    If you really think about it, photography is magical. By simply pressing a shutter release on a still camera or by pressing “record” on a video camera, you are able to capture a moment or a period of time and preserve it forever. Instantaneously. You can go back and review history anytime you like. I say that is about as close to magic as it gets.

    As the technology advances, capturing those experiences is even easier and even more amazing. The smart phone has become the point and shoot camera as well as the video camera of the modern age. We now live in the future I used to dream about.

     
  3. orphan

    From a guy who has tons of photos of my deceased son. Photos are nice but not magical. I tend to take fewer photos then I used to and just try to live in the now.

     
  4. channel_zero

    A $40 scanner isn’t going to do a good job on negatives at all. Unfortunately, consumer’s are particularly sensitive to broad color range and accuracy, which is why the only market for film scanners is dirt cheap awful units like this. The Nikon coolscans were pretty popular and and barely adequate. I think Minolta still sells one.

    The challenge with negatives is you need a *very* sensitive device to capture the data in the darkest parts of the negative. I realize most of you see images and they look great. As displays with broader color gamuts slowly make their way to market, most digital images will look pretty bad.

    At the going rate, most of the film shot since the advent of various film technology will simply be lost. Steve and Trudi’s included.

     
  5. Bassorider

    I have an Epson V300 Photo Scanner that has the optional slide accessory. It does 4 slides at a time, but most files require some post editing ( Adobe Photo Elements in my case). All my wife’s growing up pictures and our wedding were on slides. Took a long time to convert them; but it was worth it to be able to share the results with family and friends. I like Stu’s “kickstarter” idea and would as donate to it!.

     
  6. Dog

    I inherited a set of several boxes of photos from my parents some years back. Hundreds (if not thousands) of photos accumulated over 40-50 years. Many of whom were of people I never even met. Many of them just really bad photos, but still of people I knew and loved. My wife and I went through them one really painful day. The vast majority of them were pre “me” (me being the youngest by far). We decided to make albums out of the best shots from important situations and significant events and “can” the rest. I felt guilty throwing photos away, but am ultimately glad we did it.

    I don’t take zillions of photos anymore. I try to limit my shots to the most important situations of my family. The real milestones.

    The funny thing is that many (if not most) people now take photos in an almost throwaway manner now. They take zillions of them, post them (never intended to be viewed again) and then do little or nothing to archive them. They seem to not be as precious anymore.

     
  7. Cat

    I agree with Dog. The photos have been devalued. The convenience of the smart phone and zero cost to “see it” instantly after taking it somehow makes it almost worthless to the person taking the picture. It’s really quite strange the effect it has on it’s “preciousness”.

     

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