Shimano Di2

OK, I’ve done some digging on the internet, and have found this video on youtube of the Shimano Di2 in action at a cycling trade show.  I admit it looks very impressive.  The front derailer is a dream!  Being able to shift chainrings without breaking cadence is a huge advantage.  I also like the fact the front derailer trims to prevent chain rub!

I still wonder about durability especially under trying conditions.  Home repairs would also seem to be out!

Cycling Enters the Electronic Age

I just ran across this article on nytimes.com – “Cycling Enters Electronic Age.” I’ve always wondered when either Shimano or Campagnolo would forge into  electronically controlled shifting systems.  Mavic has had one for several years, which hasn’t seemed to catch on.  With Shimano pushing this I suspect we will see the electronic shifters make inroads into certain very specialized situations, such as time trials or triathlons.  I don’t, however, see it becoming standard on mainstream bicycles for average recreational or fitness riders.  I see only limited benefit, and significant increased cost.  And the killer for me would be the need to make sure the battery is charged!  Nothing would be more frustrating that going to jump on the bike, only to find out you forgot to put the battery on the charger the last time you rode, or making it to your group ride only to remember as you’re pulling your bike off the car that the battery is in the charger at home!  I also wonder about maintenance.  For pros, who use new gear every year (or every race!), there may be lower maintenance, but for your average recreational rider who keeps a bike for several years, I can see a downside.  Most of us cyclists know how to adjust and make minor repairs to our derailers, but the electronic derailer would prevent that for most of us.

Sam Noble Museum with Kids and M8

I took Friday off and we made a quick trip down to Norman.  I had never been to the Sam Noble Natural History Museum.  The kids have all been several times, as had Robbie, but for some reason or other I’ve never made it.  It also gave me a great chance to try out my new Leica M8!  Here are a few of the shots from the museum and from The Mont, where we had lunch.  Some minor editing, all done in Adobe Lightroom.

Springtime in Chicago – 2008

A beautiful spring day in Chicago with my new (well new to me) Leica M6.  The afternoon was a bit brisk, but still quite pleasant. Unfortunately the light was very flat   Most of these images shot with Summicron 50/2.0.  I wandered to Central Camera on Wasbash, and couldn’t help but buy a 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit; very clean, and priced reasonably.  The picture through the iron sculpture was taken with this lens.  Film was Fujichrome 100, scans are from the local photo shop were I get my E6 developing done.  They do an OK job for web posts and 4×6 prints, anything else I scan myself with a Nikon Coolscan V-ED.

San Francisco Sailboat

I took this from the Golden Gate Bridge during a trip to San Francisco in 2002.  The light was fairly flat, but the contrast of the water and sailboat make up for the fairly flat rendering of the city in the background.  I took this with an Olympus E-10, which was my first real digital camera.  It was quite the tool for the time.  The image was cropped and converted into B&W.  Contrast adjusted using “Curves” in photoshop.  Being quite early in my experience in using digital images, I saved this as a JPEG, and I can’t seem to find the original; shame as I’d like another go of it!

Hobart, Tasmania

This photograph was taken on a walk in Hobart, Tasmania.  It was taken in Jan, 2005 when my wife and I took a quick visit to see my brother who was living in Melbourne at the time.  We made a 3 night trip to Tasmania via the ferry across the Bass Strait.  The scene was taken late in the morning while on a walk from our hotel in the center of Hobart.  The complementary colors and the strong geometric shapes caught my eye.

This photo was taken with the Ricoh GR1 with Fujichrome 100 slide film.  I scanned the slide with a Nikon Coolscan V-ED.  It was cropped square to fit an existing frame in our living room and printed at 12×12 in on an Epson 2200.

Early Voting in a RED state

Oklahoma is one of the reddest of the red states.  We haven’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1960, and I don’t expect this year to be any different.  However, there is a change in the air this year.  I am seeing excitment from all of the closet Democrats, and there is a great ad on TV; “Come home to the Democratic Party.”  I think the following pictures are emblematic of what is going on, even if just in the metro areas of Tulsa and Oklahoma City.  These pictures are courtesy of my mother, Trudy White.