The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

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Photobombed by a friend riding through my shot. Lucky for me I was able to adjust focus enough to get him.

Yesterday was an open house at Twisted Throttle out in New Dundee. I’ve gone for the last few years because our club’s president has close ties to the ownership out there and we always held one club meeting at this event. As these guys cater to the Adventure Bike community it was good for them and us and as . everybody knows, it’s hard for anybody on a bike to go to a place that sells things for bikes to not leave with something. I got off lightly yesterday as I only picked up a pair of earplugs ($41.95 CDN) I was looking at. We won’t talk about the luggage system or the new Rotopax fuel cells I bought online from these guys the month prior ($699.00 CDN).

It’s a fun event and this year they had test rides for BMW and Honda at the event. I’ll admit Honda’s CBX 500 is appealing to me especially with the Rally Adventure package as it’s moving towards my ideal bike size for adventure touring but I’d prefer it in a V-Twin over an inline twin but I realize that’s splitting hairs. Anyway, I didn’t opt for any of the test rides for a couple of reasons. One, I’m not ready to buy a new bike yet and two, I’m still not a fan of group rides with guys I don’t know and especially not keen on rides with guys I don’t know on bikes they’ve never ridden before. Just my personal biases. None of the rides had any issues that day and as you see in the pics, we’re all mostly old farts anyway.

Still, any day you can stand around and bullshit about bikes with other motorcycle freaks is a good day and I decided on using my Lensbaby Twist 60 to capture some of it for a few reasons.

  1. I’ve always loved how rich the colour capture is of Lensbaby optics and the twist 60 is no different. Images really pop.
  2. This lens has great bokeh and a large central focus.
  3. Its 60mm focal length gives me almost 100mm of equivalent focal length on my 7Dmk2 so I can shoot the more personal shots and be far enough back from my subjects to keep things natural.
  4. It’s a tricky lens to use as it’s manual and I like tricky.
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The comparison shot: Taken with my Sigma 17-70mm at 17mm / F2.8 Not a bad shot but it’s pretty standard and far from exciting. Now I’ll admit, I’m shooting wide so there’s not too much drama to be had in the shot.

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Now here’s a similar shot with the Twist 60. To me it feels a bit warmer and the edge focus adds a bit of energy into what is essentially a static shot.

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Same goes for this shot too. The one thing you’ll find with the Twist 60 is you’ll have to play around with your shutter speed and ISO to get the right exposure. I find it tends to shoot one to one and a half stops under. For the record, the bike I’m interested in is the front left one.

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Get close, then get closer…

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Here’s where that lovely background swirl really starts to focus your eye to the image.

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This is the sort of thing that to me shows what riding bikes is all about. At least from a community standpoint. We all have different happy places.

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My friend Tim wanted a shot of him with the Africa Twin he was going to ride a little later.

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A 73 Laverda (with a 74 fairing) and its proud owner. Another reason I love going to these things as you never know what bikes are going to turn up.

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What I like about this Triumph is the addition of anachronistic pieces to what is essentially a modern motorcycle.

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And here’s my Strom minus the panniers and leaned out with a new windshield. The four holes in the plates on the box mounts will be taking the new mounting spots for the smaller 1 Gallon Rotopax fuel cells I plan to bring on the upcoming trip to Vancouver Island in June. The ride to the event let me see how the bike felt with the new rubber and windshield and fine tune a few small things.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this and I really can’t say enough good things about the Twist 60 as a lens. Even its price point is pretty good.

Now a bit about the books (you didn’t think I wouldn’t bring them up did you?). Devils Gambit, the audio book has finished primary recording and is currently under review. It should be available on all audio book sales platforms in about a month. I’m very excited to see how it sells as the narrator and I are bringing something a little different to the table in the listening experience as far as audiobooks go. I’ll be posting up a few samples in the coming weeks.

Devil’s Ante, the sequel to Devil’s Gambit is in the final edit stage prior to going out to my Beta readers today. If you’d like to be on my Beta reader list email me or message me on this blog and I’ll add you to the list. Please include the format you’d like to receive the book in.

The Big Backyard which will be my follow up motorcycle travel book to Two Wheeled Maniac  will be available early Fall. As I’m now working in Vellum for my ebook layout and publishing needs, it’ll have a lot more photography included than the first book and will focus on the big and small trips I’ve taken since the last book and a few of the things life throws at you along the way.

As always, you can check out my books at my Author page

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