Photography

Bike touring has taken me to some very photogenic places. And during my career I traveled to Asia frequently for business. That has given me many photographic opportunities. The galleries here are the result of those travels.


Links to the galleries:

    2018 "Middling" route from OR to NE
    2017 Northern Tier ride from ME to WA
    2016 Trans Am ride from VA to OR
    2014 "Father's to Son's" Pacific Coast SF to LA Tour
    2014 Lemonade - Western 1/2 Trans-Am OR-CO Tour
    A Collection of my miscellaneous pictures
    Business trips to Penang, Malaysia, and other Asian locations

Cameras

Recent Thoughts on Cameras for Bike Touring based on my 2018 trip

Ten years ago I purchased a DSLR with interchangeable lenses. My non bike touring images in the Business trips and miscellaneous galleries were taken with it. But for bike touring, I didn't want to carry heavy camera gear, so before my 2014 trip, I purchased a Fuji X100S. The X100S is a reasonably compact camera with is well suited for the kind of pictures I took on that trip.

While the Fuji is more compact, and lighter than a DSLR, it still has some disadvantages for touring. I have to find power to charge it's batteries, I have to worry about it getting stolen, and it requires time in the evenings to transfer images to my phone so I can upload them to my journal. So, starting in 2015 I decided to just use my phone. While the pictures are limited in image quality, they're fine for 8x10 or 8x12 prints, or when viewed on a screen.

But for 2018, I decided I wanted something better. I considered the pocketable "1 inch" sensor cameras. They are better than a phone, but not by enough to be worth the hassle. Then, in a moment of weakness, I puchased a Fuji X-T20 with 2 lenses. And if that wasn't enough, I also took a small tablet. The X-T20 takes really good pictures, and having a larger screen (tablet) helped in editing them on the road. But it came at a cost: Five extra pounds of stuff, more worries of theft, and more "things" to keep charged. And again, time spent on picture management in the evening.

Certainly a better camera takes better pictures, but it really is easier to just use my smartphone while on the road. In the end, It's all a compromise - Am I a bike tourist that happens to take some pictures, or a photographer who happens to travel by bike?

So in preparing for my 2019 Pacific Coast trip, I went back to that question, and realized that in my heart, while I do enjoy taking pictures, I am really more of a bike tourist that happens to take some pictures while traveling. So, I'm back to looking for a simple camera.

But in the 3 years since I bought my current phone, smartphone cameras have advanced a lot. In particular, the improvements in "computational photograph" have allowed cell phone pictures to significantly close a large part of the gap with bigger cameras - At least for images up to perhaps 16 x 20 when viewed at normal distances. So, for 2019, I decided to replace my phone with the new Pixel 3a. This phone is a mid range ($400) phone, that has the same camera as it's $800 big brother. Since my current phone has some issues anyway, this was the right time to switch. And this way, I get a top tier phone camera in a phone that has a bargain price.

Wait for September to see how things went.


Mt. Moran
Train's a-comin' - Near Chester Montana along the "High Line". July, 2017