Sunday, December 02, 2012

No Riding, No Blogging, No Nothing

Nothing like a KTM draped in Christmas lights to ring in the holiday season.  Hard to believe it's December already.  The festive machine appeared at the Piston and Pints Christmas party on the deck of the Boalsburg Yacht Club.  More pictures appear on my Scooter in the Sticks Facebook page.

The past few months have been so busy and hectic that the mass upload feature of Facebook is pretty seductive.

The Vespa has been dead for over a month -- the HT spark plug lead burned off.  A replacement wire arrived last week but I have to dismantle the scooter to attach it to the coil.  No time or energy for that task yet.

I've read Jack Riepe's new book, Conversations with a Motorcycle, several times now and have completed several drafts of a review.  Like the Vespa, the review has fallen into a world of wait as other more pressing matters consume time and energy.

It's a great book and worth adding to your library and will make a great Christmas gift.  I'll offer more extensive comments soon.  Until then Riepe will probably think I never read it or something. Click the link above to find out how to order.

Stirring the mix of busyness and chaos more -- I'm still debating over whether it's time to abandon film, a darkroom, and the ever more archaic process of chemical photography.  I love silver prints but I'm not feeling the fire lately...

The Leica M6 still works and I've continue to add to the growing pile of exposed film.  I hope to awake one day soon and know what I should do.

Still manage to make my way to Saint's Cafe on Sunday morning but neither Paul nor Gordon have been able to push me one way or the other when it comes to photography.  I suppose they have their own demons to wrestle.

That's where things stand in the sticks at the moment.  High on the list is to publish my review of Conversations with a Motorcycle.  So is fixing the Vespa.

Not sure which I'll get to first.


Chris Underwood said...

Well that stinks. I hope you can get the Vespa back up and running soon. I would go slowly crazy without my bicycles, and I don't imagine you are much different about your two wheeled transport (based on what I have read here.)
Regarding the photography, I don't know. I shoot digital only at this point, and really like it (Fuji and Olympus cameras). Perhaps look into one of the many nice micro cameras that will let you adapt your Leica glass to them? Worth a thought anyway.

Cheers and best wishes for you however you decide.

Steve Williams said...

Chris Underwood: I've been busy enough of late to not be too agitated by the lack of riding. I've once or twice stolen off on my daughter's Vino for a fix. But since I like riding in the cold weather so much I am soon going to get anxious...

At this moment I would gladly abandon all things film. But tomorrow I'll feel completely different. So I just plan to go with the flow...

bob skoot said...


I still have my M6's but all of my M lenses fit my NEX-5n with adapters. You would love it. Just like using a rangefinder without having to develop the film.

I also have adapters to use my Contax Zeiss lenses, and I can even mount Nikor F; Ai and AiS lenses as long as they have aperature rings.

I can also mount Pentax TM lenses.

perhaps this is something you should look into

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

I'll be interested in seeing what you decide. You should do a post, or get one of your friends to do a guest post, on "why film".

D. Brent Miller said...

Steve, I feel for you on the digital vs. film debate. It took me about a year after I started thinking about it to finally abandon film and jump completely to digital. I guess that's the way it is with old-school photographers who grew up on film and taught it in the classroom.

What I did to make my decision final and avoid the cognitive dissonance of going back was to give away all my film developing equipment. All of it. There's no going back.

I have film cameras for sale. :-)


Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I am envious of the stumbling decision you true photographers have to make regarding film vs digital. Mine was strictly financially frugal. I look back over the many shots I wish I'd have taken but did not, actually remembering many of those decision 'points'.

But then I'm a hobbyist that only developed film in a couple of Community Ed classes.

Good luck with your evolving choice Steve!

Steve Williams said...

bob skoot: I've definitely been looking at those micro 4/3 cameras for the reasons you outline. And consider just using a regular DSLR since they work so well. The challenge for me is to consider the process of working. It definitely has an effect on my willingness to work. It's not just tools -- they all have their own personality and suit me differently.

I'm getting tired of the mental discussion though...

Steve Williams said...

RichardM: I think my friends would hit me if I asked anymore questions about film!

bob skoot said...


Not to turn this into a headache discussion but I chose the NEX-5n because:

1) it has the larger APS-C sensor
2) it has the best reviews
3) it has focus peaking
4) crop ratio is 1.5x, 4/3's is 2x

the NEX-5R is better, has WiFi and your iPhone can also be the remote viewer and remote control

The NEX 6 is like the NEX7 with full controls

you can't go wrong, and I'll even throw in the 1st roll of film.

check for all the happy people using them

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Mark Myers said...

Hi Steve

I jumped to digital a couple of years ago for that financial reason too. I do a lot more "playing" to get a shot now than I could ever afford do in film. It it takes 5 or even 10 frames to get the shot just right, so what. I'm not shooting a high end camera, just a Nikon 5100 - and I found a bag that is perfectly sized to fit right under the seat of the Vespa. I switched from a Pentax I had been surgically attached to for almost 20 years.


Charlie6 said...

Good to see you're still around're not riding (much) due to mechanical issues...I on the other hand am experiencing a type of strange ennui where the weather is perfect, I have the time and there are two rigs and Brigitta to go riding on and yet, I don't ride. Not sure what's going on there.


David Masse said...

Here's hoping you can get your Vespa up and running soon, Steve. As for the photography, it's much more about the photographer's eye than the equipment. You've got a fantastic eye. The rest will sort itself out.

Shinko Motorcycle Tires said...

I am amazed at the creativity of riders. Most bloggers have used old motorcycle tires as wreaths but you, you decorated your own bike! That is so cool...I haven't done my decorations and I keep getting bigger and better ideas on how to go about it.

Paul said...

Hi Steve: "Still manage to make my way to Saint's Cafe on Sunday morning but neither Paul nor Gordon have been able to push me one way or the other when it comes to photography. I suppose they have their own demons to wrestle." Hmm. Not sure we ever have been able to push you. You have always chosen your direction on your own. I can motivate you by inviting you on a photo outing but that's about all I've ever done. I have a new direction in photography worked out. The goal is what it's always been - photos that connects us, the timeless, eternal and the universal. Today I'm printing one of MM and me playing scrabble in the back yard. It's a Christmas gift. I hope she doesn't read this. Paul Daniel

Charlie said...

Leica and Moleskine - how delightfully analogue - I thoroughly approve! Hope you get the time this Christmas to take a few shots and keep your film mojo alive!

That said - there are a few great digital cameras like the Fuji X100 or X-Pro1 that offer similar compact Leica-esque analogue feel but without the hassle of the film.

Martha Tenney said...

Merry Christmas, Steve.

Steve Williams said...

Brent: The film/digital question has taken more energy that I was probably willing to admit. After a lot of consideration and examination of what I do, how I do it, and the results I've concluded that working in film, the process associated with that, is something that works for me.

For a long time I've tried to separate the image from the process but it just doesn't work that way. So film is here to stay for awhile longer. Digital too.

I packed the view camera up earlier today and may venture out into the cold to make some photographs...

Sorry for the delay in responding -- busy busy busy....

Steve Williams said...

Coop: Regardless of skill or status with a camera I think all of us are in a constant state of evolution. Every day is a new challenge!

Steve Williams said...

bobskoot: Those Sony cameras are nice and I've certainly looked them over. But being parked in the Nikon camp for so long the lastest decision has led to a new Nikon D600 arriving on my desk. It's a powerful tool and quiet too -- not much louder, if at all, than my Leica M6.

Touring Motorcycle exhausts said...

Poor Scooter! I hope that its by now back to life and kicking or is it riding! And thank you for the link to that book, Conversations with a motorcycle. I have to read it! and maybe write my own some time.

Snikrep Nitram said...

We just have to engage them all. Mutual they are and with riding left out, nothing more can be done. The same with blogging and the rest that bring us riders together. I love motorbike conversations, especially those that are bias to mufflers..