There is a carefree approach to bicycling that I miss. Rationally, I know that I can go out for a ride even though it’s just below freezing. Sensibly, I even remember all the rides I’ve taken throughout the winters past. Not this time. I’m flat out done with winter.
Winter is slowly opening its tightly clasped icy fist, but another inch or two of snow fell a few days ago and it’s still piled everywhere. So I spent a couple of nights in search of carefree cycling pictures and found some great ones!
These are all from El Saler, a small beach town near where my wife grew up. It’s probably around 1991 and I’m riding an early Spanish version of the do-everything bike. It took me many years to master the art of simply existing on the beach, soaking up the sun and tranquility. These photos are clearly from back when ‘beach’ meant an active outing!
Preparing for depth
Testing the depth
great expression on the beachgoers.
Side notes: all these are scans of old photos. I used photoshop elements to re-balance the colors and shift the temperature and saturation back to something closer to normal. Then I had loads of fun using the depth-of-field app to choose what got to stay in focus. Finally, I used the camera correction dialogue to add a bit of vignetting to the edges. Yup, loads of fun. Now I’m just waiting for spring!
The sun is so bright – I should be riding!
I went for a lovely (but short) ride to pick up groceries. I spent the ride thinking about what kind of bike I would buy next. It’s pie in the sky; there’s no money at home. Realistically, there’s negative money at home, since the next two paychecks won’t cover the bills coming in the next few weeks. Still, it’s fun to think the about the ‘perfect’ next bike. For instance, will I really be dropping off four-foot ledges? Nope, and besides, I’ve got a bike that dying to do just that — it’s the rider that’s gotten cautious. Likewise, there’s no need for a road bike. My fifteen-year-old bianchi is up to snuff.
I made it to the grocery store staying mostly on a dirt path, with asphalt for the last little bit. I’m using my favorite kicking around bike, one gear on a huge aluminum mountain bike frame from cannondale. It’s a joy to ride and takes very little maintenance. Probably needs more than it gets, since the brake pads are cracked and it’s getting hard to stop. That will have to be a spring project.
Meanwhile, this is the category for the new bike: trips short and long; sturdy and low maintenance. The dream bike would be equally at home back on the continental divide as it would be hauling back groceries. It’s still just idle thought, but it might be just the thing to get the next trip onto the drawing board!
I got a new version of Perfect Effects Free, a photo program that lets you add special effects as layers to your photos. Naturally, I had to look for some photos to play with! I took a vacation folder, largely at random — Galicia 2010 — and looked for some photos I hadn’t paid much attention to.
Luckily, I had the obligatory tourist photos…
This is the fortress A Coruña in Santa Cruz, Galicia, Spain. It’s a museum and park now and pedestrians wander across the bridge to visit. There are three layers in effect here: 1) one applies a bit of a glow; 2) the second washes a bit of coolness through the colors and 3) the third adds the cute little frame.
Luckily, I also had a picture of rocks. No self respecting amateur photographer can resist the ethereal green of mossy rocks. These are from a walkway along the beach in Perillo, around the bay from our hotel.
Classic faux HDR
First, a layer is applied to push the green and add a bit of contrast. Then an HDR effect goes on top. Natural? No way!! But the ethereal result has some of the fairy tale feel of our walk along the water’s edge in the setting sun.
Of course, there’s a bicycling theme to my posts, so I can’t close until I add in a photo from the top of the hill above the fortress — a lovely cyclist and dog!
This has a sharpening layer and a second that undoes the sharpening in a dreamy glow. The third layer adds the vignetting and the last one puts in the black frame.