Studebaker sunset

whitmore_car_37711-3_hdrI’ve been meaning to get a shot of this old car for quite some time.  It sits on my friend’s land, gazing over the prairie.  It looks like some bushes have taken root and called it home.  I’ve often wished it was facing north so I could do some sort of drive-in theater looking shot when the Northern Lights appear, but a sunset this weekend showed me that it’s in a perfect spot already.

One other good thing about this photo: no ticks, despite wading through the tall grass!

I got its good side

arena_truck_37216-8_HDRRecently I took a trip past my favorite and nearest ghost town, Arena.  I stopped to take a shot of this old vehicle propped on its side next to an old outbuilding.  I have been to this site many times, but since it’s next to a scenic old abandoned church I never took the time to get a shot of this subject in the right conditions.  One other thing is that I never had enough portable off-camera lighting to light the shadow side of the car.  Well, that’s no longer the case, and I took the opportunity to flex a few of my new toys to get the shot I always wasnted to get but never had the time for.

Frosty four wheelin’

frosty_4x4_36458Lately the temperature swings have made for some cool frost.  Not the long spiky kind, unfortunately, but frost just the same.  This is one knobby on the tire of my truck, and it caught my eye as I was getting ready to head out with my camera the other day.  This was before the current warm stretch, of course.  I hope I can start getting back out with my camera more, just like the old days…

No free rides

decal_removal_36349I know you’ve seen them: those vinyl letters pasted on the back windows of almost any vehicle sold in Bismarck-Mandan, proclaiming the URL (website address) of the dealership which sold the vehicle.  Often they’re very large, almost always they use a rather unattractive font, and they’ve been a pet peeve of mine since they started popping up.

I’d figured that when I found myself in the position of buying a new vehicle, I’d propose that the dealership either remove said decals before I take the vehicle or give me a $300 payment or credit on the vehicle in exchange for leaving the decals on the car for one year.  After all, advertising has value.  Dealerships pay radio and TV stations to advertise for them.  But as a long time advocate of “if you want something done right, do it yourself” I decided not to do so when buying my wife a vehicle recently.  Also, the sales person is a friend and I didn’t want to dump that kind of conflict in his lap.

This reminds me of the occasional “offer” I receive – and others in the creative and technical fields receive as well – of doing something either for free or for a ridiculously low fee.  Invariably it comes with the promise that “you’ll get your name out there” (without actually saying where “out there” is) as a result of donating my time and work to said offer.

Right.  My name is “out there” plenty, and I have more than enough side work (mostly video, sometimes photo) to keep me busy – especially when juggling kids, a new house, and (from 2013-2015) serious health issues.  I think I’ll pass on such a promise.

In our photo club people who engage in photography and other pursuits for a living urge up-and-coming photographers to charge what they’re worth.  I like to hammer four little words into every such conversation: Your work has value.

So does someone driving around with your website emblazoned across their car window.  In fact, there are places that will pay you to put decals on your car and drive around with them. The car dealerships are well aware of what the product on their lots and in their showrooms is worth.  They’re not afraid to tell you and charge you accordingly.  Therefore they should not be offended if, no hard feelings, you take that new purchase home and promptly scrape off the uncompensated advertising as soon as is convenient.  That’s exactly what I did.  No hard feelings, but nobody rides for free.

Horribly overdue: Driven by Faith car show

car_show_35024A few weeks ago my little guys and I dropped by the Driven by Faith car show in the north lot of BHS, an annual event held for the 11th time by First Lutheran Church.  While cars aren’t really my thing (performance motorcycles are), there were a couple of beauties that caught my eye.

 

car_show_35027Naturally, one of them is a Corvette.  What’s really cool about this emblem is that it’s actually domed glass with a “bowl” behind it.  Very cool.

 

car_show_35040Then there’s this Studebaker.  Looks like something out of a Pixar movie, eh?  And purple…VERY purple.

So I’ve sat on these photos long enough.  Now…if I can only get around to my Independence Day parade photos…

Oh, yeah…I forgot. There’s a car down there

dd_car_ip_4620Over a month ago I was poking around with my camera at Double Ditch and forgot to mention that there’s a car at the bottom of the hill.  You don’t see that everyday.

 

dd_car_ip_4622Chevy Cavaliers normally don’t sit like this.  Looks pretty serene, covered in newly fallen snow, doesn’t it?

 

dd_car_ip_4621What do you do if you’re an idiot and you find something on the sandbar by the river?  Well, you light it on fire, of course…which is apparently what happened to this vehicle either when it met its untimely demise or when someone with a lighter found it.

 

dd_car_ip_4628Naturally there’s nothing left of the interior.  What wasn’t stolen before the fire is gone now.

 

dd_car_ip_4636Naturally I called to report this as soon as I found it.  I’m sure someone had already done so, but I wanted to make sure.  As if a flaming Cavalier (well, more flaming than usual) wouldn’t have attracted attention long, long ago…

 

double_ditch_car_18465I’m accustomed to finding decades-old cars, or remnants thereof, at the bottom of these cliffs, but I never expected to find a modern day econobox car.  I haven’t been back since that November day, so I don’t know if anything’s been done about it.  I just wish people would treat the area with more respect.

Fighting Falcon

f-16_44794While looking for a photo of a B-2 Stealth Bomber in my collection last night, I came across this really cool F-16 Fighting Falcon photo that I’d totally forgotten. I couldn’t help but process it and share it right away.  One of my little guys loves F-16s; he has a toy one and thinks they’re really fast and cool.  He’s right.  I have a surprise for him.

mafb_nnd_44370That B-2 photo I was looking for?  Here it is.  Still one of my favorite photos ever, because I’m so fortunate to have seen one up close.  By the way, most of the time when it’s approaching or departing it’s almost invisible to the naked eye.  When banking, it looks like a goofy, jagged sliver.  Stealth, indeed.

Hot rods and memories at the BK

hotrod_iphone_2996I drove past the Burger King in Mandan with my family tonight, and my youngest little guy (a big car fan, even at his age) spotted the classic cars and wanted to take a look.

Since my surgeries and my wife’s surgery, along with all the other stuff we’ve gone through, the little boys have been great.  They’ve been cooped up a lot when Mommy and Daddy can’t take ’em places, although we have friends that have stepped in.  But to have actual family time on a summer night like tonight…well, that’s long overdue.  It’s also taught me a sense of perspective.  We were on our way to a specific destination, but I’ve learned to make time for whatever little thing is important to my children.  So we stopped.

The best part about my evening was one of the first: my little guy grabbed my hand, led me around the parking lot, and talked up a storm about all the shiny hot rods on display.  He had a blast, I was on cloud nine, and before long we were all back in the truck and continuing on with our evening.

I often quote one of my favorite songs by Grasshopper Takeover: You can never get it back; you can only let it go.  Well, tonight I didn’t have to let anything go.

A couple of milestones reached

3000_iphone_2462In case you don’t know the story: I’ve been trying to get to the 3,000 mile mark on my mountain bike for the longest time.  Technically speaking, I’m several hundred miles past it…but due to various speedometer failures over the years I’ve never seen it indicated, and therefore I’ve never considered it “official”.  That is, until today.

With my various medical things going on lately, I really didn’t expect to be out on a bike this weekend.  I did ride, though, without anything unusual, and spent part of the trip pulling over at a park to play catch with my oldest little boy (I had mitts, a baseball, and water bottles in my backpack).   I didn’t do anything aggro, no wheelies or endos, and chose to take it easy. The last time I threw caution to the wind on a mountain bike while still recovering from surgery, I tore my kneecap in half and nicked an artery with one of the pieces.  Serious stuff I’d rather not repeat.

 

3000_iphone_2495I managed to get out on two of my motorcycles tonight, too, and while giving my youngest little boy a ride I noticed that I was about to reach the same milestone on that particular machine.  A few blocks from home the odometer ticked over to 3000.0, and we pulled over for a quick snapshot of photographic proof.  Awesome.

This “new normal” we’re going through right now seems a lot more normal now that I’ve been able to spend some time on two wheels.  Maybe there will be some camera time ahead, too!