Thursday, October 25, 2012

Eldo-Glide Moto Guzzi

So I picked up the legendary Eldo-Glide from a friend today, and now it's my job to carry the torch. No real plans so far, other than clean up the look a little, do some general maintenance, and maybe polish it up a bit.

Just a background on the bike, from

"This is the Eldo-glide. A late ’70 Moto Guzzi Eldorado with bits of Harley and Indian here and there. It’s owned by Tom the Tailor (612.721.4557) who has been sticking the odd bits and pieces on it for well over 20 years to get a bike that has a splash of American iron with the fat bob tank perched on the Italian bike. Having roommates at the time with basketcase Indians, Tom was constantly seeing which of their parts would fit on the Guzzi and then going out and finding them at swap meets. The exhaust is custom bent to blend the truck mufflers in nicely with the floorboards. The massive leather bags were made to order by Tom for a customer who decided she’d asked for bags that were way too big. The front fender sports a running light off of an old truck and some stainless steel flames tack welded onto the leading edge. After replacing hundreds of Moto Guzzi throttle cables he threw a Triumph throttle on there which would only break a few dozen times. Tom’s bike is by far the nastiest bike in this group. Everywhere you look there are mismatched nuts & bolts, bits of duct tape, and there isn’t a piece on the thing that still shines except for the crazy whitewall tires, both of which are both fronts. A few years ago Tom rode the Eldo-glide to Sturgis and back with little trouble and the bike was in constant use up until this spring when it was replaced with a brand new Moto Guzzi Jackal. Lord knows what that thing will look like in 24 years."

It's going to take a while to get going, and a great winter project, but should be worth it at the end.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Photographers, and new equipment.

So every time something new comes out in the camera world we have all these photographers and hobbyists drooling over the latest and greatest. They then go into how many mega pixels whatever has vs something else, or how sharp the lens is, or how high of ISO the camera can get.

All this is great and all, but they are forgetting some crucial pieces to critique. Those being, will that new equipment bring more clients or business in the door and will that equipment turn into more money or work for them? I don't think new equipment now days is turning into money as it once was.

Keep in mind I don't shoot weddings where this equipment would be critical, but then I wouldn't think someone shooting weddings would tune into a fashion photographers blog anyway.

So in a more traditional sense, a lot of portraits, senior pictures, family photos, headshots, etc, aren't going to be printed that large. even for a wedding I would think around a 20x30ish print is getting pretty big. So mega pixel count doesn't really mean all that much anymore unless someone is doing a ton of cropping.

More traditional images are shot where light really isn't a factor anymore. I'm sure some use iso 1600 or 3200, but (personally) a lot of my work is done under iso 400, and even nice consumer cameras have been able to do a pretty good 3200 for a while. So I don't see how having 25k+ iso would be a selling point, unless you do weddings.

Lenses these days are pretty sharp, even consumer zooms. Granted some are more than others, but most of my clients don't take a lupe out and view prints or photos. So although it's nice to have a really sharp lens, I'm not sure that's a selling point anymore with the mega pixel cameras we have and the sized prints we're making. I doubt that additional sharpness will come though on a 8x10, and I doubt a strong image that size would be less strong if it was a tad soft.

What I think is happening, and I've said this before, is that we're getting to a point where a photographer can buy a camera and expect to use it for 5+ years with little motivation to upgrade. The file size is large enough to day to cover just about any print size, image quality has improved many times over even 5 years ago to a point where it's amazing for any normal portrait work, and I think lenses have come to a point where they aren't a factor as much as they were - and even for consumer zooms. Granted I can be wrong, and my opinion isn't as sexy as "I love this new camera that came out" but I can't see how clients could tell the difference, and I can't see how someone could justify thousands and thousands in something that won't have a major impact on their work.

Now if any non-photographers have got this far, my advice, just look at the images. If they are strong then it doesn't matter what they were shot with, if they aren't great then it doesn't matter what they were shot with. Anything today can produce prints, web images, and enlarge at least up to 16x20 without working too hard. Focus more on the work than what it's made with.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

How to use online modeling sites

I'm not your agent, or your parent, and I don't think these sites are a total waste of time. So please read my other post and/or contact your agent before making a profile. Mostly speaking about Model Mayhem here...

So I just posted something about how these sites can waste time, and they can, but, they can be a great resource if used in the right ways, which is networking!

Where else can you find other people in other cities/areas/countries? The site is a huge melting pot of everyone from around the world. This can provide a great way to network with others, make new friends/contacts, and find places to crash when traveling. Granted there needs to be some common sense used when talking with internet strangers, but I've made some great contacts over the years and it's a great way to get to know people you otherwise may not have.

So, and again it'd shy away from shooting with just anyone, but a simple profile with a few simple shots and snapshots (front & side in a swimsuit and headshot) may help network with others in different cities you may want to move, photographers in other areas, or just a good waste of time in the forums "discussing" stuff.

Again, I'm not your agent, parent, or a doctor, but there are good points to these sites and this is a big one!

Using internet modeling sites to get free shoots

So I was on Model Mayhem today, had a cold, and was posting a bit in the forums. Don't get me wrong, the site has helped me out, it helps others out, and it's not a bad place to be on (agency models should talk to their agents first though). But, the problem is when a model gets into the "testing trap" and wastes time online when they should be knocking doors at agencies.
So just off the top of my head, and again I have a cold, here are some issues with those sites in general and why it may not be a great idea to join right away if you want to model.

The Testing Trap
If you want to model, and are around industry standard heights and sizes, then you would be better off talking with agencies first. Online, at modeling sites, there seems to be this perception that "models" need to always test, and be "testing up", to get real world work. This isn't really correct. No one in the industry cares, agents don't care, and it may even hurt you later.
At best, it may, eventually, after a while, get some images that may kind of work for real world modeling.
At worst it will waste a lot of time, get terrible images, or get images that may put off clients later when they want to hire you.
I feel, rather than mess around on these networking sites if you're a industry standard size model, that it's better to talk with agencies first or a local professional photographer first and pay for a shoot - it's more expensive, but it gets results a lot faster.

Google has an image search
I looked up a model there today on google, and lot of the images on Mayhem were listed under the models name as "lists" which will be very hard to delete later if you're looking for work. I'm not saying this is a privacy issue, that it's bad, but it happens and it's something to be aware of.
If a client were to hire you, did a search online (which they do) those images may come up. Now this may or may not hurt you, but at that point it's a little out of your control.
There are more, and I may visit this later, but these are just off the top of my head.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moto Guzzi Convert Police!

Looks great doesn't it! Well at least it looks great in the picture. A lot of body work "could" be done, but all in all it's there. It's a pretty fun bike to ride around town, not too bad out on the open road, and nothing sounds like a guzzi! I'll post more technical stuff about it sometime when I have a few more min.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Seriously, something fun to do on a Sat night, good fun for the family, drinking, and not to mention the rollergirls themselves don't look so bad... Nothing really beats it, and the MNRG (Minnesota Rollergirls) are #2 in the midwest and kick butt!