I picked up an Elby 9-speed electric bicycle. Some assembly required — attach the left pedal, and straighten the handlebars. Plus adjustments to the seat height. My last bicycle was a single-speed Schwinn that I had trouble getting up the hill to my house. The Elby has four-levels of power assist, and four-levels of battery regeneration (when going downhill or breaking). A bit of a learning curve to figure out how to use the SRAM X5 derailleur for shifting since the levers were a bit too close to the RC3 controller. I also installed a mount for my Garmin VIRB-360 camera (the bike has a USB power outlet). Once I got things figured out, the power-assist was great, and got me up the hill to my house. One potential downside is that the company that provided the BionX 500 watt DC motor for the bike went bankrupt. I look forward to having the bike along for my next road trip.
Gone to See Cuba 2011 People to People Cultural Exchange. Day 6 of a Street Photography Workshop led by Steve Simon.
I spent some of the day using the Astro tripod head to do 360 degree images and 360 degree time-lapse videos. First stop was the Plaza de San Francisco (Saint Francis of Assisi). Later we did a walk along the Malecón (Avenida de Maceo) — actually across the street from the seawall since there were very large waves crashing against the seawall. Here I did a straight time-lapse video of the traffic and waves. At one point a woman walking along the seawall decides that the waves are too big and crosses the avenue.
Individual images from the slideshows can be viewed here.
Gone to See Cuba 2011 People to People Cultural Exchange. Day 3 of a Street Photography Workshop led by Steve Simon.
One thing you notice in Havana is that many/most of the taxis are vintage American vehicles imported into Cuba before the revolution. I did a time-lapse video of the traffic out my hotel room window with lots of the classic taxis. The group then went out for a morning photo shoot in three classic convertible taxis. Our local host told us that medical doctors in Cuba make more driving the taxis than they do practicing medicine.
Individual images from the slideshow can be viewed here.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 1: Kailua Kona.
After checking into our hotel, a few of us walked down to the beach for sunset. I hoped to see the “Green Flash” like I did the last time I was in Hawaii. The conditions were not right, but I did get some good sunset images. I processed these images using newer, current tools. You can see earlier versions here.
Gone to See Portugal. Day 8: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on TAP (Air Portugal) Lisbon to Newark.
I checked out of the Bessa Hotel and took a taxi to the airport. Check-in, Security, Customs & Immigration were quick. I didn’t need to remove my shoes, computers, or cameras — but did need to remove my belt with the heavy copper Philmont buckle. I spent some time at the lounge, but was warned when checking in to get to the gate early. At the gate we needed to go through a 2nd security check for carry-on luggage (only if your name was on a list for extra screening) which resulted in some confusion and long lines. They also checked the size and weight of carry-on luggage. If it was too large, it was gate checked. I was waved through. One group of tourists in front of me had small carry-0n luggage when they checked in but then loaded up with tax-free goods (many bottles of Portuguese Port and cigars) that put them way over the limits. They were not Americans, there is another country that has taken over the ugly & rude tourist award. For the international flights, we needed to take a bus out to the jet which also took more time. I ended up with a great seat with a window and extra space for my computer. The meals on TAP are excellent. I will definitely fly TAP again.
Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed here.