30 Jan 2014

Porsche stuff

I shot this local Turbo on my early morning walk last week.The owner used to have a beautiful silver 993 Turbo .He swapped it for this TechArt   Turbo .Each to his own and I am a purist.I am sure that this one goes faster...He did tell me how much he wanted for the beautiful 993 when he was selling it but predictably it was totally out of my league.Sadly.
Leica X1 photo given HDR treatment in Nik Collection HDR.I know...I should have taken it about 1.5 seconds earlier when the walkers were better positioned.

Now this one is weird.I was down in Sydney at Autohaus Hamilton,Porsche specialist in Brookvale earlier in the week collecting some air hoses James the parts manager had ordered in for me and he showed me this "Speedster" they are building for a customer.It was a big bumper G-series convertible which long nose front end panels have been grafted onto and I think James said a 3.8 motor although I may be wrong on the last point.Now I really should wait to see the finished car before passing comment but I do have to say that IMHO currently it looks weird-really weird.

28 Jan 2014

Early morning people

A few weeks back for a change I decided to turn my camera away from the beach and the rocks and onto the people I see on my regular early morning walk on Terrigal's esplanade.I wasn't trying to shoot prize winning portraits -just photos on the fly,trying not to intrude,en passant,happy snaps to go,the world as I saw it one sunny morning.It's something anyone with a camera or even a smartphone could do although my walk is in a particularly pleasant location and is generally populated by friendly,smiling people.You may struggle if your early morning walk is downtown Detroit or Damascus.....

Anyway here's my collection-some of the Terrigal early morning people- starting with the always smiling team from the Terrigal Newsagency - Cathy, Amanda and Andrew - through to the others including Billy the dog.Thanks for smiling for my camera early morning people.
Leica X1 photos.

26 Jan 2014

Australia Day

Well it's Australia Day - 26th January-Australia's national day celebrating the arrival of Captain Phillip and the First Fleet into Botany Bay on 26th January 1788.Not a day of celebration for the indigenous Aboriginal inhabitants though.
It should be hot and sunny but after weeks of stunning weather it's let us down-again.Here on the Central Coast of NSW it's gloomy and overcast and by our standards a cool 24ºC.A rerun of Christmas Day although it rained heavily on Christmas Day as well.In fact that was the last time it rained properly.
I'd like to show photos of happy Australians waving flags on the beach and I just went down to shoot some but the shots just looked dull.So here's a shot of a man doing something quintessentially Australian -dangling a line in the sea at dawn.Leica X1 photo.
However since writing the above at midday the sun has found his hat - the temperature has climbed and it has been a beautiful afternoon .

23 Jan 2014

Fiddle repairs and vintage digital photos

Clarence Boudreau repairs fiddles.Well he repairs violins and other string instruments -see  Fiddle Repairs.He lives in a log house in Sidney- see photo below-on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada just across the strait from the city of Vancouver.
He also takes photos - some of which have previously appeared on TRR . See A photographer's tale .
Clarence does not use the latest digital gear.Perhaps not surprisingly he takes the vintage route.Since the Photographer's Tale blog story appeared he has acquired a vintage Leica Digilux 2 to use alongside his even more vintage Digilux 1 and this is described in Canada Day.
The Digilux 2 is a special camera.Today the specification seems very dated-just 5mp for example- but it has a quite exceptional lens and Digilux 2's sell for very strong prices when they come on the market and some are still used today by top level professional photographers .
He recently sent me some more Digilux 2 photos .Now he does have an unfair advantage that he lives in a very beautiful place but I particularly like the autumn (fall) scene-OK it's pure chocolate box but the colour rendition is so mellow.
Clarence has just told me that he has purchased a Ricoh Caplio GX100.Another vintage digital camera and one I had not even heard of.

 I think that I can say without fear of contradiction that Clarence seems to take the road less travelled in life.Clarence,thanks for the photos of a beautiful place which I was fortunate to visit way back in January 1998.Sadly I did not take any photos then.

22 Jan 2014

Then and now - a very clever story.

Now IMO this is a very clever story .Paul Perton's evocative steam railway photographs have appeared on TRR previously.He just sent me this story which combines an old photo and modern technology .A very neat piece of technological detective work. I am very impressed with what he has done and also I like the early railway photo which triggered it- what a classic shot.

Idling a couple of hours away over the Festive Season with a book of steam railway images, I found myself looking at this photograph and wondering just where the coal had come from that the train was moving and whether it was destined for the power station in the background.

I looked on Google Maps and battled to find the colliery mentioned in the book’s caption - almost every pit in the North East has been closed for decades. Following some visual clues, mainly local rivers and roads, I managed to find the scar of the track bed and followed it north over the River Weir into Sunderland.

The original image seemed to have been taken from one bridge looking towards another and with a bit more map zooming, it was possible to spot the Wearmouth Bridge and on its right, the arched shadow of the much less visible rail bridge.

Plucking Google’s little yellow man from the scale tool and placing him on the bridge revealed a StreetView across from the west side of the road bridge and the steelwork of the rail bridge.

I was clearly almost at the right spot, but there was absolutely no sign of the power station. Surely that hadn’t been done away with too?

It certainly had. I’m no expert at map interpretation, but the empty area north of Livingstone Road, opposite the Northumbria Police Station looks suspiciously like an abandoned industrial area, well capable of housing a small power station.

Back to StreetView. Now I’m standing just inches from where the photographer stood almost fifty years ago. By moving the StreetView fractionally, it’s possible to align the circles and ovals and look through the rail bridge’s steelwork and see where the cooling tower and chimney would have been in the area closest to the river. 

Mystery solved and I now have the start of a new hobby. All that said, I still can't help but wonder what happened to the chap in the flat cap.

Ain’t technology great?

19 Jan 2014

Two shows - a world apart

Two sets of photos of shows literally a world apart.There could not be a greater contrast between these two shows.The first was/is in Paris in a beautiful setting the Grande Palais.Cartier jewellery-arguably the world's greatest jeweller being viewed the day after Christmas Day by sophisticated Parisiens and others .Photos by Patrick Wheeler - Sony RX100. Cartier Exhibition, Grande Palais,Paris,December 2013.
The second show is downunder in far from sophisticated Gosford on the Central Coast of NSW,Australia.The Central Coast Machinery Show at a scorching hot ( 38ºC in the shade-that's 100ºF)Gosford Showground yesterday-18th Jan.Mainly old men -many farmers-looking and playing with old machinery-fire engines,stationery engines,farm tractors and other weird stuff which most of us would not give a second glance or would consider junk.A world away from the Grand Palais.Photos by me on my Leica X1.I wish that I had taken more but it was heat stroke territory.The car's aircon beckoned.
Please enjoy - it is truly a wonderful world.

Now make the switch-Paris in winter to dusty Gosford in a heatwave.Sophistication to well...

17 Jan 2014

Twins stuff

Two photos about twins.The first seen on the street in Terrigal a few days ago shows identical cars with sequential rego numbers and even the "P" plates placed at the same jaunty angle-surely owned by girl twins -- perhaps even identical twins.They have to be girls - let's face it no self respecting boy would be seen dead driving a white Suzuki Alto-indeed any Suzuki Alto.
The second is my grandaughters-Poppy(R) and Scarlett(L) - identical twins - photographed last weekend early morning with their "bed" hair and "breakfast" faces.As always a grab shot and it was taken on auto which dialled in f2.8 which gave me almost no depth of field.If I had more time -- which you never have with the twins- I would have chosed an much smaller aperture so that both faces would have been in totally focus.As it is Poppy's face is pin sharp but Scarlett's is just marginally off.
This is a DNG (Raw) file which I have spent some time adjusting to try and get the skin tones right.The trouble with child photos is that we have the tendency to make them more "glowing" than they in fact are.Also the yellow wall and the early morning light made it more difficult.I'm still not totally happy that I have got this one right but my reference models have gone home.Leica X1 photos.

15 Jan 2014

A world away

A counterpoint to the recent photos and stories of sunburnt Australia.A wonderful photo taken in Ludlow,Shropshire,UK last weekend ,of an old style butcher's shop.
Those are pheasants hanging up outside the shop.Pheasant is a game bird which is traditionally hunted and shot and then hung for a time to allow the meat to mature.It sounds revolting but it is in fact very tasty although it is strong and"gamey" and is very much an acquired taste.Pheasants are now also "factory farmed".The game birds often still have a shot gun pellet or two lodged in them which you have to exercise care not to swallow.In this butcher the different sizes and variations in colours shows that they are game birds - not farmed.In any case I I'm sure that Mr Wall would not consider having farmed pheasants for sale in his traditional shop.
The photo was taken by Roger Putnam,whose photos on TRR are often from his archive.He has just acquired the recently launched "hot" camera-a Sony A7.Sadly he has traded in his Leica X2.The Sony is a very compact camera with a full frame (same size as a 35 mm frame) sensor.For this shot Roger used a Zeiss 35mm F1.8 lens.The quality and in particular the definition is very impressive.Umm.....

14 Jan 2014

I want one - but it must be yellow

I am not a big fan of the latest model of the Porsche 911 as I feel that whilst it is an superb example of automotive engineering it is too big,way too complex,too heavy and just too far away from the original 911 concept of a lightweight, nimble sports car.However I do like the Cayman which I feel now embodies the spirit of the original 911and which also looks great - particularly in its latest version.Oddly the Cayman is not that popular in Australia.Plenty of 911s and Boxsters and Cayennes on the roads but very few Caymans and even fewer Panameras.The latter I can understand but I'd take a Cayman over a Boxster any day.Australia is not really a good place for convertibles unless you like sunstroke-as I know from experience.
Jen,whom I met at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart back in 2012, who lives in Singapore and has a collection of Porsches sent me this recent photo of his Cayman.I love yellow Porsches and it's great to see a Cayman in a colour other than silver,white or black although Jen tells me that the colour is actually Perodit Green but digital camera sensors seem to be confused by this colour and it looks "yellow".I want one anyway.

Singapore is a  small city/state and it is most definitely not a car friendly place.The cost of buying and registering a car -and running it as they have road pricing-is astronomical.And there are no Porsche friendly driving roads in Singapore itself- you have to cross the causeway into Malaysia and that presents other challenges.It all sounds way too hard and yet there are Porsche enthusiasts there and Porschefile Jen must be up there as one of the most enthusiastic.He is also into really adventurous long distance drives- not in Porsches.Hopefully I will be able to persuade him to share the story of what sounds like an amazing drive he has planned later this year.
The photo below shows his car and his local Singapore Porsche club members up in Phuket in Thailand.Bit more of a drive than our local Australian morning runs.Sadly there were very few early Porsches in Singapore and what there were disappeared (exported to Australia and NZ?) when the rego system changed years ago.

12 Jan 2014

Photos from a morning walk

Photos from my early morning walk-Sunday Jan 12th 2014.As it turned out a perfect day.Hot but not too hot.A clear deep blue sky.A house full of happy children.A much used pool.A trip to the beach.Children boogy boarding on the lagoon.Meals on the deck.Drying towels.Cold beers.Even a quick run in one of the Porsches.A 10 out of 10 day.Truly the lucky country at its best.
Some random photos.
Showering off after an early morning dip. 
The natural order of things.He's flat out and she's flat out cooking his breakfast. 
That's a church with broad appeal.
Yes , and.......? Meaningless sticker.
Ford Falcon,Terrigal style. 
All Leica X1 photos Sunday 12th January.

10 Jan 2014

Travel tip

Now this blog is not a serious blog about anything.It's not exclusively Porsche-there are way too many Porsche blogs already.It's not one of those serious photography sites either.Or a travel site.
No TRR is just stuff that I find interesting and which I hope a few others find interesting .And in that spirit I'd like to present the first ever The Rolling Road travel tip.
Sadly I did not take this photo.In fact I do not know who did.It was forwarded to me yesterday but as I found it both hilarious and an example of some very fast camera work-although I am almost certain that it was taken with a smartphone-so I thought I should put it on the blog.If the originator sees this by chance I hope he or she will accept my thanks and congratulation.

9 Jan 2014

No easy rider

In my car and SUV driving life by a combination of luck and design I have avoided driving too many dogs.Most of the dogs I have driven have been rental cars and one rental car dog stands out above all others-an  Oldsmobile Cutlass Coupe which I rented from Avis at LA airport on a business trip in 1984 and which I and a colleague drove up highway 1 from LA to San Franciso in a day.
Whilst we had no choice in the car we were given and whilst it was perfectly adequate on the freeways and around town in LA-as long as we did not want to make sudden changes of direction-it was totally unsuitable for driving what is a superb driving road at a brisk pace.It rolled and pitched like a ship in a heavy sea.The seats had absolutely no lateral support so when it rolled you slid sideways.The steering was low geared - it seemed as if you turned and turned and turned and eventually the front wheels moved.The brakes were adequate but totally lacked "feel" but worst of all it had appalling understeer.You see it was front wheel drive.At that time GM had no idea how to make an FWD car steer and handle.My recent experience with a 2012 Chevrolet Impala suggests that they still have some learning to do on chassis dynamics.
There are almost continuous bends on highway 1 -some fast - some slow and in a Porsche 911 they would be heaven.In the Cutlass they were very hard work.The car just ploughed straight on if you steered at a normal pace into a corner.The only technique for cornering was - very slow in and very slow out.
It was a very long day-it's over 1000kms- and we arrived in San Francisco totally exhausted not helped by the fact that it was a sunday and the last 100 or so kms were in bumper to bumper walking pace traffic returning to the city.What a shocker.And I understand that the Cutlass was a very big seller in its day.

This whole episode had faded into the rear most recess of my memory-it was after all 30 years ago and a lot has happened in the intervening years- but it all came back when I found this colour negative of that infamous Avis rental Cutlass a few days ago.It was taken by me somewhere along that beautiful road on my Olympus OM2 with I think a 28mm lens.The photo flatters that tank of a car.
Sadly the negative is badly deteoriated so I have converted it into B&W to hide the discolouration.I used a lot of colour negative film over a 20 year period because I wanted prints and because it was much cheaper than slide film .However the minilabs where it was processed probably did not wash it thoroughly or perhaps the dyes are just breaking down and after 30 years it is all discolouring badly which is a real pity because I have a lot of interesting colour negatives which I would like to use.

6 Jan 2014

"Winter in America is cold..."

More guest photos but these are ones I could never have taken.David is a Porsche 356 owner and enthusiast and he also owns the great 550 replica which has featured on the blog previously.His day ( and night) job is a 747 pilot with Qantas and he sent me these unique photos from New York from last weekend-the weekend of the big snowstorm.
I'll let David tell the story-

We arrived at Kennedy at 5pm Saturday, as the sun set.
Perfectly clear skies and -8C.
I took these pictures through the front window, with my iPad, as we taxied in.
They aren't anywhere your high standard, but we're meant to be looking after the aeroplane, not our camera.
The runways and taxiways were iced, there were snow drifts up to 2ft on either side, waiting for the outboard engines to suck it up. Bang !
Everything was moving slowly. An arriving Air France A380 had been waiting for over 2 hours just to taxi onto his bay. Sacre Bleu.
A great experience.

And here's what New York looked like when he got into town.