I've been trying to ride my bike to work on Friday's because it is a great way to get a couple workouts in and save a little gas at the same time. So I get my happy ass up at 3:30 am and try to hit the road by 4:00. It is a 33 mile ride that usually takes me about 2 hours. I've really enjoyed the experience and I look forward to getting to do more of them (at least until the weather gets too cold.)
Anyway, it took me a little while to decide to ride the entire distance from home to work (I had previously been driving to a location and then riding the remaining distance) but after I made the big decision I haven't looked back. On my first full ride I was riding along and got to a particular bridge in Des Moines and happened to notice the Des Moines skyline. It was beautiful. I had caught that time of morning where the sky was a stunning, deep blue. So I pulled my camera out of my backpack and took several shots using the bridge handrail to steady the camera. I was pretty excited. When I got to work I downloaded all the pictures and every one of them was blurry. DAMMIT!! I decided to try again the next week (weather permitting) but I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. I purchased the Pedco Ultrapod II from Amazon and carried it and a remote shutter release with me the next week. The next week was also a great morning so when I got to the bridge I had my shot all planned out. I was going to use Auto Exposure Bracketing to attempt an HDR image and I would also attempt to just get it right in-camera. I was determined to get a good shot. I also realized that part of the problem the last week was that I had underestimated how much the bridge shakes when cars drive over it. So I had to time my exposures till there wasn't a car in sight. I turned on my mirror lock-up and also used my LCD screen to focus (since it can zoom and my viewfinder can't.) This time when I got the pictures downloaded they were awesome. After attempting to HDR the images I couldn't get them to align perfectly and the HDR image was simply too soft to consider using. Then I played around in Paint Shop Pro X4 a little while with a single RAW image and I was ecstatic with the results I got. I immediately sent it to Costco for large scale printing (12 x 18) and after receiving the print I loved it. I hope you like it as much as I do.