Saanich Bike Festival

Starting to look at the several dozen photos I took at the Saanich Bike Festival back on April 19th. I’ve been given a Canon 50D DSLR by my father, who has upgraded himself to a very, very shiny 7D, so I took the new-to-me camera out to the Festival to fire off a few shots. I’ve never used RAW before, it’s been years since I handled an SLR, and I’ve never really used a DSLR, so the learning curve is fairly steep. It’s nice having a full-size camera again, though, and even though I’m still at the “no idea what I’m doing” stage the difference in photo quality is pretty obvious.

The Saanich Bike Festival itself was a lot of fun. The weather was gorgeous, I only dealt with a couple of dumb aggro drivers while I was being a volunteer road marshal (ie, human road barricade) during the bike parade up Shelbourne Street, there was a great turnout, and it was just nice to see so many people enjoying bikes!

Here’s a couple of photos; there’s a lot more waiting to be processed on my computer as I get to them and figure out RAW file processing. I still don’t have the colour and contrast quite right, and I’m honestly not sure if that’s because of the camera settings or the RAW processing settings I’m using. Further experimentation will have to take place.

I should also actually read the 50D’s manual sometime…

Saanich Bike Festival

Saanich Bike Festival Parking

Photos: Central France & the Loire

Still getting photos up onto my Flickr account, although over there I’m actually up to Nantes and nearly at the end of the trip, especially as I took very few photos in Paris right at the end of the trip.

Group Photo at the Loire

Above, group photo at Digion where we met the Loire, the last of this trip’s great rivers!

Modern Stain Glass

Stain glass in Nevers.

Gutter Runner

Gutter running in Nevers, two or three stories above the street.

Looking South from Sancerre

Looking south from Sancerre.

Another gym, Sully-sur-Loire

Our five-star accommodation in Sully-sur-Loire.

Sully Chateau, Straighter

We can’t stop now, we’re in chateau country! The first of the famous Loire chateaus in Sully-sur-Loire.

Bike & Loire

Our lunch stop somewhere along the Loire, near Orleans.

Me, Château de Chambord

Me, with the awesome Chateau de Chambord in the background.

Château de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau – the famous “bridge chateau” over the Cher river.

More to come, we had several more days in the Loire, then Nantes itself, a trip out to the Atlantic from Nantes, and then Paris!

Merritt & Salt Spring

Just before Christmas I got up to Merritt to see my father and stepmother, and took the camera along, naturally.

We took a walk along a section of the old Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way. I’d love to see this restored as a fully accessible multi-use trail and be able to do a multi-day bike camping trip along it. Maybe it’ll happen one day!

Vertigo?

Nicola River

We also went walking one afternoon in the ranch area up in the hills, and got some awesome winter sunlight.

Snow Pano

Trees

Closer to home, right at the end of January I got away overnight to Salt Spring Island to camp out at Ruckle Provincial Park. I went there in mid-October and decided to return again for another one-night escape.

Bike + Tent + View

Loaded for the Return

Ruckle is about 45-50km total road distance from downtown Victoria, with a 30 minute ferry ride over to Salt Spring Island from Swartz Bay giving a bit of a break.

Just a note if you do go out to Ruckle in winter, though, there’s no drinking water in the park from November 1st to March 1st — they disconnect the drinking water taps. Bring an extra water bottle or two.

The Use of Fairy Tales

Something I created a few years ago but have apparently never blogged about.

What Use Are Fairy Tales?

Done in Inkscape, as is often the case.

Apparently this is a slight mis-quoting of G.K. Chesterton, who actually said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”