Rolling Toward Spring

There are small mounds of dirty snow where it was piled during our last snowfall. The trees are bare. Numerous puddles dot the path. Coats are on and gloves are on standby in everyone’s pockets. By the standards of early March, it’s a beautiful day. 

We are ready for a bike ride. It’s been months since the helmets have been on and the bikes have been rolling. 

 Cheeks are rosy. Hands are cold. Noses are runny. 

After a winter of days spent mostly indoors, this is freedom.

The eager days of late winter will pass and soon a day like this will be reason to stay inside or at the very least, complain. Until then, we’re looking for snowdrops, steering around puddles and merrily rolling towards spring.

 Simple Technical Information: This last photo is an example of a technique known as panning. I discovered it last spring when then kids got their bikes out. I had seen it used before but mostly for car and bike racing. During sledding season last year, I tried to capture the excitement of a sled ride. My photos ended up looking like a kid sitting still in the snow. One day on Flickr, I saw a panning shot of sledding. YES! The sleds were packed away, but the kids were still moving. I started to practice panning. 

Panning captures motion by slowing the shutter to blur the background while following the subject’s motion with the camera to keep it in focus. It takes practice and a high tolerance for completely blurred shots. But with digital photography, mistakes are free. 

I used shutter priority (Tv) and set the shutter to 1/40 for this shot. The aperture was 8.0. I waited for him to ride past, focused and moved the camera as he was passing to get the shot. It was the only pan from the afternoon that worked.

5 thoughts to “Rolling Toward Spring”

  1. I hope you don't mind me using your blog to get back in touch with Joan, Jenny. . . Joan! I've lost touch with you! I'd love to get back in contact! How can I find you?

  2. I love the line "mistakes are free" with digital photography. It is a good reminder to try new things. Your photos reminded me of the trip I took to Pitt last fall. I realized how beautiful it really is there.

  3. What a beautiful spring series! I especially like the little guy on his mini bike. Is that a push bike without any wheels?

    I have a question about the choice of black-and-white versus color photography. In this digital age, when we can choose to make a photo either one – or both – when do you tend to use black-and-white over color?

    Thanks, Jenny!

  4. Hi Jenny!
    Great to "find" you… crazy thing, a friend of mine in Grand Forks (where I live now) posted your website on her Facebook page. I looked at it and saw Frick Park and then you and your beautiful kids! Your photography is lovely and inspiring… so great to see your kids and in places we enjoyed so much while living in Pittsburgh.
    Hope you are well! Love,

  5. Abigail – This is an aspect of digital photography that I have not tired of. Along with the instant view of the photos, it makes learning so much easier and experiments more fun.

    Zane – He's riding a Radio Flyer Scoot About. It has four wheels (the ones in the back are close together) and no pedals. He loves it and has been zooming around on it for a year and a half now. Also, I wrote a little about black and white vs. color in my most recent post but I'm planning to write one specifically about that soon.

    Joan – What a nice surprise to hear from you. It is crazy how you found your way here. I'm glad you did. Sheila asked about you recently. Hope you are doing well.

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