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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pub N Pedal 9: A Speedlight Alcoholocaust

An epiphany I had when processing the Sirens shoot from July: my insistence on available light (because I hate that 'flashy' look) means I'm a slave to the light. I had Rose Ballentine, a gorgeous redhead with a huge repertoire of poses, sitting on her boyfriend's Ferrari, and her eyes were in shadow and I was helpless to save the shot. I actually got some really good shots of Rose, but if only I'd had my own light.

So with all the other drama at home this weekend, and my work on top of that, I thought I was going to miss Pub N Pedal entirely. No, it turns out, I only missed the falling down drunk part. I rode out at almost ten o'clock and got there while there was still a little beer in the keg. But I was stone sober and holy cow, it looks different when your friend is falling down drunk and you're not even buzzed.

Just so you know, I'm not judging. Or exaggerating even a little bit, my friend Thad literally fell down like six times before the party migrated to Buzzard Beach (normally its home), and the fifth time a friend 'stole' his bike right from between his legs and rode off into the darkness. Maybe you can't get a DUI on a bike (they might charge you, but the fact that it's not a motorized vehicle should beat it), but you can definitely get fucking killed riding that drunk.

It was a bit of an Absent Friends party: everyone keeps having babies, moving out of town to go to college, etc. Three of the four Founding Fathers of KC Sprints have gotten married lately, and the other one had a baby with his girlfriend so he might not have a ring or a license but he's fucking married too. But friends came back from Colorado and wherever they are, and friends put off moves to Warrensburg and such to make this event.

Anyway, I got there with a couple of shitty beers still in the shitty beer tank and my friends all seemed drunker than usual because I was sober, but at least I got to try out my speedlight.

A Nikon SB-910 is the flagship strobe for my camera. It costs over $500, almost $550 actually. I've seen a used one at Crick for $475. There's aftermarket ones that will do radio control (like the 910) for around $400, but I got an SB-800 for $200 off eBay. They haven't made this one since 2007 but it was their flagship until then, the speedlight wedding photographers and such went for. I have to learn to use it, and that's not 100% obvious. So my Pub N Pedal friends were victims of my learning curve.


They were pretty willing Guinea pigs since they were all blotto before I got there.

Actually, when I rode up, Jevon asked me if I'd been to all the bars. Well, I hadn't been to even one, I was taking care of my kid and my wife and then kinda snuck out to this thing, but he seemed to believe me. I was like, dude, you've ridden with me, do I look like someone who could visit 20 bars in three hours? Without stopping for 20 drinks? This would take me days.

A good time was had by all as far as I can tell, and that is, after all, the goal according to Jones. Doesn't matter how many bars you hit, how many drinks you have, it's all about having a good time, whether your good time is trying to photograph the drunkathon or trying to drink five liters of box wine and win a race at the same time.

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