Friday, November 30, 2007

Always Something to Work On

Valve Grinding
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Winter is great time to catch up on tedious projects, those that tend to get buried during more hectic times of the year. Greg spent the day putting the finishing touches on a set of Ural heads for a customer. Porting and polishing can yield high results in performance, but it's a real ass-beater in time and concentration.

This photo shows the grinding process of facing the valve seats. Few folks still do this type of work, but that's what makes ScooterBobs stand out from the rest.

Ultra-Wide Lenses, Diffusers and Wet Kisses

Molly & Dhania Kiss
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Dhania was helping me try out some new equipment this evening. I asked her to pose for me, and interact some with Molly, the overly affectionate family dog. Little did I realize that kissing chaos would follow.

I recently picked up an ultra-wide 15-30mm Sigma lens, which seems pretty awesome. This is the first chance I've had to shoot with it along my new Gary Fong WhailTail flash diffuser. The WhailTail is a really unique tool. I recently saw another photographer using one at a friends wedding, and was intrigued by its design.

I've been aching for an ultra-wide lens for ages, and I really think it's going to be a super lens for the buck. Sigma has always made good optics for the starving photographer, and I look forward to giving this lens thorough use in the field.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday Walk in the Woods

Water Droplets on Oak Leaf
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

For the past several Sundays, I've been enjoying a stroll through the woods around my folks house, in search of the last glimpses of fall before snow covers the ground. To say the least, fall foliage was less than spectacular this year due to high temps and a serious lack of rain. But, small spots of interesting forms and color can still be found.

As I was strolling down an old logging road, I came across a large oak that had finished shedding its leaves. A full bed of oak leaves covered the trail, and a light mist of rain had been falling most of the morning. This one particular leaf really stood out, and the water droplets on its waxy surface was absolutely stunning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nothing Beats the Shine of a New Enfield

Royal Enfield Tank Reflection - HDR Image
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Every time a new Royal Enfield comes into the shop, it's always a special occasion. Greg and I just finish putting the finishing touches on our latest bike, a 2008 Electra that we converted to a solo with lots of extras.

Each bike typically gets its own photo session, but I was especially looking forward to this one because it's such a unique creation. And naturally, my artistic side came out when I saw the reflection in the polished chrome vintage tank.

Maybe the fellas at Royal Enfield will take note and put this on the cover of next years catalog.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fall is Still My Favorite Time of Year

Autumnal Oak Leaf
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

I patiently wait all year for for the few glorious weeks of fall color that comes to West Virginia. Despite having a very dry summer and very lackluster foliage, little bits of color still shine through. Take this oak leaf for example. All by its lonesome, it would be washed away in the collection of colors. But, on a bed of green moss, the contrast and colors are amazing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

National Geographic Magazine Monthly Photo Competition

Golden Eagle Eating Quail
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

For many years now, I've submitted work to National Geographic Magazine with the high hopes of having one of my images published. After patiently waiting (and also getting a really top-notch shot) NGM has slotted this image into their monthly photo competition. Needless to say, my image is strong, but the competition is stiff. There's a lot of good images to go up against, so vote now for yours truly if you think my image is head and shoulders above the rest.

You can visit the following link to vote. Voting ends December 10.

Thanks for your support.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Three Rivers Avian Center at South Charleston Public Library

Wendy Perrone with Great Horned Owl
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Ron and Wendy Perrone of Three Rivers Avian Center ( had a presentation at the South Charleston Public Library this evening, so I thought I'd swing by and take a couple of pics.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Didn't This Just Happen the Other Day....

I-64 Bridge Wreck
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Not more than a couple of weeks ago I was sitting on top of Fort Hill taking pictures of a very similar accident.

Once again, three drops of rain hit the I-64 Interstate Bridge in Charleston, West Virginia and mass chaos followed. This time, it looks like two of Charleston's finest were involved.

It appears that that they were assisting a broken down vehicle when someone plowed into them like an Atlas missile. Anyhow, I hope that no one was seriously hurt. I'll post more concise information tomorrow after reading the paper or watching film at eleven.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Further Evidence I Still Live in West Virginia

Yamaha Zuma - Stihl Camouflage - HDR Image
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

To say the least, you can't leave my idle hands near earth-tone paints. I spent a little extra time touching up my latest camouflage paint scheme on the Zuma, and also proceeded to add on a rack to hold my pimp-tastic Czech fuel cans.

And, since I found a few extra Stihl decals from its previous paint scheme, I slapped them on as well. Now, it's officially the most Appalachian scooter... ever.

I thought... what could beat a Stihl inspired scooter... or a camo scooter... ? Naturally, the best of both worlds has now been achieved.

Although it does stick out like a sore thumb in urban settings, it stealthily allows me to blend into Appalachian culture - anyplace - anytime. As with many creatures, I have now fully mastered my environment.

Now, instead of angry rednecks trying to run over me in their over-sized pickup trucks from hell, they cheer me on in delight. What was once cause for concern is no longer.

I still gain scowls of disdain from all of the BMW/Saab/Volvo/Audi (if I've left out your particular brand of over-priced penis... my apologies) driving fuckers who are late for their lunch and round of golf at the local country club, but that actually brings me some small amount of satisfaction.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tis the Season for Camouflage

Yamaha Zuma - Camouflage
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Well, in my ongoing attempt to mess with the local populous, I decided to repaint the Zuma once again... this time going for a more time honored West Virginia theme - camouflage.

The previous Stihl theme was a stroke of genius, and made every local turn their head in a fog of wonder and amazement. And no doubt, one of these years the Stihl theme will more than likely make a comeback. However, this the season for camo, so this design should thoroughly confuse and bewilder the local-yokels once again.

If I wanted to get even more Appalachian in my design, I could have gone with a Dale Earnhardt inspired NASCAR theme, but I just couldn't bring myself to stoop that low. Plus, it would have been stolen before the paint dried. You just gotta love hillbillies.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Training with the WVARNG

West Virginia Army National Guard
Originally uploaded by Jason Means

Just got back from five days of training with the West Virginia Army National Guard. It was a great opportunity for some excellent training, and a good time was had by all.

For more images, check out the WVARNG picture set on my Flickr account.

And for more on the info on the West Virginia Army National Guard - follow this link.