Glenn Charles

Adventurer | Photographer

Today I am a Time Traveler with a Camera... Tomorrow, who knows

Pisgah and the Spearfish

I am currently down in Brevard NC putting the new Salsa Spearfish through its paces.  This is an amazing place to ride, photograph and enjoy good local brews.  I feel like I have just found a hidden gem on the east coast.  With miles and miles of forest roads and single track it is definitely a mountain bike playground unlike anything else I have found on the East Coast. 

The Hub, located right at the mouth of the Pisgah on the Davidson River, is an absolutely fantastic base camp.  The shop staff is super friendly, willing to help with digesting the unfathomable amount of riding options.  The shop is fully staffed with bikes and all the kit you could need as well as a cleaning station outside.  Inside they have a  little pub setup where you can grab a nice draft brew from one of the local breweries.  I have made it a practice of stopping post ride and enjoying a nice cold Pisgah Pale Ale.

The Fish, well what can I say, truly a home run by Salsa.  This is one of the nicest and most fun bikes I have ever ridden.  It climbs like a billy goat and flies down the single track in effortless fasion.  I am super stoked to be taking this bike to Arizona for the Coconino Loop in a couple of weeks.  There is no doubt that it will make for a fantastic bikepacking experience.  Loads of travel when necessary and yet rigid enough to make the flats an efficient and comfortable experience.  More on that trip in a week or so.

I will update my Photo Essays site with a full story but for now, here are a few teaser images from my first week.

Fuji X-T1- A Winner

 

Fuji X-T1, 23/1.4, ISO 640 shot on a mini tripod

More to come when I have a good internet connection, but my read on this camera is very positive.  Shooting it for 5 days, in a mixture of conditions has given me a good feel for what it is capable of doing.  I would certainly not hesitate to recommend it for an adventure based camera, especially with the 23/1.4, and the 56/1.2, both of which are spectacular.  Jason would add that the 35/1.4 is a must have as well.  Once I obtain a better internet connection I will post a full writeup as well as more shots.


You can order the Fuji X-T1 and a full assortment of lenses at B&H Photo. As always, it costs you nothing extra to purchase using my links but it does help me to fund the site and the rentals of cameras for reviews.

Place your pre-order with a trusted affiliate now:

Fuji X-T1 available at B&H

Fuji 23/1.4 available at B&H

Fuji 35/1.4 available at B&H

Fuji 56/1.2 available at B&H

 

Adventure Cameras, NAHBS Bound

I am on the road to see my first NAHBS show down in Charlotte and using this as an opportunity to test out the new Fuji X-T1.  The camera has taken the mirrorless market, especially the Fuji faithful, by storm.  I won't do a full detail write up as there are plenty of those types of reviews out there.  Instead, I am focusing on how this camera would fit into the Adventurer's kit.

Does it offer up the feature set, image quality, and a robust lens family, that would warrant a $2000 investment.  I have previously been hard on Fuji, even though the rest of the world seemed to be in love with them.  I tried the X100s and while it was a very cute camera, it was too limiting for my needs.  I rented the X-E1 and took it on a 10 day bikepacking trip and while it produced some nice images, I found its size and controls to be a bit lacking.  Additionally, the lack of a grip and my inability to really get the Raw files to 'produce' for me led me to cast it aside.

So it is with a good bit of excitement that I get to play with the new X-T1 for a week.  Shooting B&W has become mainstream for me, so switching my mind over to color will be a fun exercise in creativity and in 'seeing'.  I will be posting images from NAHBS over on Facebook and on my Exposure site so be sure and stay tuned.

While on the road yesterday, the much anticipated Nikon V3 was announced.  Anyone that follows along knows that i am a big fan of the 1 series.  It has so many detractors, most of whom have never even tried the V or J series cameras.  The V1 is a beautiful little camera.  It is small, fast, and produces very nice images.  On the Lost Coast bikepacking trip, it actually accounted for about 1/3 of my final selects, a number which is quite respectable for a camera with a 1" sensor. 

Nikon has now introduced the successor to the V2 and I am very excited.  They have gone with a more traditional styling and a modular approach.  The camera options include a vertical grip and an external EVF along with the announcement of two new lenses.  The 1 series lens selection is fairly decent and for those interested in video, word is the V3 has absolutely killer video capabilities.  They are still lacking a couple of primes, but you cant argue with the quality of the existing lenses.  Personally, I find shooting with the little 10/2.8 to be a real joy and I am itching to grab the 32/1.8. 



I will have one of these new cameras in as soon as they are available.  Right now you can pre-order the V1 kit from B&H by following this link.  As always, it costs you nothing extra to purchase using my links but it does help me to fund the site and the rentals of cameras for reviews.

Place your pre-order with a trusted affiliate now:

NIKON 1 V3 with 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 NIKKOR 1 LENS at B&H

10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 NIKKOR 1 LENS at B&H

Fuji X-T1 available at B&H

Controlled Chaos

 

Old City, Morocco -- Sony NEX-5 16mm @F/9.0

Celebrating the release of Bunyan Velo issue number 04, this is another shot from my Morocco bikepacking trip.  A speeding Moped races down the narrow stalls full of people, vendors, goods and bikes.  A crazy scene, which could be described as 'Controlled Chaos' is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. 

You can read about the trip in the current issue and then next week I will upload the full Photo Essay.

 

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning not really in the normal sense but in the mental sense.  Inspired by my friends Jason and Dan, I am going to work on stepping back from Social Media for a while.  Not leaving it, as I think that is just too unrealistic, but trying to put it in perspective.  I will focus more time here, trying to write and share in a deeper way and continue to concentrate on my Photo Essays, which I believe are a great way for me to blend images and words.

Starting March 1, my goal is to only check FB twice a day, once in the morning and once at night and even then it is to only respond to items relevant to me.  I want to slip away from the deep dark hole of spending hours searching for interesting things without ever giving anything the mental time and effort it deserves.

I will continue to Tweet as I like that platform.

I will do away with G+ (yep, sorry, once again). Still on the fence about LN

I am amending my little competition for the Porcelain Rocket bags in that stories and images will only be shared primarily here and not on FB.  This is really a great piece of kit and I hope someone wants it.

I am committing to my craft and my new found love of Rangefinders.  The Leica MM has completely changed my perspective on contemplative shooting and I am stoked to push that a bit farther.

I want to write more about gear that helps you get out doors.  Not just to write about gear, but to share my hard won experience from countless days spent in the wild. I look forward to testing the new Fuji X-T1 for a week as I think it could make for the ultimate adventure based camera.  Lots of great things being written about it.

And lastly, I want to work on engaging a meaningful dialogue with those that want to enter the conversation.

Here is to 2014!

Fargo's, Fargo's, Fargo's -- Tis the season for Fargo's

At long last the 2014 Salsa Fargo's are really rolling out the doors.  I know the non-Ti models have been shipping for a while, but now the Ti ones are hitting peoples doors.  This means that a ton of cool Fargo Adventures are about to take place.  As incentive to share your Fargo plans, I have a brand new Porcelain Rocket handlebar Pack (and possible another goody or two) that I will give away to the person who shares the coolest story of how they intend to use their new Fargo. 

Stories must be shared on my Facebook page.  If you don't have FB, then go ahead and drop a line here and I will share it with the FB audience.  You must have a Fargo in possession or on order for this to be fair, so lets everyone play nice please...

Lets give it 30 days and then I will pick the winner.  Have fun and lets share some stories.

Ok, 1,2,3 GO!

Handlebar bag will be black w/o the pouch -- Photo (c) Scott Felter

Handlebar bag will be black w/o the pouch -- Photo (c) Scott Felter