Tag Archives: Photography

Trail Pics

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A trio I encountered at a park in Sand Springs taking a walk.

I have a Go Pro Clone action camera that I can mount on the handlebars of my bicycle. It has various modes. It has a video loop mode where it takes three minutes of video, stores it does three more minutes until it runs out of battery. Or I can still pics at any interval you set. I have been experimenting with both modes. Video is a pain in the butt because of the huge files you end up with long upload and download times and a definite problem of separating the wheat from the chaff. Stills are a lot easier. You end up with a huge amount of them but you can just delete the ones you don’t like which for me is literally about 95% of them on the first pass and then about 80% of the remainder get deleted on a second pass review.  I now use about a 20 second delay between pics now. In an hour ride that is about 180 photos. Typically I keep about five to ten. The rest get deleted. Thank goodness for digital photos!!

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I love the sense of distance in this. I love feeling a long ways from where I need to be. Except when things go wrong. Two years ago on this trail one of my tires blew out and I had to go pick up the kid in an hour. I hid the bike. Called a cab (cuz there was no Uber out in the boonies), took the cab to where my car was, drove the car back to the trail and retrieved the bike and then went to pick up the kid. Thank goodness for cell phones is what I say!!

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I like the photos of people out on the trail, like this couple. You can tell by their body language that they like each other.

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This poor lady was all over the trail and I don’t think she heard my “on your left” so I went very slowly around her way to the right. My heart really went out to her. She looks like she might be housing insecure. I think she has a long ways to go but I don’t think she is enjoying it. I am no so called “bleeding heart liberal” but our decreasing compassion for people who are down on their luck is a real problem. I hope she found a safe place to stay that night.

Our World Tuesday – Nature Photography Class – Spring 2018 – Chapter One

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I am all excited!! I did a one day Nature Photography class by Tulsa Community College.  We met early in the morning and then headed off to several venues, the Linnaeus Gardens, Tulsa Garden Center, Tulsa Botanic Gardens, and Oxley Nature Center.

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So the over a dozen of us, clicked and snapped away and we walked, and walked. My little garmin wrist device tells me that I walked 7.76 miles today. I believe it. My dogs are barking, you know what I mean. I do trail running, and this was about the same except I had a camera and was clicking happily away.

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This is at Wooward Park, before the class really even started. So what do you like best, pink tulips in front, with yellow in back?

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Or the other way around? Without cars in the background. Ignore the cars in the background.

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Or how about the Redbud Trees.

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How about some ancient stone steps.

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At Oxley, do you like the little snake my fellow students found?

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Or do you like the bigger snake a few hundred yards away. They said, don’t worry, no triangular head, and the eyes are round so it is not venomous. Like I even cared. Who is going to get close enough to snakes to figure out the roundness of its eyes?

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I forget where this is from. It is pretty is all I know.

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I love this also. No idea what it is.

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Anyway, the more I learn about this photography thing, the more ignorant I get. I am firmy entrenched into manual mode, and metering the photos and all that but the complicated things get me. Like the above. Sunny on one side, shady on the other, overeposed on one side, under on the other. Who you going to call? Nobody, suck it up big guy, figure it out.

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Or focus on the blossoms. The yin and the yang. Big picture, small picture. I am so confused.

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Here is a redbud up close.

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Linnaeus Gardens

How about a flag reflection. The reflection looks okay, but the sky is blown out.  No editing done anywhere on this post by the way.  Haha you say, we could tell that.

That is all for now. I took over 200 photos and I store them all in cloud and it is painfully slow to get them there. I used to store them on an external hard drive. Big, huge mistake. It cratered.

I really enjoyed the class. Kudos to my fellow students who really got into it, the various venues, who welcomed us with welcome arms and the instructors, Larry and Natalie who spent a considerable amount of time scheduling us into the various places, and led us around making sure that everybody had a fun time. I’ll be taking more classes from them again.

I am calling this Chapter One because I have so many photos to upload and don’t want to  wait until they are all uploaded before I post something. Call me impatient.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

 

Blue About Blue, Learning About Color

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That sinking feeling…

I am taking a photography class and it has been fun (I originally typed “phun”, I like it) and this week we are supposed to take a Pantone color and match it to something and photograph it and then talk about what the Pantone color of the year is. You may wonder what Pantone is? It is a company in New Jersey who is known for standardizing colors in a repeatable way. I had always wondered because in previous lives I had occasion to have signs made for various things, such as compressor stations or new offices and whatever company I was working for would send the sign design and the colors were just listed by numbers and I would ask, how do you know they will get it right and they told me not to worry about it, a good print shop will get it right. And sure enough they did whether it was British Petroleum Green, Shell Oil Yellow, Lear Petroleum Aggie Maroon, Champlin Petroleum Red, or Mobil Oil Red. They always got it right.

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Great pic, except you can’t see the object I am trying to match.

Anyway I had a problem because I lost my assigned paint chip which was some sort of bright pinkish red so I decided to work things backwards and take an object and find the Pantone equivalent. Smart plan right, well guess what I couldn’t find the Pantone colors. So being the problem solver that I am I just went to Lowes with my Yeti and found the color among what they had that matched the object as close I could get it. They had several displays of different paint chips and I tried to get as close as I could. I tell you what matching colors is tiring and frustrating. Some colors that seemed close, didn’t seem so close later. They all look different depending on the light it is in.

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This was taken with my cell phone. Looks like several matches.

I know people who are good at matching colors and it is magical. Once they do it, I can see the match but I can’t come up with it on my own. Often it seems counterintuitive but it works. I guess that I’ll stick to my day job.

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Taken with my fancy schmancy Nikon D5300 with full sun whitebalance. This color looks lots less dark than the above photo.

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So the winner, after much worrying and sweating is Olympic Paint’s “Florentine Lapis” number OL635.6 and I am not happy with it. Color is difficult. I pick out what I think is closest and it doesn’t quite photograph right despite taking the photo outside with the white balance adjusted. Color problems drive me crazy. You got how it looks to my eye, and then what the camera sees, and then what the monitor displays to you when you look at my photo.

Do you have a good eye for color? Tell me about it, because I don’t.

And as a bonus here is a link presenting Pantone’s color of the year.

PANTONE 18-3838 ULTRA VIOLET!

from the page: “…Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

Now you know all the secrets!! The color Violet is the solution to all our problems.

My World – Photography 101 Continued – Depth of Field

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Our second lesson in our photography class was learning about depth of field and how you increase it by increasing the Fstop at the decreases the aperture which reduces the light hitting the sensor which means you have to increase the iso setting of the camera which makes for more graininess in the photo. It’s all connected in photography, there is no free lunch!!

Anyway I had all week to do the homework assignment which consisted of setting up objects in a line and then decreasing the Fstop from f22 down to f5.6 to illustrate how the depth of field works.  The teacher said that a shallow depth of field works well with portraits, especially those outside, where one wants to “fog” the background to focus on the subject.

So anyway, I waited to do my homework until Sunday when we had a cold front hitting Oklahoma. I decided to use chess pieces for my objects but that did not work well as the wind kept knocking them over.  So as we say in the oil and gas industry I decided to plug back and perforate, in other words proceed to plan b.

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I moved the table up closer to the house to protect it from the wind and used a chess board and pieces from my late father-in-law that were a lot heavier. So the above is at f22 and I am focusing on the 3rd pawn from this end. So I shot the same scene at f16, f11, f8, and f5.6, the lowest fstop that my camera with the lens I was using.

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So I am still focused on the third pawn and you can see that the rook closest to us might be a might bit fuzzier (we use “might bit” in Oklahoma without irony) and the pieces on the far end are quite a bit fuzzier.  I am sparing you the intermediate photos.

So anyway, next class is Monday night and we will be talking about freezing action with shutter speeds.

I’m still just a lowly picture taker but I’m enjoying myself.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Getting Schooled on this Picture Taking Thing

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I am pretty excited. After years of thinking about and delaying and making excuses, I signed up for a four session photography class at a local junior college and already had the first class.

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It is after work on Mondays for three hours. The teacher got us all up and going. Showed us what all the dials and adjustments were and we jumped right into how to do the much feared “Manual Mode” with the in-camera metering. She talked about how to hold the camera  and gave us a few tips about what shutter speed to use for what situation and how and when to adjust the iso level. We went into the white balance adjustments and reformatting the memory card. How to, and how not to, clean the camera and lens and all sorts of stuff.

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And then the homework assignment. Go out into the world and take pictures (she said we are really “making pictures.”) In the manual mode, no editing!! Bring your memory cards next time. She will put everybody’s photos up on the whiteboards and critique them. Anonymously she said because she is very frank and wants us to learn. I guess the giveaway will be if I start sobbing when she is displaying my images.

We are to bring six images. Take them in bright sun, with the sun at our back, set the iso level as low as the camera will go, set the speed at 1/125th of a second and   use the camera’s meter to manually set the aperture. For moving objects increase the speed to 1/500th of a second.

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So I have taken a couple walks with my camera. Manual mode is not natural to me physically. I have to search for the buttons and dials to make it work and sometimes in bright light the camera metering is hard to see. Plus I have to remember to get the white balance, speed, and iso set right. The feel for it will come. I’m having fun.

I can’t wait for the next class!!

Topaz Studio

Downtown Tulsa from ONEOK Field-Edit -Studio HDR

Downtown Tulsa seen from ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, a AA minor league time affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Son and I went to a game last week and really enjoyed it. We were behind home plate and so the protective net provides a built in texture to the photo.

Topaz Studio is a new editing program by Topaz Studios. It has a lot of capability including accessing the filters purchased from Topaz instead of going through Photoshop or Corel Draw. I love PhotoShop but I use only about 1% of its capability. The photo above is my first attempt. I used the HDR filter with it. So I will be testing the software more very soon.

Weekend Recap – Picture Taking

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Hey, can I have two posts for a weekend? No, well I’m going to do it anyway. During our family get together I brought my “good” camera and just snapped away. Everybody was pretty tolerant of me doing that.

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I like taking photos of buildings, and the woods, and trails, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico and the sky and strange things that you see here and there.

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But really people are my favorite subject. People are infinitely fascinating to me although nobody would ever call me a “people person.”

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I sometimes think you can read a person’s story in their face, especially the eyes. The eyes reveal a lot of character.

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And it is fun, especially when people will play along with you.

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How about you, do you like taking photos of people?

Negativity and More with my Takashi Special Effects Camera

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Holy Family Cathedral

When I was rummaging around Saturday looking for my generic Go Pro camera and I found my Takashi Special Effects Camera. It is kind of strange little camera with only 5 MP but it has various special effects built in such as negatives, black and white, sepia, and so forth. Check here for a list of my previous posts. Anyway I found it and fed it the AAA batteries it chews up like candy and took it for a walk at noon in downtown Tulsa.

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I love the negative effect. It makes me see old sights in a new way.

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It also gives scenes a spooky feel. I kind of like that.

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The camera also has no shutter. When you press “the button” the camera just scans the photocell. So if you are moving the camera while it is scanning it distorts the image in ways that are pleasing to me. It is called the Lartigue Effect after a Frenchman named Jacque Henri Lartigue who discovered the effect in the early 1900’s. It can make buildings look kind of wavy.

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I went down to the temporary replacement library for the Tulsa Central Library to pick up a book that I had on order and found out that that since they are closing it to move back to the regular library  they moved it to another library, miles away. Oh well.

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I love our library and the staff and have known a couple of them over the years but the present administrator I kind of worry about. The library gave him several months off to finish his PhD and then we come to find out that that he spends a huge amount of time and money flying to conferences here there and yonder. Much more so than libraries of similar sizes both regionally and nationally. He says that is where he found out about automated book checkout machines. Wow, I remember those from the last century. Oh well. I go to one conference a year and I think I’m pretty much up on what is going on in the natural gas industry. Oops, off topic.

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My favorite sidewalk in downtown Tulsa on Denver avenue.

So I walked back to the office taking pics along the way. Isn’t it wonderful that electrons and photons are still free?

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Downtown Tulsa in a negative mode.

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The entrance to a downtown apartment complex.

Anyway I always dragging my lowfi funky Takashi out, feeding it some batteries and taking it for a walk.

Bike Ride to Sand Springs and a Blowout

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I was on my own Saturday afternoon. Heather is in Dallas with other fitness instructors learning all sorts of stuff and son Logan at rehearsal as has a small part in musical based on Romeo Juliet (more to come later on that) so I thought what the heck I will ride my bike over the recently reopened bridge linking the Tulsa bike trails with those of Sand Springs. Also, I wanted to use my GoPro camera clone. An SJ4000 that I’ve had over a year and half and hadn’t used much. See it mounted on the handlebars of my bike.

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Here I am adjusting it.

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Us guys know that looking at something sideways always helps with whatever you are doing.

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I finally got it going. It can take video continuously or it can take photos when you hit the button or it can take pics at set intervals. I had it set to take pics every 20 seconds. Once you get it started it just keeps on going.

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So I got to the north end of the of the Riverparks trails and went under the freeway via the new underpass headed to the reopened pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks. The bridge has been closed for several years it seems.

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And here is the bridge, just as narrow as I remembered it. The approach from the south is a lot better with more room but the exit at the far end is still a blind turn and very sharp. Oh well. As a bonus a train was going under just as I passed over. Have I ever told you that I love trains. I do.

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And then across the bridge and then along Charles Page Boulevard to Sand Springs. 

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Past the Tulsa Police Department garage. Lots of wrecked police cars there. Makes me think of the guys who keep us safe. I am totally behind Black Lives Matter but am also totally behind Police Lives Matter also. Shoot, everybody’s life matters. You may notice the photo is tilted. The bicycle mounts that come with the the SJ4000 are not very robust. I might have to invest in something better. They lose position with the jostling and vibration of the ride.

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Oops, I used to ride this route a lot years ago when the bridge was last open. I forgot about the steep climb from the Arkansas River Bottom up the hill. I didn’t have to walk the bike.

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At the top though there were two other bikes and this walker all hit the intersection at the same time so we all turned into walkers. They guy walking said, “What a ***** traffic jam you guys have going on, in a good natured manner. I turned to the left. Going to the right heads you back to Tulsa and you go past back side of the jail and then by the Day Center for the Homeless. Years ago, I took that route and a couple drunk guys outside the Homeless Center were cheering me on: “Go Lance Go!!!” they yelled and pumping their arms.  That was kind of the highlight of my athletic career. I went by there a couple of other times and they weren’t there. You know, fans are fickle. Just ask Lance.

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Hanging a left, the trail is an old railroad bed. So it is flat and shaded in a few places. 

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You have a few roads to be concerned about.

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Oops, the camera shifted again.

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I met a few bikers coming back at me.

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I had a three hour window and so my plan was to turn around after an hour. Give me an hour leeway in case something went wrong. With Heather out of town and having to pick Logan up at a set time after rehearsal I was a little nervous. So here is the one hour point where I stopped the bike and took a little water break. Oh, and don’t worry I wore a helmet. I just took it off during my break.

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So then I headed back and pretty soon the bike was like bonk, bonk, bonk, It is like what? Well the front tire had a little hernia. So I said well, I’ll just ride it until it quits. And then I thought that last time I had a blowout it was on the back tire and I almost lost control. Not good on the front tire. So I got off the bike and walked it and sure enough, POW!!! and it was all over. So, now what?? Hmm, my plan was to stash the bike and get an Uber or a taxi back to my car.

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I didn’t see a good place to stash the bike on the trail so I went under a freeway overpass. 

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So see that white fence leading to a concrete wall? I walked the bike and put it up against the wall. Hidden from traffic and no sidewalks or anything. Best I could do.

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Yep, that is the spot. I didn’t lay it down, I leaned it up so it was all shadowed. I was a little nervous. Then I went across the street  to the Taco Bueno, found out that there were no Ubers available so I called Yellow Taxi. About 15 minutes later, Enrico showed up in the Taxi  and took me back to my car. I drove my car back out to the Taco Bueno and my bike was still there. So I loaded it up and went to pick up the kid with 15 minutes to spare.

Pretty amazing I think. Just think how different things are now compared to when we didn’t have cell phones and apps and all that.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. My camera, with its 20 second timer, took 240 photos and I cut them down to about 30. Digital is a lot more convenient and cheaper than film. Maybe next time I’ll cu cut the interval down to five seconds. The camera is pretty noticeable and I had a couple of pretty female bicyclists smile and wave at it as they went by (surely they weren’t smiling and waving at me!). I passed a couple geocachers looking for a cache. And lots of other people. None of them showed up on the camera.

So, all in all, not a bad day it turned out. I got to visit an area of town I hadn’t seen in a long time, check out my camera, and was able to bail myself out of a situation.

My First Gallery Showing

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As some of you know I am pretty active on Instagram (@yogiab, see the sidebar, and just why are we not instagram friends?) The local Tulsa newspaper, the Tulsa World, has a hashtag, #MyTulsaWorld, that can be used if one wants use it for Tulsa area photos and they publish in the paper (like on real paper) once or twice a week photos with that used the hashtag. They ended up publishing four of my photos and I got to know, via Intagram, anyway a whole lot of talented photographers in the Tulsa area. 

So I got an email from the Tulsa World inviting me to submit two photographs to an exhibit of Instagram photographers in the Tulsa area. So me and 17 others sent out photographs in and then we got invitations to a private reception for the an Invitational Exhibition at Mayfest, Tulsa’s annual arts festival in May. So anyways I was pretty excited. I’ve never had my photographs shown before. You know, except for my Mother in Law. 

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Heather couldn’t make it because of a previous engagement with our son so after work I headed down to the venue all by myself. I was pretty nervous.

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There were all sorts of people who were mainly looking for the art featured in the gallery. Lots of good stuff there.

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I scooped up some free food and drink and found the Instagrammer section. It was very disconcerting to see my photos on display along with other peoples. I would look at it and then circulate around and then come back to you. It was a great feeling but humbling also. 

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I picked two photographs that showed two sides. One a peaceful scene at Post Oak Lodge in the Osage Hills north of town and the other action frozen during Tulsa’s riotous Tulsa Tough bicycle races.

Tulsa Mayfest 2016

They asked for a bio so I asked my good friend Mr. Google about bios.They have to be written in the third person and really have to get to the nut of the matter and leave out extraneous words but have a humorous part also. I left out the humorous part. If I had to do it over again I would add Heather and Logan to it.

So anyways it was all kind of fun, and flattering, and humbling. From the faces of the my fellow Instagrammers they were pretty pleased with the thing themselves.

So, thank you Tulsa World for a great opportunity and experience. And thank you dear readers who provide so much support.

And why are we are not Instagram friends again?