Fuji 7 cities in 5 weeks with the X-T1


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
I just got back from a 5 week family vacation. I'd like to post a few shots from each city that I like a lot for whatever reason. And, strangely, I've missed you lot somewhat. So there's that. Now let's not get all gushy.

Pertinent details:

- Wife is launching a bike tourism website, so we took folding bikes and our daughter and hit 7 places where she intends to launch routes, taking mostly Amtrak trains between the cities, some flights for the longer segments
- X-T1 in the smallish Domke bag, with only the (borrowed) 18-55 kit zoom and my 35 f1.4 lenses. All other lenses stayed home... gotta pack small when you're biking.
- X100 was with us, mostly used by my wife when I wasn't around for something, though I used it one night out of nostalgia
- The Yashica A 6x6 also came, and I shot 3 rolls here and there
- Wound up keeping about 3,300 exposures
- Split between "personal" shots and "for the business" shots was maybe 50/50
- Almost every day involved waking up, making breakfast in our AirBnB rental place, then hitting the bikes by 10am and gently cruising all over town to breweries, food joints, playgrounds (girl is 4, almost 5), etc.

Cities Visited:

- Atlanta / Athens GA
- Madison, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Glacier National Park, MT
- Leavenworth, WA
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Vancouver, BC
- Chicago, IL

Ok, now on to some pictures...


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Madison, WI

Ok, side note: these watermarked shots are mostly "me doing 'Commerical,'" wherein I try to imitate the look of professional shots without actually having the skills commensurate with actual proffessionalism...
Bikabout_Madison_Machinery-Row-Bikes by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Bikabout_Madison_Candinas-Chocolatier by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Bikabout_Madison_Cargo-Coffee by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Bikabout_Madison_ (30) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Bikabout_Madison_Picnic-Point-10 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Bikabout_Madison_Picnic-Point-12 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Wife took this one with the X100, and frankly nailed it in my humble...
Bikabout_Madison_Mononoa-Terrace-1 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX8984 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX9464 by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
Nice work, and sounds like it's gonna be a cool website!

I do feel compelled to note that in the 3rd pic of post #3, both Holland and Denmark appear to have been swallowed by the North Sea...:crying:


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
A good friend from Highschool and college that I haven't seen in 15 years lives with her husband in the woods near Glacier National Park in Montana, so we also visited with them for 3 wonderful days, glamor camping in a huge tent. She's a river guide in the on-season, so we got to float a river for 6 hours. This water, until very recently, was frozen, and you remember that as soon as you dive in.

KBRX0033RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0098RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

No zoom for him on the iphone...
KBRX0172RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0203RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

The view up at night by the capfire next to truck RV camper they're living in while they finish building their cabin. I know, I hate them too.
KBRX0267RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Inside the park
KBRX0309RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

1-arming it out the car window
KBRX0357RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Meeting the locals. (He was asking if we knew what happened on the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. His cable connection is spotty underground. We didn't know.)
KBRX0369RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0408RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Off the grid at the flat bridge mercantile, now 100 years old
KBRX0503RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Sunset back in the woods
KBRX0530RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Forgive me, but the sunsets there were NUTS
KBRX0599RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0633RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0670RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0686RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

We got the tent.
KBRX0690RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
More old friends in Leavenworth, WA, which is a small ski town just over the Cascade Mountains from Seattle. I went to highschool and college with him too, and they used to live closer to us, in Vermont. Camped the first night, in a gorgeous place called Icicle Creek.... which was as cold as it sounds. But wonderfully refreshing.

Almost as many deer as Montana
KBRX0707 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

How kids ought to grow up, ideally
KBRX0774 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

He and I stayed up later for one more beer, and to admire this view (note the shooting star)
KBRX0783 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Their youngest, already a charmer
KBRX0802 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Series: Bugs On People
KBRX0915 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0922 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX0923 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX1016 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Not because it's an amazing photo, but to prove that I'm no sissy, dammit.
KBRX0965 by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
On to Portland, Oregon.

The train got in late, so we were late getting to the rental house.
Bikabout-Portland- (2) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Again, trying for "commerical"
Bikabout-Portland- (9) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

What we did all day, everyday
Bikabout-Portland- (16) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I set up to take a shot of this fountain / plaza, and these girls were having the best time, and when she saw me she ran over and did this. Man did I get lucky.
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Bikabout-Portland- (40) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

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Bikabout-Portland- (65) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Love that flip-out screen for going unnoticed as I shoot people biking by...
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Bikabout-Portland- (69) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

How you carry your growler home in Portland
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Bikabout-Portland-Clever-Cycles-3 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

One of my better commercial interior shots I think
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Bikabout-Portland-Hopworks-Urban-Brewery by gordopuggy, on Flickr

My setup, including camera bag and copilot
Bikabout-Portland- (20) by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Seattle... my surprise favorite hit of the trip. I already love Vancouver and Portland, but man did Seattle surprise me in good ways.

KBRX2009 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

1-handed with my arm hanging out behind me as I steered my bike with the other
Bikabout-Seattle (19) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Waiting on a street corner as the girls ran in to get croceries
Bikabout-Seattle (32) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Bikabout-Seattle-Space-Needle by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Also while waiting for the girls to grab groceries. Nice Guzzi V7.
KBRX1829 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

By the locks
KBRX1907 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX1933 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Sooooooooo many seaplanes
KBRX2159 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Set up the shot, frame it, then realize she's making that fake smile face, lean face over out from behind camera, do something goofy to get a real one, CLICK
KBRX2198 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Trusty steed
KBRX2214 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Some hills are just too steep to ride up
KBRX2347 by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Ok, Vancouver.

Making friends while daddy has a beer (taken with X100)
DSCF6254 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Sunset on the way home, again the X100
DSCF6276 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Still prefer the color shading and smoothness of the X100 slightly more than the X-T1
DSCF6282 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

As a working tool, however, I vastly prefer the XT
KBRX2369 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

For some reason I love this one. I'm wierd.
KBRX2389 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

There's a sign on it saying "For People Only" but he had some anyway
KBRX2461 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX2513 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Seeing = not as good as feeling
KBRX2630 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

More "commercial" work
KBRX2696 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX2768 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Whatever it used to say, it don't say it anymore
KBRX2815 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

From a bridge
KBRX2889 by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
This is one heck of a series of (great) images! I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing them on a larger screen than my phone. Those little wheels must have done a seriously large number of revolutions!


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
And finally, Chicago.

Lots of this.
KBRX3031 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

When you bike downtown, this is a frequent site above your head
KBRX3096 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Live jazz
KBRX3106 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

They had these planters downtown full of corn, which the birds LOVED
KBRX3127 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Trying for anything BESIDES the usual "bean" photo. These are friends who came down from Michigan to hang out with us here.
KBRX3153 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

More commercial effort
KBRX3157 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX3194 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX3196 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

A narrow gap
KBRX3206 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Enjoying tacos (wife took this one with the XT)
KBRX3227 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

The little stock flash on the beach at night
KBRX3240 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX3250 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

The beach at night, ambient, 35mm f1.4
KBRX3264 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX3286 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

She stole my gloves, because she got a blister. This is upon hearing "they have a cold water tap machine!"
KBRX3416 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I started walking before the 10 second timer went off, but I like it better than the second effort, with my fake smile. Also, I love my new helmet even if it looks like a construction worker's.
KBRX3402 by gordopuggy, on Flickr


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
This is one heck of a series of (great) images! I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing them on a larger screen than my phone. Those little wheels must have done a seriously large number of revolutions!
It's funny, two days from the end, in Chicago, we were getting sorta fed up with our rental house and the pot holes and the cars, and maybe were just a little tired of traveling, maybe not. At any rate, BANG the wife's rear tire had a catastrophic blowout (1 inch slit, no patching that) just half a mile from the house. I took it as a sign, we moved the rental car reservation up 2 days earlier, and left that very night. The poor little Schwalbe tires had finally had enough.


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Last thing before I leave it alone... the basic gear review.

Lens Decisions
I talked it through with my friend with the XE-1, and he convinced me that the right setup for the kind of minimalist traveling we did, but with such a heavy workload, was his 18-55 kit zoom and my 35 f1.4. In fact, he probably would've just taken the zoom, but I couldn't live without a fast prime for bokeh and for evenings. I'm glad I did that, I think now in hindsight that was a perfect setup for light travel. I didn't miss the 27 pancake (which only really excels at being small), the 14 (which is stellar but slowish, and 18 is close enough for most interior shots), or the 56 (which would actually have made some shots better, but 3.5 @ 55 is enough bokeh to separate the background a little... not important enough to have lugged that brick all this way). I think the 23 f1.4 lens would've been GREAT to have, but I don't own it, and I'm not sure where I would've put it, so the 35 turned out to be perfect for portraits and low light goofing around. I used it most nights after about 6pm, unless I opted for the zoom for its lens stabilization while riding. Reviewing shots every few days, I could almost always pick out the ones shot with the 35... it IS better, it is sharper, and those creamy backgrounds make my heart sing, when that's the look I wanted.

X-T1 As A Tool
I remain very, very happy. I used 8fps, I used 3fps, I used panorama, I shot almost exclusively in JPG only (heresy!), and when I knew the shots were going to be used for Instagram / web only, I shot in Small 1:1 format to save time. I got my Velvia and Astia profiles to be VERY similar, with the Astia being gentler on the shadow details, so that I could use those two back and forth more or less 100% of the time. I used manual focus fairly often to set up bike lane shots of folks going by, and the flip-out screen got used a lot as well. I went through MAYBE 1.5 batteries a day, often less than 1.0, and I have 3, so this complaint of mirrorless cams not having enough juice compared to DSLRs just doesn't jive with me. When extra batteries are tiny and $30, good lord, why would I care? I guess I don't use High Performance mode ever, which must help, but I got at least 400 shots per battery. That's enough for me not to have anything close to a "gripe." That damned memory card door, however, can go straight to hell. I must've opened it by accident about 30 times a day. Serious, serious oversight / design flaw. Doesn't cause any problems, just annoyance, so -shrug-. Also the wifi app got used almost daily to post a few photos to my phone and then facebook. Wife loves that feature. We'd do that during dinner most nights after we ordered food.

Protective UV Filters
You all know this, but Use Them. I had a very light drop in the bag, and still managed to destroy a UV filter. Cracked, bent rim, had to plier it back into shape to unscrew it, but the lens is 100% ok.

That Domke Bag
Is a star. Love it, still. I used two canopy bungees (the short loops with a plastic ball at one end) to go from having it on my handlebars to having it on my shoulder, which happened appx 4,000 times a day, everyday when we'd arrive somewhere and lock up. Un-do the junction from the bars, pop them together to each other to form a strap, toss it over one shoulder, DONE. McGyver-approved.


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
I bit off topic, but how do you like the folding bike compared to a full size?
It's a great tool for the right job. Folding bikes CAN be a frustrating exercise in compromise, if you get one that

1. Doesn't fold quickly and easily
2. Doesn't fold down small enough to go overhead on a train / plane
3. Doesn't have good components
4. Doesn't have full-length crank arms
5. Doesn't have well thought out bag options for clicking on your luggage pretty quickly, be it around-town stuff or a full travel setup like we did

We first had a cheap Citizen folder, it was cute and had racks, and it was about $430. Then we borrowed a Brompton ($2k) from a friend and took both on a train vacation to Atlanta. I got stranded on the platform in Penn Station in NYC trying to break that big Citizen bike down, while my wife had the brompton down in seconds, and had her self, our luggage, and the 4 yr old daughter all on board already. Add to it the cheap components that all shifted and broke easily, and the short crank arms that made you feel like you were on a clown bike (little forward momentum per pedal stroke effort) and we knew it was doomed. Then it got stolen, which made the decision easier on me. We wound up buying 2 used Bromptons off Craigslist. They're fast and light and fold up tiny, though they aren't ideal for rides longer than, say, 15 miles? That's subjective, but the bumps and ruts are much more pronounced on small wheels, the steering angle is steep so the handling is twitchy... you get used to that, but it's still correct to say that it's twitchy. To reiterate: if you want to hop off a train / boat / plane in some new city, unfurl your own bike and instantly start cruising around for miles and miles without dealing with

- Subways
- Traffic
- Other People

then folders are like magical jet packs.

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