Friday, May 29, 2015

Drive-By Photography.

Right or wrong?
____ Everybody carries a camera nowadays, it's part of every mobile phone. More and more photographs and videos are being taken of any interesting situations. Social media is a perfect out-let for a snapper's handy-work and the digital camera has changed the whole shooting match. Now it seems that the police are prosecuting drivers for using their camera-phones whilst driving. Drivers were taking pictures of a truck accident as they drove by on the opposite carriageway.

____ I must admit that I drive along with a camera on the passenger seat; half the pictures on this blog are taken when the truck is rolling. Look at the evidence; they got me bang to rights. But just how different is it from a police officer using a radar gun to check vehicle speeds when they are driving. I hate rubbernecking and have seen it cause numerous accidents but will the police now start prosecuting drivers for slowing down just to look at an accident.

____I think police are now becoming afraid of the power of the camera. Every picture tells a story. If you are a white police officer with the bad habit of shooting un-armed black men; the last thing that you need is some by-stander recording it on his cell-phone. The camera can be a powerful weapon. A driver gave me the finger when I was pulling slowly out of a truckstop as he was arriving in his SUV. I did a U-turn and chased him round the parking lot; he got out of his vehicle holding a 12 inch monkey wrench. I got out my camera and he was gone in a cloud of dust.

The power of the lens.

____Photography is not a crime; as every paparazzi stalker will tell you. If you are not doing anything wrong then a photo is hardly worth the effort. When some joker wants to play games by tapping his brakes; holding up a camera so that they can clearly see it in their rear-view mirror soon makes them think twice. Dashcams have become so popular that US Customs have become resigned to the fact that they can no longer prohibit all photography at border crossings.

Slightly out of focus, as always.

____I am not going to stop taking pictures whilst driving and think I have enough good judgement of when to pick the camera up and when to leave it alone; both for moral and safety reasons. The success rate for my handiwork is about 5%. Many are blurred, badly framed, out of range and plenty where I've missed the object completely. Bad weather and dirty windows also rule out a lot of stuff that I would like to put on the blog. However there is one subject that seems to have a curious screen of un-photographability surrounding it: Amish horses and buggies. I have taken scores of photos of these but they are never in sharp focus or close up and sometimes not even in the picture. It is as if there is a weird force-field protecting them from losing their soul to the camera.

____Now for this weeks trip: four days at 900+ kilometres a day. Peat-moss down to the Menards RDC at Plano, Illinois. Typical RDC, with a four hour wait to be unloaded. That made the reload of cement at Bryan, Ohio, a struggle to get loaded on the same day. I just made it in time, but the fork-lift driver put too much up the front. There was 35,180 pounds on the drive-axles after I had slid the trailer wheels as far forward as they would go. Luckily, the load was only ten pallets and they were lined-up down the middle of the trailer; that made it easier to carry forty 55lb bags from the front pallet and stack them at the back. Although I had to carry them back and re-stack the front pallet before they would accept delivery.

____Meanwhile; the mud-flaps on the trailer fell off, complete with supporting metal-work. I blame the incessant rain that lasted for the whole trip, they were just over-worked. Things normally happen in threes, and sure enough; BANG. A driver tyre exploded on Interstate 39 on the way home. It was the one that I bought with my own money just a month earlier [since reimbursed]. Somehow I knew it was crap. Into the Petro at Rochelle for another expensive used retread that I don't think is much better. Unloaded at Selkirk on Thursday afternoon after leaving Monday morning. Back out Saturday with hopefully something a little longer.

Shot to pieces
The Winnipeg version of the M25; the Perimeter Highway with traffic lights, railway crossings and bloody long trains.

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