Friday, May 11, 2018

Motorcycle photos so great I wanted to be in them

A great vintage photo of the past, but who is that rider?
It's me!
Doctoring Internet photos of vintage motorcycles started as a way for me to fill trapped time when I worked on the photo desk of a daily newspaper years ago.

I felt I was liberating the artistic potential of photos shot simply to sell old motorcycles on eBay.

It was fun, and the amusement factor soon prompted me to begin playing with the images as a joke. I began adding my own head — and sometimes my wife's head — to historical photos I found on the Internet.

Here was a way to go back in time, like the way I felt when I rode my Royal Enfield Bullet to work.

Who didn't want to be this happy man?
I certainly did.
I could almost imagine myself living in the times depicted, and riding those motorcycles.

But it really was just a gag. I never published the photos. I shudder to think that one of these doctored photos might someday be mistaken for the real thing. I don't know how to prevent search engines from finding them now that they are on this blog. (They are reproduced here in very low resolution.)

As an absurd technical challenge to myself I insisted on using the same photo of my own head (sometimes flopped to reverse the direction faced) in every shot.

The results were far from perfect. Matching the resolution and resulting sharpness of each photo was difficult.

I used the images as holiday cards for my wife and kids (who quickly tired of them, I'm sure).

The whole gang looks up to NOT Marlon Brando.
That's me with the big smile.
A photo with my head replacing Marlon Brando's in "The Wild One" I hung on the wall of my office cubicle. No one ever noticed or, if they did, they were kind enough not to react negatively.

Looking back the activity seems foolish, of course. But, when I see myself with all that (now long gone) dark hair, well — it was worth it!

Something I would never do.
But it looks as though I did!

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