Bike Photography

On 29/03/2016 at 13:59

Bit of a strange first post in this section, but hey-ho. I was wondering if anyone has any good tips for photographing the finest machine ever invented? NinjaMark is a photography erm.....ninja.... can you help? I don't really want to shoot on full manual, so what mode/settings/lense would you recommend for some of those tasty, moody, stationary bike shots?
TheNotSoBigCheese
TheNotSoBigCheese
Moderator

On 29/03/2016 at 16:28

Hey John!

Wow, maybe that's an idea for a blog post, lots of things to talk about when I comes to photographing bikes! I will do my best to give you a few pointers here though.

When it comes to stationary bikes and you don't want full manual stick to aperture priority mode which will give you a bit of creativity still. If shooting in good daylight, ISO should be low as possible, most cameras will allow you to set it at 50 or 100 which is ideal. In terms of lenses choose one which will give you a focal length of between 35 and 50mm and don't be lazy, use your feet to zoom in and out and experiment to see which gives you the results you like best.

One of the most important things when photographing anything really, is composition. Shoot your bike off centre so it is not bang in the middle of the photo. If you want to go for a "moody" look, get low down (like, really low!), this will give your bike a "powerful" looking stance and don't shoot it straight on or straight on the side, have it at an angle to give the photo and more depth. Try tilting the camera at an angle as well when you take the photo so the whole photo is wonky, this can be surprising at how much it improves the look and feel of the photo.

Make sure that your shutter speed isn't going to be too slow when taking the photo. If you have an aperture of f16 then depending on light your shutter speed might be 1/80 which is fine but you don't really want anything slower then 1/60 if you don't have a tripod as you risk getting blurry images to to the camera picking up the movement of your hands.

Get yourself an editing software as well. You can get Adobe Photoshop CS2 for free, I use Adobe Lightroom which is great but CS2 will do for most of what you would need to do. You can reduce highlights if needed and shadow areas. Add a little contrast and boost the clarity a little too. Add some vignetting to darken around the corners and edges a bit. Play around with those settings until you get something you like. It's down to personal taste a bit as everyone has different opinions on it.

Hope that helps a bit? Think it could be a good blog post! I want to get out to an industrial area at night with my bike and take some moody pics under a couple of security lights. It would look sooooo cool!

Cheers,

Mark
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TheNotSoBigCheese
TheNotSoBigCheese
Moderator

On 29/03/2016 at 17:13

Oh I forgot to say, try to avoid photographing between 12 and 3 as the light is at it's most hard between those times unless it's an overcast day, which it probably is in the UK!
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On 30/03/2016 at 09:54

You can use a flashgun off camera. This gives you a lot more control over the light. On a dull day or in the evening, underexpose the photo generally, which gives you a nice moody sky and reduces annoying background detail, then boost the exposure back to normal on the bike with the flash. Manual settings will give you the control you need to get a nice shot. I'd use a slightly longer than normal lens, but don't use anything too wide as the wheels will look distorted. What camera do you have?

If you want to go into off camera flash, then this is the site to go to: http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html I presume you are using a digital camera. Experiment, it costs nothing. You can just try out ideas in your back garden, then when it works you can go out and find a nice background.
Greeting cards for bikers, designed by a biker: Bike Torq Cards
http://www.rogerbradburyphotography.com/section692117.html

On 02/04/2016 at 22:16

Nice one peeps, a few good ideas to try there. Liking the idea of a low slung shot with low exposure, with the flash lighting up the bike a bit!

On 11/04/2016 at 19:17

I want to take better pics too but only have a simple point and shoot camera

On 11/04/2016 at 23:22

Lankyass, then the key is practise. Take lots of photos. Lots and lots of photos. Do not spray and pray; so don't take lots of photos without thinking too hard in the hope that there will be at least one good one. Instead consider each exposure as carefully as possible. Pay attention to the edges of the frame, and the background.

If you see a good picture appearing in front of you, take a photo immediately, Do not adjust the camera; you might get another chance, but if you don't, at least you've got something. Good photos do not have be taken with the best cameras. If at some point somebody says one of your pictures is brilliant and you must have a good camera, tell them that the cup of tea they made you was very nice, and they must have a good kettle.

Find photographer's websites and look at their pictures. See which ones you do and do not like.
Greeting cards for bikers, designed by a biker: Bike Torq Cards
http://www.rogerbradburyphotography.com/section692117.html

On 30/11/2016 at 12:58

Agree with BikeTorqCards. Also, software can do a LOT to a photo. Lacklustre colours? Bike dirty? All sorts of stuff one can do with the Gimp for example. Sheer endless possibilities await you but never mind, winter nights are long ;)

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