View Full Version : help with shooting a motor bike

20-01-2010, 8:28pm
hey guys,

im shooting a motor bike nexed week end its a very nice very custom bike. my mate would like a large photo that he can hang on his wall. there may be a model involved if i can tee one up in time but probably not.

so my mate had spent many $$$ on hit bike so when its in the shed and the misses wont let him stay out there any longer to look at it hes after a big print to sit on his wall so he can stare at it while watching TV. hes all so wanting to send pics into bike mags so they can put him in a magazine...

so what he has suggested to me is that hes after some thing mabby at the beach. where the sun is setting behind the bike, showing of the chrome and the custom paint.

ive never done any thing like this before so i thourt i would post hear and see if there's any one hear that might be able to help me to stear me in a good direction

so what i have in my kit is a sony A350 with a 18-70mm lens and a 55-200mm lens i have a very good tripod its the best one ive ever seen so far. and one reflector has white silver gold and black. im looking to get one more reflector.

any help i would be thankful

20-01-2010, 11:45pm
Load the 350 with 50mm cannon shells. Two should be enough. Blow some holes in the tank and the block and maybe for luck throw some dirt on it.

Sorry but that just had to be done "help with shooting a motorbike"?

The beach sounds good just make sure not to take it near the sand. Do plan on some oblique shots as full frontal does not always work.
Have a look at the posters or magazines at your local newsagent and see what they have done to make a good impression. If you are looking at the sun behind the bike you will need some sort of fill light to light up the bike.

21-01-2010, 12:47am
I agree with Peter King with regard to needing fill light if the sun is setting behind the bike. Also, for Hardleys or any Jap cruiser heavily laden with chrome bits, you will need a CPL if you don't want the reflections of flash/light.

21-01-2010, 5:45am
I agree with Peter King with regard to needing fill light if the sun is setting behind the bike. Also, for Hardleys or any Jap cruiser heavily laden with chrome bits, you will need a CPL if you don't want the reflections of flash/light.

sorry mate im a bit lost with what CPL is?

21-01-2010, 6:24am
i think they mean a Circular Polarizing Filter = CPL

21-01-2010, 8:32am
i think they mean a Circular Polarizing Filter = CPL

Yep. It's a handy investment in any event as it has many more uses than just shiny chrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarizing_filter

You can pick up a decent mid range Hoya for about $60 dollars. Obviously don't forget that you want to buy one in the thread size of your lens, or at least largest lens and get a step-down ring (i.e. an attachment to allow a larger filter to be put on a smaller lens).

21-01-2010, 11:19am
Hey dude...

sunset in the back ground is nice, but it means your bike will be in shadow...

agree the CPL will help... where do you live?? how far is your guy able to go??

do you know port adelaide at all??

great spot at sunset is near the port docks...

or if your down south there is a dead end street near the boat ramp, but that is an early morning shoot loacation and you get blue in the back ground...

other thing you could use in the shoot is a small ladder... 3 steps high will do... to get a better perspective of the bike..

i am down in adelaide this weekend, and would be happy to help out... but i have limited time... as i have a couple shoots to do myself... my phone number is on the pictures...

this VE was done at about 9am... and the rise on the road was done quickly as its a thru fare...


21-01-2010, 4:52pm
hey Clubmanmc unforchntly my mate has been asked to do a weding this week end so hes buisy, so the shoot is for nexed week end. its a real shame coz would have been good to have some one there witch has had lots of experance to help. ive allways thourt would be good to tag along to a pros. photoshoot to learn.

what im thinking of taking now is a CPL, 2 reflecters and a step lader...

"off topic"
if it helps any one lol, i have heeps of VE parts for sale. just sold a full frount end chop today...

27-01-2010, 5:26pm
well if any of u guys are free at all on sunday ill be happy if u wonna tag along and help lol i can allways use a hand since this is the first time im doing some thing like this lol

28-01-2010, 12:13pm
ill be back on the 6th and 7th

but ill be busy both days with work...

ill be free the friday and the monday if that suits... dont have to shoot the bike, but i could give you some tips...


28-01-2010, 4:14pm
that would be good mate love to get some tips. were doing the bike shoot sunday the guy will have his lille girl so he said we dont have a lot of time i was hping for a good 3 to 4 hours of photographing but ohh well. i work fridays but only untill 1:30 so mabby some thing after that. i work all day every other week day.

u must travel alot for work.

28-01-2010, 6:49pm
well i went out and bourt a CPF, so ill play with that tonight and the nexed. but i cant aford to get a 2nd reflector. so i have to make do with the one. got the step lader reddy and im thinking of using my 55-200mm lens rather then the 18-70... but ill take them both.

31-01-2010, 9:54pm
well guys the photo-shoot went ok. didnt go as planed but still im happy with most of the results not sure if this is the place to post them or if i should start a new post. i couldn't use the CPF coz of the back ground that we used but they turned out ok i think...

the issue i had is the guy who wonted to have the photos taken only had 1 and a half hours to do the shoot. but when he rocked up he also brought 4 other guys with there bikes and a car. they all looked gr8 but it made me have to rush a little bit and couldnt take my time with every shot. but under the circumstances it went well

02-02-2010, 6:27pm
Good to hear you went alright mate, only just stumbled accross this thread! Sounds like you had your work cut out lol..

Got any of the results to share?

05-02-2010, 6:23pm
hear are just a fue of each bike. there was only supost to be one bike but end up being 5. so insted of having 1 hour for 1 shoot i had 15 mins each bike.


im happy if u guyys wonna critisies the photos it was my first go, so im happy to improve

I @ M
05-02-2010, 8:37pm
Mate, I reckon you have an eye for this sort of scenario. :th3:

Your compositions are good and none of them are "bad" shots.

Get to work and learn heaps about the way exposures are worked best in these situations and you will go a long long way. :)

09-02-2010, 12:35pm
LOL at the "LORDA" plates...

it means #### in slang italian... Transport SA are still catching up...

great shots... just needing a few tweaks here and there... the position could have been a little better as some of the angles... but i am being VERY VERY picky... i am sure your client would LOVE them...

Keep it up!!


09-02-2010, 4:24pm
thx Clubmanmc was my first shoot and was rushed so let hope nexed time my angles are better lol...

i thourt it was odd that the namber plate was passed by moto reg. all the blokes were italian and they had some fun...

they are pritty happy with all the pics im geting a fue pinted off for them at 34"X26" i think the best bit they liked about it was that i did it for free lol

09-02-2010, 4:42pm
why do they all seem so soft though ?

09-02-2010, 8:41pm
There are some beautiful bikes there for sure! but sorry I think your backgrounds are too busy. The bikes just dont stand out enough for me. Im also with kiwi that they could use a good sharpen. You have got good lighting on most of them bringing out all that beautiful chrome. Some of the angles are a bit wierd. I just think they needed a contrasting background that was slightly out of focus or something that was a bit more fitting for such tough bikes like an empty warehouse with busted out windows and hanging chains etc and used a flash to bring out the chrome and graphics in the paint work. I still think you did a good job of the bikes and for a first time with such limiting time you have done well to get them as good as they are. One other pointer is get some close ups of stand out parts like the graphics on the tank or an aftermarket aircleaner stuff like that. The V-rod and springer are my fave bikes. For more tips on angles and composition google harley or vrod in images and see what other people have done. I really think you will get there :)