In today’s world, ruled by social media, capturing images becomes an integral part of life, especially for social media influencers and even the average Joe, because lets face it we all look for maximum likes and engagement on social media. Be it a road, sunset, tree, humans, food and so on, everybody wants to treasure that memory by clicking a picture and that might be for fun or for making memories. Let us start with some basic points we need to remember before clicking motorcycle photos.
Equipment and Tools
A camera with speedy FPS (Frames Per Seconds) and low light capabilities which have less noise and better focussing on higher ISO levels. Lenses with wider aperture (prime lens), such as f/2.8 or lower. The aperture is pathway for the light to reach the sensor. Wider opening (aperture) also helps to get blurry background which is also called “Bokeh effect” making subject stand out from background. This can be well played depending on what time of the day you are shooting. Details of motorcycle can also be shot creatively with this lens. Filters are also something which adds to the beauty of the photograph.
Polariser filter is one of them and a circular polariser “helps to reduce reflections and glare by filtering out light that has become polarized due to reflection from a non-metallic surface. In simple words it cuts the light and eliminates reflections on glass or water, reduce some reflected light on certain subjects, or improve overall contrast in a landscape. Some of the common filters which can also be used are Neutral Density (ND), Graduated Neutral Density (GND), UV / Haze and Warming / Cooling filters.
Tripod is one of the common equipment which comes handy when shooting prolonged exposure. Shooting bike or motorcycle at night or indoors requires tripod to avoid a shake or jerk which can result in a blurry image. In this situation we normally tend to set the shutter speed very low, where the shutter is open for longer time to let light reach the sensor and get the correct exposure.
Backdrop and Composition
Backdrop lets us decide which composition adds up to our picture. Motorcycles are complicated with lots of spares, metal, and chrome. It is up to use to make sure what we want to show and what to hide. Chrome on a bike is bit difficult to handle as it reflects unwanted light or reflection of surroundings. We need to be smart enough to place our camera in correct angle and elevation to achieve perfect composition.
A DSLR shutter plays a particularly vital role to capture any action shots. Faster the shutter speed, the shorter the time the image sensor is exposed to light and the slower the shutter speed, the longer the time the image sensor is exposed to light. Capturing a moving bike at slower shutter speed and keeping the focus locked on the bike and the rider give us a motion blur image which is also called action shot. When we stand still in a corner and move our camera to match the bike speed gives us a Pan shot.
However, we can shoot the same image by sitting in a car, truck or anything which matches the speed of the bike lets us shoot the motion is called tracking shot. In both cases we can achieve motion blur or action shot. These images are fun to shoot and to look at. Capturing a lean action shoot at the corner are also a delight. It looks extremely dramatic and clear lean angle can be calculated looking at the picture.
Since digital photography came to existence, post-production has been a part of photography. Every professional photographer must be well verse with editing or post-production software as it enhances the image quality. It is no different for motorcycle photography. In fact, it needs more of editing/ post-production as motorcycle have big and small parts and to control highlight, shadow, brightness, and contrast can be accomplished. It is not just color correction but its beyond that. There is so many software which can perform different effects or image enhancing techniques which gets our picture to top notch quality. Again, it is up to us how much post-production needs to be done as overdone image do not look good. Images need to be treated with proper measure, so it looks perfect.
In today’s world, a DSLR is still the pinnacle of photography equipment. However, mobile camera is not left far behind. We see some amazing pictures clicked with mobile camera and post-production which is no less than a DSLR image. Lenses on mobile camera have stepped up when it comes to ability. Also, the inbuilt software to enhance that image is so precise and quick. Camera software on a mobile comes with PRO setting where we can manually set everything, and that means we have complete control of the camera just like a DSLR. That gives more freedom to explore your boundaries with photography.
Be it a DSLR or mobile techniques, composition, and process of clicking action shot remains the same and so does the post-production. We can talk about motorcycle photography techniques and composition and backdrop for hours and still we will end up every minute with innovative ideas to capture images in unique style. As said by Destin Sparks – “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”