Motorcycles are mostly guy things. But there are also many ladybikers who roam the roads and burn some rubber on the hot asphalt. One of them is Bea, a woman full of joie de vivre. Her bike is a Triumph Street Triple, a nasty little powerhouse with 108 hp and a wonderful roaring sound. The bike was lowered by 30 mm to be more suitable for a lady. Bea nicknamed it “Hopsefloh”, which roughly translates to “hopping flea”.

We met under a bridge over the Mittellandkanal (a shipping canal which runs through Hanover) and started shooting. The setup was the trusted two-flash-and-umbrella setup, one set to the left and one to the right of the bike.

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The next series was shot just a few metres from the first position (by a few I mean about 10 metres). Pointing the camera towards the sunset exposes a nicely lit sky with the flashes covering the rest.

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Note that I shot from a low position to have as much sky in the frame as possible. If I had shot from a higher position, the trees in the background had been more visible, adding a nasty black area on the image.

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It was time to change places again. We moved to the lower part of the bridge, which accomodates a broad passage for pedestrians and cyclists. Time for some more bike portraits.

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The following image needs some explanation. The passage was only illuminated by the single lamp mounted on the ceiling. The rest of the bridge was dark. I therefore grabbed an additional flash, started a long-time exposure, and after the main flashes had fired to illuminate the bike, I sprinted along the bridge, firing the manual flash repeatedly. You can see the light cones in the background of the image.

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Again time for a change and something new. Inspired by the Pixelstick I had built my own version of it, the poor man’s PixelStick. But now I had Poor man’s PixelStick, Mk. II. It consists of two aluminium rails, into which I embedded a cheap, battery-operated LED chain (total cost of the construction about 45 €). With that I could do some nice light-painting.

The first idea was the “guardian angel”. I instructed Bea to hold still for ten seconds after the main flashes had fired. I sneaked behind her and waved my makeshift light stick around to create wings. Voilà, a guardian angel !

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The following images were also created using my makeshift lightpainting tool and  long time exposures. Luckily the LED controller has multiple modes of operation, one being a fast sequence of light changes.

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