Dies ist Teil 2 des Yamaha YZF-R1 shootings (Teil 1 gibt es hier). Dieser zweite Teil ist unterteilt in drei Sektionen: – Setup mit einem Licht – Bike auf der Straße und – Motorrad gegen die Skyline. Setup mit einem Licht In der Motorradfotografie ist es notwendig, flexibel zu bleiben und häufig Perspektive, Location und Lichtsetup zu wechseln. Nur so erhält man viele unterschiedliche Bilder mit jeweils einem eigenen Look. Wir hatten vorher viele Bilder vor der Grafittiwand gemacht, daher war es nun Zeit für etwas Anderes. So habe ich nun mit einem einzelnen Blitz gearbeitet. Ein Blitz von oben, kein Diffusor, also hartes Licht. Es ist etwas ähnliches wie der Setup beim Shooting mit der Honda Shadow pseudo. Hier das (leider etwas verrauschte) making of-Bild. Wolfgang hat den Blitz an einem Stativ über das Bike gehalten. Ich habe ihm Anweisungen gegeben und den Blitz so dirigiert. Perspektivwechsel, diesesmal ein Foto entlang der Straße. Hier muss man auf das Timing während des Shootings achten. Das Tageslicht schwindet schnell, und man darf nicht den Zeitpunkt verpassen, an dem man den Himmel zur blauen Stunde schön einfangen kann. Bei solchen Bildern muss man die Belichtung so einstellen, dass der Himmel gut belichtet […]
Darf ich vorstellen? Dies sind die Yamaha YZF-R1 und ihr Fahrer, Wolfgang. Ich habe Wolfgang über seine Tochter Svenja kennengelernt, die auch fotografiert und in der gleichen Fotografengruppe bei Facebook ist wie ich. Als sie mitbekommen hat, dass ich mich auf Motorradfotografie spezialisiert habe, hat sie sofort den Kontakt hergestellt. Wolfgang ist ein fröhlicher Zeitgenosse mit blitzenden Augen und ein stolzer Besitzer. Seine R1 ist matt grau lackiert, was das Motorrad ultracool (und ein klein wenig bedrohlich) aussehen lässt. Für das Shooting kam wieder mein bewährter Setup mit zwei Blitzen zum Einsatz. Beide Blitze werden in einem spitzen Winkel zur Maschine aufgestellt, ein Schirm sorgt jeweils für ein weiches Licht, welches die Konturen der Maschine gut hervorbringt. Die Location ist eine Seitenstraße in Hannover, nahe der Ihme. Die Straße ist flankiert von einer ca. 90 m langen Mauer (der Rückseite eines Gebäudes). Die Mauer ist intensiv mit Grafittis bemalt, die in kurzen zeitlichen Abständen immer mal wieder mit neuen Mustern übermalt werden. Das folgende Bild ist ein gutes Beispiel dafür, wie eine sehr tiefe Aufnahmeposition ein Bild verbessern kann. Die Kamera wurde knapp über den Boden gehalten. Als praktisch erwies sich erneut der klappbare Screen meiner Nikon D750. So kann […]
Photographing bikes in action can work in two ways. Either the camera is static (at the side of the road) or the camera is moving (on a drone, car or another bike). I’ve conducted plenty of static bike shoots (aka bike portrait). I have shot bikes in action while standing at the side of the track. I have made a bike to bike shoot with a remotely controlled camera. That proved to be a totally blind thing as you can’t see what the camera sees. So it was time to dive deeper and conduct an action shooting with me as the pillion rider. I assembled four riders for the shoot: a Suzuki GSX-R 1000 (been there, done that), an Aprilia Caponord 1200 (see it here and here), a BMW S1000R (the naked variant of the S1000RR superbike) and a Kawasaki VN 1700 Grand Tourer. Ergonomics The shoot involved me riding as the pillion rider, shooting backwards. That meant I had to shift my weight to my left buttock on teh pillion rider seat, twist my torso to the left and shoot images in that position for a long time. Riding on the back of the BMW S1000R was a bad […]
Shooting moving bikes is all about action. Bikes are associated with speed and agility, and that is exactly what photographs of moving bikes must convey. I will dissect the anatomy of action shots in this post and present the effect the shutter speed has on an image. A fast shutter speed (1/320 s and above) will start to freeze an object in motion with the moving object becoming sharper the faster the shutter speed is. On the opposite site, the moving object becomes unsharper („motion blur“) the slower your shutter speed is. There are no fixed values when an object can be depicted tack sharp and when not, because it also depends on the speed of the moving object. If the bike is driving at walking speed you might get a sharp image at even 1/200s. If you photograph a MotoGP race with bikes zooming past you at 300 km/h and more, a much, much faster shutter speed will be necessary to receive a sharp image. Fast shutter speeds As mentioned above one can’t name a certain value for what a „fast“ shutter speed is as it depends on the speed of the moving object, but for the sake of […]
Photographing motorcycles is all about the action. Capturing the speed and showing the dynamics is at the heart of motorcycle shots. I already wrote an article about shutter speed in motorcycle photography (read it here), but I wanted to do a separate article on what I dubbed the „piggyback method“. This method involves the photographer sitting on the pillion rider seat and shooting over the shoulder of the driver. The slower the shutter speed, the more motion blur will occur. I set my camera to burst mode and fired off a series of images. Even at 1/20s I was able to take at least one shot, where the cockpit of the bike is sharp. Using LiveView on the camera helps a lot, you can’t use the viewfinder due to wearing a helmet. The cockpit is sharp, because it is not moving relatively to the camera during the exposure. The environment on the other hand zooms by. That is why the environment is subjected to heavy motion blur. If you look at the above image you will notice, that the motion blur decreases, as the distance from the camera increases. Why ? Everything close to the bike flies past you. But […]
Während der Durchschnittsbiker seine vier Buchstaben auf dem Sitz belässt und meistens brav beide Räder auf der Erde hat, haben die Fahrer der Night of Freestyle ein ganz anderes Programm. Ich hatte vorher immer nur Motorräder am Boden fotografiert und keine Berührungspunkte mit dieser Extremsportart gehabt. In einfachen Worten bedeutet Freestyle: „Springe mit einem Gefährt – egal welchem – über eine Schanze in die Luft, mach während des Fluges die verrücktesten Sachen, wer die krassesten Stunts zeigt hat gewonnen“. Im Falle von fliegenden Motorrädern heißt das dann „Freestyle Motocross“, oder kurz FMX. Was ich an diesem Abend zu sehen bekam, war atemberaubend und hatte Weltklasseniveau (was ich eigentlich nicht beurteilen kann, weil ich wie oben erwähnt vorher noch keine Berührungspunkte…aber lassen wir das 😉 In einem actiongeladenen Spektakel präsentierte eine bunte Truppe von Fahrern aus aller Welt ihr Können auf dem Motorrad, BMX-Rad, Buggy, Quad, einem Schneemobil. Doch bevor die Show begann, durften die Fans in die Katakomben der TUI Arena, um den Fahrern die Hand zu schütteln und Autogramme abzuholen. Dann ging es los. In der ausverkauften TUI Arena in Hannover wurde ein wortwörtliches Freestyle-Feuerwerk abgebrannt, unterstützt von einer fulminanten Laser- und Pyroshow: Das „Einspringen“ wurde von BMX-Bikern übernommen, […]
And the title „most photographed bike“ goes to… the Moto Morini Granpasso and my Yamaha FZ6 Fazer ! If you read this blog regularly you will encounter those two bikes on a regular basis. The FZ6 is my bike and the Granpasso my friend’s bike. He lives next door and we park our bikes next to each other, so those are the two bikes I have regular access to. After my short excursion to the heath I drove further to the northern harbour of Hanover. It is an industrial harbour with cranes and railroad tracks. It was Saturday morning, so not much happended there. I brought with me two flashes and wanted to capture some bike portraits against the morning sun. There are also some freight wagons with colourful graffiti, which make an excellent backdrop for posing the bike. A short anectode from the shoot: the harbour is private property, so I was not sure what would happen if I just went there without permission. There was five minutes into the shooting Train tracks are an open invitation to position the bike. The viewer’s eyes are guided from the bike along the train tracks towards the horizon. I love the […]
Besser spät als nie… Frohes Fest und alles gute für 2017! Ich bedanke mich bei all den Bikern, mit denen ich zusammenarbeiten durfte und freue mich auf viele tolle Shootings im nächsten Jahr. Die Planungen laufen bereits. Better late than never… Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017! Thanks to all the bikers, with whom I had the privilige to work with in 2016. I am looking forward to a fantastic photographic season in 2017. Plans are already in the making.
Still posting images from a five-bike long studio session I did months ago. This is a Kawasaki Z750. One of my first bike to shoot was a Z750 (see here), so I am happy I had another one in the studio. The images were taken by employing my trusted homemade studio setup: Two large softboxes suspended from the roof beams of out carport, a black cloth serves as backdrop. Post processing these types of images is a pain in the @$$, since the black backdrop has to be painted black in PhotoShop. Up to 30 minutes per image, see a timelapse screencast of the process here. Markus, the owner, has a special gimmick installed on the engine block.
This is part 3 of the „Touring Scotland“ series Part 1: http://lumenatic.com/2016/11/24/touring-scotland/ Part 2: http://lumenatic.com/2016/12/01/touring-scotland-isle-skye/ This is part 3 of the „Touring Scotland“ series, the grand finale. We toured the Outer Hebrides, starting from Tarbert riding north. The Outer Hebrides are, like most of Scotland, scarce and not densely populated. There is not much vegetation and the landscape is rocky and rough. We drove to Tobson, which was the northernmost point of our journey. Dominik’s gas guzzling Moto Morini was running on its last drops and there was no gas station in sight! We had to drive back 50 km to the Uig Community Center until we found fuel. It was a close call but we made it. Usually finding fuel is not a problem in Scotland. The country is not densely populated, but it’s not the Serengeti. So with a little foresight and a casual refuel, even when the tank is only half empty, you won’t run into a problem. Above: Our northernmost point, Tobson. Just like on the other days we battled the elements and had to put on our raingear. Rain, rain, rain and no end to it – a true Scottish experience ! After a rest […]
This is part 2 of the „Touring Scotland“ series Part 1: http://lumenatic.com/2016/11/24/touring-scotland/ Part 3: http://lumenatic.com/2016/12/08/touring-scotland-outer-hebrides/ After leaving Glenfinnan we packed our bikes again and left for Mallaig to catch the ferry to Armadale on the Isle of Skye. Btw, packing the bike before and after looks like this: Off we drove. On the road to Mallaig we encountered beaches with white sand which could be located in the Carribean. In Mallaig we boarded the ferry to the Isle of Skye. We stopped for lunch in Ornsay to have a delicious meal at the waterfront. The waitress spoke German, as she emigrated to Scotland a year ago from Bielefeld (that’s about one hour from Hanover where we live). At the small pier I manage to get this shot of my bike against the (rarely encountered and only partly) blue sky. A word on the weather. During the ten days we toured Scotland we had only one day with only a small amount of rain. The rest was cloudy and fizzling at least, but many times we got really wet. The body, arms and legs are usually well protected by our raingear, but over time water seeps into your gloves, boots and […]
This is part 1 of the „Touring Scotland“ series Part 2: http://lumenatic.com/2016/12/01/touring-scotland-isle-skye/ Part 3: http://lumenatic.com/2016/12/08/touring-scotland-outer-hebrides/ It was an uneven pair that started from Hanover. Me on my Yamaha FZ6 Fazer, my friend Dominik on his Moto Morini Granpasso 1200. Not only in terms of cc, but also in terms of riding experience. Dominik has 20+ years of riding and a dozen of such bike trips on his record, for me it was the second year as a rider and the second bigger trip. Could this work out ? (Spoiler alert: Yes, it did). We embarked the ferry to Newcastle in Amsterdam along with estimated 50+ other bikes. It leaves in the afternoon at 5 pm, arriving in Newcastle at 09:30 am. You’ll have to book a cabin for the passage. Just a few days before we started our trip the United Kingdom had voted on whether or not to leave the European Union (Brexit) and since the people voted to leave the pound had dropped dramatically from approx. 1,50 € per pound to 1,20 €. That’s not good for the British economy (the whole Brexit thing wasn’t good for anybody IMHO), but it saved us a lot of money on […]
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. 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. 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. It was time […]
It’s on, I finally moved from shooting stationary bikes to bikes on the road. And yet another bike trip with my Yamaha FZ6 and Dominiks Moto Morini Granpasso. The images were created in the Harz region, a mountain range in Northern Germany. You’ve already seen the images I took of Dominik in a previous post. I set the camera to 1/400s, f/5 and Auto ISO. The autofocus was set to 3D metering, as it is ideal for fast moving objects. And of course the camera was set to burst mode. All pictures of the Yamaha FZ6 Fazer were taken by Dominik. He positioned himself in different spots of two nice curves. I drove those two curves back and forth about five times. Dominik panned the camera and clicked off. He switched position after each pass, so I had a variety of images to choose from. Always stay safe when photographing moving bikes ! Stay behind the guardrail or, if there is none, leave some space between you and the asphalt. Slightly tilting the camera increases the tension and makes the image more dynamic. Usually a photographer is trained to get a straight horizon. Nothing is more painful for the […]
Part 2 of the Aprilia Caponord shooting (part 1 here). After shooting on the open road, we moved to a nearby agricultural dock and positioned the bike in front of a huge metal roller door. The background is ideal. It is free of distractions, yet provides some structure due to the rounded blades the door is constructed of. The shooting setup is simple. Two flashes, placed left and right to the bike, camera and flashes in TTL mode and fire away. As you can see the procedure was quite simple. Take a few images, then rotate the bike a little. We worked our way around the bike employing that method quickly – perhaps 30-40 minutes and everything was done. I like these on-location shootings, because in contrast to the studio shootings only minimal post processing is involved. In this case only a few things were done: colour correction darkening the visor to black (he had a darkened visor but due to the flash his face was visible) cloning away a small label on the door in the background.
Heute gibt es ein Making-of Video zum Fotoshooting mit der Kawasaki W800 Scrambler. Carsten (der Besitzer) und ich hatten uns am Restaurant Silvervogel getroffen, um einen passenden Hintergrund für eine Maschine zu haben. Das Shooting dauerte bis in die Dunkelheit, daher habe ich am Ende des Videos nur noch ein paar Fotos eingefügt. Wenn man mich nicht bremst, würde ich die ganze Nacht durchfotografieren.
At the beginning of June I made another trip to the Kyffhäuser pass in Thuringa. It’s a motorbike mekka with 36 curves, winding up a steep hill. I visited it the year before and was eager to drive up the hill again. At the foot of the hill a restaurant and Bratwurst stand are open for the bikers. I think they have good business on a sunny weekend. Since I visited the pass alone I brought a tripod and a wireless trigger unit for my Nikon D750. I set the camera up and started taking some images of myself. I drove back and forth and naturally shot other drivers while trying to take a decent portrait of myself while driving. And I got this guy on his BMW S1000RR. Boy, does that thing sound good ! After a while I took the camera off the tripod and shot some driveby portraits. I like the shot below, because these five guys are aligned on a string. Each driver represents one phase of passing that double curve.
The Honda XRV 650 Africa Twin is a classic. Its appearance in 1988 marked the dawning of an era of powerful offroad bikes. The Africa Twin is built for heavy terrain, the 657cc engine delivers 50 hp and 55 Nm of torque. The 650cc version of the Africa Twin was only produced for two years and quickly succeeded by the 750cc version. This is why I was extra happy to get the opportunity to shoot the „original“ Africa Twin. The 27 year old bike is in mint condition with a respectable 90.000 km (and still working perfectly)! Fun fact: It was en route to the shooting, that the bike surpassed the 90.000 km mark. Meet Wolfgang, proud owner of this tough bike. He bought it back in 1988, so he is still the first owner. Actually it is hard to believe, that the bike is 27 years old. The bike is clean, the parts do not look worn or aged, everything is maintained with lots of love and technical expertise. We shot on the heath, where I conducted several one-man-shootings previously (morning and evening sessions). We shot on a small hill (small = 3 m high) and initially I wanted […]
Readers of my blog will remember the giant potash mine dump I used as a gorgeous backdrop in previous posts (location scouting and quick shooting). I returned to that location to take some more images. I’ve got that perfect image in my mind with a deep blue sky during magic hour, a shining white mine dump and a perfectly lit bike in front of it. Well, for that I would have needed a full moon to illuminate the mine heap, but it was a new moon. I started with some bike and biker portraits. The sun was setting off camera right, so there was a pink-ish sky. I placed camera and flash on the other side of the road and dialled in my settings. Again I was rider, photographer, lighting guy and the model (at least I was able to wear another jacket). This is the setup shot, nothing fancy. You see the remote trigger on the camera with the connector cable. Another trigger was mounted underneath the flash, the third trigger was in my hand to take the image. Using such a setup it was hilarious to experience every single passing car slowing down noticably once the outline of […]
This week I feature another bike from beautiful Italy – The Aprilia Caponord 1200. Its V2 engine delivers 125 HP and 115 Nm of torque. Being red like a Ducati Multistrada it can be easily told apart from a distance by the missing beak at the front. I have to say I just love the Italian bikes. When it comes to design, the Italians know their trade. The shooting setup consisted of two flashes on a tripod, shot through an umbrella. The flashes were controlled by a master flash which I mounted on the camera. The following two images required a trick. In order to capture enough residual light to expose the sky in a nice dark blue I had to make a 1,3s exposure. I instructed Tino, the owner of the bike, to stand still for 2 seconds after the first flash had gone off in order to reiceive a sharp image of him. The extreme colours contrast of the machine (screaming red fairing, matte black and grey engine parts) posed a challenge for the lighting job. The light had to be placed at a very flat angle before and after the bike in order to achieve a good lighting […]