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 […]
The story starts with a moment of boredom. Out of curiosity I used Google reverse image search to see where my images might or might not appear on the web. I randomly selected a few of my motorcycle images and started searching. The first tries brought nothing exciting. Either the images were only on lumenatic.com (where they are supposed to be) or on some other website I already knew of. For example, a blogger from the United Arab Emirates once reblogged my Ferrari FF shoot. He copy/pasted my complete article and put ot on his website. He should have asked, but since he credited the source and it was his private website I did not mind. Then I searched for this image, which is one of my favourite studio images. And – surprise ! – the image showed up on the website of a big European motorcycle magazine. They had posted a long article about the history of the Suzuki GSX-R and included this photo. And if using it without asking was not enough, they even cropped the image to remove my watermark. Now that was another thing. A commercial website, stealing my image, even modifying it to conceal the […]
The tooth fairy is a magical creature that comes at night to exchange the lost baby teeth of children with money or presents. The tooth fairy is a nice and gentle creature. But not this tooth fairy. This bike is a heavily modified Suzuki GSX-R 750, and the job was so well done you don’t recognise its origins. The bike is called „Zahnfee“, which is the German name for the tooth fairy. Ingo, the proud owner, built it between two bike seasons together with his twelve (!) year old son. We shot the images under a railroad bridge, see below. The bike was placed on the sidewalk, flanked by two flashes on tripods. I stood on the left side of the road, shooting across. Since we were using flashes on a public road I had to wait until no car was in sight before I could take an exposure, otherwise the flash would pose a danger to car drivers passing by. But since we shot in the evening hours not much traffic was coming through and we could work without major breaks. In order to achieve another lighting result, I decided to switch off the flashes. This would […]
On the blog we’ve had the Suzuki GSX-R 600, the GSX-R 750, so what was missing is the king (or queen ?) of the line, the GSX-R 1000. This beauty in the classic Suzuki colours blue and yellow belongs to Dana and was in her possession only for a few weeks when the shooting took place. With 178 hp and only 180 kg (without fuel) the bike accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 3,6 seconds. The top speed is 300 kph. Dana had not made any modifications to the bike at the time of the shooting. But directly after the shooting, she installed a new silencer, which pushed the bike from 178 to 184 hp.
This is part 2 of another motorcycle studio session. Today I am featuring a Suzuki GSX-R 600. You may remember its bigger brother (so motorcycles have a brother or a sister ?), the GSX-R 750 which I portrayed last year. I have to say that I love the GSX-R line. The bikes are exquisitely designed, they look cool and convey the message „I am fast as hell“. And they are. Those 600 cc pack a punch of 126 hp and a torque of about 70 Nm. The top speed of this crotch rocket is 270 kph. There are few things to say about the studio setup. Two large softboxes suspended from the supporting beam of the carport, black backdrop, one additional flash to light up the side of the bike. The bike is owned by Jehn, a sympathetic young man from Hanover. Jehn sits directly at the source – he works at a motorcycle dealer.
My motorbike photography mania continues. Last week I showed a BMW R 1200 GS, today a Suzuki GSX-R 750 is our model (in fact, both bikes were shot during the same session). The bike belongs to a colleague from work. From day one when I first saw the GSX-R in that particular color scheme a voice was screaming in my head „Photograph.That.Bike. Exclamation Mark, bold italic underlined flashing red“. I don’t know what it is, but I am totally into that black/yellow combination. It just looks a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Enough drooling. I asked my colleague if he wanted to have cool images of his bike and showed him photos from past shots. He immediately agreed. On the following Saturday he came to my home and, following the BMW, his bike was being photographed under my carport. Here is the setup: Two Quantuum R600+ studio flashes dangling from the carport ceiling, triggered with Yongnuo radio triggers. A black backdrop was installed behind the bike. Tip: Take care that the cloth forms a straight line on the floor, otherwise the border between floor and background has to be repaired in post. What you don’t see in the image: Andreas, the dude with the BMW, […]