After I conducted the bike-to-bike shooting, my friend and I drove a little further to the city pf Alfeld (Leine). The city is located roughly 45 minutes south of Hanover. Alfeld is home of a UNESCO world heritage site – the old Fagus factory. The interesting thing about the site is that it is a fully operational workplace, not a museum. People actually work here, designing and producing shoe lasts (wooden template of a foot to produce shoes), wood processing machinery and specialised fire extinguishing systems. The beautiful factory became a world heritage site in 2011. The building lay the foundation for the Bauhaus style and features huge windows, which was an architectural revolution at the time the factory was built.
While my friend Dominik took a rest in the shade of a tree I grabbed my camera and made some images of our bikes before the impressive background. We went there on a Saturday, so no workers were there, only some tourists visiting the site. The premises are still privately owned, but due to its world heritage status it is open to the public on week-ends. What a perfect opportunity for my never-satisfied photographic hunger.
It was high noon with harsh sunlight, which is, as every photographer should know, not very good light. I placed the bikes in the shade of a tree, so that the sunlight won’t hit them as hard. Direct sunlight would have been bad for the bikes, because my Yamaha is black and Dominik’s Moto Morini is white. Putting them in the shade enabled me to get a decent exposure of both.
After that I moved to the back of the building, which lay in the shadow. Here I snapped some more bike portraits with the glass and yellow brick wall in the background.
The final location was the side of the building. It was in the shadow, but the opposing building was hit by sunlight and acted as a large reflector, lighting up the bike against the yellow brick wall.I also decided to produce a black and white edit of this image and it comes out pretty well due to the strong contrast. The saturation was brought down to -100 in Lightroom, then I played around with the individual colour sliders in the exposure module.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it ? Well, you have brought the saturation down, which does not mean that the colour information in the image is lost. It is still there, only with no saturation. That means you can tweak the brightness of each colour individually. For the edit shown below I lowered the brightness of the yellow and orange colour tones. That is why the brick wall becomes so dark and the different colour variations of the brick wall come out so strong.
When we wanted to leave again there was a small moment of shock. My bike would not start. The electric starter groaned shortly and then died. Somehow the battery was drained. During the shoot I started the bike a few times within a short period of time and left the lights on for a few minutes. Might be related to that.
We solved the problem by manually pushing the bike in second gear and slowly letting go of the clutch once I took up some speed. Vrrooooom, engine running again. But I will install a new battery soon, just to be on the safe side.