After a successful test shooting I conducted another session at the old Continental factory premises in Hanover-Limmer. The protagonist of that shoot were Maike and her BMW R1200GS Adventure.

It was a little rainy that day and the sand was wet. Not soggy, but a little wet so that the sand was not loose. Maike made a few rounds on the sand to familiarize herself with the terrain. In the meantime I set up my equipment.

I used two flashes with an umbrella on a tripod. The flashes were triggered using my Yongnuo wireless triggers. The third tripod you see in the middle holds a GoPro, which was used to document the session. In the past I had problems with the umbrellas. They act like a sail and tend to trip over when a slight wind blows. That is why I brought two cloth bags, two plastic bags and a small shovel I borrowed from my children’s sandbox.

I put the plastic bag into the cloth bag to protect the cloth from the moist sand and started shovelling. These improvised sandbags then acted as a weight for the lighting tripods.20160524-Offroad-Making-of-001
The idea was that Maike should drive in circles and each time she passed by my “flash trap” I could take an image. But at first we started with some “bike and biker” portraits. I used both the 70-200mm f2.8 as well as the 14-24 mm f2.8 lens for different image styles.

20160524-Offroad-BMW-R1200GS-Adventure-001After completing the portraits I asked Maike to drive in circles and pass my “flash trap” for photos on the move. She did as instructed and I took multiple shots.


There were some patches of loose sand and Maike had a small mishap as the bike topped to the left. But luckily the GS Adventure is outfitted with crash bars and protective shields for the boxer engine cylinders. Long story short – the bike is kind of armored and falling to the soft ground is not an issue.

Lifting it up again somehow IS an issue. It weighs 260 kg fully fuelled, and the empty cases add a few more kilograms to it. But with the combined effort of Maike and me we managed and no harm was done.

I worked both with the 70-200 and the 14-24 mm lens. A good perspective for the wide angle shots is from below, as close to the ground as possible.

Timing is crucial. The bike passes only a narrow passage lit by the flashes, so you have to press the shutter button in the correct moment.