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.


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 !


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.