Motorcycle photography – this dude’s got skills…

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      Hi all,

      I just wanted to share a post I came across on another board.  This fellow who goes by the name "Frank likes to Ride" takes some amazing photo's of some of his rides.

      When I first looked at his pictures, I thought for sure he was using a mounted camera of some sort, but it turns out he's developed a unique 3 finger hold for his large body DSLR.  He's got a background in racing so he's got some serious riding skills, but still, shooting back shots with a DSLR while riding one-handed is not for the faint of heart.

      Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

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        That is so AWESOME!!!

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          forwarded to every rider i know.

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            From the photographer (Frank):

            Not a whole lot of post processing, I use photoshop but that is one of my weak points. I’ve never taken a class on how to use it or photography. Learn mostly by stuff I read on photography forums. On moving photos, I may use selective unsharp mask on the bike if too blurry. The landscape shots I always sharpen using unsharp mask. I shoot raw, so I have a little leeway to bump the exposure up or down if needed.

            Color usually is good out of the camera, but if I got the exposure slightly off it sometimes needs to be bumped a tiny bit. I also sometimes use the shadow highlight tool. I don’t spend a lot of time processing photos because I take too many, and just don’t have the time. But I get better and learn new tricks as I go along.

            I wish I could always shoot at golden hour, but have to take what I can get while on moto trips. Wish I had more time for photography. The 5D and 5DII are both great cameras, but only slightly better than the 20D I used before them. I use a 16-35 f2.8L lens, and believe that makes a difference when it comes to color and sharpness.

            Yes, most of the year was a Canon 5D. I started the year off with a KTM 950, but after the second front tube blew out at speed, I lost my faith in it and decided to sell it before I wound up in the trees. I then picked up the R1200GS, which I hated. It was horrible in the dirt, so got rid of that and picked up the 2009 GSXR 1000. Funny thing is the GSXR is better in the dirt than the GS. lol

            When I picked up the GSXR, I also sold the 5D and picked up a 5DII.

            As you can see I shoot left handed, little trick I picked up out of necessity. My friends are pretty fast riders and we cover a lot of ground each day, so if I were to pull over to take pictures of them, well they would be long gone. lol

            The only time I can stop to take landscape photos is when I’m off on my own. Which is nice because I can take little hikes to the scenic sites as well.

            Its more like 9 out of 10 shots are throwaways, and 1 out of 1000 I’m happy with.

            Most of these shots were taken with a 5D I paid $1350 for used, took a few thousand pictures with over a year and a half, then sold it for $1250 so I could buy the 5DII. Picture quality wise, the 5D was every bit as good as the 5DII. I just wanted the HD video and better weather proofing the 5DII has.

            I think the secret is to take lots of photos. I have two 16gb cards and fill them often. You are bound to get some good ones when you take that many.  For while riding shots, I use mostly shutter priority. I try and use the lowest shutter speed I can get away with to give the pictures a nice motion blur, yet get bikes sharp. So if the road is smooth and I’m not going very fast, I can hold the camera pretty steady at 1/80 shutter speed. The faster I go and the bumpier/curvier the road, the higher the shutter speed I have to use. But I rarely go above 1/200.

            Most shots are at 1/125, that seems to be the sweet spot.

            I mostly use center focus spot, and mostly shoot at ISO 100, bumping ISO up as needed to maintain shutter speed.

            If I’m riding or taking a picture torwards the sun, then I cant use shutter priority mode, because the exposure would likely be off. In those cases I switch to full manual mode, and hope I’m using the right aperture settings.

            I’m going to have to try this out with my Tokina f2.8 lens set at 16mm!  Now I just need a decent tank bag to slip the camera in and out of

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                Using the tips that Frank provided (in the my quoted post above), I gave it a try myself (see new website header picture).  I still need some work on getting a clearer picture (higher shutter speed or better glass) but boy was it fun (and sketchy!).

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