Epic Bike Photography

So the title of this post may be a little enthusiastic on my part but I had an awesome time and the company that sells these bikes even used the images on their Instagram page!

Anyway, at Revolution Bike Park they have a fleet of hire bikes provided by Madison Saracen. In March the new fleet of Saracen Myst Pro’s arrived and I jumped at the chance to photograph these for Rev’s social media and website.

Before shooting the bikes I read up online about how to position the bike for the best possible image. Depending on what you are looking for side on with the drivers side towards the camera is best so it shows off all the components, also you want the pedals to be flat.

I set off up the hill to the Ffar Side track as this has some nice table top jumps in the top section and has a bit more light than some of the other areas on the tracks. I set up the bike by leaning it on a stick to keep it upright (which I later removed in photoshop) I used an off camera flash to light the front of the bike (this reduced the reflections that I had without it).

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Saracen Myst Pro 2018

I had an idea in my head for quite a while which lead me to purchase a load of smoke grenades in December. I got the Enola Gaye wire pull smoke grenades (usually used for paintball and airsoft so they are not dangerous to use). I knew what colour the bikes were going to be so got some yellow and orange smokes to compliment the colouring. You can purchase these smoke grenades online and they are quite cheap.

With the bike still set up I set the smokes off and started shooting. It was a tab more difficult than I thought, as I didn’t have a smoke grenade assistant I was having to move the smokes and take photos at the same time, fortunately the smokes last for 120 seconds and I had a few! Below are my favorite of the smokes.

Once I had finished up the top of the hill/ran out of smoke grenades, I moved to the tips at the bottom of the hill for some more standard photographs. Using the same method as before I let the bike up with a stick and started shooting. I used an aperture of about f4 to really defocus the background and make the bike stand out.

Really happy with the results I got from this experiment and I will defiantly be getting more smoke grenades for other product/portrait photos. Also it is really cool to see my photos on websites other than my own 😀

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Panning for blur

So I have been wanting to learn how to add the effect of speed and movement into action photography for a while and wasn’t 100% sure the best way to do this, fortunately I brought a camera magazine last week and there was an article all about capturing different types of movement woo!

My partner owns a mountain bike park and I am one of the uplift drivers so I have the perfect opportunity to try out what I had learnt. Basically a slower shutter speed and then pan the camera either on a tri/monopod or handheld, I went with the latter option. I finished first on the uplift so was able to grab the camera and get some shots of the people left riding.

I use aperture priority mode when shooting so set this to f8 and an ISO of 100 to decrease my shutter speed, then all I needed to do was wait for the riders to zoom past me at my chosen spot. This was on one of the big berms at the bottom of the hill. I got some good shots and it was great to practise a new technique.

I used continuous high burst mode so I could capture multiple exposures of each of the riders and it allowed me to pan more! The best images were shot at about 1/250 of a second.

After a while Skylar and I decided it was too hot so we went to the stream so she could cool off! All in all a great weekend.