Don’t make the mistake of assuming that taking motorcycle photos is easy. Sure, the physical act of pushing the button is easy, but there is so much more that goes into it.
To really capture the spirit and attitude of the motorcycle, you need to think about the person that would ride it. Some bikes look better in an action shot where you can convey speed and agility. While others look the best resting in a majestic spot.
Think about the bike itself and how you will capture its curves and lines.
Dark Colored Bikes Take More Effort
Bright and colorful bikes are easier to capture. Dark-colored and black bikes are going to be more of a challenge. This is because of the way the light plays off of the colors.
Dark bikes become one dark blob of a shadow if you don’t have enough lighting. You’ll need to balance it with the background, though. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an overexposed surrounding.
Motion Blur Is Your Friend
People want to imagine themselves having fun out on the open road. The best way to showcase that is to show the bike in motion. Embrace the blur as a way of conveying action and high speed.
There are a few settings you need to look at when capturing a bike in motion. With the bike moving, and you jerking back and forth, the margin for error is high.
You want a slower shutter speed while tracking the motorcycle’s movement. Using a tripod can help combat vibration and shake. This will cut down on the unintended blurriness,
Keep in mind that the faster your shutter speed is, the more likely it is that you’ll get the rider captured clear and sharp.
Beware Matte Bikes
That flat black murdered outlook is sick in real life. But when it comes to photography, it’s a huge pain. The light naturally diffuses across the paint. What you’ll end up with are shadows that are too dark and a bike that is totally washed out.
Then that flat look makes the bike stand out less, which makes the background stand out more. This is the exact opposite of what you want to have happen.
You can combat all of this by making sure you place the bike in front of a background that won’t compete with the bike. You don’t want the viewer’s eye drawn away from the motorcycle. This means stay away from super busy backgrounds.
Think You Got the Shot? Do It Again
You are already on location with the bike. So even if you think you’ve captured the shot, do it again. Have the rider circle around and take a few laps.
This will give you a chance to capture the perfect shot. Then when you’re back in the studio, you’ll have plenty of options for whatever you need.
The same goes for if you have the bike parked somewhere and are taking shots of it. Since you’re outside, subtle changes in the light can affect how your shots come out. By taking several, you can capture that perfect shot as the light changes and moves throughout your shoot.
Focus on the Details in Your Motorcycle Photos
Not all motorcycle photos need to be a big sweeping action shot. Park the bike somewhere and get some close-up shots. This will let you capture every detail. Bikes today have been engineered down to every bolt, so why not capture that artistry and design?
You could focus your shot on details that are unique or especially interesting. Or you could focus them on the most desirable features. For example, maybe you have a sportbike that has a cool looking gauge cluster. Or a cruiser with a touchscreen that looks beautiful, is intuitive, and responsive.
Cloudy Days are Better Than Bright Sun
Bright, direct sunlight is too harsh. Cloudy days will give you a softer diffused light. The sun will create weird shadows, uneven paint color, funky looking lenses, and highlight the imperfections.
If you’re going to shoot in full sun, think about your shadows. Pay attention to the details. For example, you don’t want the mirror or levers casting shadows through the name of the bike.
One way to save yourself is to continually move the bike. Place it, snap a few, move the bike, snap some more.
Choose the Right Location
Ever notice how magazine shoots have bikes in front of simplified backgrounds that create a majestic yet clean backdrop to feature the bike? Or maybe it’s right in the middle of busy downtown? They choose the perfect photoshoot location for the motorcycle they’re are featuring.
Think about the style and feel of the motorcycle. Where is the bike meant to be ridden? A touring bike needs to be shot out on the open road. Give the viewer a fantasy of the life they could live.
An ultra-modern bike will look right at home in an urban environment. To keep the background simple, try using a building as the backdrop.
Start Using Quality Motorcycle Photos
Taking quality motorcycle photos requires more effort than pointing and clicking. But put in the effort, and your marketing materials will really stand out among the competition. Fail to take good pictures, and you’ll also stand out, but for all of the wrong reasons. Don’t let that happen to you or your business.
When it comes to marketing, you need more than pretty pictures. While people love looking at them, they don’t provide the detailed information that your customers are looking for. This is where I can help you.
By working with an experienced content writer like myself, you can have the quality text to pair with your amazing images. This gives you a complete content marketing strategy that is sure to bring you success.