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MOTO PHOTO SERIES: Part 1


You’ve got pride in your ride and the best way to capture it is in photos. From lovingly-composed still shots of your gleaming beauty to action snaps of you and your bike kicking up dust and hitting the road, we’ve got tips for better pics. We asked our favorite photogs to share their secrets for well-composed images and they delivered suggestions on everything from backdrops to storytelling. In fact, they had so many good ideas that we had to break this article into three parts!

It’s important to note that when it comes to renting out your bad boy, more appealing photos generate more interest. Read on to up your photo (and rental) game.


1. The Right Tool for the Right Job
Sure, you can get an okay shot of your ride with that thing you crush candy on, but if you’re looking to capture motion shots, your phone will fall short. Here are some ideas for upgrades that will really make a difference in your action pics -- and won’t hurt your still shots any either.

Courtesy Mr. Pixelhead @mr_pixelhead
GoPros:  Photographer, Erik Jutras, from here on referred to as his Instagram moniker, Mr. Pixelhead says, GoPros have come a long way...higher resolutions, frame rate and its light weight make this a great option to go if you want to capture your adventures from the road.” For obvious safety reasons, he recommends configuring your settings before you ride (not while riding!). He adds, “I found it useful to use GoPro’s remote and mount it to my handlebars to start it taking images on timelapse.” Another alternative is to mount it to your helmet. Mr. Pixelhead says, “I don’t recommend doing this if you’re not completely comfortable riding your bike yet.”

Drones: What drones lose in fine tuning and accuracy in your photos, they make up for in vantage points. Shooting from above offers a unique way to capture the beauty of a rider and bike leaning into the turns on a twisted road (obligatory product placement). And while you do get what you pay for, you can grab a decent drone without spending your kids’ college funds. Mr. Pixelhead says, “DJI’s Spark won’t have the battery life or speed to follow a rider doing 30 mph, but it’s adequate enough to capture some great scenery from above and will set you back in the range of $400.” He notes that the model folds down small and is super-packable, perfect for long moto trips. He personally uses the DJI Mavic and says, “As you can’t zoom with some drones’ onboard cameras, you’ll have to plan out your shot angle and camera capture settings and hopefully you have patient friends will to do laps for you!”
Courtesy Mr. Pixelhead @mr_pixelhead
2. By Failing to Prepare, You are Preparing to…well, you know the rest
You can have all of the fancy high-priced equipment in the world, but it won’t matter if you’re snapping pics of a filthy ride. If you’re trying to capture your motorcycle in all of its still beauty, best make it gleam first. Photographer Claude Rocha says, “A clean bike will shine and grab more attention and will ensure that the photos you take of your rod will look their absolute best and will stand out when renters are browsing Twisted Road.”


Courtesy Claude Rocha @lifeonclaude9
But, if it’s an action shot, we expect a little dirty evidence of a road well-traveled. Rocha concedes, “One or two photos of your KTM ripping through the mud is okay however.”


3. Only Light Can Drive Out the Dark (though the dark can be fun too)
A perfect photo often depends on perfect lighting. Too dark and we can’t make out the handlebars from the branches of the tree behind the bike; too bright and your pic will be washed out. It’s best to avoid harsh lighting like that given by the midday sun. The photographers we spoke to agree that the best times for good light are: the first hour of the day, right after sunrise and the last hour right before sunset.


Courtesy Katie O'Connell
Photo pro Katie O’Connell says that during those hours, “The light is soft and won’t make harsh reflections off the metal of the back.” Photographer Dalton Campbell adds that those times offer the best directional light and color for your outdoor photos. But if you’re stuck shooting midday, he says to “find a cool parking garage or a shaded spot.”

Courtesy Dalton Campbell
Rocha encourages you to “stalk the sun.” He says to experiment by moving your bike to get different light and to move yourself to discover the best angle of light. “What we’re aiming for is nice EVEN lighting on your bike.”

Look for Part 2 of our MOTO PHOTO SERIES in your inbox next week with tips on backdrops, framing and angles.

A hearty thanks goes to the photographers who so willingly shared their expertise!


Meet the Photographers:
Dalton Campbell


Claude Rocha
Instagram: @lifeonclaude9
Facebook: Claude Rocha Photography


Katie O’Connell
Instagram: @thekocomoto & @thekoco
Facebook: The Koco Photo
Website: www.thekoco.com


Mr. Pixelhead
Instagram: @mr_pixelhead
Facebook: Mr. Pixelhead Photography

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