Albuquerque New Mexico Event Photography Triumph Motorcycles

Albuquerque New Mexico Event Photography Triumph Motorcycles

Photographing another grand opening ribbon cutting event for The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce at the new Triumph Motorcycle on the west side of Albuquerque made me want to get on a motorcycle and feel that particular sense of Freedom one gets with a vehicle with just one headlight!  Photographing ribbon cutting events is one of my favorite things to do in my professional photography work as everyone involved is exciting and I get to meet a new local business.  

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1-on-1 Nikon D5200 DSLR Nikkor 35mm lens Photography Lesson with Janice in downtown St. Petersburg Florida

Janice using her Nikkor 35mm prime lens to creatively photograph a motorcycle during our photo lesson in downtown St. Petersburg, FloridaIt was a quick turnaround time from my second 1-on-1 DSLR Photograpy Lesson with Janice just last Thursday to our third lesson this morning.  Time is an issue as this Friday she leaves for a big trip to Europe and is cramming in manual shooting photography knowledge so she can produce the best travel photographs she ever has.  We met at the usual spot in downtown St. Petersburg and started out by reviewing a few sunrise shots she took and brushing up on what we had covered previously.

After that it was off shooting some of the architecture and design details of various skyscrapers in the downtown area, mostly using her Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens on her Nikon D5200.  Janice had not used this lens during any of our previous two lessons, but took a quick liking to it for the lens' easily ability to create bokeh and a shallow DoF using its large aperture (mostly f/2).

We covered a lot in our 6 hours of 1-on-1 photography time together and I am confident that if Janice goes through the steps we practiced for each shooting situation she encounters in Europe, she will be very happy with the results.  Have a good trip Janice and I look forward to seeing your shots!

Harley-Davidson 50mm Motorcycle Series St. Petersburg Florida Photography

Harley-Davidson in downtown St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 200 1/250thI like to photograph motorcycles with a 50mm lens.  I saw this Harley-Davidson parked in downtown St. Petersburg Florida.  Using a 50mm f/1.8 lens lets me select only a part of the motorcycle to show in focus by using a large aperture creating a shallow DoF.  I like this style for motorcycles where the bike is shown in ever increasing blur from front to back.  

Shooting motorcycles with a 50mm lens - Harley-Davidson - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 200 1/250thUsing a 50mm lens up close also means the whole motorcycle cannot be fit into the frame, which I think is a plus.  It is much easier to get creative with composition with focal length restrictions.  

St. Petersburg Florida Motorcycle Photography - do not shoot the whole bike

Still motorcycle photographed to appear in motion - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D @ f/2 ISO 200 1/320th 

I have written before about how I like to photograph motorcycles just for fun.  It often turns out when I come across a motorcycle that I have my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens on my DSLR (or is it that having the 50mm lens on makes me look for motorcycles to shoot?).  For a motorcycle parked on the street it would be pretty hard to fit the entire bike from wheel to wheel in the frame given the contraints of shooting at 50mm and of neighboring objects intruding into the edges of the frame and the background as well.

So my photography tip, that does not just apply to motorcycles but any large or unwieldy subject, is do not photograph the entire subject.  Rather fill the frame through the edges of the frame wiht the view of the subject that appeals to you the most.  It helps to use a 50mm lens and its large aperture for this kind of shot because it is easy then to create bokeh even if the background is close to the subject.  In this way you can still isolate your subject letting the viewer know absolutely what it is they are looking at.  

For this motorcycle shot I did not even worry about getting the entire front wheel in the frame, I definitely wanted the brake rotor in the shot and to compose at an off-level angle to help create a sense of motion with the motorcycle even though it is parked on the side of the road.  

Practice this kind of composition on a motorcycle the next time you see one or on another similar object and be sure and post a link to your results in the comments below.

I photograph motorcycles for fun

Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D @ f/2 ISO 100 - St Petersburg, FloridaWhy did I photograph this motorcycle?  Simply because I like to photograph motorcycles.  I do not know how to ride a motorcycle.  I have only ever ridden on one once as a boy.  Yet I am drawn to photographing them.  Mostly parked.  These are photographs just for me.  For my own enjoyment.  I photograph them because it excites me too.  

I am just trying to say I believe it is important for a photographer to sometimes (always?) make photographs for themselves, first and foremost.  To not care at all what people on flickr will think, not what people in your local photography club will say, not what your more experienced photographer friend will say.  Just make a photograph that you yourself like to look at.  I know I really like looking at all that chrome and green paint above.  If someone else digs it, that's cool.  If not, it will not lesson my own liking of it in the least.  

I used to live in Tokyo where there are many more motorcycles.  I even made a flickr set just for them.

What do you like to photograph just for yourself?