I have loved motorbikes ever since I can remember, and I have no fewer than ten sitting in my garage at home. Like a lot of riders, I love to share photos of my bikes on social media but taking a quality motorbike photo is not as easy as you might think. I have been taking motorbike photos for close to a decade now, so I would like to share some of my valuable tips with you. If you take the following tips on board, then I guarantee that a lot more people will start to respond to your photos on social media, whether that be on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Give Your Bikes Some TLC
Before you start taking photos of your motorbike, be sure to give it some TLC. Let me perfectly honest with you here, there is nobody out there that wants to see a beautiful motorbike caked in dirt and other grime, unless it happens to be a dirt bike and you are after some action shots. Give it a really good wash down so that everything shines in the way that it should. Paying special attention to the radiator grill if your bike has one - these are dirt magnets and they stand out in photographs. When you get to your shooting location, use a wet cloth to give your bike a quick clean to remove any squashed bugs or specks of dirt.
You do not need to go out and buy expensive photography equipment to take good photos of your bike. A basic camera with a good lense can do the trick. Also, if you have a top-quality smartphone, then you can consider using that instead of a camera. However, I must point out that smartphones are quite limited in what you can achieve with them, even if you are using very good editing software.
If you happen to know your way around a camera a bit, then you should experiment a bit with the different settings. For example, you can try using the aperture setting to add blurs to the background, which will then help your bike stand out. When it comes to lenses, you should use a wide angle one as this allows you to capture more of the background, which will help add to the story that you are trying to tell with your photo.
Select a location that will suit your bike. A bobber or cafe racer would look pretty good with some type of wall behind it. You could maybe try and find a wall with some nice street art on it as this will contrast nicely with your bike. You should not have anything in the background that will distract your viewers from the bike. If you like the location but you think that there is something in the background that will act as a distraction, then blur it out.
Other Ways to Make Your Photo Stand Out
You obviously want your bike to stand out from the crowd and there are plenty of ways that you can make this happen. For example, you should try to take some photos while laying down to provide a different perspective. You might get a bit of dirt on your clothes, but the resulting photos can be great. The majority of the photos that you will see in bike magazines are taken from different perspectives. You should also try to get some photos of the different engine parts as these will help the bike to stand out. If you are taking a photo from the front of the bike, turn the front wheel slightly so that you can see more of the rim than the tire.
Taking Night Shots
Sometimes you might feel like taking a photo of your motorbike at night. If you are planning on doing this, then get to your location early and make sure that you are not trespassing the land where you want to take your night photographs. Set your camera up on your tripod as you will have to use longer exposure than you normally would. You might need one to two minutes to get enough light for good exposure. Open up the aperture to let some more light in - you can use flash, but there is a high chance that this will overexpose the bike and underexpose your background. You should take some type of torch that you can use to highlight your motorbike while ensuring the background remains exposed.