Tips for Photographing Your Bicycle

The other night I was surfing the web and came across this link on the Rivendell site. I’ve always struggled with taking pictures of my bikes. This post has some great tips, so I tried them out on the way to work. Here are just a couple of the tips, but with my photos to show you what not to do.

Backgrounds
Take the time to set the bike against a solid background. Not like this photo.

Proportion
Make the bike look proportional. Otherwise the wheels look distorted. Just like this one.

Avoid the Shadows
Details get lost if there are too many shadows in the shots. Here’s a clear example of what not to do.

Shoot the Drive Side
Bikes just look better from the drive side. So much wrong with this pic, where to begin?

Ok ok, enough of the bad stuff! I was thinking about all of these tips as I pedaled to work. All along the route I was looking at potential areas to use as a background. I finally found a wall that looked like it would work out good. So I stopped and set the bike up. Taking the time to frame the shots properly so that the bike didn’t get distorted. Here are a couple that came out pretty good. To me anyways.

Here’s another version. I like this one better.

See, much better right? I still need to work on a couple aspects, but I think they are a lot better. Now I just need to remember those tips every time I’m out with the bike. Got any more tips to share? Post ’em up!

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  • Dan Barnes

    Shooting a bike like this is easy but a few other tips to remember. As mentioned always shoot the drive side but have the chain on big ring in front and little in back. Crank arms should be drive side=3 o’clock and naturally by default at 9 o’clock. Position camera at level with center or shoot from slightly below level with center. Lighting is best when not directly behind you. Preferred from top and two sides but not possible in real world nature shots.