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  1. #1
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    For you good photographers...

    What you do to get such nice pictures. Mine never turn out as well as many in the forum... but then again I bought my Stylus 710 for size and convenience... Maybe that's part of the problem?

    If it is technique rather than equipment I need to squeeze a photography class into my schedule...
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  2. #2
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Good lighting, a good flash, and a macro mode for those closeups. Those three are probably the most important factors. Some of the pictures I take are with an entry level Olympus I bought for its simplicity for my wife and daughter. It takes pictures almost as good as my better Olympus which is feature rich. Good luck.
    Bob
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  3. #3
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Access to good tools helps.




  4. #4
    Senior Member Novakane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55/Rad
    Access to good tools helps.



    I never get tired of your bicycle photos, Rad. I figured by them though that you must have a pretty slick light rig, and that photo sure proves it. I take it that you're a photographer by trade?

  5. #5
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Location is also important. You can find good lighting outdoors, but make sure you're somewhere purty.

  6. #6
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    ...and besides a good camera and photography skills:

    An image editing that allows for user-adjustable .JPG image compression (an elegantly simple, free program for this is http://www.irfanview.com/). The sharpness tools always come in handy when downsizing a photograph.

    -Kurt

    P.S.: In addition to what Sammyboy said, try finding an area with a reasonably consistent backround. The "open" nature of the bicycle is not too condusive to "noisy" backdrops.

  7. #7
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    To 55/Rad:

    How did you get it to stand upright in the second photo? It isn't leaning on the wall, that's for sure.

    -Kurt

  8. #8
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    First, you need to paint your garage door white! (beige is also acceptable)
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    first you need to read Ray Dobbins write up on bike photography!

    http://www.raydobbins.com/garagesetup.htm
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  10. #10
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    I'll +1 to that! Ray Dobbins takes some mighty fine pix. if you do shoot outdoors try to do it on an overcast day. Diffused sunlight makes for much better photos of shiney paint and chrome. Notice Rad-55s set up where the dark scrims are used to diffuse hard lighting before it falls on the subject. Very nice photos, too, BTW!

  11. #11
    \,,/(^_^)\,,/ new_dharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888
    To 55/Rad:

    How did you get it to stand upright in the second photo? It isn't leaning on the wall, that's for sure.

    -Kurt
    if you look close at the photo, you can see the prop-rod...if the photo had been from a tiny bit higher, the top tube would cover it.
    You know you're getting old when you look at a beautiful 19-year-old girl and you find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wonder what her mother looks like?"

  12. #12
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by new_dharma
    if you look close at the photo, you can see the prop-rod...if the photo had been from a tiny bit higher, the top tube would cover it.
    Correct. Propping the bike up invisibly has proven to be the biggest challenge for me. Photoshop can remove any rigging, it's just a pain to do it to dozens of photos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Novakane
    I never get tired of your bicycle photos, Rad. I figured by them though that you must have a pretty slick light rig, and that photo sure proves it. I take it that you're a photographer by trade?
    Actually, I'm not. A hobbyist for sure, but I'm a TV commercial producer by trade. Naturally, we shoot a lot of stuff and the tools are available after hours. What I don't have that I REALLY need is a good digital SLR camera. I'm still using a point and shoot.

    55/Rad

  13. #13
    Gios my baby hiromian's Avatar
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    Nice photos Rad
    "Aiyah...Oh no"

  14. #14
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Cameras don't take good pictures, people do.

    One thing: not only are noisy backgrounds bad for getting the bike to show up, but esp. if there is some fine pattern, it can play havoc with the digital images sensors in a camera: 'moire effect,' etc.

    Lighting is very important.

    Lighting ourdoors can be really good if you pick the right times: Winter/northern light makes for purer colors, and sunset increases contrast. Northern light is light that comes from the north. Mid-day is a difficult time to get a good photo in general, and overcast days make for good neutral light.

    As an 'analog' photographer, I tend to set myself the goal of only taking pictures when the light is good, even if an image looks nice.

    There's a saying: The only difference between a professional and an amateur photographer? The pro takes a lot more pics. Take ten pics from the same angle, then edit: out of those ten, one nice one is still a nice photo. In the age of the digi-cam, this costs you nothing other than a few moments.

  15. #15
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
    First, you need to paint your garage door white! (beige is also acceptable)
    I've never cared for the garage door back drop bike photos. Natural settings are more to my tastes. cudak888 has some nice tropical flavor bike pictures. How about a few snow shots?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bob
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  16. #16
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Those look pretty good to me pastorbob.

    Rad - are you trying to tell me that all those shots of your bikes, although with a fantastic lighting setup, were done with a simple point and shoot camera? *boggles mind*

    I don't have a lot of good places to shoot pictures of my bikes, and the Gazelle really doesn't look good up against the white garage door (though I don't have a garage and my parent's is brown).

    The Barracuda Mk.I is a bit easier to photograph, and while yes, defused light does often look better, sometimes sunny skies or even close up flash can really bring out the sparkle in a metalic paint.

    Here's a couple of my favs of my bikes:


    Decent solid background - a bit sunny and the image isn't super clean.


    Close up with the flash. Yes, that's a whole lot of metal flake in that paint.


    There are a number of off-angle closeup shots that I really like. This is one of them.
    I also like the color contrasts and the soft focus of the background. Wish I'd closed the Brake QR though.

    And for contrast, a not so great shot:


    I've been meaning to clean up both bikes and find a better spot to take some new photos. I've yet to get any real decent full bike shots of the Schwinn Passage.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Are you talking about bikes, people, landscapes? Each has different challenges, but overall all I'd say:

    Look for interesting light; create a composition rather than placing the main object in the center; and what you leave out is as important as what you keep in!

    This pic, old bike parked in mottled light under a tree, Velo-Rendezvous.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I did ask because of an interest primarily in bikes, but I suspect that most of the rules apply more generally.

    I am feeling more confident in being able to get more consistent good shots. I have managed a couple in the past, but I think lighting usually gets in the way of my getting some really good shots.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  19. #19
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    Rad - are you trying to tell me that all those shots of your bikes, although with a fantastic lighting setup, were done with a simple point and shoot camera? *boggles mind*
    Well, a little better than a standard point and shoot, but essentially, yes,

    Canon Powershot S2 IS


  20. #20
    Jasper leunkstar's Avatar
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    problem is: the bike is huge qua size but almost no surface at all (some tubes, tires, thats it). I still didn't find out how to make a full faced pic of the bike in a decent way. If you want detail shot, you have a lot of options, but the full bike still is a problem. Unless you have a cherry red Trek

    Check also this site: http://www.speedbicycles.ch/
    and than museum > name

    bike pr0n!

    i know he uses a little 'diffuse glow' filter in photoshop now and than.
    Dutch internet strategist /// http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/4200/peugeotsig9hy.jpg || Timezone: GMT+1 or CST-5 || My bikes & blog

  21. #21
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Darwin,

    My bike photos have improved dramatically since I started using photographic background paper. I take all of my pictures outside on sunny days, but in the shade rather than in direct sunlight so I don't have shadows. I use a small, inexpensive digital Casio EX-Z55 camera that has built-in macro focusing.









    - Stan

  22. #22
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Rad, nice point and shoot. Here's the model I'm usually shooting with. A bit bigger than you can use on-ride, but great for distance and most other photos.


    Olympus D-760 10x optical, 4.0MP

    Stan, never can get enough of beautiful old Schwinns.

  23. #23
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jon.

    I love the Barracuda Mk 1.
    - Stan

  24. #24
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    Olympus D-760 10x optical, 4.0MP
    Thats a good camera. The Canon S2 IS is 12x optical and 5mp, so really not a lot more. The optical is what sold me over my last Elph.

  25. #25
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    What you do to get such nice pictures. Mine never turn out as well as many in the forum... but then again I bought my Stylus 710 for size and convenience... Maybe that's part of the problem?

    If it is technique rather than equipment I need to squeeze a photography class into my schedule...

    It's mainly technique and lighting. Pay a lot of attention to details and keep your background simple. Keep your elbows tucked in to your ribs, exhale and squeeze the trigger.

    That's the technique... as for lighting, avoid direct flash and bounce the light if you can or diffuse it with a tissue in front of the flash lens. Use a tripod if you have one, that can not be understated. If outside, do not photograph in direct light unless you can control the light, rather find a spot out of direct light (shady) yet has good reflective light action around it. Overcast days are a great light diffuser.

    Last but not least, take lots of pictures, and try different angles, low, high on your stomach..etc, rather than just at standing height.

    Good luck, and show us your development....
    Last edited by ViperZ; 09-15-06 at 08:25 PM.
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