Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida Panhandle
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It was mentioned on another thread that they were having problems in getting acceptable still pictures of their bike in motion. Thought I'd post a few tips and examples.
I'll assume that you are shooting a point and shoot camera with at least a small amount of control above pure automatic
Tip 1: Light-Unless you are very lucky, you aren't going to get a good shot of a bike in motion unless there is plenty of light, like daylight. It doesn't have to be high noon direct sun but it can't be a dim overcast day. If it is sun, make sure the sun is behind when you make the shot or maneuver until it is. Never shoot into the sun. Make sure the object isn't shaded. A very common mistake is to shoot with the subject shaded and the camera meters on the bright area leaving the object too dim.
Tip 2: Motion blur: There are three ways of dealing with this, freeze all, freeze bike and blur background, blur bike and freeze background. First would be shutter speed, if you have control of shutter speed on your camera, try to keep it at 1/1000th or shorter if you want to freeze the action. You may not be able to do this because of the camera or lack of light, in which case you will have to pan the camera. By that I mean smoothly swing the camera to keep on the subject. Takes a little practice to keep the swing smooth while pushing the shutter. Same concept as wing shots or skeet shooting. You may want to purposely slow the shutter and pan to freeze the bike but blur the background. Examples of both below. There is also an example of slowing the shutter but holding the camera still to blur the bike while freezing the background. Think about what you are trying to achieve.
Tip 3: Frame the subject: Get the entire subject in the shot, get too much in the shot and use easy software to crop it down. When I don't get the entire subject in a shot, it is a conscious decision but I default to too much and crop later. There is an example below of a shot where I elected to concentrate on the rider. Look through the viewfinder and think just a second before shooting. Don't center a face and cut them off at the knees and have half of the photo showing sky. The owl below is an example of getting in close, sometime a partial subject is more effective.
Tip 4: Misc- Don't bother with flash, set your cameras ISO to 200 (I won't explain but take my word), only occasionally is the best photo one in which it subject is centered in the shot.
I shot the examples below at a race in Pensacola last September