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Old 01-03-08, 10:34 AM   #1
breadbin
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Any tips on photographing a frame?

Hey, I have a new bike frame that I haven't touched but I'm gonna start building it up soon and maybe document the progress. I tried taking pictures of it "brand new" but they turn out crap - not what I am looking for at all! Any suggestions on how to make it look better? Thanks
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Old 01-03-08, 10:36 AM   #2
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Youll get a better looking pic by zooming in a lot with the camera, and walking back till you get it
all in frame. It flattens the perspective, and gives a more professional looking picture.

Overcast midday light looks good since it doesnt cast such harsh shadows.

Don't forget to put the bike against a white garage door with the drive side facing the camera,
shift it into the highest gear, put the cranks so the left is hidden behind the seat tube, spin
the wheels so the valve stems are hidden, take off computers, seat bags, bottles, and non-carbon
bottle cages. I think that covers it!
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Old 01-03-08, 11:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
Youll get a better looking pic by zooming in a lot with the camera, and walking back till you get it
all in frame. It flattens the perspective, and gives a more professional looking picture.

Overcast midday light looks good since it doesnt cast such harsh shadows.

Don't forget to put the bike against a white garage door with the drive side facing the camera,
shift it into the highest gear, put the cranks so the left is hidden behind the seat tube, spin
the wheels so the valve stems are hidden, take off computers, seat bags, bottles, and non-carbon
bottle cages. I think that covers it!
Well, that covers the easy ones, but remember there are also points deducted for not having the tire labels aligned with the stem, seat and stem angles etc...

The list is extensive, but your list will get a photo into the right ballpark. The rest will be the usual OCP nit picking.
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Old 01-03-08, 11:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
Overcast midday light looks good since it doesnt cast such harsh shadows.

Don't forget to put the bike against a white garage door
In the absence of overcast midday lighting, use the north side of a building or a bright room with a northern exposure. Light from the north is soft and casts no harsh shadows.

Also, a white garage door might not be the best thing. The bike will almost certainly be darker than the background. I have always found the most pleasing photographs are made when the background is a little darker than the main subject. A blanket of a darker color could be hung behind the bike. The farther you can get it away from the bike, the more it is likely to present a very soft focus that blends into the background.

With photo editing programs you can also take your pictures with grass or trees in the background. Drive a steel rod into the ground for the bike to lean on. Smudge it out and replace it with grass on the computer later.
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Old 01-03-08, 11:47 AM   #5
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I prefer the bike to be some distance from the background. Avoid a background the same shade or colour as your bike or a fussy detailled background; very light or dark backgrounds can skew the exposure reading.
You can prop a bike up by a pedal on a brick/log/curb.
3/4 views from the front seem to work best.
Make sure you show the details that matter to you, either by positioning components, altering your point of view or getting closer.
Use a moderate telephoto zoom and fill the frame with your image. Look at the image in the viewfinder, scan around the edges and move your point of view to get the best composition.
Most digicams work well enough to get a decent picture. You can post some of your bad pics for critical advice.
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Old 01-03-08, 04:19 PM   #6
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I use the "Cuisine" setting on my camera to photograph bicycle components. Try different settings.

I also find that setting up the lighting, and then turning off the flash often works. A flash washes out a shiny frame.
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Old 01-03-08, 04:44 PM   #7
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The best website on how to take pictures of bicycles:
Pictures and bikes so pretty, they will make you cry.
http://raydobbins.com/

examples:





Last edited by brianmcg123; 01-03-08 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 01-03-08, 04:46 PM   #8
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Old 01-03-08, 09:15 PM   #9
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I can't believe it took me this long:

You put the picture inside the frame.
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Old 01-04-08, 03:04 AM   #10
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Thanks folks, I will give it a go at the weekend and post some pics for critique;-) It is brilliant white so will see what I can find for a background.
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