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Bike Photos - how the heck do they do that?

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Bike Photos - how the heck do they do that?

Old 11-02-20, 06:44 PM
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pbass
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Bike Photos - how the heck do they do that?

I follow sites like Radavist, Bikepacking, etc and follow many small builders on Instagram. Someone please enlighten me - how do they take those photos of bikes that appear to be just standing there, without anything propping it up? No stick, no rock, whatever. It's not photoshop in the cases I'm talking about, you can tell it wasn't retouched--these are mostly Instagram posts just done out on the trail etc. What's the trick?
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Old 11-02-20, 06:49 PM
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Usually a small dowel near the BB or rear axle. If the angle is right, it looks like a spoke.

I know of one builder who uses the camoflauged shaft of a carbon arrow. If the background is blurred in a high-quality photo, it is even easier to photoshop out. https://www.44bikes.com/my-marauder-ti-ss/

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Old 11-02-20, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I follow sites like Radavist, Bikepacking, etc and follow many small builders on Instagram. Someone please enlighten me - how do they take those photos of bikes that appear to be just standing there, without anything propping it up? No stick, no rock, whatever. It's not photoshop in the cases I'm talking about, you can tell it wasn't retouched--these are mostly Instagram posts just done out on the trail etc. What's the trick?
You can't tell that a photo has been photoshopped when done right by someone who knows what they are doing.
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Old 11-02-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
You can't tell that a photo has been photoshopped when done right by someone who knows what they are doing.
I know, I used to retouch for a living. Sure, maybe some of these are photoshopped, but many of what I'm talking about are shot out on the trail, etc as I say, and uploaded straight to Instagram.

I think it's like aggiegrads says in these cases, they're just doing a very careful placement of a small "propper upper" of some kind. Gotta up my photo game! (but I'm not gonna take the time to photoshop my stuff!)
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Old 11-02-20, 07:30 PM
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Example?
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Old 11-02-20, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Example?
see the link in my post number 2
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Old 11-03-20, 04:59 AM
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I thought I saw either a clear acrylic/gorilla glass/Pyrex/borosilicate rod or a single less-amazing photoshop, but now I’m not sure. The photo after this one looks like a sorta A-frame that might’ve been a clear material or, also, less amazingly ‘shopped, but I had to zoom way in and still couldn’t really see it.

maybe just email the person and ask?

[edit] looking at it again, maybe it’s a slightly trapezoidal clear plate with a small cradle to “hold” the bb shell?

Last edited by hsuBM; 11-03-20 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 11-03-20, 06:56 AM
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Maybe the bike has a kickstand?
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Old 11-03-20, 07:34 AM
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44bikes has a thread on garagejournal.com that discusses his bike photography a couple of times. Here is a short discussion on page 84 of the thread.

https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/...112578&page=84

do not click on this link unless you have lots of time. You will get sucked into the rabbit hole. I read from the first post in the thread to the end over the course of several weeks..
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Old 11-03-20, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I follow sites like Radavist, Bikepacking, etc and follow many small builders on Instagram. Someone please enlighten me - how do they take those photos of bikes that appear to be just standing there, without anything propping it up? No stick, no rock, whatever. It's not photoshop in the cases I'm talking about, you can tell it wasn't retouched--these are mostly Instagram posts just done out on the trail etc. What's the trick?
Someone balances the upright bike then jumps out of the shot... click ...jumps back in to catch the bike before it falls?
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Old 11-03-20, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
44bikes has a thread on garagejournal.com that discusses his bike photography a couple of times. Here is a short discussion on page 84 of the thread.

https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/...112578&page=84

do not click on this link unless you have lots of time. You will get sucked into the rabbit hole. I read from the first post in the thread to the end over the course of several weeks..
Ah, very interesting! Next time I find the right little stick, rod, etc. I'll have to remember to throw it in my bag when I head out. I still don't think I'll take the time to come home and retouch my own amateur bike shots before throwing them up on Instagram. But for a builder it obviously makes sense to take the time to do it right.
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Old 11-03-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hsuBM View Post

I thought I saw either a clear acrylic/gorilla glass/Pyrex/borosilicate rod or a single less-amazing photoshop, but now I’m not sure. The photo after this one looks like a sorta A-frame that might’ve been a clear material or, also, less amazingly ‘shopped, but I had to zoom way in and still couldn’t really see it.

maybe just email the person and ask?

[edit] looking at it again, maybe it’s a slightly trapezoidal clear plate with a small cradle to “hold” the bb shell?
If you look at the background through the chainring, you can see that the green stuff is not in quite the same focus as the green stuff outside of the chainring. That tells me that there was some shoppin goin on. If the rod was propping up the BB, then shoppin out the rod through the gravel is easy and likely would never be found.

It's all smoke and mirrors. Bikes don't stand up all by themselves.
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Old 11-03-20, 10:35 AM
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I use a Click Stand. If the shot is taken at the right angle and the stand is placed in the appropriate position, it appears that the bike is standing on its own.







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Old 11-03-20, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
If you look at the background through the chainring, you can see that the green stuff is not in quite the same focus as the green stuff outside of the chainring. That tells me that there was some shoppin goin on. If the rod was propping up the BB, then shoppin out the rod through the gravel is easy and likely would never be found.

It's all smoke and mirrors. Bikes don't stand up all by themselves.
Yeah, and that kind of gravel surface is one of the easier textures to retouch without going crazy.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:42 PM
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OP, I think you're underestimating how much editing can be done on a smartphone.

It's not hard to just set the camera somewhere, hold the bike and take one pic with a timer, then take another pic of an empty scene (you and your bike both out of frame), then stitch them together and erase yourself.

It's not like anyone's in a rush when they stop in the middle of nowhere, so what's an extra five minutes?

Adding a hypothetical example by borrowing Batstar's pic:


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Old 11-03-20, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
OP, I think you're underestimating how much editing can be done on a smartphone.

It's not hard to just set the camera somewhere, hold the bike and take one pic with a timer, then take another pic of an empty scene (you and your bike both out of frame), then stitch them together and erase yourself.

It's not like anyone's in a rush when they stop in the middle of nowhere, so what's an extra five minutes?

Adding a hypothetical example by borrowing Batstar's pic:

That may be true! I used to be a hardcore photoshop guy for my job, retouched everything from food to fashion...but that's 2 careers ago I have not explored what retouching I can do with iOS apps at all. Still, what you describe above sounds pretty tricky to get a clean result! Think I'll still just look for a nice stick...
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Old 11-03-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
That may be true! I used to be a hardcore photoshop guy for my job, retouched everything from food to fashion...but that's 2 careers ago I have not explored what retouching I can do with iOS apps at all. Still, what you describe above sounds pretty tricky to get a clean result! Think I'll still just look for a nice stick...
Yeah, the stick is probably easier after all. You won't even need to hang the phone onto anything.

Dug up this pic that I made years ago back when my CAAD8 was my main bike. The advantage was that I could set the camera on the table for the pics. I was standing behind it and holding onto the saddle almost exactly like how I drew the stick figure onto the other photo.

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Old 11-03-20, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Yeah, the stick is probably easier after all. You won't even need to hang the phone onto anything.

Dug up this pic that I made years ago back when my CAAD8 was my main bike. The advantage was that I could set the camera on the table for the pics. I was standing behind it and holding onto the saddle almost exactly like how I drew the stick figure onto the other photo.

That does like tight! Damn, now I'm gonna have to play with this idea after all. I do have a little portable mini tripod with an iphone mount...down the rabbit hole I guess!
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Old 11-03-20, 02:44 PM
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Effective shadowing of the stickman. Couldn’t have done it better myself!

Here’s a closer shot of the area where the stand is hidden behind the frame/crank.

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Old 11-03-20, 03:07 PM
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Some of the above photos are missing some other critical steps, aside from slammed stems and perfectly level saddles:
  • The cranks should be aligned with the chain stays
  • Drive-side photos only with the chain in big ring/small cog
  • Valve stems should be aligned with tire logos - no caps on valve stems
  • Wheels should be positioned so the valves are either exactly at 6 o'clock, or hidden behind the fork/chain stays/seat stays
  • QR skewers should also be hidden
  • All bags and bottles should be removed, unless they are a part of "the look"

If you can't creatively hide a stick propping up the bike on the non-drive side, you can just have a friend hold your bike, then pull their hand away as you blast a few shots. They just need to catch it before it falls. (Or learn how to use the rubber stamp tool in PS and simply brush them out, which is also not difficult.)

Cyclingtips had an article about this very topic a few years ago:
https://cyclingtips.com/2015/11/how-...-of-your-bike/

The setup:


The result:

Last edited by msu2001la; 11-03-20 at 03:11 PM.
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