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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:57 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:35 am
Posts: 630
Location: northants
ameybrook wrote:
Helpful hint: if the flash goes off, it will be bad.


lolol


ed edwards - why dont you post a picture that you've taken and we can comment?


Last edited by richie-t on Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:51 pm 
Pumpy's Bear
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Thanks guys, all really useful stuff including i believe in fixies specifics about a recent load of photos (additions to my crimes against photography).

I reckon my original query was far too general and I should have been more specific. I am not looking to become a great photographer but would like to be better at it than I am without investing large amounts of time or cash. I do try to think about what I am doing, clearly not very successfully, and I have tried to use the advantages of digital camera to try out different things. Bottom line is that I am not discriminating visually - I cannot see something and draw it or mentally picture things as they will look but I can discriminate on end results. I also realise that there is no substitute for practice but, in this modern age, I of course want a short cut (like asking how I can get fitter by sitting in front of the computer and not just getting out and doing it I guess).

So, to some specifics. I have what I think is a reasonable digital camera (Olympus mju720SW) and can take what I think is the same shot as someone else at the same time but the result is not as good - it is definitely not an equipment issue! Mike's tip of not using the flash is a good one, will remember that.

There are lots of great photos on here but in particular I always am impressed by the work of Neil (Mr. K), Mike (Ameybrook) and Roy (yoeddy)'s mate Pim (all those pictures from Colorado and the Groovy by the sea - stunning).

Perhaps between us we could compile a list of simple photography FAQs for idiot's like me even if all we want to do is show off our pride and joy to best effect?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:02 pm 
Pumpy's Bear
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Oh, and here are two photos taken a long time apart - I guess that there are a lot that can be done to improve both but the Vit T is 'better' (whatever that means) than the Colnago one for many the reasons i believe in fixies says - right?


Attachments:
Colnago Full.JPG
Colnago Full.JPG [ 103.19 KiB | Viewed 1031 times ]
Vit T BOTM.JPG
Vit T BOTM.JPG [ 143.59 KiB | Viewed 1031 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:39 pm 
BoTY Winner
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Ed.

The Colnago-

Would be fine if it were a closer and directly from the drive side (not offset like this). The light is good in this because there's enough soft light to get a pic without flash for fill. This was probably taken with the sun behind the building or something. I also like the neutral background.


The Orange -

The lighting is very harsh (even from the waning British sun), creating some blown out parts and some shadows on the frame tubing, nice parts, etc. The picture is taken from above (no help, you're a tall guy), so you're working two angles against each other. The background is also very busy, with the fence, the road, the field. It draws the eye away from the bike, and to the pretty scene behind it.

Here's my $.02 on 'bike' photography:

-No pictures inside. I've almost never seen a good bike pic taken inside, except taken professionally with purposely set flashes and lighting.

-Pictures in the backyard, or in any 'scene' are usually tough on the eye. For the purpose of this discussion, I will use current BOTM bikes as examples. The Attitude - the pretty tree and pond scene draws my eye away from the fantastic bike. The exception to this is if you have access to an SLR, you can affect the depth of field, and take the focus out of the background, as shown on Seamus' Nighstorm photo.

-Lighting should be soft. IE, when the sun goes behind the building. This way there's no shadows messing with the effect of all the cool parts, frame tubing, etc. Garage doors work ok for backgrounds, but a neutral wall will be better. Something dark, IMO. Mr. K's Ultimate in BOTM this month is a good photo.

-Use a series. Dont try to get the 'full effect' of the bike by taking it from above, to the right, etc. Take one full drive side, one from the front, back, closeups, etc.

-Use the digital macro. Most new digicams these days have one, and it will help getting great details of small parts.

-Camera phones. Please dont. I know some dont have $$ for both, and often you're so excited you cant wait to take a 'real' photo. In my experience, patience pays off. Take your time, finish the bike, set the scene, take a nice photo.

This is my thoughts on a perfect bike photo:

Image

Of course we all know the bike, but I think the photo itself is a great example. Neutral background, nice ground that doesn't distract. Symmetry throughout.

Of course this is all my opinion. If you think I'm full of S, then feel free to say so. Just trying to help :D


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:15 pm 
Pumpy's Bear
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Many thanks for the really helpful and detailed response Mike, it's much easier for me to understand when comparing two photos with which I'm familiar and drawing out generalities. And there was me preferring the Orange photo to the Colnago one!

Anyway, I reckon I can summarise some of the learning so far:

- neutral background when possible unless the background can be in soft focus so as not to detract from subject (reckon former option best for me, certainly at present - Mike's Raleigh a good example of neutral background type of photo)

- try to be at similar height to subject if possible

- avoid harsh light and/or flash to avoid shadows etc.

- try to get all of subject in shot if taking from front, rear etc.

- 'flat' side on shots show off bikes well

- keep thinking, practicing and experimenting

Reckon this will be a less painful process than learning to ride downhill!

Cheers all

Ed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:21 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Location: Wherever it is, I'm being just that little bit more Lance
Hi Ed,

Another point I noticed with the Colnago was the background contrast. White wall, very dark floor. Your camera will have trouble measuring the correct light meter reading with such a big portion of the image split between two major light levels.

The pic of the Orange looks better, very good lighting. I'd say look at the composition slightly. The left two thirds of the pic really looks great The fence in the background isn't distracting, it compliments the image (mountain bikes/countryside) but the picket fence right behind the handle bars/stem is quite distracting and clutters up that part of the photograph which is busy enough any way with levers cables etc.

The luxury you have is you're photographing bikes without their riders on so they don't move very fast. Take your time. You can either take hundreds of pics from all angles and choose the best or you can really look at what's happening in the view finder and move yourself/the bike around.

Just don't spend too much time or you'll never ride your bikes!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:59 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:44 pm
Posts: 123
Location: Port Washington, NY
In the pic of the Orange...
It looks like it's a low sun at the 10 o'clock position to the bike. What would have been the best position for the picture? Directly behind the photographer? Certainly not directly behind the bike, right?

The only thing I've ever known about photography is "don't shoot into the sun".

Just being a bike guy, the bike should be photographed from the right side of the bike with the pedals at 3 o'clock.


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 Post subject: Blagger
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:44 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
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... get someone else to do it... ;-)

Mr K


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