Motor Cycle images

Forums Critique Requests Motor Cycle images

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  wbaxter 1 year, 10 months ago.

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    Have just loaded on to the Club Flickr site 4 Motorcycling images. Of these Motorcycle  images the first one is probably the most technical correct image of this type I have taken, good separation from the back ground,  sharp front to back. we can see the riders eyes. But there is no emotion or impending event. The next 3 I call Macro Motorcycle, the yellow one in particular is more exciting even though there is NO facial content. Is there a different approach to the subject of Motorcycle photography. Or is this it.

    This post may be in the wrong category as really what I am trying to do is look at a subject in a different manner


    Pete Robinson

    This post is fine in this category Wallace. It’s been a bug bear of mine when judges say “I can’t see the eyes” and dismiss the photo out right. I agree with you that the first photo is technically excellent, but lacks the impression of speed. But I don’t think you can get that from a head on shot. The others are also technically excellent and for me are more creative. For me they do capture the atmosphere of the event better than the first photo and I don’t think that it matters than you can’t see the rider or his eyes. it’s refreshing to see something a bit different taken at these events as there’s a limit to the number of ways you can photograph motorcycling and they’ve been done to death.



    A few years ago a member of another club told me that they had a married couple who were members who had had many of their locomotive pictures published, yet they could never get anywhere with the same images in club comps. The reason was simple, the magazines valued the images for reasons that the non-enthusiast was quite unaware of and the pictures lacked excitement or interest for the non-specialist viewer.

    Peter B is up against the same problem with his aeroplane pictures but do you remembr what he said in his talk, he tries to take pictures which show how he feels.

    Your comments show that you understand this perfectly well. Personally, I dont think the detail shots are a way forward.

    Is there any mileage in shots taken in the paddock area (Peter R had some interesting ones a while back) ? or perhaps ones taken on the inside of a corner.

    Perhaps a still picture of something whose movement conveys so much is always going to be a bit challenge. There isnt that pivotal moment that you get in gymnastics, so quick it deceives the eye, whichthe camera can capture.

    I saw an exciting shot in the PAGB print exhibition a while back. The bike was a production racer, so no fairings concealing the “works”. The photographer had chosen his spot well, getting the bike just at the top of a small rise in the road, so it was well defined  in a telephoto shot. It was on a corner. Two other factors helped; it was in mono and, best of all, sparks from the footrest grounding were the finishing touch.

    Hope these ramblings help!


    Ian McNab

    Hi Wallace

    For my money, No 2 (the red bike) is the best. It has more drama than No 1 (a technically good, but rather literal, description of a bloke on a motor bike driving round a bend); it has better ‘context’ than No 3 (the one with the green bits), because No 3 removes all the informative stuff by being too tight, and thus finishes up as a picture of a tyre and disc brake; and it is clearer – less cluttered – than No 4, which doesn’t show the form of the rider’s knee very well, and has rather too much busy and distractingly irrelevant detail (which is coloured an even more distracting red!) on the ground at bottom left.

    So No 2 evokes the speed and danger of man and machine cornering hard, with inches separating the rider’s knee from the ground. And it does this by means of a dynamic composition – the wheel along the descending diagonal, at right-angles to a line through the rider’s right knee that’s parallel to the ascending diagonal, the tension between the two lines communicating the drama of the situation.

    (And goodness knows what a rider’s eye’s are supposed to add to a powerful photograph – unless they’re rolling heavenwards in disbelief at the judge’s inanity!)




    Thank you all for the discussion it is good to look at things from a fresh concept. These images would not be out of place in a motorcycle trade publication as they rely facts and records. What we photographers are trying to do is connect with a viewer who may not have the slightest interest in the subject of motorcycles but may see some other gem in the image.

    I think with some things and events we are photographing we would need to take a more journalistic approach to the overall event and try and depict the experience, as well as the detail.

    Do we have a place for journalistic type photography in club competitions? Probably Street Photography is the nearest thing to Journalism.

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