I don’t think my blog would be read by as many people if it wasn’t for the images that accompany each post. I might be in the studio with a full frame DSLR, back drops and lights, or in the workshop with just an iPhone and window light, but wherever I am, I try to cover everything I do with at least one image.
I’m very lucky to have Karen, my wife, who lets me use her photography kit. I shoot with Karen in her wedding photography business. Karen also has a photography studio in our home city of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she captures beautiful images of newborn babies. When she isn’t photographing these brand new people, I can move all the cute baby hats and blankets out of the way and wheel in a newly restored bike!
The quality of lens and ability of the camera sensor mean that I can photograph bikes in incredible detail. The definition in the images captured by these cameras is amazing.
Digital image editing software allows me to tweak the images to make them look their best. I use Adobe Lightroom for my image editing and aim for simple edits with lots of colour and contrast. Most of the time it is just adjusting shadows and highlights to create the effect I want. But if I needed to, using a tool such as Lightroom enables me to make full use of the data held in these digital files.
So whether it is in the studio or the workshop, the opportunity I have to combine the use of professional DSLR kit and my photography skills means that I can create some beautiful bike photography.
However, all of this takes time, preparing a blog post takes time… taking and editing images takes time… writing the post takes time… but it is all worth it when I see the blog readership going through the roof… this means lots of people are finding me and hopefully making use of the information they find here, and while they are here, they are hopefully enjoying the images.
Having a good camera is great but it doesn’t mean that the humble phone cannot play a part in bike photography.
I created my Facebook page “My TI-Raleigh SBDU” so that I could post little snippets and images of what I’m up to without having to take the time to photograph and write a post. The images on my Facebook page are typically fed through automatically from Instagram. Social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram are a fantastic way to get photography out there for people to see, and as I have my phone with me constantly, I can capture an image and post it instantly. A quick phone picture, a small line of text and click ‘Share’, and that is all it takes, your photograph is being seen by others immediately.
My Instagram can be found here
The internet is full of images. You can search and find pages after page of images. I see my own images being shared from site to site and saved by people to their own image collections. I seem to be busy filling up my own little bit of the internet with my SBDU images.
Each image I create for a blog post is saved to one of my own Pinterest boards. Pinterest is an app that lets people collect and organise images onto ‘boards’ a bit like ‘mood boards’. These boards can be used as simple collections, or as inspiration for a project or idea. Whichever way you use Pinterest, you can get lost in it for hours, browsing from one board to another, pinning and collecting images as you go; you can end up miles away from where you started, but the bike images you see on your journey through Pinterest are awesome.
I’ve created a few boards for several different aspects of bike design. Some of my boards are for my own inspiration on how to photograph bikes… I can see how others light their images, which angles are best to use, how to compose the image…etc
For me, photographs are memories, so no matter what photographic kit you have, photograph your bikes, photograph the details as well as the complete bike. Classic bikes are beautiful, some of us are lucky to own a few, you might ride them or you might just hang them on the wall and look at them as art, but like anything, you might not always have these bikes. So photograph them, keep the photographs as a personal record of your bikes, or share them and allow other people to enjoy them.
I’ll definately continue to photograph my own!