Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!

Go Back   Olympus UK E-System User Group > Site news and information > Tutorials, Informative & Classic threads

Tutorials, Informative & Classic threads A new e-Group area for all the wonderful tutorials and helpful threads put on here by our members. Tutorials on using software, camera hardware - and feel free to request a tutorial if you need assistance!

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 4th April 2018
Michael Sewell's Avatar
Michael Sewell Michael Sewell is offline
Full member
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Burnley
Posts: 382
Thanks: 24
Thanked 52 Times in 35 Posts
Likes: 89
Liked 220 Times in 100 Posts
Motorcycle Photography

Whilst field testing the Elinchrom ELB1200, I wanted a complete change of subject and challenges for my second shoot, as the first had been a food shoot.

I had previously dragged John, a local motorcycle mechanic, into the studio for an impromptu portrait shoot whilst reviewing the Mcoplus LE-R320 Tubelight. Obviously, kidnapping a chap tends to come at a price, so I agreed to photograph a few of his motorcycles for him. As a side note, he still thinks photographing his bikes was his idea.

I was to photograph his classic bikes, all from the 1970s, and all “as is”, rather than restored to showroom finish. I felt it would be in keeping with both John and his bikes, if I photographed them in his garage, although without too much of the clutter associated with a garage impacting on the frame. This would easily be achieved by ensuring we were shooting well above the ambient, and controlling the fall of light to illuminate exactly what we wanted, allowing the rest of the surroundings to fall to deep shadow.

The first bike, pictured above, is a Yamaha XS650 from 1979. It was placed about two feet in front of the tool chest, and parallel with it. I placed the Elinchrom ELB1200 unit frame right, with a Pro head firing through a gridded 65 reflector. The stand was raised pretty much as high as it could go, within the confines of the garage, so about 7.5 feet high. It was firing at an output of 4.0 (Equivalent to 100Ws)

Frame left, I placed an ELB400 with an Action head, again firing through a gridded 65 reflector. The stand was raised to about six feet, and the output was also set to 4.0 (Equivalent to 100Ws)

The initial test shot gave me the image I was looking for at a setting of 1/250th sec at ISO200 and F7.1 on an Olympus E-M1 mkII.

The high shutter speed ensured any ambient was completely shut down, so any light registering would be from my two light sources. The grids on the reflectors restricted the light to a pool around the bike. Yes, there is a small amount that catches the tool chest behind the bike, which is fine. I don't mind providing a hint of the garage environment, I just don't want it to take attention away from the bike itself.

Once I felt I had the settings as I needed, I then also took an image either side of my chosen exposure. One at ISO64 and one at ISO400. The shutter speed and aperture remained the same. This allowed me to blend the image in post, giving more dynamic range to the finished image, and therefore increasing the range of detail.

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/250th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F6.3 ISO64, 200 & 400

This is a 1974 Yamaha FS1E, shot in a similar manner to the first image. The lighting hadn't changed, but I found the tank and side panel appeared brighter in the teat shot, so increased the aperture to F7.0

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/250th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F7.0 ISO64, 200 & 400

The final bike is a 1970 Honda CT70, which were fondly referred to as Monkey bikes in my youth. I found I had to increase the aperture by a third again, bringing it to F8. The light locations and output remained the same, and I used the same three exposure bracketed technique to create the final image.

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/250th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F8 ISO64, 200 & 400

This is a pull back, showing the effect of the pooled light around the bike

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/250th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F8 ISO200

And this is the same scene, shot under programmed mode to give a better idea of the work area and lighting setup. The ELB1200 can be clearly seen frame right. It's a little more difficult to see the ELB400 frame left, but if you look at the top of the bike on the platform, you can see the reflector the other side of the handlebars.

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/40th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F3.2 ISO400
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Michael Sewell For This Useful Post:
cliff (4th April 2018), Graham_of_Rainham (5th April 2018)
The Following Users Liked This Post:
cliff (4th April 2018), Graham_of_Rainham (5th April 2018), Greytop (4th April 2018), MJ224 (5th April 2018), peak4 (4th April 2018), skids (7th April 2018)
Old 5th April 2018
OM USer's Avatar
OM USer OM USer is offline
Full member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London
Posts: 12,511
Thanks: 2,451
Thanked 1,546 Times in 1,470 Posts
Likes: 6,459
Liked 1,459 Times in 933 Posts
Re: Motorcycle Photography

Clear and concise with excellent shots to back it up. Thanks.
Cameras: E-M5, E-PM2, OM40, OM4Ti
Lenses (M.Zuiko Digital): 7-14mm/F2.8, 12-40mm/F2.8, 40-150mm/F2.8+TC1.4x, 12-50mm/F3.5-6.3, 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 EZ, M.ZD 40-150 F4-5.6 R, 75-300mm/F4.8-6.7 Mk1, 12mm/F2, 17mm/F1.8
Lenses (OM Zuiko): 50mm/F1.2, 24mm/F2, 35mm/F2.8 shift
Lenses (OM Fit): Vivitar Series II 28-105mm/F2.8-3.8, Sigma 21-35mm/F3.4-4.2, Sigma 35-70mm/F2.8-4, Sigma 75-200mm/F2.8-3.5, Vivitar Series II 100-500mm/F5.6-8.0, Centon 500mm/F8 Mirror
Learn something new every day
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to OM USer For This Useful Post:
Michael Sewell (5th April 2018)

e-m1 mkii, elinchrom, location lighting

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motorcycle in Wales Michael Sewell Foto Fair 14 19th June 2017 03:45 PM
A Real motorcycle! Jim Ford Foto Fair 5 9th September 2013 11:15 PM
Motorcycle racing (tricky!) Fearless Leader Foto Fair 3 17th September 2012 07:54 PM
More Motorcycle Racing Shots JohnGG Foto Fair 5 1st June 2011 10:44 PM
Motorcycle Racing JohnGG Looking for improvement 10 31st May 2011 05:19 AM

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:15 PM.

The Write Technology Ltd, 2007-2019, All rights reservedAd Management plugin by RedTyger