Last week I had an idea while running, which is where most of my ideas happen. I'd been thinking about Joe's motorcycle and how cool it looked, and that's when the wheels began turning. What if I lit it somehow to make it look like it was glowing, how cool would that be? I spent the rest of my run working out the details, and the next day after cleaning house and still thinking about the photograph I had in my head, I set about testing out my idea.
The above picture was my first go at it. I really wanted a cleaner background, but since I was at the house by myself and both my muscle bound men were at work and at school, I couldn't position the bike the way I wanted (plus, David's big motorcycle was behind Joe's motorcycle and Dave's bike is really, really heavy!). So I chalked this photo up to experimenting. The set up is below. You can see how I had one flash tucked behind Joe's front wheel and the second flash positioned on the other bike's peg, pointing towards the back wheel of Joe's bike, with both flashes set to full power as I had my camera set to darken as much of the background as possible. I was using my widest angle lens, my 14-24mm, which is actually one of my very favorite lenses. It's just so sharp and clean around the edges, and the coverage is fantastic, making any photo look like a "Hero" shot.
The first two photos were taken on a Friday, and when David saw the end result with the messy background and heard that I wanted a cleaner background, the next day he helped me get the bike positioned the way I wanted in front of my black backdrop and I set to work again, only to find that the backdrop was just a smidge too short on both ends, so I took it down, played around some more and Saturday's result is below.
I liked it better than Friday's photo, but still wasn't real pleased with the mess in the back, so once again, David helped me out on Sunday in positioning the motorcycle and moving the kayak, my mountain bike and the stepladder out of the way, and again, lying flat on the garage floor, using my 14-24mm lens, I began playing again.
And this time I really liked how the photo turned out, looking the closest to what I had imagined on my run last week. I still had to do a little bit of editing in Lightroom to black out the shelves to the left of the bike, but I finally had my clean background and the bike was lit the way I had envisioned. Not too bad for three days of work.
But most of all, Joe really liked the final picture, giving me a big "thumbs up" and that made it all worth while.