Tips for Photographing Motorcycles Indoors

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One of the best ways to clean up a busy background at a car or motorcycle show is to use Adobe Photoshop’s Radial Blur command with the Zoom option checked. By applying blur to a duplicate layer you should first reduce the opacity of the “blur” layer to allow some of the image that’s below (on the background layer) to show through and then use the Eraser tool set at different levels of opacity to selectively clear holes of various density in the blur layer so parts of the original photograph shows through more directly. It sounds complicated until you try it and then it’s fun. Don’t forget you can always Undo ot use the History palette because practice does make perfect.

 

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When photographing motorcycles indoors you often have the additional challenge of dealing with color balance issues. I typically start by setting my camera in Auto White Balance (AWB) mode. If that doesn’t look good on the LCD screen; I whip out my Kodak Grey Card—the flip side is white!—and do a custom white balance. With a minimum working distance of less than four inches, the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/4.0 lets you work close to the subject. I was just inches away from this custom motorcycle at a Harley Davidson dealership when photographing it using an Olympus E-3 with the camera mounted on a Manfrotto tripod and an exposure of one-half second at f/20 at ISO 400,