Natural Light Motorbike Photography

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Natural Light Motorbike Photography

Last year when we went to photograph the Aprilia RSV4 RF Motorbike at Exeter’s SP Motorcycles we took the Bowens studio lighting with the Travelpack. This year I had planned a simpler shoot, a quick hit with the Nikon SB910s, I had intended a shoot in front of the workshop. SP were busy though, 10:30 on a Saturday and the gentle start to the day that I’d envisaged wasn’t going to happen.

And as we were setting the Plan B two happy people were about to load this Yamaha R6 into a Transit. Proving that less is more this simple white and gold bike was crying out to be photographed before its transformation into a track bike.

Err, have you got time and do you mind if we photograph your bike? The guys didn’t have a lot of time, they were on their way back towards London but Chris Hopper the new owner seemed pleased that the new toy was looking good in front of the lens.

So, a simple shot, sit it in the middle of the road, pointing at the heart of the sun and reflect some light back on it with the humungous gold reflector, grovel around on the ground a bit and sorted!

Plan B turned to to be much the same. The units opposite had red doors, slightly weathered but nothing too awful and the red was close enough to the red in the bike to make it all hang together. The gold reflector adds a bit of warmth to what to be honest wasn’t too bleak a winter’s day.

A couple of hours for these two, it’s not always like this but, if handled well, harsh sun can make a picture. The reflector we used for this is huge (150×200) but it cost less than thirty pounds; bargain!

Gallery of Daylight Motorbike Photography


As you can see it doesn’t get much simpler than this. We had set the Aprilia up to be lit with speedlights (the sun was very changeable) but in the end the natural light came good.

I also had the Bowens strobes in the car with a battery pack which would have been a better tool for a shoot such as this.

By | 2017-01-30T10:59:17+00:00 January 28th, 2017|Motorbike photography|0 Comments

About the Author:

Andrew Butler is a professional photographer and designer based in the South West of England. He has had a long career photographing for clients as diverse as Arts Council England and Motor Cycle News.