Hot Shot: Motorcycle Photography

May 14, 2013 View Comments by

Hot ShotGreat photography is one thing that distinguishes RoadRUNNER from most other magazines. Having no photographic background, other than the usual family album shots, it’s quite a challenge taking worthy pictures with a rather basic compact digital point and shoot camera.

We usually take around three hundred shots while on a tour, most of which are discarded upon review when we return home. The top fifty or so are submitted with the text, and about eight are eventually selected for use.

Shots that we feel will be spectacular often turn out to be a disappointment, and those that held little promise sometimes are among the best of the trip. Viewing a scene and knowing what the camera will capture is truly an elusive skill that will undoubtedly take substantial time and effort to master.

Every so often, however, a picture that simply floors us turns up when we review our work. Such was the case when we looked at our Tennessee tour (August ’12) photos. Gliding down a rural two-lane highway, we came upon a gentleman aboard an antique tractor with a child who was presumably his granddaughter on his knee. He was partly on the road, so we got into the other lane and eased past him.

I told Sharon I wanted a picture of him with the bike, so we turned around and asked him if we could take a few shots. He said sure, so Sharon hopped off the bike and jogged down the road backwards snapping shots while I pulled slightly ahead of the tractor then slowed to match its speed. We loved the concept of the shots, but didn’t have much hope that they would turn out well due to the movement and short set-up time.

Surprise, surprise. When we looked at the shot we were amazed at the clarity, composition, and lack of any unwanted objects in the scene. In short, it was one of our best shots ever, certainly destined to be the cover shot for the article. I’d even decided to name the article “Passing Time in Tennessee” if the shot was used.

Perhaps it was the fact that I had crossed the double yellow line to take the shot, or maybe it was something else, but the photo simply didn’t make it. We didn’t even notice the double yellows when we took the shot, since the road was relatively straight and nearly void of traffic when the shot was taken. One could have landed a Cessna on the road in front of us without incident, and I have no idea why it was a no passing zone.

In any case, I’ve always wanted to share this shot with everyone, and the blog offered the perfect means to do so. Here we are, two free spirits, traffic laws be damned, passing a man and his granddaughter on a vintage tractor idling down the road, quite possibly breaking a law or two themselves. This rebel biker lifestyle is exactly what draws me to motorcycling. Yee-Haw!

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