Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Different Kind of Portrait

On Sunday I met up with a couple of fellow members of the Bay Area Photo Club for a portrait shoot. We were planning on photographing Neal Kelsoe's nephew Eric, his girlfriend, and his new Harley Davidson. Sounded fun. But then Neal said he wanted to try something in motion first. Now that sounded really interesting. I've seen great photos of cars and motorcycles in motion on the road in advertising campaigns -- very commercial, very high production value. However, I have a new appreciation for how difficult this type of photography is. All of us wanted a blurred motion background, showing speed. Some went with flash, others dropped the shutter speed. Since we were in the back of a moving truck I decided to go with the slow shutter speed / no flash approach and shot bursts of frames. I tried shutter speeds from 1/40 sec to 1/125 sec in shutter priority mode. Shot about 600 images, and following the Larry Patrick school of photo editing rules about 550 of those have now been deleted. Photo above was shot at 30mm, 1/40 sec at f/20, ISO 100. In Photoshop I took out a few distracting background elements and used Nik Color Efex Detail Extractor and Tonal Contrast to bring out some details in the bike and riders.

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