March 6, 2012

Something New and Very Different

Sunday, I met up with four of my buddies from Bay Area Photo Club to photograph something totally different from anything that I have previous photographed—a moving motorcycle from a moving truck. My friend, Neal Kelsoe, invited his nephew and his girl friend to be our subjects for the photo shoot.
I had no idea what I was doing and it showed in about 98% of the photos that I took.  I knew that I wanted a blurred background and tack sharp subjects.  Little did I know that was going to be extremely hard to do.
The truck and motorcycle were generally moving at about the same speed—50 MPH.   However, the road did not cooperate and as a result, both the subjects and me were bouncing up and down.  Studying my bad frames I noticed that a most of the blur on my subjects was more up-and-down blur as opposed to side-to-side blur.  This of course presents my dilemma how do you eliminate the up-and-down blur while still shooting a slow enough shutter speed to get the desired motion blur.
Any and all suggestions regarding how I might improve on my hit rate would be most welcomed!
Thanks Neal for this humbling experience.
Camera settings:  Nikon D3X, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 at 36mm, ISO 50, f/22 and with shutter speeds 1/30th of second.
Post Processing:  
Lightroom 3—set white and black points, added clarity and vibrance, and adjusted hue and saturation of various colors.
Photoshop CS5—used nik Color Efex Pro Detail Extractor and Tonal Contrast to the bring-out details in the subject, removed some telephone lines and pole and did some basic dodging and burning.


  1. I have no help for you except to say that this photo does what you wanted it to do. Love the way she looks so relaxed when by the blur you know they are motoring down the highway.

  2. Cool photo. The time of day does not appear to be ideal since the light seems a little hard, but you did a good job on that 2%.

  3. A lot of details in the motorcycle and the models. The colors seem a little too intense. Otherwise really nice.

  4. Vivid colors make me wonder how this one would look in black and white.

  5. I like the detail in the bike and riders but feel that there is still too much detail in the background. I wished that there was more of a blur to the background.