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Old 09-16-2010, 10:03 PM   #95
dave6253 OP
The Tourist
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Oddometer: 3,212
Shootin' on the Move

Do you want photos to document the ride? Then you may want to consider shooting while riding. I've been doing this since 2007 and have learned a few tricks along the way. I'll share my method, and welcome anyone else to add to it.

I'm sure many of you are thinking this is stupid and dangerous. I agree, it can be. (The majority of people probably think riding a motorcycle is stupid and dangerous anyway.) If you think this may lead to disaster then I wouldn't encourage you to attempt it.

The most important consideration is shooting pictures only when it can be done so safely. No picture is worth dying for. Your camera is definitely not worth a crash, so make the commitment to just drop the camera anytime your safety is in jeopardy. (There's a way to save the camera.)

Instead of mounting the camera at a fixed point, I prefer to shoot with one hand. Because of the throttle and brake, I use the left hand for shooting. This requires practice in manipulating the camera with one hand. With a little practice you can retrieve the camera from storage, turn it on, point-n-shoot, turn off the power, and stow it away. It is important to do this without taking your eyes AND ATTENTION off the road. Practice while seated on the bike and with your riding gloves on. It helps to have a camera with a power button and shutter release that is glove-friendly.

You must be comfortable riding with only your right hand. Be sure you can brake hard, steer confidently, and possibly even make clutchless gear changes all with one hand. When riding off-road where conditions require the use of both hands you probably won't have as many opportunities for shooting while riding. With the camera quickly assessible I'll just make a quick stop to get the shots I want.

Don't compose your shots by looking at the screen. Just point in the general direction and squeeze the shutter release. Also don't screw around with the zoom. All these things will rob more of your attention. You can digitally zoom and adjust the composition later with crop and rotate tools that any basic photo editor can do.

I only use a point-n-shoot camera while riding, although some inmates have had success using a DSLR. I also carry a DSLR, but only for stationary shooting.

I am constantly coming up with ideas for new angles to shoot from.

This photo is not all that great, but the shadow kind of demonstrates how low I lean down to get the front wheel shots.

Camera saver. I have dropped the camera at least 4 times while riding. Especially with gloves on it can easily just slip out of your grip. My $22 Gearkeeper saved it each time.

Gearkeeper makes a CB Mic Keeper that truckers use. I've found them at the big truck stops like Flying J Travel Centers on the shelf with all the CB Radio accessories. Trust me. The standard size is more than powerful enough to retract the weight of any point-n-shoot. You don't need the heavy duty size. The steel cable extends smoothly and far enough to hold the camera in just about any position within arms reach.

This photo shows my camera with the Gearkeeper. Also, see the mode dial on top of the camera. I've found the dial is easy to bump into the wrong position while manipulating the camera with one hand, so I use a small piece of duct tape to hold it in the correct position. I attach the large snap-hooked end of the Gearkeeper to the tankbag and stow the camera in a tankbag pocket. When riding without a tankbag I attach the Gearkeeper to my jacket and stuff the camera in a jacket pocket. Both places work well. The Gearkeeper has a small clip that I attach to the standard camera lanyard. This clip allows you to quickly detach the camera for off the bike shots. Although there are many great point-n-shoot cameras on the market now, I chose the Panasonic Lumix because of that manual power switch that is easier to use with gloves on than many of the cameras with depressed buttons.

My wife captured the Gearkeeper in action at arms length.

Another consideration; It may seem oxy-moronic at 80mph, but just as with shooting when stopped attempt to hold the camera steady and squeeze (not jerk) the shutter release button. With a decent amount of light only the close landscape should be blurred, which gives the nice sense of speed.

Keep a safe following distance from other traffic.

Getting good moving shots? Then share them in a report or in pics, pics, pics...

Any other moving shooters have anything to add???

dave6253 screwed with this post 06-10-2011 at 04:20 PM
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