taking pics from the bike safely

Discussion in 'Photos' started by braindigitalis, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. braindigitalis

    braindigitalis Wet weather sucks!

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    Hi all,

    I am very impressed by the pictures i see here and keep feeling the urge to contribute. Most of my pictures are of places me and the bike have been, however i look on this forum and see many pictures taken while in motion.

    I would love to know how to do this safely. Personally i use a big bulky SLR which i need to haul along with me in my backpack along with tripod and lenses, this is far from practical and downright illegal to even use while pulled over, sitting on the bike at the side of the road.

    So, enlighten me oh wise gurus, how is it done? :-)
    #1
  2. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Designate a pillion as the photographer. :wink:
    #2
  3. WayneJ

    WayneJ City Slicker

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    What seems safe to me, may not seem safe to you. :norton

    You need to be comfortable controlling the bike with just your right hand.

    You need a cheap point & shoot that you can operate with one hand. Mine's a Coolpix L22. Cost $75. Takes great pics. It's easy o operate with a gloved hand. Fasten it to a lanyard of some type so you can drop it and not lose it if the need arises.

    You need to be able to take pics without actually looking at the camera or what you're taking a pic of.

    YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD! :deal

    Then it just takes practice. :nod

    It's easy once you get the hang of it. :D
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    #3
  4. casey sohc

    casey sohc Been here awhile

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    most of my pictures are taken with my left hand,i have a small HP camera in the left pouch of my tank bag,it is attached to the bag with a retractable key chain,(like the janitors use)and don't forget to tape the door shut for the SD card and the battery box.
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    the string is the retractable key lanyard.
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    there is a bike tucked in behind mine it is not too grossly overloaded...
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  5. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    There are ram mounts that you can mount to your handlebars to hold your camera. Probably still best to use a little point and shoot. I use a little digital point and shoot and delete a lot of pictures of the sky, my tank, or my pocket :)
    Like said I use a lanyard and hang the camera around my neck. When you see something that may look interesting up ahead lock the throttle and get the camera out.

    forward
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    backward
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    forward/backward
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    and back at ya
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    #5
  6. firebug24k

    firebug24k Been here awhile

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    Gopro is pretty slick. Probably other cameras can do this too, but it has a mode where it shoots still images at a rate of two per second, and it can be set to start as soon as the camera is on. So if you're not using it for video, just turn it on and point, and it's shooting like mad. Sure, a lot come out bad, but with that many photos, you'll get some really sweet shots too, just wave the camera around. I got a bunch of examples that I can post up sometime, just not from this computer. No focusing, don't have to look at the camera, fairly safe.

    And a lanyard. As others mentioned, should always be ready and able to drop the camera.
    #6
  7. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    Small point and shoot as noted. Take several shots as about 70% of them are unusable.
    #7
  8. casey sohc

    casey sohc Been here awhile

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    and as mentioned in one of the other posts "what seems safe for some is not for others" but always tie the camera off to something,your wrist,neck,tank bag.its a whole bunch of hastle rooting through the ditch of the road for a jumbled mass of what was a digital camera to retrive an SD card,i also posted to tape the battery/sd card door shut.the go pro are the way to go and waterproof,but the point and shoot are foolproof and left hand operable and cheaper if the unthinkable happens.cheers!
    #8
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 Pentaxian

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    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.
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    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.)


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

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    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.
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    My wife captured the Gearkeeper in action at arms length.
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    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???:dunno
    #9
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 Pentaxian

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    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I just use a strap and hang my camera around my neck. I shoot left handed as others have posted. This might not work on a sportbike where you are leaned forward since the camera would end up hitting the tank. It should work on any bike with an upright or laid back seating position. Almost any time I go for a ride, other than commuting, I have the camera ready in case I see something interesting.

    I'm pretty comfortable riding one handed, at least on the pavement. I have taken many action shots while following other bikes:

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    #11
  12. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Something tells me that dave6253 is a bad ass photographer when he's not on a bike. Beautiful shots!

    I'm thinking that the key points are
    1) Don't crash
    2) Digital, so you can delete most of the shots - and don't have to focus on using the camera
    #12
  13. Yakima

    Yakima DL 650

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    Check out Kamchat's thread with pics from his rides in Scotland. Somewhere in there he discusses how he gets his great shots. It's in the day trips category. Good stuff.
    #13
  14. FishHunt

    FishHunt slow poking...

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    I use a small Pentax point & shoot and something like the gear keeper. Below are a few on the fly pics taken that way.

    <>< Fish

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    #14
  15. grizzzly

    grizzzly The Pre-Banned Version

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    The trick to taking pictures while moving is a cheep camera and a big memory card.
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    Don&#8217;t be afraid to chuck the camera
    If you want one picture of an area take 20
    #15
  16. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

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    #16
  17. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    #17
  18. crazyman

    crazyman Exiled to the swamp

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    To add to what's already been written, a point and shoot camera on a long strap / gear saver can do just fine.

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    #18
  19. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Anything Can Happen

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    This photo seemed like a good idea, at the time, but nearly cost me (and my brother) a ruined motorcycle vacation. I stopped messing with "action photos" after this attempt.[​IMG]
    #19
  20. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Anything Can Happen

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    And one more...

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    #20