April Camera Club Activities – Shooting a Bike in the Studio

In Aprils meeting I set the camera club group a challenge of photographing a bike using studio lighting. The past projects the group have used 2 bowens flash lights to create their images. This challenge had them all thinking of how they would get enough light to ensure all aspects of the bike was lit. Their second challenge was then to look at how they could create a more artistic result.

The first obstacle they came across was the bike that one of the members bought in didn’t have a stand so how were they going to get the bike to stand on a plinth!!!
We used a plinth to raise the bike enough to enable us to direct lighting more accurately.

As Lynn supervised with her cup of coffee Ian and Jim got to work on making a temporary stand.

The members of the club then learnt how to build up enough light to ensure that the handle bars, wheels and peddles were lit equally ensuring that the image displayed all parts at the same time understanding what each individual light was metering and what part of the bike it was lighting.

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Front part of bike lit using a strip softbox on a bowens 500 pro light

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A second strip softbox on a bowens 500 pro was added to the left side to add additional light to the rear of the bike.

However there was still not enough light to show the wheels and peddles at their best. The next step was for the group to light the wheels separately understanding what was happening with the additional light.

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Lynn metering the light for the front wheel so the team could understand where the light was falling.

These were fill in lights, not as powerful as the main strip lights.

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Front wheel lit using a snoot for direct light

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Back wheel lit using a snoot for direct light

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All the lights were then set and the final images taken.

The remainder of the evening was used with the members taking images creating shadows behind the bike, close up of selected parts of the bike and fully lit images.

What did the members learn from Aprils Camera Club?

• How lights work
• Use of Fill-in lighting
• Direct lighting
• Setting up a product shoot
• Metering of lights
• Rules of studio lighting
• Breaking the rules to create artistic images.

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