Why haven't I heard back from you, I sent you photos of my bike? What, it's not good enough for your magazine?" I can't tell you how many times we've heard this. We get loads of mail/e-mail with photos of bikes that we just can't use because of bad photos and no information about the bike. Plus, it takes time to call or e-mail back to tell the owner the bike is nice but the photos aren't so good, or there is no information. We enjoy seeing the bikes that you send us, and to give you a leg up, we've provided some suggestions for submitting your bike photos and information.
Here, the photographer is on the wrong side of the bike with the sun at his face, not at his back. Just look at the shadow. He needs to be on the opposite side.
Here, the photographer is on the wrong side of the bike with the sun at his face, not at h
First, fill out as much information about yourself and the bike as you can. Trust us, you can never have too much info. Also, when sending the info to us, please provide your full name (nicknames are cool and we can use them but we still need to know your name), your address (we don't need to know the street you live on but at least the city and state), and finally a spec sheet. If you want us to look at your bike as a feature then this is essential. It's really easy, too. Just read the last part of any of the bike features in HOT BIKE and use that as your template. Take the time to write down all the parts, we don't want to guess what it is, just tell us.
As for the photography, we wanted to go over a few things before you shoot your bike like lighting conditions, location, position, equipment, and point out a few things to do and not to do. Starting with lighting, bright sunlight is not good for a photo shoot, what do I mean by this? The light is very harsh at high noon and about three hours before and after noon. When shooting your bike outside in the sun, (not in a studio) look out for hot spots on your chrome. We know you can't run from all of them but try to avoid them at all costs. Most of the time all you need to do is prop up the kickstand a bit or move the bike at a different angle. The best time of the day to shoot your bike is about one hour before sunset. The best way to find this out is the day before you plan to shoot, watch the sky and see how much time it takes for the sun to hit the horizon and how much time you have after before it's too dark. It's a small window to work with so be ready.
This is a look at that shot, it's very dark and not suitable for the magazine.
When you shoot your bike, the location and background can make or break a good photo shoot. Do some location scouting before you shoot. Look for a clean open space to work in and look at your background for things like trash cans, telephone wires, signs, or light poles. Also avoid shooting on grass, the green color will reflect on any chrome. If you are looking for a scenic location beware that it is not too busy it can distract your eye from the subject: the motorcycle. Also, don't park your bike in front of your garage door.
This shows a bad hot spot, the photographer needs to move the bike or reposition himself.
For this shot we used a digital Canon G-9 pointand-shoot camera. It works well and it shoots highresolution
images. This is what we ended up with.
For this shot we used a digital Canon G-9 pointand-shoot camera. It works well and it shoo
In this photo the pole coming out of the seat can ruin the photo. All we would have to do was move the bike forward a bit.
In this photo the pole coming out of the seat can ruin the photo. All we would have to do
Remember we want to see your bike and all the things that make it different. Position the bike at a slight angle so that the front tire is just pointing at the sun. This will help keep the light on the motor but soften any hot spots. And the sun should always be at the photographer's back. Every bike has a sweet spot or strong side; you need to move the bike around to find it. Sometimes all you need to do is angle the front tire and you can get a strong shot. Be aware of the angle that your front wheel is pointing, straight forward is best for profile shots.
Here you can see a difference in two backgrounds. One is clean and all you see is thebike and the other is a scenic shot.
Here you can see a difference in two backgrounds. One is clean and all you see is thebike
Even though the scenic shot has a mountain in the background it's far enough away it doesn't distract you from the bike.
Even though the scenic shot has a mountain in the background it's far enough away it doesn
Get down low and change your way of seeing the bike. Different angles can make the shot more dramatic.
Get down low and change your way of seeing the bike. Different angles can make the shot mo
You don't need a fancy camera, you can take good pics with a digital point and shoot camera. Just make sure it's set on the highest JPEG setting. All low-resolution files are instant death and only find their way to the trashcan. A decent digital camera will save the day for the non-pro. Why? You get to see your photos right then. If it looks bad to you, it looks bad to us. Try to see what it is about the shot that can be fixed, if the color is wrong or the position bad, then simply re-shoot it. Depending on your camera and lens setup, try shooting with a telephoto-zoom. Get as far away from the bike as possible then zoom in and frame the shot. Most of the time you will see that the background is out of focus and the bike is the strongest thing in the frame. Also don't forget to include a shot of yourself with the bike, either riding it, sitting on it, or standing behind it (don't block your bike). These are just a few things to think about as you photograph your bike. Remember that this is your pride and joy so take the time to make the bike look its best. The last thing you want to see in the magazine is your bike looking plain and boring.
Once you have all of your photos/information together put everything on a disc (CD or DVD) and send it out regular mail to HOT BIKE, 2570 E. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806, or e-mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is what we would like to see, not so much this particular bike, but it's a clean shot that shows you the bike and just the bike. It's shot with good light and there are no distractions in the background. Now you have an idea of what
we are looking for. Hope this helps!
This is what we would like to see, not so much this particular bike, but it's a clean shot