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Adding action to your motorbike photos

action photos

Motorcycles are about action, yet we rarely see any motorbikes in motion in Facebook photos.

I’m getting a bit tired of the same old photos of motorcycles in car parks or parked outside cafes.

action photos
Typical Facebook carpark photo

The proliferation of these is probably because we are too busy riding and having fun to stop and think about taking some photos of our mates riding past.

But let’s do our Facebook friends a big favour these Christmas holidays and make a pledge to get more action in our shots. Your mates will appreciate your efforts.

You don’t have to be a photographer or use an SLR camera to take good shots, either.

action photos
Photo taken with GoPro on a low tripod

I started out as a photographic journalist and have for years carried around expensive SLR cameras and lenses.

However, they are too big, expensive and fragile to cart around on a motorcycle. I’ve broken several over the years from vibration and bumps on the bike.

These days I just use an action camera or a phone. Most take fantastic idiot-proof shots.

Here are a few quick iPhone tips to snap some interesting motorcycle action photos on your next ride with friends. (Android phones should have similar functions.)

Panning shotsaction photos

Action in a photo is best shown by having some blur. This is easy.

When you next stop for a coffee/toilet break, tell your mates you will leave a couple of minutes early to station yourself on a corner or scenic outlook where you will photograph them as they go past.

Park safely off the side of the road and set yourself up somewhere with the sun behind you and a good clear shot of the road as the riders go past.

Hold the phone out about 30cm from your face so you can see the live action at the same time as what’s on your screen. This will help you follow the action.

As each rider comes into view, hit and hold the “shoot” button, careful to keep the rider in the centre of the shot as you follow them around the corner.

This will create a “burst” of photos that focus on the rider and blur the background.action photos

When you check the photos, you will see the word “Select…” at the bottom of the screen.

The main photo may be blurry and not well framed, but if you click on Select, you will see all the photos from your panning shoot.

Select the best to show your mates. They will look like MotoGP starts even if they are riding slowly!

Or you can blur the bike to show speed with a nice panorama in the background.

Simply hold the phone still as the riders go past and hold down the shoot button.

action photos
Blurred riders look fast

Scenic photos

A beautiful landscape photo looks even better with a bike in the foreground.

And it doubles the attraction if you also have a moving bike in the frame.

In this shot, I’ve positioned my bike in the foreground with a mountain in the background and a fellow rider going past.action photos

Low-down action

You can also make an action shot more dramatic if you get down low to shoot the bike.

Too many people hold the camera at eye level while standing.

action photos
Low-down action

Bikes only stand a bit over a metre tall, so at eye height, most of the bike is in the bottom half of the photo.

Get down low and you will fill the frame with motorbike.

And if you can jump an adventure bike even a few inches off the ground, it looks like a whole lot more!

Now show us some of your best motorcycle photos. Best shot wins an “Insert before flight” keyring.Insert Before Flight keyring photos