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Motorcycle Shot For Display
Motorcycle Shot For Display

Location lighting can be very challenging. There are many unknowns that can arise and be problematic. Here is where your creativity and problem solving comes into play. I like the “Less Is More” principal. This red Yamaha sport bike looks like a space alien with big eyes when viewed from an elevated frontal position. My first decision was to shoot from the high frontal angle and to include the texture of the diamond plate as the background. What if the diamond plate was also red — here we go. This motorcycle was mounted on a rolling platform so I positioned it into a corner of the show room in front of clean neutral colored walls. The Background Lighting: Two DynaLite flash heads with red gels were pointed into the walls, one on each side of the motorcycle, to reflect onto the diamond plate surface. I carry 4 sets of lighting gels on location – diffusion, neutral density, color conversion and color effects. The exposure would be adjusted to match the main light on the front of the motorcycle. The Main Light: Another DynaLite flash head, mounted on a small boom, was positioned directly over the camera, centered to the front of the motorcycle. The motorcycle is a highly reflective subject, which would normally require a very large light source – impractical in my situation. The flash head alone, a very small source, could illuminate the front of the motorcycle producing a very small highlight that is not intrusive. I left the highlight in the shot, but it could have been retouched out in post. In this stylized shot, two different reflective surfaces were lit to enhance and balance the subject and background with similar color.
Terry Monahan with “Old Tricks For New Dogs”

Hero Motorcycle Lighting Diagram
Hero Motorcycle Lighting Diagram