A week ago, I had the opportunity to do a shooting during riding weekend organized by @balek65 in the Pyrénées mountains. The complete shooting series with @thebraapram is online here.

As with the other “One Shot” articles, this publication is a more personal point of view on a single photo. So I picked my favorite one from the series. I’ll say a little more about the photo technique, and also about my personal experience.

On the technical side, I really wanted to have a nice shot of this superb 701 that had been checking me out for a while on Instagram. For visual perfection, a fine graphics kit by Féroce Graphics, and Alex’s good care. To see the details about the bike modifications (and Alex’s specs) it’s also on this page.

So I dragged my Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS kit up the mountain, with two Rotalux softboxes. It gives a much more pleasant light than cobra flashes, and that suits me best. Obviously, it is bulkier and heavier. Then, the main difficulty is to balance the natural sunset light with the artificial light on the bike and rider. In this case, here are the EXIFs for the curious: 1/40s @ f/5, ISO 640, 16mm (Nikon 16-35mm f/4). My DSLR was my faithful Nikon D850, a little jewel.

Here is a picture showing the softbox layout on another take. Simple but effective to render the bike and rider properly.

We had to work fast on setting up and shooting, because there were other bikes and riders in the series. And also because the sunset is quite short. And finally, not everyone always agrees to wait an hour for the photographer to adjust his settings. I would have liked to take more time to have better and more varied poses. But under these conditions, I am very happy with the result.

From a more personal point of view, I even confess to having had a real visual shock, a sort of epiphany. For those who are not fans of supermotard, or motorcycle, I can only imagine that it is hard to understand. I find the 701 superb, with a lot of well thought out details, and the rider’s outfit matches it perfectly. And the background is great too. On this type of photo, I don’t think I could do better.

Finally, it kind of shifted things around in my head. On the one hand it’s a bit negative (and surely arrogant) to think that you cannot do better. And then I tell myself, we have to go further. A big thank you to Alex for having listened to me patiently on the subject. And a sequel coming up?

In the meantime, here is the final result:

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