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HOW TO: 7 photography hacks for motorcycle pillions

Image courtesy Mat's Sic Pics

Capturing great pics of the swiftly passing scenery while you are moving sounds tricky - but it can be easy.

All you need is a handheld camera on 'sports' mode, a sunny day and a willing rider with a motorcycle.

Here, Bridget shares the photography hacks she's learned over the past nine years we've been riding together, which she uses when we're researching rides for our books.

So make sure your camera has a wrist strap, then get out there and have some fun!

1 - Look but don't think

Be quick - be very quick. By the time you think that now might be a good time to take a pic, you will be 50 metres down the road and the shot will have disappeared - guaranteed.

So don't think - take the pic!

Sometimes I take two or three pics in quick succession and select the best one later.

2 - Capture it clean

You want your pics to be clean, so pick moments where there is no visual 'clutter' - no cars or trucks, no shrubs or trees crowding the foreground, no telegraph poles or wires crossing the sky, no road signs ('twisty' ones are the exception, of course!) or someone's rubbish bins waiting for collection, etc.

If we're stuck behind a car, Alan will overtake it - or if that's not possible, I'll ask him to slow down until the car's no longer within camera-shot.

It's up to you if you want your rider's helmet or the bike's handlebars to 'frame' your shot. Sometimes this can give your photo context and a sense of immediacy, allowing the viewer to feel like they are riding in that moment.

3 - Get high

When you're approaching the crest of a hill or mountain, get ready - pics from an elevated height will always have a better perspective than those taken from down low in the valleys.

The views are more expansive from up high, and you have a better chance of getting a long view of the horizon, which gives your pics a lovely sense of open space.

4 - Sunshine is your friend

Pics taken when the landscape is bathed in sunshine will be your most vivid.

Most cameras on 'sports' mode will struggle with dappled light through trees, especially when you're moving at speed, because it's having to constantly adjust to the ever-changing light conditions. This means your pics will likely be duller in colour and maybe a bit blurry.

5 - Have a heartbeat

Pics of twisty roads and awe-inspiring mountain views are exciting, but think about giving your pics a heartbeat - if a cute calf gambols across the road in front of you or a wedge-tail eagle hovers above the road, press your shutter button.

Other riders approaching or passing can also give your pics a crucial heartbeat.

6 - Keep it steady

When your rider is flying down a straight open road at a higher speed, the wind pressure can push your camera around as you're desperately trying to hold it still. Try resting your camera against the forehead of your helmet and letting the wind pressure help you keep it steady there.

7 - Go upside down

For a different shot, hold your camera upside down near your boot and take a pic of the road ahead. When you get home, rotate the pic so it's upright - and you now have a great action shot at near-road level!

Be bold and have fun! You can always edit your pics when you get home.

It's likely that a good portion of the pics you've taken won't be great - but that's ok. Blurry shots of the back of Alan's helmet feature regularly in my pics, haha!

Find the ones that you love, that really capture a moment - these will become your special memories.

Cheers, Bridget and Alan


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