Taking pictures of your adventures by bike means you can look back with a smile, show your friends what you’ve been up to, and maybe even inspire someone else to get on a bike.
Not all of us, however, are expert photographers… some of us just don’t have the skills, some lack the equipment, and others just don’t want to stop too long and let their hands get cold.
We asked in-house photographer & videographer at Evans Cycles, Toby Martin, for his advice on how to capture beautiful pictures when you’re on the go.
His first advice was simple:
Everything in photography is subjective, which means no one is right.
"It exists in a place before language, meaning that no matter where you’re from in the world or what language you speak, it is possible to read an image. Which is awesome.
"That’s why bikes + photography = one of the most awesome combinations known to man." [we reckon Toby might be a bit biased!] "
Read on for more tips...
You don’t need all the gear
It’s likely when you’re riding, that you want to put your attention of the experience of cycling, and taking snaps is your secondary goal.
Even if that’s not the case, you probably don’t want to lug a huge camera around – and that’s fine: “Ultimately the best camera is the one you have in your hand [even if that one doubles up as your phone]. It doesn’t matter the quality of the device you’re using, get out there and shoot and experiment," Toby reassured us.
Tell A Story
“The best rule of thumb to work by is to tell a story with your image," Toby told us.
“If you’re a mountain biker, capturing a friend jumping off a lip for instance, show the rider in mid-air, the take-off, and the landing. Same goes for road cycling, show the rider, a bit of where they’ve come from, and a bit of where they’re going, this makes images far more interesting and easier to read, the more juicy details you can squeeze into your picture to tell a story, the better."
Avoid unnecessary details
Only include details that add to the picture, Toby explained: “Is that parked car adding anything to the image? No? Crop it out. Is that bright road sign telling me anything about the fun you’re having? No? Leave it out of the picture."
Landscape the Safest Option
Taking good pictures doesn’t need to be about following the rules – but there are a few rules of thumb.
“I tend to find landscape images are better as often riders are travelling horizontally (sounds silly, but it’s true)," Toby told us.
Keep the lights down low (sorry..)
Again, you might capture an awesome image on a super bright day, but low light conditions are often more appealing - Toby said: “Low light conditions create dramatic lighting - spring and autumn are the best seasons to fully embrace this."
Playing with angles is a great way to inject a little fun into your creation – our expert's advice was: "Don’t be afraid to change your angle or position, some of the best shots are a little abstract, shoot from the floor, or stood on top of that giant rock over there."
But what if you’re watching a race, and want to get a great snap to show everyone how awesome bike racing can be?
Toby told us: “Don’t just focus on the race, focus on your experience of it. There are hundreds of boring guys paid to take pictures of riders. Long lens, rider cornering, blurred background, good job now upload to image library and repeat.
"I much prefer seeing an enthusiastic crowd member losing it, or a hot dog in your hand held up while Peter Sagan screams past in the background. What you see will be different to everyone else so don’t be afraid to take a picture of it."
Checking out other popular cycling Instagram feeds is a good way to get your creativity flowing – Toby said: “If you need a bit of inspiration, you’re in luck, there is an absolute ABUNDANCE of cycling media produced daily, instagram is a great source."
Check out some of the best Instagram posts and accounts: