Light painting a motorbike

August 28, 2017  •  1 Comment

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not having any of the first images I took on this particular bike as they were so atrocious that I probably deleted them directly off the camera before downloading. Suffice to say that nothing was working out but I will give you a rundown on the proceedings from the beginning.

 1. Arrive to find a double garage emptied of all vehicles and said bike in pride of place. ( yippedy doo dah this is going to be fantastic!)

2. Ok...set up bike at back of garage and tripod at roller door, check. Cover windows with black bed sheet, check. Get out old faithful globe torch with toilet roll taped to end to stop sneaky light from getting through, add baking paper to end of roll with elastic band. ( Wow, so technical right? so prepared right? no brainer...this is going to be the best photoshoot EVERRRRR)

3. F22, no ISO, shutter speed 30 sec... PHOTO. Check back of camera for the magnificence. Barely any photo there at all! What is going on????. Aaaahhhh I say in my most knowledgable Dali Lama impersonation. Not enough light getting through the baking paper I reckon, take off the baking paper and go again. NOPE! Ok maybe the globe torch is not strong enough for the size of the bike, up the ISO that could help. NOPE! Ok LED torch changeover that's gotta do it. Bugger....the whole garage is lit up like the light was turned on. Zip the ISO again. NO - NAHHH - NOPE - REALLY ????

4. Breathe in...breathe out....repeat.

5. Right, as Bruce Lee once said.... " Be water my friend ". The owner of the bike offered up a larger LED torch to use, and as the bike was silver I thought that would be ok. Add toilet roll and baking paper to diffuse  the light. Get in so close that whatever light that comes out can only touch the bike. I wanted no longer than 30sec to create the image as it forces me to get the most out of the short period of time ergo, not all of the bike will make it in the photo. Make my brain work differently by starting from the back of the bike and working forward. All the other images so far went from front to back. Anything else??? Nope ( said that a lot today ) breathe in and do it!.

6. Hooley Dooley, OMG, ringa ding ding I think we were onto something! Repeat repeat repeat  Wow, this might work!   Wheel didn't make it in 30sec timeframe

Damn it! No windshield. So close I can feel it


BOOM! I wasn't really good friends with the bike owner so inside I was doing naked backflips around the garage. On the outside though, we looked at the back of the camera, took one breath in....and stopped breathing right then. When that happens you know the magic has slapped you in the face. We turned to each other and the smiles slowly got bigger and bigger and the owner said " I think you got it ". I replied "You know what mate ( we ARE Aussies )...I think you're right".

The end result was worth it we think. Happy days for all and only minimal photoshopping. Yee Haaaaa!

I hope you enjoyed this blog and I will be endeavouring to repeat ( if I can ) other motorbikes in the future. All my artworks are printed onto a brushed metal finish and of course I can be commissioned to do others as gifts or corporate commissions or just because you want one.


Sharon Lamb


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