Motorcycle lighting


TPF Noob!
Feb 17, 2012
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Nova scotia
I am working on a web project and have to shoot 60 motorcycles on a limited budget for product shots. I am not a pro I only dabble in photography so bare with me. I have an Olympus e-510 and a zuiko 12-60 lense i will be using on this project. Also just picked up a metz 50 flash.I spoke to the sales person at my local shop he recommended 1 Aurora firefly softbox a 5web in 1the reflecter disc and superwhite paper. Do you think this will accomplish the task keeping i you mind a very limited budget?
I use a minimum of two strobes when lighting bike to get the details. If you use only one, expect shadows/loss of detail in places you don't want them on the motorcycle, no matter how soft the light is.

Also the 5 in 1 reflector won't be as efficient as a regular size reflector. Those little round reflectors are good on the fly but for real stuff such as vehicles you may opt for something better. The Metz 50 flash is OK but through that softbox you'll lose a lot of light (the bike will need).
I was shooting my dad's bike recently and he had a large 4'x8' piece of styrofoam that worked great. I paired this with two LP160's on the same stand with CTO. Pretty low-budget stuff, but I was working with sunset light so I didn't need much power. Are you shooting indoor or outdoor?

Live Free by Tim Herschbach, on Flickr
For product shots, I would definitely try and use some sort of diffuser if at all possible. Give Carsand-Mosher a call and see if they rent lighting gear. You could also try using something like this if you're doing static shots. They're cheap & cheerful, BUT bear in mind that the colour temperature will be wildly different than your strobe, so you will wind up having to gel it if you use the two in combination.
Whats up withe the Harley, can I add a Duc? =)

OP I lit her up with one Vivitar 285 shooting into bright light with a fast shutter.


Profoto lighting in the studio


Lit this bike with an Elinchrom and a Vivitar 285. This pic is very trashed up and unedited, wasn't a serious pic of course. It was me trying to set up the lights for a shoot.

There's no reason you can't use cheap continuous lighting like your typical hardware store halogen flood lights or similar for this since it is a static subject. you will just need a tripod is all.
If you are inexperienced with off-camera lighting it can be easier to learn to work with continuous lights first, and you don't need any radio triggers either.

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