MotoUSA Photo of the Week – April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011
Justin Dawes
Justin Dawes
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Raised on two wheels in the deserts of Nevada, the newest addition to the MotoUSA crew has been part of the industry for well over 15 years.Equal parts writer, photographer, and rider, "JDawg" is a jack of all trades and even a master of some.

Gammaqueens photo from the tropical paradise of Maui  Hawaii  offers a great perspective from the passenger seat of a rental Harley-Davidson.
Gammaquee’s photo from a vacation in Hawaii puts you on the back of a Harley-Davidson cruising through the hills of Maui.

We’re going on the third week of the MotoUSA Photo of the Week, and this week’s photo comes from forum user Gammaqueen. Taken on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, this shot has great colors and a sense of movement. Gammaqueen shot this from the back on what I assume is a rental Harley-Davidson. Her shot puts you right behind the bars on a stretch of tropical paradise. This shot instantly jumped out at me, and I think no one is surprised it was chosen for POTW. The green foliage and red dirt of this shot brings back fond memories of our Kauai Garden Island Dual-Sports article. Great scenery and an epic location are the cornerstones of this photo. Add the unique perspective and there is no denying Gammaqueen Photo of the Week Status.

This week’s moto-photo tip is a bit more technical than previous tips, but it is very useful adding some excitement to a photograph. Speed is a defining factor in motorcycling, so we need to find a way to show that speed. One way to impart motion to your subject is to use a slower shutter speed to create a blur. A common use of slow shutter speeds is called

An example of panning.
Panning can show the speed of a motorcycle but takes a steady hand and practice.

panning and really can create the illusion of motion to your shot. Panning is simple in theory but takes a steady hand and practice to perfect. Depending on the amount of blur you desire, your shutter speed should be in the 1/60s to 1/125s range. DSLR cameras and most modern point and shoot cameras have a speed priority setting usually denoted with an S. Set your camera to speed priority, and let the camera do the rest of the work for you. Once you shutter speed is set to around 1/100s, just follow along your subject as they ride past. When you follow your subject while panning they will stay sharp while everything else becomes a blur. You have now added a sense of speed your you photo. It will take some practice to get it right, but when you get that crisp shot with motion blur it will be worth it.

So get out there a get some panning shots to add to the pool of submissions for Photo of the Week. Remember the winner of Photo of the Year gets a shopping spree from EVS Sports. Upload you shots to the Photo of the Week Thread on the MotoUSA Forums. See you next week photo lovers.