MotoUSA Photo of the Week – April 29, 2011

April 29, 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.

RedDaog and Mamma Hens photo from their ride through Tennessees Maggie Valley offers a unique perspective.
This self portrait of RedDog and Mamma Hen offers a unique perspective on their ride through Tennessee’s Maggie Valley.

This Friday’s Photo of the Week comes from to us from Motorcycle-USA forums veteran RedDog. Not only is the perspective from the convex mirror an interesting effect, this photo also shows the strange things you find on the side of the road. The scenic bits of Tennessee’s Maggie Valley behind the mirror also hint at what is in store for RedDog and Mamma Hen’s GSX-R1000. Yes, it is a posed shot of riders with their machine, but it’s done in an interesting fashion. The curve of the road moves your eye through the photo leading you to the subject and then out into the dark woods. And for that I give it the honor of POTW for April 29, 2011. In reality the photo credit goes to Mamma Hen as she is the one holding the camera, sorry RedDog. If this shot is selected for Photo of the Year it looks like your better half will be going on a shopping spree courtesy of EVS Sports. Maybe she’ll share, but as a married man I say, “Don’t hold your breath.”

For this week’s moto-photo tip we are going to concentrate on the rider in an action photo. One thing that can make a run-of-the-mill action photo into a great shot is showing the concentration and focus of said rider. How do we do that

POTW week example
The eyes of a rider can tell the whole story of a race. This is five turns before Ryan Dungey won his 2010 AMA Motocross Championship.

when a helmet obstructs the view of 80% of the subjects face? It’s all in the eyes. Human eyes are often more expressive than any other part of the face. Some of my best photos tell the story of an entire race in just 1/1600 of second though what is in that narrow strip of face framed by a pair of goggles or a face shield. So how do you get the eyes? The first step is to get closer! When you think you are close enough take three or four more steps forward. Then look for a way to shed some light on the rider’s face, whether it is sunlight or a flash. The last part of the puzzle is to make sure it’s sharp. Eyes are the window to the soul, and that’s what riding and photography are about at the very core – soul.