Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Writing/Photographing 101 For Bikers & Gear Heads

Lowside Mag is a great place to share our rides, expertise, and adventures. We have been given a unique opportunity to communicate with like minded folks all over the world. For some of us it’s a difficult transition from having beer lubricated conversations to putting it down in words and photos. Here is some help to get your thoughts down on paper, and folks to appreciate what you have to say.

When writing an article keep it short and sweet, 500 words or less. Cover all the points with as few words as possible. At the same time make it personal and entertaining. Start with a compelling introduction why or how this story came about. This is where you grab people’s attention. Next what your story is all about. Rap up your article with how this can benefit the reader, along with resources for more information. Use your spell check, read it out load to yourself, get others to read it, and give you feed back.

Now for the photos. All photos need to be high quality, and high resolution JPG files (8x10 at 300dpi). WTF? Not to worry, set your camera to the highest resolution JPG possible. Just read your cameras manual. If you don’t have a manual, then Google the make and model, chances are it’s on the internet. Or, get a friend to help.

Take photos from as many different angles as possible that illustrate what you want to say. Try to be objective, and make sure that which is in your photos has meaning or purpose. Keep the background and foreground simple, and uncluttered. In other words, do you really want that garbage can in the background? Does the 2011 lime green Toyota Prius really belong in your photo with the Shovelhead.

Focus on what is important. Try using the close-up or portrait settings on your camera to direct attention to details. When photographing motorcycles, you may want to move the bike as far away from the background as possible. This will help throw the background out of focus so the bikes details will stand out. If by chance your camera can not focus close-up on small items, then move back just enough to ensure a sharp image. If you are using a high resolution setting, then you or the designer can crop in.

Lighting is everything, and there is no good or bad. That is except for on camera flashes. Generally on camera flashes are flat, without character, and unappealing. So, try different lighting depending on what you are photographing. If you are shooting in a low light situation, use a tripod and set up some lights. Have fun experimenting to see what works best. Be sure to set your camera for auto white balance, and no flash. There will be exceptions to the rules, like photographing drunken bikers in a dark bar. Then use your cameras flash to capture the moment.

Here is hoping this helps you find a creative way to share what is important in your life. Remember, we want folks to take time to appreciate what you are putting down. It is our job to create crafted pieces that will capture their interest. Have fun, experiment, analyze other folk’s work you like, and incorporate it into your own creations.
Long May You Ride,

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