Urban Landscape + Lifestyle Photography

Harley as Art

Chrome Engine #1, 2012 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Chrome Engine #1, 2012 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

The last couple of posts were about HDR. It can be subtle or wild but I made the case that HDR is a merely a technique. A way to get closer to the internal “vision” for the image you wanted to create. Today, it’s all about black and white. A way to set a different mood; less color than HDR but equally dramatic. It can have such an artistic feeling, simple and dramatic at the same time. And with a long history of monochrome, it is an established photographic look. I’ve used black and white before to emphasize texture but this time, it is to simplify. To get an interplay between the dark and light.

Three on Congress, 2012 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Shiny Tank, 2012 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Before the ROT (Republic of Texas) Rally parade, I searched for Harley art, the sublime curves of the rumbling beast. The participants take pride in their vehicles and most are shined and buffed to perfection. The black and white, mutes the colors and makes the chrome pop. The engine is a natural centerpiece and a work of art. I saw several designs, all beautifully sculptural.

Chrome Engine #2, 2012 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Chrome Engine #2, 2012 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

The dials and gauges are another focal point; nicely symmetrical circles. Some are the height of minimal design, a single speedometer. Others took on more of a cockpit aesthetic.

Speedometer, 2012 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Speedometer, 2012 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Harley Cockpit, 2012 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Harley Cockpit, 2012 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Finally, the front wheels in formation, captured as a row of bikes were parked by the curb. I used a telephoto lens to compress the distance between the wheels.

Wheels in Formation, 2012 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Wheels in Formation, 2012 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

So whether you use black and white or HDR, they are both in service to your photography. Two very different looks on the same subject.

To be continued…


Please make sure to click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure details.

I used the Olympus E-PL1 with the Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens and the Olympus E-P3 with the 14mm f2.5 lens. If you are thinking of buying this equipment, please click on these links. You will get the same low Amazon price and I’ll get a small commission, which helps support this site.

10 responses

  1. Pingback: ROT Rally bikes sparkle with wild HDR « atmtx photography blog

  2. wherethedaytakesme

    Beautiful

    June 24, 2012 at 6:33 am

    • Thank you, wherethedaytakesme.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

  3. You have some real beauties here. Too many use black and white as an excuse to salvage a sorry photo. You’ve proven that’s folly ;-)

    June 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    • Thank you, Libby.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

  4. Love how sharp the images are

    June 25, 2012 at 12:20 am

    • Yeah, I tend to like sharp photos, thank you, 2 Rivers Photos.

      June 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

  5. Ed Shields

    I’m usually not a fan of HDR but you ROT night pictures demonstrate how beautiful they can be if not done in over-the-top style. However your B&W images are exquisite. Gorgeous in all respects; compositionand technical expertise. Did you use something like Nix Silver Effect Pro?

    Ed

    June 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

    • Ed, you are too kind, thank you. I actually did the black and white conversion in Apple’s Aperture 3. I don’t own Silver Effects but I do have Topaz Labs’ B&W Effects, but I didn’t use it for these conversions.

      June 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

  6. I’ve been enjoying shooting motorcycle engines using real B&W film in my Bronica and Holga cameras. I love the lines and shapes!

    July 24, 2012 at 11:18 am

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