Urban Landscape + Lifestyle Photography

2013 ROT Rally and street photography

Harley Couple on 6th, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Harley Couple on 6th, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

It’s June and the rumble of thousands of hogs can be heard across Central Texas. It’s ROT Rally season again. ROT, the Republic of Texas biker rally is one of the biggest in the U.S. and it makes its noisy entrance around this time, every year. 2013 is flying by and I forgot about the event until a co-worker reminded me. I’ve blogged about the ROT Rally parade, last year. I may post some more parade photos but much of it will look similar. I wanted something different. No tripod and no sparkly HDR motorcycles. I was going to do street photography. I had the Canon 6D this year and I was out to see what it could do. Once camera with one 35mm f2 lens.

Wu-Tang Woman, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Wu-Tang Woman, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Posing on 6th Street, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Posing on 6th Street, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

6th street comes alive, even more than usual, during ROT weekend. Bars are in full promotion mode. The streets are packed at 5pm instead of at 10. And the usual 6th street characters are overshadowed by thousands of out of towners. It’s easy pickings too, for anyone who wants to shoot something interesting. There are thousands of bikes packed together, the parade of Harleys arriving from distant lands and finally the loads of people with character. I met at least a half a dozen photographer friends shooting down there.

Something of Interest, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Something of Interest, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Promoting Coyote Ugly, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Promoting Coyote Ugly, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Finding Customers, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Finding Customers, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

I was outside and doing photography earlier than usual. Almost vampire like, I tend to arise to shoot near or after sunset. You know I like blue hour and the lively urban nights. But last Friday , I was out shooting by 6pm, a whopping 2 1/2 hours before sunset. Shooting conditions where easy. No test for the 6D, really. But it was nice to get down there and get into street photography mode. I have a mix of portraits and candids. Color and black and whites. Some variation to give you the feel of 6th street.

I was killing time until the ROT Rally parade down Congress Avenue. I figured it would start around 8pm. And after that, the main challenge. Night street photography.

Happy without a Harley, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Happy without a Harley, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Bikers, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Bikers, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Biker Couples, 2013 ROT Rally - Austin, Texas

Biker Couples, 2013 ROT Rally – Austin, Texas

Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.

11 responses

  1. wherethedaytakesme

    Awesome photos. Always love to see what is next.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

  2. Great street photography shots Andy. Could you elaborate your thought process on this group of photos as far as deciding which photo to publish in B&W and which to publish in color? Was it something in the composition?

    June 21, 2013 at 8:11 am

    • I don’t have a hard and fast rule about conversions to black and white and this topic probably deserves its own post.

      Because of historic reasons, I like street photography in black and white, so I generally like the use of B&W for this genre. But if there is nice color in a image, I choose to keep the color, like the Promoting Coyote Ugly image. The first Harley Couple photo could have been made into a B&W but I wanted to have a balance of color and black and white images for this post.

      I like photos that pop, so whether it is color or B&W, I go for images that I feel are more visually striking or interesting. Which is probably a fancy way to say, I choose the image that I think looks better.

      June 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

  3. busaGirl79

    Happy without a Harley! Love the title.
    Bright tangerine color converted into black and white was kind of disturbing at first since I had never seen my bike like that.
    Distinct and Unique conversion though, love it.
    Thanks for great Photos
    Can I purchase this pict and the original color?

    June 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    • busaGirl79, how cool that you found this site and a photo of you. Sure, I’ll be glad to sell you the photos. I will send you an email. Thanks for you visit and comment.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

  4. Pingback: 2013 ROT Rally Parade | atmtx photography blog

  5. Hi Andy,

    I was wondering how, for how many of these photos did you ask the subject’s permission before/after taking the shot? I want to do more street photography but am worried about offending people.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:47 am

    • Chris,

      I asked people for the 2nd, 3rd and last photograph. Being nervous about taking photos of strangers is normal. I still feel that way at times. Like most things, it gets easier with practice.

      Certain situations are easier. If people are on the street in a festive occasion or when people are dressed up to be seen like Halloween, for example. Start by practicing at those type of occasions.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      • Thanks for the info and support. Do you ever take candids and then ask permission later?

        July 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      • If it’s verbal, I usually get permission first before taking a candid portrait.

        I have taken a candid and then given a gesture if it’s OK. usually when I am bit further away.

        July 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm

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