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On my last long distance trip I kept finding myself frustrated by the spectacular views from the big hills. Every time I crested the hill and started down (especially on the nice twisty ones) invariably the view would suddenly open up and a beautiful photo op presented itself. But parking the bike facing a downhill slope is not advised and turning it around (twice) on the highway is rarely a trivial exercise. And so the photo op passes into memory.

Any one else have this experience? And if you figured out how to take the photo, would you like to share your wisdom?

Thanks.
 

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Are you trying to get your bike level when you take the picture or are you trying to get the whole vista in?

As far as getting the bike level, that can be tricky but a great picture usually comes at the crest of the mountain or hill but parking the bike with the nose out to the road and the tail towards side will give you a 3/4 angle but you have to be careful as you dont want to lose the lean angle on your kickstand.

As far as capturing the vista its hard with a pocket camera but it is possible if you a) have one that has a wide angle or b) if you are using a DSLR or a SLR get as wide of an angle as possible, so like a 11-18mm lens. I dont know how much experience you have with photography so sorry if this is stuff you already know.
 

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I hope you'll be delighted to know that it's really easy :).

Stop where it's safe, turn the engine off but leave it in gear & then plant one foot down firmly. Leaving the bike in gear prevents it from rolling just as good as holding the brakes on. I keep my camera in my tank bag where it's easy to reach, but a jacket pocket works just as well. One of the great things about digital cameras is that they've got LCD screens, as opposed to viewfinders, so you can keep your helmet on whilst taking the photo.

I took three pics whilst I was parked, astride my bike, facing downhill with a strong galeforce crosswind, and then stitched them together when I was editing and ended up with this. I wasn't stationary for more than a minute.



Here's another downhill shot:


These pics were taken sitting on my Sprint.

I've found I can use the same technique on my Tiger, but it's a bit more difficult because of the taller seat height:


Hope this helps.

DaveB.
 

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Hi Dave - I thought the OP meant 'off the bike' - no disrespect at all intended but on the bike is easy with left foot on ground and right covering the rear brake, regardless of how steep the down-slope.
I assumed the OP meant off the bike and parking - whether to include the bike in shot or not.
Great pics by the way - would love to visit that part of the world & especially on a bike.
 

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Point taken, but I reckon there's seldom any need to get off the bike. If I'm wearing my thin summer mesh gloves I usually don't even take either off to take a pic- the ultimate stop for 15 seconds point & shoot attitude (I am so very lazy :D).

I never, as in never, park my bike facing downhill. I invariably leave the bike in gear when I park it on the sidestand.

Yeah, we've gots lots of scenery & oodles of hot sunshine. It's tough :veryhot:, but someone has to do it!

DaveB.
 

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What Ive done...

...on my last few trips south, particularly Blue Ridge Pkwy & Deals Gap was...

I either go past find a safe spot and walk back, or (if the shoulder is wide enuf) park the bike horizontal to the hill. (i.e; like..accross it.) If im out riding in the hilly areas, and have the time, I generally ride thru a section then go back for photo ops (thats usually when Im stayin a few days). It take longer, but I have some great shots.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your feedback. My camera is usually tucked away inside the pannier or in one of the dry bags strapped over the pillion. I had not considered taking the picture astride the bike. Maybe it's time to invest in a pocket sized subcompact camera. I do not have a tank bag.

My chagrin came from my ride to Georgian Bay see the spectacular fall colours. It's too cold for summer gloves at that time of year so they have to come off to take the picture. And the shoulder usually is a small section of steep gravel and often times is soft. Our hills here are not huge and the crest is hidden in the trees. The open vistas are revealed where the land can be farmed and the fields are cleared.

Sounds like driving onwards to find a drive or lane way to turn around and then go back up the hill is the safest solution. I like to get off and walk about to find a location that offers the potential for a good composition in the photo.
 

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Point taken, but I reckon there's seldom any need to get off the bike. If I'm wearing my thin summer mesh gloves I usually don't even take either off to take a pic- the ultimate stop for 15 seconds point & shoot attitude (I am so very lazy :D).

I never, as in never, park my bike facing downhill. I invariably leave the bike in gear when I park it on the sidestand.

Yeah, we've gots lots of scenery & oodles of hot sunshine. It's tough :veryhot:, but someone has to do it!

DaveB.
I AM NOT JEALOUS:D
 

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I often think as much about where I'll take the picture from as I do what I'll take the picture of. In this case I was able to climb a STEEP bank on my side of the road and change perspective by shooting down (slightly) from my high perch.



I did a ride earlier this year from Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, to Alaska. I did this with the expectation of publishing a book, but left my DSLRs at home and shot everything with a waterproof Pentex Optima in my jacket pocket and a Nikon Coolpix in my tankbag. Results can be seen here:

www.motoamericas.com

The blog area was updated as I rode north....

I shot .jpeg (large/fine) images with average file size of 3-4 mb. I've printed these as large as 13x19 and they hold up pretty well.

Let me know if I can be of further help!

-eric
 

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Taking pics while motorcycling can be an pain, so the biggest obstacle to overcome is deciding
that taking pics from a motorcycle is worth the time and effort to do so. Once you decide that it is,
you will always be looking for opportunities.

I'm always looking for places to stop whenever a mountain scene shows potential. If I'm riding downhill,
I determine if I can get off the pavement, and face the bike slightly perpendicular to the road.
If not, I turn around and ride back up the hill looking for a place to stop that is safe.

Taking pics with the bike in the frame is always my first choice. Otherwise, for me anyway, it's just another pic.
Having the bike in the frame adds depth and creates a lasting record of the event.

I normally keep a small ,wide angle tele digicam in my upper left jacket pocket out of it's case. I leave
my helmet on when taking pics, so as to minimize the effort unless it's to be a rest stop. Gloves can be
left on, but that can be a problem if making manual adjustments to the camera. In that event,
I remove my right glove.

Some days I ride solely for the opportunity to take pics.







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Speaking from personal experience - in my own driveway no less! - the downhill parking is absolutely not a good idea! :mad:

Can't you just park the bike perpendicular to road direction? (side stand on downhill side - or at least at 45 deg to road)
You know, there is a tread for 'funny and embarissing moments' if you want to let it out man. (-: LOL
 

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Knowing your route also helps. I'll usually go for a ride and note areas I'd like to take pics and then go back another day...

Mount Saint Helen's in Washington State. An amazing road.


Or sometimes it just happens


Honolulu from Tantalus Drive


West coast of Oahu


I know they're not all my Triumph but I like them anyways ;-)
 
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