Category: Bicycle touring photography tips

How many times have you returned home from a bicycle tour with memories of amazing spectacles and awesome scenery only to share your photos and realize they are flat and boring?

It’s a common problem, that’s why we’ve written these easy bicycle touring photo tips to help you improve your images.


Hotel rooms


In hotel rooms, try taking pictures of daily routines such as route planning, reading a book and washing clothes. Also be on the lookout for original camera standpoints such as reflections in a mirror, shooting between ceiling fan blades or even using your bicycle as the foreground object.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Scanning the road


When you come across some beautiful scenery alongside the road, first look up and down the road to find the point from which you want to photograph the bicyclist. Next, look past the camera to see if your partner is approaching that point. You are now prepared and can push the shutter button at the right moment.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Cycling self portraits


For better-composed solo riding photos, consider investing in a remote control. The image right was made by setting up the camera tripod, then deciding at which point I wanted to photograph us bicycling. I marked it with a small twig and we set off. Upon reaching the twig – I pressed the remote control button to get the shot.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Sense of place

Cycle touring isn’t just about racing up and over mountain passes. Experiencing new cultures is another important aspect and shooting images of your partner pedalling past medieval churches, temples, and through ancient archways is a good way to remember that experience.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Edit

To end up with great pictures, shoot from many different perspectives, camera standpoints and even try completely new shots.

Once you are finished, ruthlessly edit and delete photos until you have one that best captures the scene. In other words, an important part of being a good photographer is to only show your best images.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Ugh, his eyes are closed.

Yay!, he’s smiling for the camera.


Kids

When photographing kids, you have to work quickly. Children have a short attention span and after a couple of minutes they will lose interest and start looking around for other things to do. Try holding their attention by asking questions, making funny faces or even pointing at one of them while stating the name of the local sports hero. In India, the kids love cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. They instantly smile when you imply that one of their friends will be the next ‘Sachin’.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Pictures of your bike


A bicycle is more than just a metal frame with rubber tires – it’s your traveling partner. Of course, you want to take photos of it. An easy way to do that is to look for buildings with colorful decorations. Place your two-wheeler near the decoration or painting – preferably against a section of plain colored wall, and snap away.

Cass Gilbert has popularized the ‘frontal’ style of bike photography as seen above. Why not also shoot pictures from different angles as pictured below?

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Bright colors

Many cyclists wear dark colored clothing since it’s great for hiding dirt. Yet it also hides them when they’re photographed from a distance.

A little red cyclist pedaling through monumental scenery is a theme that I began shooting in the 1990’s. Other bicyclists have since emulated this style, but why not try taking the idea further.

Gold and orange shirts also show up well against dark landscapes. These colors are better than red when taking close-up pictures of your cycling partner since too much red can overpower your image.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Setting up the tent

When taking camping photos, you should spend some extra time studying how your partner looks through the camera viewfinder. Are they kneeling down to adjust a tent zipper or just bending over with their butt in the air?

Give directions such as, “don’t lean over, bend at your knees” or “turn around a bit so that I can see your face” so that you get better pictures.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Travel photo tips

To tell the complete story of your journey, you will want to take pictures of more than just your two-wheeler. Before the trip, make a shot list of the different subjects you want to have an image of such as people, food, and hotels. Check the items off once you have photographed them.

The following websites contain travel, portrait and architecture photo tips:

National Geographic

Digital Photography School

If you don’t understand the basic camera techniques of shutter speed, exposure, flash, ISO, etc., then check out:

Digital Photography School

PetaPixel online courses and tutorial links

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Switchbacks

Sure you want to take a picture of the entire downhill, but why not also zoom in on the switchbacks?

Before heading down, point out to your partner the spots where you want to photograph them. That way they will know which sections they should slow down in, or even head back to cycle a second time.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Copyright

Çopyright law doesn’t have to be confusing.

Copyright law states that copyright belongs to whoever took the image and only they have the sole and exclusive right to sell, publish, enter contests and reproduce that picture.

The only exceptions are:

  1. Where a ‘work-for-hire’ contract is signed by the photographer.
  2. The photographer is an employee of the company the images are taken for.

So even if your friend took a picture of you with your camera, they own the photo copyright.

Note: If you suspect that one of your photos has been placed on internet without your permission, then do a reverse image search for it via Tin Eye.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Model release

Companies want a model release signed by the person in the image before they will publish it in an advertisement, catalog, etc. The release states that the photographed person gives permission for the picture to be used commercially.

So think twice about sending images of colorful locals for whom you have no model release to equipment manufacturers and remember to get your cycling partner’s permission to take and commercially sell photos of them.

For more information on model releases visit Dan Heller’s website.

Note: model release requirements also vary from country to country.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Humor


Keep an eye out for funny situations. They might not seem humorous at the time but afterwards these pictures usually turn out to be favorites.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.

Photo backup

A backup isn’t just having all of your trip photographs on one hard drive. You need to store multiple copies of your pictures in at least two different places in case one of your electronic devices fails.

Also, consider uploading your favorite pictures to an online storage site. That way if all of your gear is stolen you will still have a copy of your best images.

Download our free Bicycle Touring Photography guide. It’s full of tips and tricks that will aid you in shooting better cycling images.