Cycling Photography - A Challenging But Rewarding Hobby
Around the world young men and women are discovering the sport of bicycle
riding, and at most events you will find a photographer or two recording
the thrills and spills.
Bicycle and mountain bike races and contests offer unparalleled
opportunities to take action photos, and photos of large groups or
individuals moving fast over all kinds of landscapes.
They offer a myriad of chances to take individual character shots
(closeups of riders striving, concentrating, elated, or downcast). The
environment itself is yet another aspect waiting to be featured -- steep
mountains, dense forests, old towns, sunshine, rain showers, storms,
rough roads and smooth.
Some photographers go a step further and envisage the crowds of riders
and the landscapes as an opportunity to take photographs that are
abstract or semi-abstract compositions.
Cycling photographers can cover all sorts of cycling events, or they can
concentrate on just one or two categories, such as road, cross country,
downhill, track (for example, velodrome), Mountain X, or BMX cycling.
Equally, they can choose to cover local and regional events or national
and even international events such as the Tour de France.
Photographers have the choice of using traditional film-based SLR cameras
or modern digital cameras. Digital cameras have the advantage that you
can take hundreds of photos per event (without worrying about paying for
expensive film) and then keep only the very best shots and discard all
Digital cameras also allow you to edit the shots after the event,
improving the color and contrast, and to crop away distracting elements
from the shots, leaving just strong, clear images.
Even with modern digital SLR cameras, cycling photography can be quite a
challenge because of the varying and often difficult lighting conditions,
the speed of the bike riders whizzing by, and the changeable and
sometimes trying weather conditions.
Photos of bikes and bicyclists have been taken ever since the nineteenth
century. Subjects have included everything from antique high wheeler
bikes and "bone shakers" to tandems and tricycles, and from cyclists
quietly biking about European and American towns to specialist subjects
such as circus clown bikes.
In recent years there have been just a handful of internationally-known
photographers who specialize in cycling photography, notable names
including Graham Watson and Phil O'Connor.
The books, posters, postcards and photo collections published by these
photographers act as an inspiration and guide for amateur and
professional cycling photographers and help them to improve their
photographic skills, taste and judgment.
Click here to see some examples of downhill, road and cross country
mountain bike cycling photos.
About the Author
John Reginald Wagner is an avid cycling photographer and the webmaster of
the website, Best Bike Photos (http://www.bestbikephotos.com).