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Honda CB750 C&C
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:16 am    Post subject: Honda CB750 C&C Reply with quote

This image is from a practice shoot of combining strobes with film. I'm trying to get better at mixing film with external lighting so I can use it in my future work. I want to get to a point where I just need to take a reading, make adjustments, and shoot.

The only adjustment I made to the picture was sharpening by a tiny bit and cleaning up the dust and scratches.

Camera: RZ67, 110mm 2.8 at 5.6, 1/125th, Ilford fp4 at 200
Lighiting: PCB Einstein, beauty dish with white diffuser
Motorcycle: 1975 Honda CB750

I developed the FP4 for 9.5 minutes in full Xtol. I couldn't find a dev time for FP4 at 200 ISO so I used one for 250 ISO and added a extra 30 seconds to try to get more details from the darker areas. It wasn't much sunlight left so I wasn't worried about the highlights becoming blown if I went too long. I agitated every 30 seconds.

I welcome all C&C.



PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is too sharp and contrasty. The picture turns sort of anachronistic, I would try to save the 70's feeling.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskalaCafe wrote:
I think it is too sharp and contrasty. The picture turns sort of anachronistic, I would try to save the 70's feeling.


Thank you for the feedback. I wonder if the light helped make it look so contrasty? I bummed clarity up by +5 and sharpening up by +4.6. I will try to reduced and see what it looks like.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like it. There is perhaps a hardness there, but for someone like me, poring over the detail, that's a positive. It depends on the purpose of the shot I suppose - technical, nostalgia etc... One other thing, that is subjective, is that although you've correctly caught the bike in it's natural pose on the side-stand, it's not the most popular way of photographing bikes from what I can tell. The front wheel tends to be straight to give a sense of purpose, or is taken from the other side with the front wheel at rest.

By the way. Please pass on my compliments to the owner for maintaining such a beautiful highly original bike. So many of them have been modified. I owned and rode a CB500/4.

Not a very technical critique, and doubly hard as I know I couldn't produce better, but I hope it gives some food for thought.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of old bikes (I own seven, the newest is an '88 BMW R100RS and the oldest is a '74 Norton Commando 850) and I really don't find anything particularly wrong with the photo. At this level of magnification, I can detect no artifacts due to oversharpening, and the hard edges in the image don't appear overly hard to me. These types of edges are where I can usually detect oversharpening. Contrast appears to be exactly where I would have placed it.

I copied the image into my PP software, thinking I might see if I could improve it -- but after giving it a good hard look, honestly, I wouldn't touch a thing.

As for posing:

I find that often the right side of a motorcycle is more visually interesting than the left. One side of a motorcycle's engine is usually visually cleaner than the other, but it is the other side that I find more interesting with its more complicated bits showing. With this bike, and many others, it is the right side that I find more visually appealing. The left side of a CB750 is nice enough looking -- the engine's look is cleaner -- and some folks will prefer that look, which is fine. An exception to this general rule of mine is perhaps the BMW boxer twins, in which both sides look very similar to each other.

If the bike is to be located on its sidestand, then definitely a photo of the right side will look better. Because of its lean, the front wheel naturally turns to the left, exposing the full circumference of the wheel. This is generally desirable in automotive, as well as motorcycle photography. In automotive photography, for static shots of a vehicle taken at a front quartered angle, the front wheels will almost always be turned in so they expose the full wheel and tire. This is just basic automotive photo technique. And it holds true with bikes as well. Further, because of the bike's lean, it would look very unnatural to turn the wheel to the right, no matter which side of the bike you photograph.

Photos of the left side of a bike when it's on its sidestand look awkward at best. Because of the lean, the bike is giving the appearance that it is falling toward the observer. Of course, if the bike is located on its centerstand, then things become much more equitable, but since your photo shows the bike on the sidestand, my comments are restricted to this orientation.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sciolist wrote:
I really like it. There is perhaps a hardness there, but for someone like me, poring over the detail, that's a positive. It depends on the purpose of the shot I suppose - technical, nostalgia etc... One other thing, that is subjective, is that although you've correctly caught the bike in it's natural pose on the side-stand, it's not the most popular way of photographing bikes from what I can tell. The front wheel tends to be straight to give a sense of purpose, or is taken from the other side with the front wheel at rest.

By the way. Please pass on my compliments to the owner for maintaining such a beautiful highly original bike. So many of them have been modified. I owned and rode a CB500/4.

Not a very technical critique, and doubly hard as I know I couldn't produce better, but I hope it gives some food for thought.


Thank you for the feedback. I wanted to try and put the bike on the center stand, but it was too heavy. Maybe that would've been better?

The bike belongs to me. I will forever keep her in the original condition.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I'm a big fan of old bikes (I own seven, the newest is an '88 BMW R100RS and the oldest is a '74 Norton Commando 850) and I really don't find anything particularly wrong with the photo. At this level of magnification, I can detect no artifacts due to oversharpening, and the hard edges in the image don't appear overly hard to me. These types of edges are where I can usually detect oversharpening. Contrast appears to be exactly where I would have placed it.

I copied the image into my PP software, thinking I might see if I could improve it -- but after giving it a good hard look, honestly, I wouldn't touch a thing.

As for posing:

I find that often the right side of a motorcycle is more visually interesting than the left. One side of a motorcycle's engine is usually visually cleaner than the other, but it is the other side that I find more interesting with its more complicated bits showing. With this bike, and many others, it is the right side that I find more visually appealing. The left side of a CB750 is nice enough looking -- the engine's look is cleaner -- and some folks will prefer that look, which is fine. An exception to this general rule of mine is perhaps the BMW boxer twins, in which both sides look very similar to each other.

If the bike is to be located on its sidestand, then definitely a photo of the right side will look better. Because of its lean, the front wheel naturally turns to the left, exposing the full circumference of the wheel. This is generally desirable in automotive, as well as motorcycle photography. In automotive photography, for static shots of a vehicle taken at a front quartered angle, the front wheels will almost always be turned in so they expose the full wheel and tire. This is just basic automotive photo technique. And it holds true with bikes as well. Further, because of the bike's lean, it would look very unnatural to turn the wheel to the right, no matter which side of the bike you photograph.

Photos of the left side of a bike when it's on its sidestand look awkward at best. Because of the lean, the bike is giving the appearance that it is falling toward the observer. Of course, if the bike is located on its centerstand, then things become much more equitable, but since your photo shows the bike on the sidestand, my comments are restricted to this orientation.


Thank you for the feedback fellow Houstonian. I miss Houston, Tx.

I will take everything you stated into my next photoshoot with the bike. I will try for the center stand next time.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikonshooter wrote:

Thank you for the feedback. I wanted to try and put the bike on the center stand, but it was too heavy. Maybe that would've been better?

The bike belongs to me. I will forever keep her in the original condition.


The bike belongs to you? Congrats man, it's a beaut.

In regard to centre stand or side stand, really, it depends on the context you put the bike in. For example, and it's a personal thing, I think the stance you chose for the bike in your excellent picture above, might have been enhanced by positioning the bike next to a roadside kerb.

It really depends on what mood you are trying to catch in the image. What the bike says to you, or what you are trying to project, has to be encapsulated in one shot. That can be by accident if you're willing to wait, or you can stage it. They have equal value to my mind.

Park it on its side stand under street lamps outside a shop with neons and see what you get (this is a brazenly selfish request by me Smile ). It would certainly give you some serious practice in lighting it.

Centre stands can be good for head-on shots if they tip the bike forward, as it makes the bike hunch, looking muscular.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fellow (expat) Houstonian,

This comment is in regards to putting your bike on its centerstand. Most bikes I'm familiar with have a pivot point that, when grasped, allow you to pivot the bike up onto the centerstand with a modicum of fuss.

I own a couple of Yamaha XS650s. For the first few years of ownership of my first XS650, I found putting it on its centerstand to be an ordeal where I'd have to heave it up onto the stand. Then one day I discovered that if I grasped the frame just under the center of the seat, all it took was a light pull on that point and the handlebars and it popped right onto the centerstand. Boy did I feel foolish! My BMW Airheads are even easier. They even have a handle right at the pivot point, so all it takes is grabbing the handle and the handlebars, and an easy pull brings the bike up onto its centerstand. My Norton Commando is similar. Its pivot point is right around where the top shock mount is.

The CB750 is a fairly heavy bike, but I doubt it's heavier than my Airheads. So, if I were you, I'd try and see if I can find that "magic" spot on the bike that allows you to easily put it up on its centerstand. If you have the owner's manual, you might look in there and see if it covers this. If you don't have a manual, you can probably find a .pdf of it online somewhere.

So, hope this helps some, and congrats on a really special bike.