I recently completed a photo shoot in Glenorchy (in the South Island of New Zealand) for a NZ company “FX Bikes” to shoot their prototype, super light, go anywhere, 60 kg “Mountain Moto” motorcycle.

It was great to be able to work in such beautiful locations as there are on offer in this area.  Glenorchy is a personal favourite of mine and I love every opportunity I have to get back there.  On this shoot, I photographed two motorcycles as a father and his 12 year old son went on a “riding and camping adventure”.

Here the motorcycle gets some air in front of Mount Earnslaw.

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 300mm 2.8 lens, ISO 400. f4 for 1/8000 second. 

The rider and bike were heavily backlit in this shot but I really wanted the scene behind them as my backdrop for “riding in paradise”.

I used a 300mm lens to pull in the glacial faces of Mount Earnslaw and by using f4 the depth of field was nice and shallow to keep the emphasis on the bike – though there is still enough visible detail to make the mountain a feature of the image.

The light itself was very challenging!  If I exposed for the background mountains the rider was a full silhouette – in turn if I exposed for the rider the mountains were so overexposed that they were no longer visible.

I therefore put my camera into manual exposure mode and set the correct exposure for the mountains and the backlit grasses.  I then set up two Elinchrom Quadra studio lights in front of the rider.  By using pocket wizards to fire the lights remotely (you must have the correct settings in the firmware) I was able to achieve the light I required with the quadras synced at a VERY high shutter speed.  This is an invaluable feature which is possible when using these lights with Nikon cameras.

The end result was exactly as wanted thanks to the combination of technology, great riders and mother nature.

Check out these bikes and be in quick to own one at www.fxbikes.com


All images copyright Chris McLennan.

Shot on location in Glenorchy NZ for FX Bikes.

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23B Sarah Todd Lane, Waimauku 0812, Auckland, New Zealand   P +64 9 411 9561 F +64 9 411 9562   info@cmphoto.co.nz