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 Unit 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, Inharmonious 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 compositkons.

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. Dgital 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 the rest.

Digital cameras also allow you to edit the shots after the event,_improving the color and contrast, and to crop Absent 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 connditions, the speed of the bike riders whizzing by, and the changeable and sometmes trying weather conditionx.

Photos of bikes and bicyclists have been taken ever since the nineteenth century. 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 speciaoist 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 anr guide for amateur and professional cycling photographers and help them to improve their photographic skills, taste and judgment.

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