Do you want to learn about taking good cycling photos? If so, you have landed on the right webpage. Here I will show you the best tricks that help you get candid shots without any help from professionals.
You are aware that cycling has grown in popularity over the years and all thanks to Tour De France, the most popular bicycle race in the world. Cycling photography is not easy, and you are cycling fast, and movements are hard to capture.
Well, if you want to get static cycling shots, that can work fine, but for the dynamic angles and pans, you will need to be proficient to get the most out of cycling photography.
So, let’s begin and know the super tricks.
Camera Settings for Cycling Photography
Let’s start first with camera settings, as I think it is very important to take candid shots. What do you think?
- Use Flash
In my personal experience, flash is best to capture stunning movements. Even photographers in Tour De France use flash under the sun to take shots. Moreover, using strobe filters can give dynamic images. So, follow the lead and start your flash in the sun and even intuition. However, if you have a point-and-shoot camera, you need to turn on auto mode into flash mode.
- Set Shutter Speed
Setting shutter speed up to 1/250 of a second or more. Well, many digital SLR cameras have automatic modes in setting the camera for sports, so you can take photos easily. Don’t worry if you use slower shutter speed with panning, and it can be best too. One tip I would share is that if you need a more dramatic shot, setting shutter speed up to 1/30 to 1/15 will work best.
- Don’t overlook the background
You might know that pro photographers often pay attention to backgrounds, as it helps you get the best photo. For instance, if you want to take a shot of the passing cycle, you must focus on passing the road. However, not all backgrounds should be captured as disturbing lights, poor buildings, street signs, and more.
- Shoot High and low
Let me tell you; this is another way of arresting cycling shots in your camera. Try shooting up low to the ground angle to up in the air. When shooting from high and low angles, you will indeed create the best images that give a lifetime eye-catching picture to you.
Best Camera for Cycling Photography
Besides camera settings, I think the camera should be perfect in your hands if you need candid photos. If I look into options, the best camera is fun and practical. So, for your ease here, I am suggesting a few cameras.
- Go Pro Hero 10, Black
- Insta360 Go 2
- Akaso V50 X
- Insta 360 One R Twin Edition
- DJI Action 2
Best Tips To Take Photos While Cycling
To get the best shots, I spoke to professionals and know about some cool tips that you should be aware of too. Let’s dive in!
- Zoom In
Cycling events often occur at velodromes, where a telephone zoom lens is best to capture the shots quickly. With the use of a 300mm lens, you can compress the background and focus on the single cyclist or the small pack. However, with the long focal length of the lens and cyclist’s speed, you are better off setting the lens to get the continuous focus mode.
- Pan with action
Cycling sport is all about motion. So, if you want to take cyclist photographs with a clear sense of motion, then pan with action can help you get the best shots when the shutter is open. Since when you pan and track the cyclist while the shutter is opening or closing, you will inject the blur motion in the background.
What if you have a sharp rider? So here is the trick for you. Turn on the M mode and set the shutter speed 1/10s – 1-60s that ensures your camera movement will be a blur. Also, you must have a tight aperture that ensures the cyclist is sharp under the blurred surroundings.
- Capture the face of the cyclist
One of the effective ways to capture candid shots is when you are able to capture the struggle of cyclists. And face can best illustrate the struggle. With this cycling photography, the photographer can capture shots like sweat, stress, grimaces, pain, determination, and the winning spirit he has with him. So, when taking shots ready for the fast-paced movement and set the lens accordingly. Also, keep the sensor points tight to trigger the best movement.
- Try Something Unique
Personally, I believe capturing the best and sometimes going beyond limitations can give you exactly what you need. This is also a great technique that essentially creates the best image that might enhance your happiness, too—adding textures, capturing all cyclists, taking shots of objects, and more. You can even try more perspectives of your choice.
- Capture Continuous Mode
Have you ever tried this? If not, then give it a try. This is even called the biggest digital photography you can take without switching to the recording medium. However, when action is fast, explosive, and vibrant, you want to capture everything, so using continuous mode can capture 2-To 4 shots in a couple of seconds.
Also, remember one thing when you capture with continuous mode, use a large aperture for the high-quality effects.
How do you pose on cycling?
I think this makes you excited, as no one wants to look boring and tired. So, let’s know the best poses that help you look the best.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed- If you want to capture your best shot, then shoulders should be relaxed, not stiff. If you’re pushing yourself hard to climb up, stiff shoulders creep up the pose. So, for this, lower down your shoulders from the face and keep it away from the ears; it eventually makes it easier for you to turn the traffic and keep alert.
- Bend your elbows; it allows your arms to act as a suspension. Also, it helps you ride a bike with less pressure. And when it comes to posing, it seems professional.
- Don’t overlook the spine. If you don’ understand this, let me tell you this is like a cat and cow position in yoga. One of the best ways to position or maintain a neutral spine is to keep your body relaxed and fairly straight from your hips and shoulders.
- When it comes to knees so, ensure the knee is tracking over the ball of the pedal. If the knees are bowing out from the side while riding, it looks funny, and it indeed causes you pain. So, maintain the knees position.
How to photograph bike race?
For the coolest racing bike photography, one must follow the camera settings which I already explained earlier. The second important thing is carrying the whole equipment with you, so you won’t find the issue.
If you’re wondering what kind of equipment do you need? So here is the answer.
Depending on the location, several types of equipment are mandatory to have with you. For instance, if you are shooting indoors, a telephone lens is crucial. Also, I recommend using at least a 30mm lens along with a tripod to support the long hours of photography. However, if you are shooting outdoor, which I personally love, I would recommend you to take a standard lens, telephoto with zoom facility, and telephoto lens is useful. For the high-quality pictures, you can get down to f/2.8 that sharper your photos with faster speeds.
Road Bike Photography
I couldn’t find the perfect road bike photography tips as I think it mainly depends on the photographer and camera you are taking the shots with. However, the tips like- taking photos from the right side of the road, turned cranks, highest gear, and bizarre location might work to photograph your bike immensely.
The Bottom Line
So, with the above discussion and guide, I hope you have found the best information you need. However, the pro tip I need to give you is to experiment the new things. Whether you are a newbie or professional, changing angles and trying new shots by altering shutter speed can really help you a lot. And I personally believe learning by yourself gives you the best satisfaction.
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.