About a month ago I got a really neat opportunity to work with Harley Davidson and world renown motorcycle tuner Vance and Hines here in Indianapolis on a project that I had no idea the scope of when I agreed to do it. The call came in very last minute (As sometimes they do) from my buddy Joe Lee, part time photographer full time magical space buyer for the City of Indianapolis and my schedule just happened to free up also very last minute. Last minute meaning literally at noon I agreed to shoot at 1pm and I happened to have just finished another job not far from this one. After a very brief description of what I would be doing (I was told I would be photographing a motorcycle but not much more) my assistant for the day and I stopped at Walmart and then headed over to Vance and Hines. This is what we found.
The bike was brand new, only one and a half in the world like it. A half because technically at the time Vance and Hines had another one, but it wasn’t assembled. We had the option of a few places to set up but we chose the area you see in the photos on not only Harley’s Website but media outlets like Jalopnik. If I am correct, the area is the prep and shipping area of Vance and Hines. (I could be wrong, but that’s a lot of what was going on there). Just goes to show that the area you see in photographs isn’t always what you think it is. We had to shoot ALL the shot list in that area there which is where my assistant Joe (seen below looking ultra sad for whatever reason) and that trip to Walmart that we made came into play huge.
You can see the light setup in that shot, which was mostly the light setup for the entire shoot. Shot with my Nikon D5 and a variety of lenses ranging from 24mm -200mm. Both studio heads were Phottix Indra500 units with my big ol Softboxes (30″x 60″ and 10″x 30″ strip box. There was also a Phottix Mitros+ on the floor about 20′ behind the bike to give a little light over the back tire, inside of the frame, and top of the seat as well as a Nikon SB900 with a Phottix ODIN2 receiver on the floor shooting into the 5 pieces of Foamcore that Joe had taped together to send a little bit of light back at the bike. The Phottix lights really killed it here, allowing me to make minute adjustments to all the pieces in this ballet of last second on location lighting. Being able to tie my Nikon Speedlights to my Phottix Speedlights, to my Indra heads was invaluable. The setup was mostly the same plus or minus some strobe power as well as some black or white foamcore we had purchased on the way. Not knowing the scope of the project, the foamcore was probably one of the best things we did that day.
The shotlist included things like the paint and design on the gas tank, (both sides since it’s Black on one side and RED on the other), a shot of the air filter system, the unique battery position and then the throttle body which had been redesigned and CNC Machined by Vance and Hines. Being completely unprepared for what I had to go in and shoot, I must say I am very pleased with the results.
In the end about a month passed and the photos went live. I got a nice email saying that the cat was out of the bag, and I started seeing the photos pop up all over the place. It’s immensely gratifying to see all the photos floating around, especially with such a neat and large project. This project and several others over the last month have also made it really difficult to keep up with my blogging and for that I apologize. Signing a Nondisclosure Agreement is no joke as it comes to things like this since I can’t really take photos with gear to review being unsure as to when I’ll be able to post the results amirite? So the two blogs I have for Sigma still waiting in the wings (the Sigma 50-100F1.8 and the Sigma Mount to Sony E-mount adapter) will be around shortly I hope now that I am back to any semblance of a regular schedule. Can’t say what just yet, but it looks like a lot of neat stuff is coming up this summer. Thanks for sticking with me, and as always. More Soon.