A Night with Harley

My Unexpected 24-70mm Usage

As a landscape photographer, I tend to go wide-angle a lot… Actually, I don’t particularly “like” (not facebook-like, like-like) being called a “landscape photographer” — but I know people like to categorize, and it’s better than being called a “underwear tester”.

So back to the wide-angle bit. I love my Nikon 14-24 lens… and when I go on trips, I expect to use that the most! However, I notice that this current photo-adventure in Iceland, I am using my 24-70 most of the time. About 70% of the time! I find it gets me the compression and framing I need for so many landscape situations.

I’ll have to add more photos soon to my Nikon 24-70 Review here on the site… but it is a very versatile lens!

Daily Photo – A Night with Harley

These bikes are really a fun subject for photography. I get excited every time I head out for one of these events. There are so many styles, customizations, and characters behind them… you never see the same thing twice.

Setting up for these photos is also somewhat of a fun challenge. Getting the right “background” is very important to me… sometimes it just does not work out, so I have to move on and leave a pretty bike alone. The other thing about these bikes, which you don’t realize until you take thousands of photos of them, is that you probably only have a 12.5% chance of getting a good composition and background. I break it down thusly:

  • 50% chance that the bike is on its kick stand and leaning the direction you want.  These are just too hard to shoot from the downward-leaning side.
  • Compounded by a 50% chance the background area is boring, distracting, inappropriate, or otherwise unpalatable
  • Compounded by another 50% chance that the bike will be blocked by another bike, since these tend to travel in flocking patterns, like their riders.


  • casusan

    Oh wow! What a cool shot – love the reds and blues (and the background!:) I know you’re in Iceland – but guess you know the harley’s were in Austin last weekend! Super shot Trey!

  • Reminds me of the bike in that movie ‘Ghost Rider’ – why aren’t there cool bikes like this in Scotland?

  • Thanks!

    Andy – I bet there are a few… hiding around… are there any big harley-fest things in Scotland… There must be…they are everywhere!

  • Oh yeah we have them – I just need to keep my eyes open a wee bit more. My great Uncle used to collect classic cars and bikes and often took them to local competitions – he was quite successful i believe. We also have a Harley shop about 5 minutes from my office which is cool.

  • What a spectacular photo of a bike, Trey!!! Some of them we see going down the road really are done up so nicely!! They have biker meetings once in a while in Missoula, but it’s not something we are into. I have a parapalegic(spelling) online friend I must forward this photo to. He was hurt in a motorcycle accident, but loves going to the bike shows. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I love that photo! And I love how you are secretly (or not so secretly) a nerd and break down the odds so mathematically.

    I do primarily landscape photos too. I’ve never considered using a wide angled lens for it, but that makes sense. Hmm… perhaps that will be my next lens purchase!

  • Hi Trey, if you’re feeling a bit of deja vu don’t worry I asked this question last week, but figured I’d try you again. You’re a busy guy and I can appreciate that. One question that I would be so grateful for an answer to. What equipment do you use when you shoot panoramic stitched images? Meaning what tripod/stitcher head are you using and what software? Thank you!

  • Lisa Bradley

    Ahhh, Trey, I love your bike pics!

    ROT Rally definitely took over Austin this weekend–Republic of Texas biker rally, for those not familiar with it. I’ve shared your bike photos with my son who is stationed in S. Korea and had to miss this year’s rally. He loves seeing what you’ve created and it’s a little bit of home for a soldier who longs for Texas and the open road!

  • LA Roadsters “hot rod” show at the Los Angeles (Pomona) Fairgrounds this week end. Although the 14-24mm has done well there, I will be carrying the 24-70mm exclusively. By the way … the 14-24 does not do well for me with static aircraft. The “aspect ratio” and height results in annoying “distortion” looking upward while it works very well with automobiles. The aircraft are too “geometric” to tolerate the atchitectural compression … mostly because of height while cars do quite well. A “downward” aircraft shot would be much better (like at the Space and Aviation Museum in DC). Just an observation … not dogma. Motorcycles also at the Pomona show but mostly 30s rods. The winter indoor show is even better because of the specular lighting.

  • Gail

    I do love this shot, but Trey, I would love it if you would give sportbikes a chance. You have a few pictures of Harleys, but nothing else. That’s all I ride, and they look amazing when photographed correctly… not that this link is a good example of that… http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1.

  • Wow, love the colors in this photo.

    Hey i was wondering how i would contact you or who ever deals with image licensing, i found a photo of yours, being used on a website home page that has been changed alot (cropping).

  • Cheryl McGregor

    it’s better than being called a “underwear tester”.

    You could be an underarm sniffer 🙂 There is a cool book out there called Odd Jobs. Your son would probably love it 🙂

  • Linda Castellani

    Trey, did you use the Spicify filter for that shot? I absolutely love it, and it puts me in mind of the shot you did of the car in Vegas.

  • Nice pic, love the lights and colors.

    I am a bike event shooting addict and always just knew there was some stat related to the difficulties associated with the process – very nice! I am categorized as a bike photographer but consider my self a “rural circumstance imager” – when something catches my eye down here (I always have the cam) I take some pics -;0)



  • Michael

    Way cool shot!
    I live in the same building as the local HD store and the bikers gather outside the shop every once so often before taking off on the next adventure.

  • Travis

    Nice shot Trey. What is that weird streak from the seat up to the top of the frame?

  • Aha – I think that is a light post!

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  • Hey, you’re the goto expert. Thanks for hagnnig out here.

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