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    • I have been riding this bike for years yet I don't really have any memorable shots of it. Hundreds of scenic pictures of the bike leaning against something... All standard riding shots. So for once I thought this bike has earned a tribute and needed a proper photoshoot ๐Ÿ˜œ.

      I took the bike off the indoor trainer where it spends most of its time these days and loaded it up in the car. There is a local sunset spot with a nice boat pier that I thought was perfect for this shoot. Now the hard part was to nail the lighting conditions and a perfect angle to show off the bike.

      I'll go in the details next, but for now this is the final shot:

    • Like most of the bike shots out there I first started with a standard side angle, which shows off the drivetrain and all of the components nicely. The bike looked great, but it didn't really capture the character of the scenery...

    • I decided that it needed a bit more scenery. So I ran to the adjacent pier to capture this beautiful scenery. But after looking at it again later it felt too dominating over the bike.

    • Backtracking to the original idea of showing more of the bike and less of the scene, I rushed back and decided to turn the bike at 45 degrees to the camera. This proved to be the winning formula. At this angle I could see more of the scenery behind the bike while deemphasizing the bike stand that really bothered me in the previous shots.

      Only after taking this picture I realized just how much the street lights added to the character of the shot. So I reframed the photo from vertical to horizontal and captured more of them as seen in the final shot in the first post.

    • While doing this photoshoot I learned a few things:

      1. Have a sturdy bike stand - even with a small gusts of wind the aero wheels pushed the bike over and it actually fell twice while shooting. You can see the water bottles not fully seated in the cages from the impact that I only noticed after reviewing the photos the next day.

      2. Come earlier than you think you should - I thought I was generous having almost an hour to shoot, but the lighting conditions changed so fast during the sunset. Each minute the light looked slightly different and you don't want to scramble at the last minute trying to set the bike up.

      3. Seize the moment and try different angles - I was pretty dead set on a shot I wanted to get. In my mind I had it all figured out way before I even got to the place. It was going to be a shot of the bike against the sunset. I know it sounds cheesy, but that was the plan... Well, while shooting the bike against the sun (HDR mode really helped bring back the details of the bike) I happened to look the other way and see this amazing blue and purple sky. I immediately scrambled my original plan and went for a new plan. So keep your eyes open and don't forget to look back ๐Ÿ˜‰.

    • The last is definitely my fave. I like how the piers follow the lines of the seat tube. HDR helps, for sure, along w/ pushing the lows in post. Also, of course, a healthy dose of flash, with the exposure metered for the sunset would help even out the exposure. I like positioning the front crank arm along the line of the seat tube/ chainstay or down tube so as to not introduce extra angles. Pedals horizontal, if they behave. Wind notwithstanding, I've seen alot of people find balance using all sorts of random objects stuck beneath the far pedal.

    • The colors really are spectacular in these. Nice to see them reflected in the wheels. The lampposts (when there're more than one of them) really do add to the perspective.

    • Those are awesome suggestions @driveshaft, especially propping something behind the front wheel (like a rock) to ground it from the wind gusts.

      I brought a small acrylic pedestal that I mean to prop the pedal on, but didn't end up using as the wind was too strong to keep the bike upright. I also like to keep the cranks parallel to the chainstays for nicer alignment and so it doesn't cover up the brand name of the bike.

      My mental gears are already turning for ideas of another photoshoot. This time I'm going to recruite my friend and his super bike to take another stab at it ๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Great pics and angles... being a bike geek though, what really sticks out to me and draws my attention is the downward angle of the saddle. I'm conditioned to viewing bikes as having perfectly level saddles that the angle immediately draws my eye.

    • I might lower the seat per your suggestion for the next shoot, Dave. Haven't even thought about it until you've pointed it out. Generally I ride in a very aggressive position on a road bike and time trial bike so having both set up with a big drop makes it easier to switch back and forth. Since my primary sport is triathlon, I don't really follow the UCI rules for stem / saddle reach and positioning.

    • Like you, Ridge I am pretty finicky about the bike angles as well. The saddle I have on the bike is unconventional with a split nose and semi rounded top, so it exacerbates the look of a forward tilt of the saddle. I go by the actual rails being parallel to the ground, which they almost are.

      Here is another angle from the shoot that shows it a little better:

    • Zero, in my opinion; they detract from the aeshtetic of the bike against the backdrop.

      Bonus if you have really well-designed cages... cough-cough.

    • That's not an ISM saddle is it? doesn't strike me as an ISM profile, but they're the only noseless saddle makers I'm aware of.

      I just fitted one to my longtail the other day to try it out.

      I did notice the huge drop from saddle to bars. That's a serious tuck to be cranking out the miles on a trainer. It's super helpful to keep the habit, and keep the aero line as consistent as possible though. I'm long since past my triathlon days, and my hamstring flexibility has gone to the shitter, so that looks pretty painful to me. :D

    • The saddle is actually Dash Cycles - Strike Saddle. I absolutely love it and have another version of it on my TT bike, which replaced my previously favorite ISM Adamo Prologue.

      As for the comfort and the fit all I can say is that last year I did a 200 Miler solo ride on this exact set up and the saddle was the least of my problems. Everything hurt on and after that ride ๐Ÿ˜‚.

      I didn't know you were a triathlete! I love meeting people who are just as passionate about this crazy sport as I am.

      Here is a pic of it from the photoshoot:

    • This location looks super familiar! Does it happen to be the Alviso Marina? I used to ride my bike around that area all the time when I lived in San Jose; it has what I can only describe as an "otherworldly" beauty.

    • Youโ€™ve nailed it and simultaneously revealed my โ€œsecretโ€ photo shoot location ๐Ÿ˜‚.

      It is my go-to spot for running, biking and sunset viewing. Every time I go there Iโ€™m amazed at how a place like this can exist in the heart of Silicon Valley with all of its craziness. It is truly a sanctuary for the soul and deep reflections.

      Sometimes it truly does look out of this world:

    • This is the exact spot from the picture of your bike but at a different time of the year. It happens a few days a year when the salt ponds evaporate and the view of the sunset is trully breathtaking.