It has always been a dream to photograph the Tour de France. Every year I watch the Tour on TV and every year I imagine what it would be like to ride backwards on a motorcycle while photographing the riders. Last weekend I got to live out this little dream, on a much smaller scale. Rather than pedaling my way throughout the scenic 50-mile route, this year I hopped on the back of this machine.
And here was my trusty driver.
Maine Photo Adventures was one of the sponsors of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s annual Lobster Ride. This is their biggest fundraiser on the year with over 900 riders gathering to partake in the various bike rides. It was very hard to skip the actual pedaling this year in order to do the photography, but it was a fun experience.
I was more interested in the story-telling aspect than just taking action shots of the riders, but of course, I also took plenty of those types of shots . . .
More interesting to me where the other details of the day. I found it amusing how many times I captured people using their cell phones . . . checking messages, taking photos, and Facebooking during the ride.
To give the sense of what the day was like I tried to capture the riders off their bikes, stretching and just enjoying the scenery.
It’s especially nice when you look really close to grab some detail that you might have otherwise not even noticed, like this baby’s expression. Never too young to ride!
I was mostly trying to grab video snippets of the riders underway and the motorcycle certainly allowed me to get some interesting perspectives, especially when the cyclists tried to draft behind the motorcycle! Sometimes I would see a scene as we were zipping down the road that made us stop and go back to grab the shot, like these two ladies stopped on the side of the road surrounded by purple flowers.
Something I learned while shooting this event was that taking video using a DSLR while on a moving motorcycle is NOT easy. I will therefore be shopping for a pocket camcorder immediately. Over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together a promotional video to advertise the next Lobster Ride using a combination of the video snippets along with many of the cool still photos I took. Please stay tuned to see the final result.