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  #1  
Old 14 Aug 2010
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'Wheelie' Good Shot..?

Hey Folks!

I'm planning a 'Wheelie' good Euro tour for this September (2010) and want to have a picture taken outside a famous monument in the capital cities I'm heading through.
The problem is, I'll be pulling a wheelie! (a short/small one) and want the proof picture to encompass this with the building/monument in the background. I'm asking for help with the communities with taking the shot but would like some advice on the best way of taking the picture..?
I have a digital SLR (Canon EOS 1000D) and a compact (Samsung L77). Time will not on my side due to the short wheelie and the slight disregard of local 'official opinion'! So I'd like to set up the camera myself so the helper can point and shoot reasonably discreetly and not get into trouble as an accomplice!

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated and here's the list of places so if anyone knows of a good angle or vantage point, again I'd appreciate it!

Scotland-Edinburgh- Edinburgh Castle
England- London- Big Ben (Poss Millenium Eye or Tower of London)
France- Paris- Eiffel Tower or L'Arc de Triomphe
Andorra- Andorra la Vella
Spain- Madrid- Plaza de Cibeles
Portugal- Lisbon- Tower of Belem
Italy- Rome- Collisieum
Liechtenstein- Vaduz (?)
Switzerland- Bern- Zyteglogge
Germany- Berlin- Brandemberg Gate
Belgium- Brussels- Mannequin Pis (or Atomium)
Netherlands- Amsterdam- Dam Platz

I'm know some people don't agree, that's ok and I've already been told to 'grow up!' but I'm asking for advice on photography, not the trip itself.

Many Thanks in advance

Geoff
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  #2  
Old 14 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffshing View Post
Germany- Berlin- Brandemberg Gate

I'm know some people don't agree, that's ok and I've already been told to 'grow up!' but I'm asking for advice on photography, not the trip itself.
well OK as a project in photographic terms... why not...
can't see much difference of taking pictures between a red sofa or a wheely in front of a famous building... (same story, different image)

right give you some advice regarding the Berlin location... which I know about...
have a look at Google-earth and you will know.
from the south of the gate, there is a long and wide area (public T-junction road with dual lane design) both ways... often used as location for all sort of events... if the traffic is right I cant see a problem of doing multiple wheelies... opposite of the gate there is a small traffic island as well right in the middle of the big gate... no problems of placing a camera there for taking the panorama shot (with some one who is taking the image)... the traffic lights will give you a short time window without traffic and lot's of space...
just keep off the area where all the tourists and pedestrians are wondering around... and make sure you are faster than all the traffic wardens and security police in the area... the German "Reichstag" building with all this politicians near by is littered of them.... German security guys always look out for trouble makers and don't even accept a joke... so you better watch out...

now I would give it a go... even on German registered plates... ... foreign plates will most likely be no further problem of getting a ticket send you home, even if they take your number... as long they don't physical manage to stop you, don't worry...

best time I reckon would be early mornings or late after noon, regarding the light... in mornings ride from left to right, in the evenings do the wheely from right to left... will bring you the sun light from the front in to your face... the building is placed axial west/east... so you will get most of the side striking light, contrast and deepness in to the pics...

regarding the many spectators around the Brandenburg gate... well there are so many events taking place in front of it and there are so many crazy folk around... they may not even notice at all....

good luck...
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  #3  
Old 14 Aug 2010
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Can't really offer much advice other than suggesting street view on google could be your friend for finding suitable vantage points, you should be able to use it to get a rough idea of where to take the photo.

As an example Westminster Bridge
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Old 14 Aug 2010
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Google Maps

Your right guys, Google maps is good prep for ideas.

I'm getting some good responses from offers of help taking the shots.

On some of the REALLY touristy areas an early morning shot is probably the better idea. We'll have to wait and see when I get there as I'm not comfortable doing it with crowds of people around for safety reasons, (knowing me some tourist will walk in front looking in the opposite direction) and obviously the police will not be too chuffed if there's lots of people around also.

It's gonna be interesting at least!
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Old 14 Aug 2010
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Edinburgh Castle difficult at this time of year, normally car park at front would be ideal but tattoo foils that. Number of tourists make front on approach risky, but maybe a view from Princes street as you head up the mound ?
Eiffel Tower - while since I rode this street, but really only one road nearby where you have access. Plently of space looking across street in direction of Tower so should be no problem getting a good clear shot.
May be in Ed this weekend, if so will get in touch for a quick if you're free.

Chris
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  #6  
Old 15 Aug 2010
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I'm guessing you're confident enough about being able to pull a wheelie to order and therefore not worried about that side of things. If so, it's going to come down to how good the snapper is at catching the moment. You're going to need someone with a bit of photographic experience as it's not as easy as it looks. I've got 25yrs of professional sports photography experience and I wouldn't undertake this lightly

I'd be planning a route that took me to the more tricky locations (= edgy police and security) at 6.00am on a Sunday morning and first walk the route with the photographer looking for the best angle and lighting. Agree a point where the front is going to come up and make a decision on what the picture should look like - is it going to be a long shot with a telephoto or in close with a wide angle, with the light or against it for example. Some of that is going to depend on what the surroundings are like. To make the final collection interesting you really should have a mix. Talking of that, what are you going to do with the results? Publish a calendar?

Having agreed all of that you should both have an idea in your minds as to what the picture should look like. It should be possible to sketch it out so there is no misunderstanding. You should then be able to get it done in one take. Going round again because the photographer missed it could lead to problems in some of the locations you've listed.

Get the photographer to take some "blank" shots - from the location but without the bike, in case you need some assistance from Photoshop later
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  #7  
Old 15 Aug 2010
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Get yourself an external EX420 flash gun and a remote release as well as a tripod.

16CH 100M Radio Wireless Remote For Canon RS-60E3 AS01 on eBay (end time 03-Sep-10 03:54:34 BST)

(not condoning them or supporting them as a seller -just picked it off flebay)

Generally speaking you will be using a wider angle lens, it would be worth getting a prime for this task, unless you have an expensive zoom, I would still use something like a 20mm prime.

Manual mode:
1> Focus on where the bike will be and use the depth of field preview button to see if the background will be in focus - Change to manual focus on the lens
(remember to change back)

2>Adjust the aperture until the background is in focus, without changing the focus position by holding down the depth of field preview button.
try to keep the smallest figure possible, ie open aperture.

3>Adjust the shutter speed until the [Evaluative] metering tells you the ground in the background is exposed correctly.
I am presuming that it will be early morning or later afternoon so you will be looking at a slower shutter speed, about 1/15th 1/30th or 1/60th.
Anything above 1/200th - increase the aperture
Adjust ISO accordingly, lowest number suitable.

The Flash will help to control the foreground exposure of you and the bike itself, add some more punch and fill in the shadows if taken at midday.
The other reason for the flash is to freeze movement above and beyond the shutterspeed. For this purpose I suggest that you use 2nd curtain.
You could duct tape the remote to the clutch lever for that precise moment.

(Set up on a tripod and ride past as slowly as you can and still get the wheelie, whilst CF12 is useful, it becomes too much of a faff with remote release unless you are running back and forth to and from the camera each shot.)

Try to avoid or cover up with mud any reflective markings.

Thats pretty much it.
Apart from the obligatory tourist camera theft scenario as you ride off having set up the camera to go to your run up!
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  #8  
Old 15 Aug 2010
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100m remote

A 100m remote, brilliant! I'll get one just in case I have to take the shot myself.

A bunch of people have VERY kindly offered to help with taking the picture and in some places more than one person so with any luck I could have the advantage of more than one angle and choose the best. Also, what am I going to do with the pictures...? Hmm. I thought about doing video also and editing (with stills) about my little adventure, as I'm sure there'll be ups and downs etc and chucking it on YouTube. As for a Calendar... I didn't realise there were exactly 12 locations, with an extra-- Luxemburg! (nearly Forgot!) So I could have a cover shot too!

I know time will be against me but I'm hoping on an early morning shot and with Digital nowadays the taking of numerous pictures isn't a bother, I have a reasonable digital SLR, 4x4GB SD cards, an external flash, a tripod and remote button (wired), an 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses, UV and Polar lenses and I'm enthusiastic when trying. I can set up the camera prior to the shot, possibly with the bike in also (stationary) and all the helper has to do is time the release button.
The wheelie I can pull on demand but safety is my main concern, If It's not safe for those around me I'll not do it and come back another time. Mannequin Pis (Belgium) is a tough one as it's a tight little lane!! So REALLY EARLY or the Atomium would be better. I'm crawling over Google Map Images all day..!
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Old 15 Aug 2010
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My suggestion would be to Get the Canon 28mm f2.8 lens its smaller than your 18-55 and much better quality, but first check if you will find this focal length suitable on your set up (using the exif data)
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Old 16 Aug 2010
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Ill happily help with the Big Ben...if you go to where the hippies hang out opposite & lie down low, ull get a good shot...theres traffic lights there too, so you get a clear head start...only problem is the cops (&there are alot of them) all along westminster...(plenty armed bike cops too!)
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Old 31 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairybiker View Post
Ill happily help with the Big Ben...if you go to where the hippies hang out opposite & lie down low, ull get a good shot...theres traffic lights there too, so you get a clear head start...only problem is the cops (&there are alot of them) all along westminster...(plenty armed bike cops too!)
Personally, I'd sugggest photograph from the otherside of westminster bridge (whilst travelling down it), most likely to get the whole building in that way and some context, although you'll have to make sure there are no buses/vans/trucks on the bridge at the time, it would ruin the shot. Maybe a late night shot, building is well lit so no problem, and would give you a chance for a re-shoot.

This is what I have in mind:
westminster bridge - Google Maps
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