Getting the perfect shot from in the saddle presents a range of challenges. The cyclists on Instagram who do it well capture incredible moments of their riding on the road and trails that you consistently stop and stare at when scrolling through your feed post ride. You may be inspired to improve your ride images but remember it’s going to take practice, and an investment of your time and maybe some money to really improve your photos. From compositing the image to capturing, editing and finally presenting it on social media you can improve your on the ride photography skills pretty easily. Here are five tips to get you started.
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1) Focus on good composition
Before snapping a quick pic from the saddle, consider how you are framing your image. Maybe you need to stop or slow down to take this shot. Cyclists with smartphones at their fingertips will be tempted just to pull the phone out for a quick photo but for better results slow down a bit to think about your shot. Frame your subject, consider the background and find the right angle. You might have to stop or get off your bike to take a better photo but it’ll sure be better than a blurry photo taken at speed.
2) Forget the zoom on your smartphone camera
Digital zoom is not the best way to get closer to your subject when taking photos with a smartphone. Get closer to your subject instead and if you want to change what’s in your frame, crop in the image for a better result than using the digital zoom. Since smartphone camera’s don’t have zooms, you might need to reconsider how to capture something that is far away.
3) Take the time to edit your images
After you’ve got a photo you are happy with, make sure to make some edits to get it just right. Skip the Instagram filters and instead adjust lighting, the colours and contrast manually. You can do this in the Instagram app, with your phones photo software or with a third party editing app of your choosing.
4) A compact camera is a big upgrade over your phone
A smartphone camera is no competition to a modern digital camera, despite how excellent smartphone cameras have become. There are more compact camera options which can drastically up your photography game if you want to spend the cash to make the upgrade. While you can still take great photos with just a smartphone, investing in a compact camera or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that fits in a handlebar bag can help you capture better images. A better camera can really especially detail with high contrast and low light situations far better than a smartphone.
5) Write something insightful in the caption
While a good photo can tell its own story, a good caption can really give the admirer of your work some interesting context. Think about saying something insightful in the space Instagram affords you about what lead to the image or an interesting detail about your ride. Telling a story beyond the photo can really help capture an audience of fellow cyclists who when they scroll through their feeds and come across one of your images, will stop a moment longer to admire your work. Remember to also include some hashtags so fellow cyclists can find your photos.