In practice

Strobist & bicycle

A quick glance at a photo shoot with a model like no other; a bike.

Take a camera and a bike to make a “portrait”. Soon you will find that the bike is not very photogenic. Only lines: tubes, cables, wheels, etc … Nothing very graceful to bring out the aesthetics. To remedy this, nothing like a little complementary light to emphasize the different elements. This is where flash techniques come, inspired by strobist.

If you want to know more about Strobist, download the excellent Strobist 101.


Before seeing the shot in itself, let’s quickly talk about material. It’s quite simple: a camera, flashes and what to trigger them.

For me :

In this particular case, the use of a device like the Canon 1DX-MkII is not necessary. For the purpose, the use of a telephoto lens allows to obtain a beautiful depth of field easily.


To highlight the bike lines, without any particular effect, the setup is simple:

  • Make the frame
  • Underexpose of about -1.7 EV and making sure to shoot below 1/200 (maximum sync speed)
  • Add 45 ° light to the right and 45 ° to the left​

Which gives the setup below:

Setup flash – back view

Three-quarter view this gives:

Setup flash – three-quarter view

The setting up only takes a few minutes, but for what result will you tell me!


An image is better than a long speech, so here are 4 images:

Pour aller plus loin

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Nicolas Beaumont is a photojournalist, director and writer specializing in social and humanitarian photography. Among our clients are the French Red Cross, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex, Actusoins. We make films, photographs and articles around the world on current topics: migration, war, displaced, natural disaster, flood etc...

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