I spent an afternoon in the garage, taking some photos of bicycle parts. My primary goal was to get a nice black and white photo of the seatpost and saddle of my mountain bike. There is a very "intimate" relationship that builds between a cyclist and their saddle, and my mountain bike saddle has this really worn-out look that I just love. I decided I wanted a print to hang somewhere, with the saddle and seatpost with some interesting background in b & w. After I shot for an hour so and put everything away, I wondered if it were possible to get a shot of an entire bicycle in the garage.
Not the easiest task, given that my backgrounds are only a tiny bit bigger than a bicycle. This meant that in my garage, the bike would have to be placed about 10 inches away from the background and I would have to shoot from the other dies of the garage. Immediately, I foresaw a problem....how to get the bike lit without light spilling over onto the backdrop. I could shoot hi-key, but I really wanted lo-key. After a few half-assed attempts with the black background and trying to block off the speedlight light from the background, I decided to give light painting a try.
After the first shot, it was clear it was the way to go for several reasons. Not only could I better control the amount of light on the background, I could also light the black bike parts from multiple angles so that they would stand out better against the background. Below are a few examples of what I got. I didn't spend too much time on them, since none of them were even clean, but I like the look and feel of dirty bicycles in glamour shots.