what goes into a simple shot of a man on a bike

Friday lunchtime I had a shoot booked that had taken quite a bit of planning. I had a theme of bike to work and wanted to experiment with motion blurs and test the focus tracking of the Nikon D700. To do this I had arranged to borrow a tandem, to be piloted by a willing and steady assistant, whilst I sat on the back and tried to track another cyclist following us. This was a lot more difficult than might seem at first.

The model had to be directed as to where he was needed for the shot, I had to turn backwards, with no hands on the back of the tandem, which throws it off line. I had to handhold the camera, but to get the desired amount of blur whilst moving quite rapidly on the tandem required shutter speeads of between 1/8 and 1/30 of a second, which calls for a steady hand and smooth shutter release. The attrition rate of shots was consequently very high I took about 200, got many with very artistic but ultimately useless blur and several that I am very pleased with. The original plan had been to use a Surly Big Dummy, which would have allowed me to sit backwards and take the shots, however the guy that I knew with one has just sold it. I suppose I can always add one to the list of urgently required essential photgraphic equipment. Anyway here are the best shots and a couple of the useless blur, which I happen to like quite a lot! Any comments as usual are always welcome.

For the technically minded, equipment Nikon D700, 35mm f2 AF-D lens, aperture priority, continuous high speed shooting and focus tracking modes. Landescape tandem, Pashley Guvnor, Brompton 3-speed.