A Norton in Vermont, with BTS Video

Here’s an exciting post about what happens deep in the labs where PocketWizard radio triggers are developed, as told by Dave Schmidt, Sales and Marketing Director.

©Chris Valites

Occasionally we rip ourselves away from our desks to actually use all the amazing gear we have around the office. Here’s the story of one such occasion.

Last spring we were in a meeting talking about sourcing new products when the conversation shifted to one of my other favorite subjects – motorcycles. Turns out our visitor, Jack, also happens to own a little motorbike restoration shop nearby called The Classic Bike Experience that specializes in bringing British bikes back to life. I had recently been over to Birmingham, UK for the Focus on Imaging show and happened upon the National Motorcycle Museum  so I was acutely aware of how cool old British bikes are. At the end of the meeting, I said if there is a bike they were interested in shooting to give me a call and we’ll bring it into our studio.

©Dave Schmidt

A few weeks later my phone rang and it was Jack from The Classic Bike Experience. He had just finished restoring a 1976 Norton Commando 850 and he wanted to know if the deal was still on the table before he shipped it off to its new owner in Colorado. About 30 minutes later the bike was being unloaded and rolled into our studio for a photo session.

Chris Valites, one of our tech support masterminds, graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology’s photo program not too many years ago and he’s a master in the studio. We went to work building the lighting setup for this very well-polished and shiny work of mechanical art.

The final set-up for the key shot had seven studio lights with various modifiers aimed at the bike and a handful of reflectors redirecting some of the spillage. Chris took the main image into Photoshop to clean up some of the reflections and I went to town on some detail shots.

We didn’t have a lot of time with the bike as Jack was back to pick it up after four hours.  As we rolled the bike outside the sun was setting and the natural light was pretty amazing so before we rolled it back in the trailer we took a few more shots in the parking lot before saying our goodbyes.

©Dave Schmidt

The key shot ran as a double-truck in the fall issue of Best of Burlington magazine (page 74 of the digital edition).

Now we just need to get back over to The Classic Bike Experience and take advantage of Jack’s offer to take another one of his bikes out for a spin!


All images, video, and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Dave Schmidt and Chris Valites, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.

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