Borrowing from classic automotive pinup, a body in profile with outstretched legs is paired with the lines of a 1967 Triumph motorcycle. Although more accustomed to off-road motorcycles, our statuesque subject felt at home on this classic British two-wheeler. This motorcycle pinup nude photograph is both an homage to the genre as well as my own take on it.
I chose to combine faded colors, her retro look, and this bike because I feel the go together. It gives the feeling she and the bike were the same generation, and might have been photographed in the late 1980s.
The palette is dominated by earth tones and cold blacks. Hints of blue and amber punctuate the color scheme. The rich, brown leather of the saddle complements the deep shading on the back of her descending thigh and calf. Cold blues stand out in the highlights of the metal. The brake light is a subdued ruby red, allowing it to recede with the tones of the saddle and background.
She is perched on the leather, but not in a riding position. She gazes into the distance, presenting an overtly feminine outline against the inky black. One foot is pointed downward, toes on the ground, heel up. The other rests against the bike. One arm is visible, though both hands are hidden. Oil beneath the engine signifies that the bike is venerable yet functional.
Her long flowing hair, curves, and outstretched pose are all nods to iconic pinup images that preceded. The subject’s classic features are also well suited to the category.
Photographing pinup presents a special challenge to create an image that is fresh. The legendary Triumph motorcycle brand brings its own lore, from Steve McQueen movies to the enduring design details of the bike. Angling the bike away from the camera and showcasing the pitted chrome, rust, and grime are a couple of variations from the norm. The emphasis on pattern, texture, line, and color are slight deviations from the storied pinup genre that inspired this motorcycle pinup nude photograph.