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Phlogger aka Andrew Walmsley

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Shooting a hog (with film)

Shooting hog is not literal, don’t worry.  This refers to the other hog, the one and only Harley Davidson motorcycle.  The bike has been an icon of many men across the globe, from the 18 year old to the middle aged man.  To some it is a status and collector’s item, to others, it is a joy and passion.

Combine the beauty of 2 wheels with a film camera (or two) and you have a match made in heaven.

The company

A friend owns and uses one of these massive beasts of engineering, unlike other who polish it like a trophy.  The detailing and contours of the metal and chrome are fabulous. It’s clear to see why the adolescent man drool over HOG’s.  The chrome is a step into the past, where chrome was on cars and bicycles. Sadly, chrome has been replaced with metals that don’t corrode – evolution.

shooting hog - phlogger shooting a hog harley davidson softtail
Harley Davidson Softail

Harley Davidson luckily are not one of the many manufacturers that have disappeared into the recession of time.  So many left the automobile industry and are nothing more than memories to some of us.

After speaking to a friend, it became clear a HOG was more than owning a motorbike. Harley Davidson are a manufacturer that pushes the concept of working with owners!  There are so integral in to the dealerships and owners.  What an amazing attitude that seems to be missing in the other industries.

The bike

The aforementioned friend commuted to work on his hog one day specifically to show us how beautiful the bike was.  You have already seen the pictures in an old article (click here).  Recently he has talked about the member’s magazine too with a view to the photography.After reading through some issues of the owners magazine, you have to be impressed. There are some lovely pictures taken from wandering hog riders around the globe.

Road king by Harley Davidson

My friend suggested I should think about shooting more HOG’s as your pictures could reach the world through their members’ magazine.  Another route would be local motorbike shows and events.  Luckily within a short period of time, a show on the Lincoln Brayford was advertised.

After the recent success with film photography, it was time to shoot more!  This time it would be the recently purchased Canon FTB QL and the trusty Olympus OM10.


The show

A rather sunny and hot morning approached, a couple of hours away from the family. A couple of cameras, a roll of film ready in each.

The Brayford at Lincoln was covered in motorbikes and some stalls, fantastic, a chance to shoot street and motorbikes (not just Harley Davidsons.)  There was the general public walking around the Brayford, from families to the young and the old. Approaching a few motorbike owners, you soon appreciate how friendly these people are.  Don’t be fooled by appearance, some of the motorbike owners can look intimidating. But don’t fear the bikers are so refreshing to engage with and enthusiastic people.

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Motorbikers taking a stroll during the show.

There were modern and vintage, as well as road and race types. Some tricycles, custom bikes and a lovely Ducati with a black/anthracite matt finish.  Quite a few of the local clubs and chapters had little stands or areas together. The show extended round to the university with a small competition and a live band.

Being around so many happy people make it a lot easier to approach a stranger. One of the friendly strangers was a smiling soul by the name of Paul Redhead from the Lindum HOG chapter.

Paul Redhead from Lindum HOG Chapter

The photos

During the day there was ample opportunity to capture the bike, the people and the public.  Some people spoke and were happy to pose or just watch you shoot and carry on with their lives.  People like Paul (above) were happy to chat and to put the world to right (barely discussed motorbikes).


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Friendly biker couple posing

The walk around allowed us to capture many manufacturers including the HOG, Triumph and Ducati to name a few.

The entire day was shot on 2 film cameras, the Olympus OM10 and Canon FTB QL. The cameras used the same (Agfa Vista 200) film and developed by the same company (again for consistency).  

Shooting hog – thoughts

From reading this article you may think the author is a petrol head and loves Harley Davidsons.  Actually, the opposite is true here, beauty is more prevalent than anything. Sometimes beauty appears in the eyes of my daughter, whilst others it is architecture.  The modernism and minimalism of architecture are often perceived as ugly or bland, but to me, it is beauty .

phlogger motorbike show
Yamaha Dragstar

To confirm, at the time of writing, I have never owned a motorcycle. N and only once (twice if you count riding on the back of a Joey 90 into a shed).  A car is nothing more than a form of transport to me, something that takes lots of money to run but keeps me warm and safe.  The golden age of motoring was very different, modern cars are safe and fuel efficient.  The older cars are a thing of beauty, of triumphing over a rival, making engineering leaps and design.

How many films showed pivotal moments with a classic car or motorbike?.  The beauty of the E-type, a classic mini or an MGB in racing green is sublime.

Thank you for your time, as usual, please comment or email me your thoughts.  I still have a film from this day to develop.




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