Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great Royal Enfield photos have a special appeal

Chain link is rarely a photographer's friend, but it's a nice touch here.
The photographs of Tonight Show host Jay Leno taking delivery of his new Royal Enfield motorcycle April 30 were sharp and professional. I was delighted when Royal Enfield President Kevin Mahoney shared a bunch of them with me.

Only as I captioned the pictures for this blog did I notice the credit line and realize the photographer was Kevin's son, Taylor Mahoney.

What to leave in, what to leave out? All the right choices.
Included in the bunch were some terrific portraits of the Royal Enfield motorcycles present that day: Leno's own and two others there for filming of an episode of Jay Leno's Garage. They're on this page now, for your enjoyment.

His website, Taylor Mahoney Photography, showcases Tayor's other photography. I asked him to tell me a little about himself:

Jeans are as iconic as Royal Enfields; rarely seen with two aboard.
"I am 25 years old and a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Photojournalism, but love producing highly commercial images as well. I am currently based in Flagstaff, Ariz. and love to travel and go on adventures. In 2008 I traveled around Europe and shot extensively for three months on just about $3,000 (which is next to nothing if you do the math per day and consider basic living expenses). Currently, I make a monthly excursion to different national parks with other creative friends to make photos, videos and have a good time.

Taylor Mahoney.
"I have been shooting regularly for close to a decade and absolutely love everything about photography. From the creative to the technical, photography, like no other medium requires both left and right brain thinking to be successful. I love this challenge. Although I started in black and white film, I shoot mostly digital these days. However, I often still carry a film body with me too; just can’t get over my addiction to the smell of photo fixer I guess.

Could you say "Royal Enfield motorcycle" more simply?
"For the last two years I have been studying photography at Northern Arizona University: Photojournalism with Peter Schwepker and studio photography with Sam Minkler; both are well known and award winning photographers in their respective fields, and also major sources of personal inspiration.

"This experience has really allowed me to hone my craft and understanding of the medium. The lessons taught by these professors are invaluable and will not soon be forgotten as I leave the university to pursue my photography in the professional realm."

The headlight and pilot lights are the stars here; even Jay Leno is looking.
Taylor's pictures from Leno's garage are particularly impressive because it is difficult to get great shots in a garage, even one as special as Jay Leno's. Backgrounds are cluttered and artificial lighting, which seems normal to human eyes, gives film and digital cameras spasms. Daylight, if there is any, daggers in like a spotlight.

Sometimes the biggest problem is lack of inspiration. As a photo assignment editor for The Miami Herald, I more than once sent a photographer out on this mission: "Need picture of car guy. He'll stand in front of a car for you." Inspired yet?

Executing something simple like that, yet making it look special, is a real skill. My favorite shot from Taylor's whole Jay Leno shoot is this picture of his father, standing in front of Jay Leno's Chrysler Turbine.

Kevin Mahoney and a very special car but the elements that make this picture special would have worked with a Chevy.
Pictures here are all Copyrighted by Taylor Mahoney.


  1. From the creative to the technical, photography, like no other medium requires both left and right brain thinking to be successful

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  2. Anonymous5/11/2011

    500 is very impressive. Elegant in short.

  3. Anonymous10/22/2011

    I think creative brain and best approach can do any thing ....
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