Exhibit details of the famous Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, USA, together with some technical notes about the shoot.

Part of a meeting earlier this year in my company’s headquarter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was held in the downtown Harley Davidson museum. The museum has very nice meeting rooms with a view of downtown Milwaukee, and one advantage of holding a meeting there was a free tour through the museum at a time where there are nearly no other visitors. The museum has a very liberal approach towards photographers: “Take all the pictures you want“. I have to admit I did never ask what their policy is regarding the usage of tripods.

Planning the Harley Davidson museum shoot

I have visited the Harley Davidson museum before, but at that time only had my smartphone with me, for casual snapshots. For this Harley Davidson museum shoot I was prepared by bringing my Olympus OM-D E-M1, together with the 75 mm 1.8 prime lens. I had some ideas on how to capture the exhibits, by just focusing on details instead of broad views. The 75 mm lens should allow me to extract the details using a very shallow depth of field. I found that one of the advantages of using a Micro Four-Thirds lenses – a very short minimum focus distance – was extremely helpful in this case.

One thing I was not sure of was the white balance – the light in the museum is actually very warm, but not very bright. After some attempts to manually correct the white balance to be more “neutral”, I decided that the yellowish / sepia tone actually adds some vintage feeling to the pictures, so I did not touch the white balance. And for those of you being afraid to use a Micro Four Thirds camera with higher ISO values: I had my camera on Auto-ISO with an upper limit of 3200 ISO – which is the setting at which most of the pictures were taken. The small amount of noise was easy to remove and does not show up in prints up to A2.