Shooting "Peak Hour"


So, Episode #4 was ACTUALLY meant to be Episode #2.

Again, due to the super-misfortune that he acquired in some dark alley whilst haggling for quinoa infused beard softening lotion, Jordan Kightly had also delayed his own episode in crashing Mark Hawwa’s twitchy steed.

However, once Jordan’s wrists were suitably re-strengthened and his own Honda CB125 was back in a rideable state, we were off!


We were both hyper keen to shoot this in and around the beautiful city of Sydney. The weather was set to be awesome, Jordan had a new set of wheels to bounce around in and I was ready to forge another episode of Stories of Bike. Personally, I was looking forward to shooting this episode just simply because it was a little more light-hearted. Jordan clearly enjoys his motorcycling and his bike is all about having fun.

We had scheduled an early start at 5:30am to catch the sunrise on Pitt Street and Martin Place with the Harbour Bridge in the background. I rocked-up with a couple of Egg and Bacon McMuffins for Jordan and he rolled up with a iPhone with its flash on strapped to his headlight. “Ah, yeah. I haven’t quite got that working yet”, he says sheepishly.


I hadn’t seen the bike since it was, more or less, still being built in Jordan’s workshop/storeroom. And seeing it again today I could definitely tell that Jordan had taken the extra time between then and now and… not really done much with it. It was a scruffy runt of a bike, but therein laid the charm. It was just fun to look at. Even so, we had to make the odd pit stop or two to pick up bits of the bike that had fallen off or come loose. If you look closely through the video, you’ve probably noticed that subtle differences on the bike from shot to shot!


After a bit of a wander up and down Pitt Street, we decided to shoot in front of and around the Martin Place intersection. It had some good light and made for a few iconic images. While setting up, I noticed that Jordan was dressing considerably more dapper(ly?) than when we did our interview.

“Nice tie!”, I says.

“Yeah, mate! I thought I’d go for that business-casual Friday look. You know, because I’m meant to be riding to and from work.”

Static shots on a bike are cool. It gives me a chance to see it in a bit of detail and find its best angles. Plus every rider likes to see his pride-and-joy get a bit of attention. But once we got moving around the city, Jordan really seemed to enjoy himself on a whole new level, darting in and around traffic, throwing the odd (brief) mono, no-hands and, my personal favourite, the one-handed standing wank salute.


I originally wanted to shoot in real peak-hour traffic. Angry, Monday morning commuter hell with Jordan just mincing it up and showing us his evil traffic pleasure. But I realised, it would be very tricky to shoot (not to mention more dangerous). Plus we’d be spending too much time just waiting for traffic to move in order to get the right shot. So it was a weekend, sort of, peakish hour shoot instead.

I was keen to try some different angles shooting the riding scenes. So I bought a ticket on the Sydney Explorer, a double-decker open-top tour bus. I basically had Jordan ride around the bus (and not get himself run over) while captured him in action. But watching him flitting around, engine splitting most nearby eardrums, I could see he was in his element and in control.


The rest of the afternoon was a tad more subdued. We headed over to a park nearby his apartment. The sky was blue and was a typical gorgeous Sydney winter afternoon. We decided on this setting to show something a little more relaxed. Again, the bike just looked effortlessly in the moment. I just wanted to spend all the remaining sunlight I had with my camera pointed at that bike.

The last shot of the day was the “bike up the stairs” gag. I was just looking forward to seeing it with my own eyes, let alone capturing it for a Stories episode. Jordan had changed the tyres to a more slickish kind, where he had previously had knobblies. The previous tyres made it easier to get the bike up the stairs, said Jordan, so he wasn’t too sure how the slicks would go. In the end, I’m kinda glad we had the slicks to work with, as it made for some mild comedy gold. Even with the ramp to guide him up and with the help of some bricks in between, it just looked awkward, slightly dangerous but still fun


I’d expect nothing less of these two.