Vintage motorcycles and beautiful women

1972 Norton Commando 750  |  Thanks Jim, Ananda and Nick.
Sinar F 4×5  |  Rodenstock 210mm  |  Tmax 400

I dropped Giles an email with a few questions and he was kind enough to share a bit about himself and the project with us.

Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a photographer from Connecticut who somehow found himself lodged in the navel of These United States, – Ohio. My family are a mixture of authors and artists and somehow those two disciplines filtered into me in the form of an individual who manages to see pretty things and push a shutter button. I worked for years as a photojournalist but gradually got tired of eating ramen noodles morning, noon and night and decided to open a camera shop. I still take photographs but these days it’s of things I’m actually interested in.

1973 CB750  | Thanks to Ed Merritt, Stacey and Alexie
Sinar F2  |  Rodenstock 210mm f5.6  |  Ilford FP4+ 125

What motorcycles do you/have you owned?
My motorcycle ownership has been quite bleak (primarily due to the career choice of photojournalist) and has consisted of two Honda CB650’s and a 1965 Vespa. If your children ever ask you what job to have if they want to own fun Brit bikes, tell them anything but a photographer.

What inspired you to start this project?
The project was more of a whim than anything else. A local gallery had asked me to do a photo show and I decided that it would be fun to shoot an entire show in a month. I wasn’t totally sure what to do but figured that it may as well be something I enjoy photographing. The initial thought was to do the traditional pinup girl and motorcycle photos. I mentioned this to my girlfriend at the time and a local (very feminist) barista and they both lambasted me for being a chauvinist pig. Which is very likely true. I did, however, see their side of things and have to agree that there are oodles of photos of scantily clad women draped on motorcycles and that I would simply be peeing into the ocean by shooting more. I googled a bit and came across a photo of a woman who actually looked like she may be the owner of a rather sexy Triumph cafe which set me thinking. Men like bikes, men like women. And of course men like sexy women on bikes. But what is sexier than a woman who owns a 1965 BSA Lightning and actually rides the damn thing? Nothing. Of course, women are too intelligent to own such a pain in the ass of a bike but that’s not the point.

 1971 Triumph Bonneville  |  Thanks Jim, Denyse
Sinar F 4×5  |  Schneider 135mm f/5.6 Symmar  |  Tmax 400

Where are the girls and the motorcycles from?

I happen to have a great bunch of friends in the area who have a plethora of amazing motorcycles. All of them have been gracious enough to lend me their time and their marvellous machines for at least a few hours. Fortunately, I also have a large number of friends who happen to be female and don’t look so bad 😉 They’ve also been quite gracious in lending their time and gorgeous selves to the project. The whole series will be put into calendar form sometime in late November and should be available for Christmas gifts.


1972 Honda CB350  |  Thanks Simone and Jonathan
Sinar F 4×5  |  Rodenstock 210mm f/5.6  |  Tmax 400

“Men like bikes, men like women. And of course men like sexy women on bikes. But what is sexier than a woman who owns a 1965 BSA Lightning and actually rides the damn thing? Nothing.”

These are the wise words of Giles Clements a photographer in Connecticut who snared my attention when I came across his project of his simply titled “Vintage Bikes”. The shots in the series all feature beautiful women and beautiful vintage motorcycles…but it isn’t your average scantily clad girl on a motorcycle (like the Pin Up girls I have been known to feature on this site), instead these ladies are styled and shot as motorcyclists (some of which are actually riders). The black and white series is destined to become a 2011 calendar due for completion and sale in late November.