Well, I don't have much to say about particular tools and so forth for helping to shoot better pictures. My current camera is a little 2 MP point 'n shoot. I don't ever carry a tripod or other "official" camera support with me. The camera lives in my tank bag on the road. This IS different than my past adventures in photography - I still own an old Canon A1 with a bag full of lenses, motor drive, multiple flash heads, tripod, etc. and I still have packed away in a storage unit an entire chemical darkroom. I like PhotoShop MUCH better, thanks
For me the method is in the eye and looking for the unusual. Whenever I shoot, and particularly on the road because of the fleeting nature of the sights that I'm seeing, I'm alwasy on the lookout for the unusual - be that an odd perspective, and odd angle, something neat or funky or old or strange by the side of the road or even trying to put a new spin on "typical" shots - hey, just because they're typical doesn't mean YOU can do them well.
So, in what follows, I'll share some of my thoughts about the shots I've taken and what worked and such that made me keep them.
The "typical" road shot can be done other ways too. It works with rails as well:
And by the way, as in the last shot - don't ignore the VERTICAL orientation! Some folks almost never turn the camera on its side. A vertical shot can add a lot to a subject just becuase it's an unusual perspective. It can also take a relatively horizontal subject and give it added interest
I particularly like to find old buildings and such along the road whether I include the bike in the shot or not. I love the way the old structres contrast with the modernity and sleekness of the machine that I'm riding
I like the composition of the next one. Your eye is drawn down the road and then just naturally drifts over to the bike and its reflection in the puddle. The nearly lone tree on the left has the effect of balancing the picture so it doesn't seem lopsided. It tends to evoke the idea of a very small bike (and by extension a very small rider) in a very big place.
Don't be afraid of foggy conditions, rain, darkness, etc. I've shot some pictures in what seemed like crappy conditions that later turned out to be pretty good shots just because of the mystery or seeming danger in the shot.
I like to shoot sunrises and sunsets as well. You need a few clouds or at least some mist in the air to make it really nice. I've found that a time about 30 minutes before sunrise or after sunset seems to yeild the best results.
Back to the "unusual perspective" thing. I try out a TON of these shots when I'm on the road. I've probably shot 200 of them and I end up liking maybe five. I like to try to get a great "road" shot with the bike in extreme closeup in the foreground - or at least shot from a dramatic or unusual angle.
(this one's my current favorite)
And finally, remember to take in the grandeur of a place. I like to place the bike in frame at some awesome location as a size reference - again, small bike and rider, very big place
I think the best pictures I've seen are those that shy away from the typical and the "normal". Get away from the "Kodak Good Picture Handbook" and experiment. That's one of the great little things about digital cameras - nearly unlimited storage capacity for pictures on removable media. I have to admit that I fight myself sometimes and sort of stay in "film" mode with respect to capturing shots - but there are times I'll shoot 50 frames of something just because I see something a little different each time I move around the subject. Sure, I end up discarding 47 of those in the end, but at least I've got the shot.