Time for a frank and truthful admission. This here fancy moto blog, along with all of its ilk, would be nothing without the photographers. How many words would you read about a cool bike without all the pretty pictures? After all, writing about motorcycles is like dancing about architecture, no? One of Europe’s main moto lensmen and someone to who we personally owe a great deal of thanks to is Germany’s Marc Holstein. With a clear and infectious passion for photography and the custom bike scene, we’ve lost count of just how many Pipeburn stories he’s shot for us. Here’s an interview with the man himself, along with the very best of his recent shots.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Marc Holstein. I am a photographer living in Frankfurt, Germany. I grew up in Spain and I still have a deep connection to the country and the culture. As you may already know, the enthusiasm for motorcycles is quite big in Spain and I got hooked on riding bikes from an early age. I have always been a creative type; I’ve been DJing and producing electronic music for a long time. In recent years, growing older and maybe also a littler wiser, I was looking for a new creative outlet and I started taking photos.
Of all the things you could photograph, you chose motorcycles. Why?
Motorcycles have been always been a love of mine since I was a little kid and I think it will never stop. The greatest thing in life for me is to scout a location, set the right lighting and shoot a rad motorcycle. That is something I could do all day, every day. The bike has to inspire me though; it is harder to shoot something well that I personally do not like. So I am quite happy to work with all the talented bike builders around Europe and it is always amazing to see their latest work.
Do you shoot any other subject matter?
Yes, as a matter of fact I do. I love shooting weddings. Portraits, surf culture and races as well. We have started a page on Facebook called Soulwedding Frankfurt. If any of you are getting married I’d love to shoot it – motorcycles or not.
What’s your go-to camera and lens and why?
That’s a tough one, as it varies quite often. If I have the time, I love to shoot on film, so my camera of choice here would be a Pentax 67 with a 105 Takumar. For digital photography, I am using a full frame Canon body and a 50mm as my go-to lens for most things.
What’s the best and worst things about shooting motorcycles?
The best thing about shooting bikes is meeting people, meeting the builders and getting inspired by their enthusiasm. I had the pleasure to shoot the Milano Cafe racers JPS bike (see below) in Monza, and everybody was just so passionate and friendly. I love Italy. The worse thing is having to deal with the business side of things: running after people, having to be proactive and the like. Social media can be a pain too, sometimes.
You obviously know the European scene really well. What do you see as the next ‘big thing’?
In my opinion, I think the 80s enduros are really coming back. And I love seeing these bikes, but maybe I am biased as I am currently restoring a Cagiva 650 Elefant.
What’s you’re favourite bike from the past few years?I’ve got to say there are so many nice ones, and I love them all. But I think one of my definite favourites has got to be the Kawasaki W650 by Hombrese bikes (see below). He just nailed it with that build. And and honourable mention goes to Plan B’s recent Benelli 354 Sport racer.