900 – There Ain’t No Cure For Love

Nine hundred? Oh my! Nice number, and if I have labeled them correctly, 69 of them contain bicycles. Why?

I got an anonymous comment that “898 – Wet Questions” was a “welcome change from the sad and lonely bikes“, and on SmugMug I rarely get a comment on one of my bicycle images. They are not that popular after all.

On the same entry Juha said that the comment derailed him, because he had never felt that these bicycles were lonely, but that they were patiently waiting to be on the way again, or deep in thoughts looking at the surroundings.

Finally Paul asked me where my fascination with bicycles comes from and likened it to Paul Butzi‘s affection for gates.

Well, and here we already have parts of the answer. You can see many things in bicycles. Some feel they are sad, some feel they are on duty, but the anonymous poster as well as Juha both anthropomorphized them. We tend to do that generally with many things that we are close to or care about, but I feel that bicycles lend themselves especially to be thought of in human terms. Why?

A bicycle is a curious thing. Its basic geometric configuration is very simple and pure: two triangles, two circles, and that is augmented by the elegant curves of bowden cables, by the different forms of modern and ancient saddles, all that finally subject to the endless variations introduced by perspective and depth of field.

And there’s another thing. I don’t so much see bicycles as humans, no, I see them much more as toons. Somehow the look like comics characters to me, maybe that’s because of their incredible ability to stand in almost impossible poses. Yes, bicycles may be sad, they may be lonely, but most of the time they are very cool toon characters showing off the Roger Rabbit way.

Does that explain anything? There’s one more. They are colorful even on drab days, they sparkle, they are there and they have the right size.

What does that mean? Look, I carry around a bag of lenses, but I could as well leave it at home. I change rarely. At the moment I use the Nikon 35/1.8, and that’s a lens with a “normal” angle on DX format cameras. At other times I walk around with a wide angle Sigma 10-20 or a Nikon 70-300. You can perfectly use some of these lenses to photograph architecture, but probably not all of them. A bicycle, on the other hand, has just the right size. I have not found a lens yet, that would make it hard to frame a bicycle.

You’ll see more of them 🙂

The Song of the Day is from Leonard Cohen’s just released double album “Live In London”. If you have not seen him recently (like silly me when he was in Vienna), go for it. It’s a treasure. Or better do it like Bill, he’s going to see him on May 24 in London, Ontario. Or, even better, do both 🙂

The Song of the Day is, as Cohen says, something that can not easily be contradicted: “There Ain’t No Cure For Love“. See a live video from the 2008 tour on YouTube.

3 thoughts on “900 – There Ain’t No Cure For Love”

  1. This is great: “[bicycles] are very cool toon characters showing off the Roger Rabbit way”.

    Continuing this thread, in a way they also resemble cats (however, I’m not a cat person): very independent but allowing the proximity of humans. But cats are probably harder to catch in a photo.

  2. I like your vision of bicycles as toons. Never thought of that before but I see where you’re coming from.
    Sorry to disappoint but I won’t be seeing Leonard Cohen when he’s here later this month. I might have but Neil Young is here on April 15 and considering the cost of concert tickets, just shy of $400 for two, well, it really was a no brainer.

    Also, the Cohen concert in London, the other one, was aired on tv last night so I had a front row seat and the price was right.

  3. Andreas: Thanks much for sharing your perspective. It always, for me, seems to add a bit of spice to viewing the pictures.

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