City bikes have become in recent times due to rising petrol prices a far more common sight on our urban streets. A few years ago our urban spaces did not really cater for bicycles, now whole areas and roads are being built to accommodate them.
More and more people are using them to get around our sprawling cities and they therefore have become a part of the fabric of modern urban living, and as such warrant their place in documentary photography of our modern times.
This is probably one of the easier photography projects to undertake, as you won't have to look far before you will find evidence of city bikes and their impact on the environment.
You can either use your photography to comment on the effect they are having within your particular area or you can use them as aesthetically pleasing aspects of the modern street scene.
Lets take a look at how four other photographers have used city bikes in their work.
This first image by Foraggio Fotographic works on two levels for me. Firstly, it is a very pleasing image that is easy on the eye and could grace a wall space in someone's home happily.
The second is that it comments on how bicycles are being used for shopping needs once again.
Compositionally the image is very striking and the use of the bold red color to highlight the delicate outline and structure of the bike is what makes the picture.
Additionally the bike is framed off center that balances the image and creates space and interest that allows the viewer to explore the rest of the scene.
I like this second picture by Poagao very much as it pleases my love of the dramatic and bold. The city bike is used to identify the scene, as without it, there would only be color with little form.
Keeping the bike in silhouette ensures that the image remains more abstract in nature than pictorial, which creates a more aesthetically pleasing overall image.
One of the most striking things about this picture are the horizontal lines in the image that create a sort of layering of color and shape. The photographer has helped this affect by making sure that the reflection of the bike in the pavement creates the first horizontal layer
I wanted to include this next image by Moriza simply because it is a great example of how something as mundane as a city bike can be used to create a very different and other worldly image.
The bike has been used as a central sculpture, allowing the shadow and the bicycle to work together to produce one overall form.
A well spotted scene that has been enhanced with the glowing green light effect, which takes the bike out of its real environment and simplifies it into a purely visual experience.
Lastly back to earth with this picture by Ruud. This is more of a documentary image that completely conveys where it was taken and how the people live and interact with their city surroundings.
The choice of the photographer to use these two particular cyclists in their straw hats and using a back view of them was vital in capturing the whole essence of this image.
The image has a bleached feel to it with the use of few colors which keeps the arrangement simple, helped by the choice of the photographer to cut the image into a square.
Overall it is a picture which appears to be simple but in fact is one in which there have been many vital decisions made by the photographer, to ensure that the final image conveys the essence of this particular oriental environment.