Bicycles and Art

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Artistry of form

In silvery tensile spokes

Wheel of adventure

Bicycles have intricate sculptural shapes with the wheels, spokes, and angled handlebars in familiar arrangement. The problem is that surroundings often distract enjoyment of their geometric beauty if they are too jumbled up with parked cars and sidewalk detritus. Isolation generally suits me best when on the lookout for backgrounds that enhance the bicycle form, but not always. I like brightly colored bicycles, generally slim and sleek. But a close-up of a bicycle part may be image worthy if it combines a complex tangle of lines, curves and textures. And then, of course, there is the bicycle wheel, which Marcel Duchamp incorporated into his “kinetic” art, erasing the distinction between art and the everyday.

It is fun to find a stationary subject you are seeking. You are on your own personal treasure hunt. Any subject can serve this purpose on a walkabout—bridges, benches, doorways, seashells, even standpipes. Perhaps there is a set plan, or spotting something for the first time may prompt the start of a collection of the image. Whatever lens you are carrying that day offers the challenge of finding its capabilities.

All Images were shot with an Olympus E-M5, the bicycle by the stairs with the Olympus M.Zuiko 75-150mm f/4.8-6.7 lens at 75mm with an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/5, ISO400; the wheel with the same lens at 75mm with an exposure of 1/640 at f/4.8, ISO400, -1/3EV; and the yellow bike with the Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II lens with an exposure of 1/40 at f/5.6, ISO400.


Mildred’s book Haiku and Images is available on Amazon and is filled wit h beautifully reproduced color photographs along with original haiku underneath, embellishing the image and deepening its meaning. Pick up a copy to give as gift for yourself or a friend.