Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Japan 2005 - 2008 - Sony Cybershot W1 - Bicycles

Another shock for the eye, when wandering the streets of Japan, is the number of bicycles everywhere.  Seeing as Japan is such a modern country, I was quite surprised at first.  This is not Beijing or Mumbai, where the bike is king, but the high-tech futuristic world of Tokyo and Osaka. Dodging between the thousands of cars and taxis, millions of pedestrians, are bikes of every type.

In England, cycling is restricted to the dangerous busy roads only, and it is frowned upon and actually an offense to cycle on the pavement.  Not so in Japan.  They are everywhere, casually weaving through the pedestrians.   They are parked up along the sides of the roads, outside shops, and in huge cycle racks...  Quite often totally unlocked.

In England, men and boys will want to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest 'mountain bike', 'street hybrid', 'racing road bike', 'high-tech folding carry bike'.  It would be seen as highly uncool and embarrassing for a guy to ride around on an old small wheeled shopper with a basket. Not so in Japan, where it is actually quite normal for a reasonably cool guy to be cruising along the pavement on a tatty old shopping bike, with his girlfriend sat side saddle on the back, while chatting on a mobile phone...  possibly with a furry toy mascot tied to the handlebars.   Actually, I don't recall seeing many new or expensive bikes at all.

In England...  helmets, cycling shades, luminous multi coloured cycling tops and shorts, halogen lights, gloves.  Japan...  no way.

So here are a few pictures of Japanese cyclists and their bikes, taken with the Sony Cybershot W1.  Usual cropping and post processing.

Good old square formats first...

Squadrons of school girls

Nice Style

Careful crossing grandpa

Night time City Center Cycling

Here are some colour shots. Although I like black and white photography, sometimes colour works better. I love the restaurant and cafe scene in Japan. And of course, more cycles...
Parked up outside Shrines

and outside noodle bars for lunch

badly parked....   oh dear

Ahhh...  that's better.


Anonymous said...

Marvelous images and words!
Thank you for sharing!

Bill Wellham said...

Cheers... it's always good to share :)

Abtin Eshraghi said...

Thanks for pointing out this post to me. Your black & white processing silver efex preset is fantastic.
I've go some cool cyclist shots from Japan too on digital, I'll be posting them once I'm done with the film stuff.