Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Snapshot from Bicycle

"Sixth--Fall scene. Snapshot from bicycle while running swiftly. Unsuccessful. Too realistic for amateur. Decides not to photograph any more for thirty or forty years."

A lot of bicycle bloggers and friends on Flickr favor the "panda" photograph, or a snapshot taken while riding your bicycle, which includes you and/or your bicycle in the shot. Now, it's usually all I can do to keep upright and in a relatively straight line while riding, so I've never attempted, and probably won't attempt, any panda portraits anytime soon. They're neat to look at, but boy-howdy, seems like an accident just itchin' to happen. Incidentally, I love this cartoon because of the convergence of two kinds of revolutionary technology: bicycle and snapshot camera (that box at the bottom of the frame). Seems folks set about finding new ways to fall off of bicycles and/or break cameras almost immediately after their invention. 

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, 30 September 1900


  1. I've tried taking this picture of myself and always look...high. Mainly because I'm squinting against the sun.

  2. I think the look on my face, if I could ever manage to coordinate camera, bag, and bike, would be something between terror and confusion, since I would probably also be in the process of pitching over the handlebars like the fellow in the cartoon above.

  3. So it’s called a panda photograph? I'm very guilty of that. I bought an inexpensive camera so that if I dropped it and it smashed, no big deal.

    I've thought about the panda photograph as you say, and I've wondered if it was taboo, or vain or just poor blogging. I try to use the panda shot as a transition to another thought or idea when writing about riding the bike.

    I loved comic books as a kid, and the close-up type panda-like image of the protagonist offers that kind of internal vehicle for me.

    Cheers! Bruce

  4. I love pandas!!! They are not that difficult, you just have to find the right time. Go for it!

  5. I wouldn't hold your breath. ;)


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