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A few days ago I wrote about the challenge of photographing bicycles in Amsterdam and getting a unique shot.  One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to show the entire bike.  Since a bike is a pretty iconic image almost the entire world over, showing part of a derailleur and part of a back tire, or in this case a chunk of frame, fork, tire and handlebars, is more than enough to convey “bike.”

I was initially drawn to the brightly painted bikes, especially the ones with unique paint jobs, but this one–probably the drabbest of the lot–is one of my favorites.

I spotted this relatively bland-colored bike–all brown paint and orange rust–leaning against a railing on the side of a canal.  I’m not really sure what’s more “distressed” in this image, the bike or the railing!  Shallow depth-of-field threw the canal water out of focus and “smoothed it out” into a pleasing and non-competing background.

The railing is actually more colorful than the bike, but the fact that they’re both made out of metal and covered with chipped and peeling paint ties them together.  They’ve both withstood many a damp and cold Dutch winter, and are still serviceable.  I hope they’re both around for many more…


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