Photography and cycling, the perfect combination. Long before my obsession with cycling began, I have always been a keen outdoors photographer, both with film and digital.
As I got into cycling, I realised that it is the perfect mode of travel for photography, you can travel further afield than when you are walking, and not miss everything that is going on around you like in a tin box car. As a cyclist, you feel more a part of your landscape then other modes of transport, you glide through your surroundings, rather than trample through them, wildlife seems more accepting of your presence.
The Peak District is the perfect place to combine photography and cycling; along with scenic landscape views, you can go from pretty historical villages to industrial heritage, including the old railway trails, where nature meets the human influence on the landscape.
It’s easy to think the link between cycling and photography is a recent one, inspired by the advent of digital photography, but this is not the case. The link goes back as far as the 19th century, with the advent of photography, and freedom that the bicycle offered to communities. The National Media Museum has a good article if you wish to read more: The surprising link between cycling and photography
Photography Annual, 1897:
“It would be difficult today to find two more popular sources of pleasure, profit or healthy amusement, than has become the separate or combined use of the cycle and camera.”
I’ve carried a lot of cameras around with me, tried a lot of different formats, SLR, compact etc. but at the end of the day the best camera is the one you have with you. This sounds obvious, but in explanation I’ve found that it can be a challenge carrying a heavy system around on a bike, and although it certainly isn’t the most technically advanced available, the camera I take a lot of my cycling shots with is my combined phone/camera, the Samsung K Zoom. I wish that phone/camera manufacturers would invest more research and development into this combination. The development seems to have stagnated a little, with lots of reviews criticising them for being neither the best camera or the best phone, without considering the many benefits of a combined device.
I post many of the photos I take when I’m on my travels to my Twitter feed: twitter.com/peakcycling
Finally, I’ll let you in to another secret why a camera is an excellent accessory for a bike ride – the perfect excuse to stop half way up a steep hill for a rest, under the guise of taking a photo.