“Laterally Cycling” by Lukas Hetzmannseder (Or Let Your Audience Have Fun, Too)
It's winter up here in the north. Winter has a natural affect on the creative spirit. Things always appear darker and more serious in the winter. Photography is serious enough without winter. Fortunately, a few of us can break that mold and create some fun things to lift hearts and spirits in such otherwise ugly and dire months. Lukas Hetzmannseder, a photographer who often displays his fun and goofy personality in his photography portfolio, submitted Laterally Cycling to the SP@Flickr Group early in January, almost as if to remind us to be silly.
Too many times in the world of any artistic medium, we focus too much on details like composition, exposure and so on. As a reviewer of photography, I admit that I fall into the trap of focusing on those aspects a great deal as well. We don't want to lose sight of that; these components are responsible for attracting our eye and our natural instincts towards art. But every once in a while, it's good to simply focus on the subject or the story. That is what we focus on when it comes to street photography. So why not let other styles be influenced by that sort of thing?
So Lukas's photo features a subject laying on his side with his bicycle, pretending to petal down the street. Using his imagination, Lukas framed the shot so that the camera was rotated 90 degrees so as to align with the subject, not the normal up position. To me, there is an extra level of comedy layered in because with the pole in the shot, it looks like the subject is doing street trials, which is a form of cycling that involves jumping over obstacles and using them to “ride” on. The result is not going to make you laugh out loud, but it has a certain level of silliness that will at least make you smile a little.
Now to be blunt, the shot is not going to win any awards. I would classify the shot to be fully within the street photography category, and so it would be afforded some leniency when it comes to all of that technical stuff that we are intentionally ignoring in this discussion. So I don't want anyone walking away from this thinking that I'm praising the shot for any of those specific reasons. Instead, I have brought this shot to your attention because I like the mind behind it. Lukas has demonstrated through many fine examples that he is an artist with a clear vision. But through Laterally Cycling, he has also demonstrated that he's having fun with his photography and you should have fun looking upon his work. You can find more of Lukas’s work at Flickr.