“Street Photos” Showing What New York City Looks Like to a Bicycle

For his project titled “NYC By Bike,” photographer Tom Olesnevich attached his DSLR to the underside of his bicycle, and then snapped photographs while riding around in various areas of the city. The resulting photographs offer an interesting look at how the rear wheels of bikes see the Big Apple.

Here’s what Olesnevich tells us about the project and how he shot the photos:

I’m a sports photographer by trade. My close personal friends also know that I’m an avid cyclist. But when I tell people that I live in NYC and ride my bike here, I get all sorts of curious glances. I have photos of myself riding all over the country and in Europe, but none of NYC. So this spring I set out to show what riding in NYC looks and feels like, to me.

I’m the rider in all of the shots. They were taken with a Nikon D40 (gasp!), attached upside down to the bike with a GorillaPod, and triggered via infrared remote.

There are certainly risks with having your DSLR hanging in such a precarious location. He tells us of one “funny story”:

I’m riding west along 42nd street fairly quickly when I hear a clunk. I quickly stop and turn around just in time to see my camera go tumbling down the street, under a semi. Thankfully it kept right on tumbling under the truck and popped out the other side, only slightly worse for wear! That put an end to shooting that day, ha!

You can find more of these photographs over on Olesnevich’s website.

Image credits: Photographs by Tom Olesnevich and used with permission

  • Kris J Boorman

    Really nice set. Kudos to a braver man than I.

  • Craig Dickson

    He trusted a DSLR to a GorillaPod while riding a bicycle? Well, at least it was only a D40 (not that D40s are bad, they’re just old).

    Artistically, I have a hard time taking these kinds of pictures more seriously than images taken from security cameras. The rider sets up the camera and triggers each shot via the IR remote, but he can’t see the viewfinder image and he doesn’t even really know what direction the camera is pointing, since it may have shifted since he started riding (note that the camera’s orientation changes from shot to shot — and in some cases, it appears to be focused on the bike frame). The end result is just a set of images of New York Streets, few of them well-composed, none of them really saying anything much. If this is art, then so is Google Maps Street View.

  • F200

    I miss my D40….

  • cezeOne

    Spoken like a true hater. Keep up the great work. Meanwhile this will get shared again and again.

  • Craig Dickson


  • Craig Dickson

    Intelligent conversation is fine, but that’s not it. “Oh, you don’t like something I like? Must be a ‘hater’…” That’s the sign of someone who can’t think their way out of a paper bag.

  • Brian J Castro

    i think it’s an interesting perspective. and i am impressed it’s with a D40. maybe if this was during a marathon or bike race? might capture some more interest. or have people interact as you go by taking the picture.

  • K G

    Some editing is needed in this set. Just because they’re pictures from a camera strapped to a bike doesn’t mean that crooked pictures suddenly become good pictures. Also, there are only a few that depict recognizable scenes from NYC. Most of these could be in any urban setting.

  • John

    Well those are certainly some boring photos with a bike/feet in the way…

  • Max

    These are not photos of New York on a bike.. they are photos of New York ‘under’ a bike..

  • Max

    These are obviously not random pics as his left foot/pedal is up on every single one of them.. and they are not photos of New York on a bike.. they are photos of New York ‘under’ a bike..

  • Bua

    Street view has been turned into art!

  • Bua

    Not a bad idea which needs further development. Keep going.

  • Mark Salmon

    Does he need to be able to see through the viewfinder in order for this to be considered serious? What about all the portrait photographers out there who frame up their image on a locked off tripod and then use a cable release to take a photo without looking through the viewfinder?

    As for them ‘not saying anything’ I think that these are a great example of alternative documentary street photographs, In my opinion the outcome is a set of images of New York from a view point that is rarely seen.

  • Rickeroni

    This setup is a great way to help inexperienced cyclists view lane positioning in a major city.

  • zaak


  • zaak

    after reading through a large number of your posts, i think its safe to say youre some what of a p***k lol.

  • KP

    I actually agree with your initial statement. These are neither original nor breathtaking. I am glad he is out taking photos, but I do not think they are worthy of a write-up on PetaPixel.

  • val escobar

    All the worlds a critic. Dang, photographers are snooty bunch. Not worthy of PP, sounds like we’re a wee bit envious. Yet you still looked and read the piece.

  • James Donohue

    No, I disagree, Every picture is a familiar New York City scene. I recognise every one of them.

    And if you’ve ever seen a New York Pothole, it’s no wonder the camera shifted. Luck it even stayed on the bike.

  • duoexo

    Ok, strap YOUR camera to a bike and go out shooting better pictures in NY than those posted.

  • Dog

    Yeah okay, Richard Avedon is a hack because he would often take photos without his viewfinder. There is more to photography then precise composition and framing.

    It’s the idea, it’s the process, it’s the snapping of the photo when you sense something is right in the scene, it’s the careful selection of that special photo that captured what you wanted.

    Expand your concept of photography; maybe your own bland photos will improve.

  • Brittany

    This is such an awesome idea. The photos make me a bit woozy though…