#1278. Traffic in My Street (part I)

By Pete Guaron | Travel Photography

Apr 12

I don’t know if Pascal is going to publish all of these – it’s a bit off-beat for DS. It’s about vehicles in my street – maybe an extension of the plague of fire trucks I posted here a while back, that I found right outside my front door one night, when the guy over the road blew up the gas bottle on a gas barbecue on his balcony.

This “chapter” is about [mostly] two-wheelers, a bit more mundane than that evening. But considering the street is a short one, and this is only a limited slection, I find the variety of vehicles here quite extraordinary.

Well, this wasn’t exactly parked – or here. But I thoiught I’d include it anyway. It belongs to my doctor – after he gave up bike racing, he framed it and hung it on the wall of the surgery. No doubt as an admonition to all his patients, to roll up their trousers and get a bit more air in their lungs!

Or maybe even this one – all you have to do is wake the driver and tell him to start pedalling. You
might even get a garland, if you behave nicely on the ride. Tough, Uber – you can’t compete with
this one!

This is a smaller model, and – I suspect – power assisted, by an electric motor.

Moving on.

The proud owner of these mo’bikes retired a while back, built a very nice two storey house opposite the local dog park, and started a business of repairing “trumpies” (Triumph motor cycles). Caught these, displayed outside his garage one day. You should see inside his garage – I was surprised when I saw it – it’s just a mo’bike workshop. I don’t know how he gets away with it – most wives would kick ass, if their husbands did that and expected them to park their car on the verge!

Harleys are also popular around Fremantle – it’s a port city and historically a very working class area. HINT – not all bike owners are “bikies”. Somewhere around here, there’s a three-wheeler Harley, modified so the rear forms a tray (with wheels either side, to complete the triangle), used as a hearse for bikies. No apologies for including a Harley – this selection would be incomplete without it.

This one is slightly more conventional – no less expensive, though. “More expensive” exists too, like the ones with handle bars towering above the rider – very laid back – very Hollywood – very highly priced! And this shot shows just how comfortable the ride in a Harley can be.

And of course I have to include a Yamaha . . .

. . . a flat twin “Beemer” (BMW) . . .

. . . a Honda (with a green Kawasaki in the background) . . .

. . . a new “Trumpy” (Triumph) . . .

. . . and a Suzuki motor-cross bike . . .

Next time – if there is one – I’ll show you a range of cars, and an “odd-ball” that turned up in the
street one morning. Cheers!


​Never miss a post

​Like what you are reading? Subscribe below and receive all posts in your inbox as they are published. Join the conversation with thousands of other creative photographers.

  • PaulB says:


    You live on a very interesting street. So many bikes parked, waiting patiently for their owners to return. Some of these are unusual to me since they seem to be what I would call “Enduro” designs for street and off road use. Around Seattle we have Hogs (Harlies) and Sport Bikes.

    I really liked the image of the three “Trumpies”. It reminded me of a good friend who loved British motorcycles, particularly BSA. His garage was full frames, engines, and parts in various states of assembly, along with a couple of bikes that were an mis-mash of frame, engine, and parts from all of the British makers.

    Your commentary is interesting as well, your appreciation of the bikes and your neighbor working on “Trumpies” in his garage is not what I was expecting. Here most people would be commenting about the rumble produced by the Hogs and the antics of the riders.

    I’m looking forward to your next installment about the cars that visit your street.

    • jean pierre guaron says:

      Thanks Paul – I’d be terrified of riding a mo’bike (last time I did was about 60 years ago, and I was lucky to survive – swore off two-wheelers forever, after that experience!

      But I can’t help admiring them!

  • John Wilson says:

    Like Paul said … you live on an interesting street with lots of really KOOL bikes (not withstanding people who try blow themselves up). The image quality is lovely; is this one your Zeiss lenses? Reminds me of images from my years with a Rolleiflex and a Planar lens. Do miss that camera.

    • jean pierre guaron says:

      Hi John – ouch – chasing up the meta-data would be quite a task! But most of them not – the Otus’s get most use while I’m travelling.

      The rickshaw was taken with my Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II – which I treat as a “pocket point & shoot”. Despite the small sensor size and leaving it mostly on automatic settings, it takes astonishingly clear photos.

      Even worse – the line up of the three “trumpies” was taken on my Nikon Coolpix S9700.

      These days, you’d have to be fishing something out of the top of the cloak cupboard, to get a lousy image on anything smaller than A4.

      Most of the time when I’m just wandering around the district, I just grab a camera that’s not too much trouble, hanging around my neck. Planned shoots, with tripods, remotes, separate meters etc and a bag full of gear, then I’d have the D850 and probably one of the Otus’s. But you really don’t need anything bigger than a half frame to “kill” this kind of shoot. Zooms are fine, too, these days – gone are the days when we all used to turn up our noses at zooms.

      I do a lot of pet portrait stuff too. And a friend of mine took a shot of one of my favourite dogs, on her iPhone – I processed it, blew it up to A4, and the dog’s owner now has it proudly on display in her dining room. You’d be hard pressed to tell it was taken on a cellphone!

  • Claude Hurlbert says:

    Hey Pete, thanks for posting this. Off-beat is good–it helps the rest of us to keep our eyes open. Not that my current street has anything to offer as interesting as yours–or maybe I need to make sure my eyes are open. I like your photos a lot–nice color work. Saturated but not overly so to my eyes. My Harley days are way behind me, but I can still appreciate a well-designed machine when I see one. Your photos bring back memories in that regard for me. Your framing of the motorcycles seems informed by experience–by that I mean the way you composed your images reminds me of the angles through which I perceived my own motorcycle back in the day–the way I saw it as I approached it or looked at it when sitting someplace. What I am trying to say is that there is expertise in your images–you may never have ridden a motorcycle (or maybe you did), but you know how to compose one, which points to other levels of expertise as well. And speaking of framing, I am taken with your doctor’s homage to his bike. I never thought of framing mine as a work of art, but then, a cool bike is a work of art in its own right. And lastly, I am appreciating the range of cameras you used for your photos. You prove once again the value of expertise and the power of creative use. You make an important suggestion. Use the camera you can carry and make the most of the photo that you can in post. The results can be surprising. Yes, thank you for this post.


    • Pete Guaron says:

      OMG – well as Pascal will tell you, I’m a bit lacking in self-confidence about my stuff. Those kind remarks have just given me a hell of a boost – thank you very much, for sharing them!

      Nothing terribly original, really, about saying we should use the gear we have to hand, or the gear that’s convenient – pro’s have been telling the rest of us that, as far back as I can remember. And heaps of pro’s stop at around 20-26 MP anyway.

      Plus the past 20 years has seen one hell of an improvement in glass. The mantra has always been spend big on glass, that’s a better investment than spending big on camera bodies. Well now it’s hard to find “bad” glass, frankly.

      One “blessing” I carry with me everywhere is the result of time I spent in a place in the Northern Territory of Australia, talking to the indigenous people who live there and manage it. It’s called Kakadu, and although it’s now a national park, it’s fully under the control of the local indigenous population. Who these days have turned the tables – THEY run the show, they employ “white Australians” to do the work – they train them for it, and leave them to look after the tourists. They then attend to more important issues – like controlling opening & closing hours at the bar (two half hour sessions a day, when I was there!), unlikely the rather longer drinking times in “white” areas.

      Why was that of particular interest here? Well it was fundamental, actually. These “white workers” had been taught by the local population to “see”, the way the Aboriginal population of Australia needs to, when they’re out looking for food – hunting, in other words. They don’t look at your pupils, for example, when they are talking to you. They consider that to be the height of rudeness. Instead, they turn their eyes to the side and utilise their peripheral vision, to look at you. They carry this to extremes, when hunting – their peripheral vision ranges over near 170 degrees, ours is pathetically narrow by comparison. So they see things “we” never would, never could. Till someone explains this, and you try it yourself.

      Ever since then, I’ve found myself “seeing things” I never would have, otherwise – just as they explained it to me!

      And the impact has been quite remarkable. Just take crossing the street, for example. I CAN turn my head sideways and look – but I don’t need to, now – because (like them) I can see sideways, up and down the street, just looking straight in front of me. And when you apply this “like skill” to your photography, it’s amazing what you can see!

      • Claude Hurlbert says:

        Pete, your story of aboriginal vision with its peripheral acuity is really interesting. As I try to apply it to my own work, I realize I’ve spent most of my photographic endeavors trying to narrow my vision (but then I am a product of my cultural immersion). Loosely, very loosely, applying the philosophy of phenomenologist Edmund Husserl who famously used the concept of “bracketing” to understand experience (sorry, I’m about to butcher his philosophy). The idea goes something like if you work to continually bracket off extraneous judgements (dare i say, in this instance, peripheral phenomena) you get closer and closer to the essence of experience (oh man, I’m really butchering his philosophy). I apply it in my photography as the attempt to try to avoid distractions (whether in site or mind) when composing an image so the subject can be itself, tell its own story, as much as possible. I mean, if I don’t bracket off eh peripheral or distracting I seem more than able to not hear the story unfolding before me and to impose stories rather than listening to them. On a similar though certainly not identical note, didn’t Philippe Berend write a post a while back about the value of focusing in on subjects in our composing of images (I need to go back and read that)? But of course, why omit ourselves to one form of vision? One strength of the wide or peripheral vision you write about is that it doesn’t preclude location or observation of the particular–just the opposite–as in when hunting prey. Ok, I’m going on–forgive me. I guess I am trying to understand that which I do not experience. It’s the prison-house of culture, and maybe its more. I spoke of hearing stories above. I remember a recent trip to Utah where I sat alone on the edge of a mesa staring out over a great expanse. It was quiet except for the occasional sound of a bird or the movement of the Westerly, desert wind. I wanted to be in the moment and photograph the expanse and I did to some extent. But my peristent tinnitus was distracting me (damn all those rock and roll bands). As I sat there I wondered how often I miss my best shots because the noise in my ears distract me, make me itchy to move before the light reveals its true gifts. I’ll never know. But I wonder, am I getting more comfortable stitching images rather than taking panoramas because I need to bracket off distractions to see at all? Or, for me, what is the relation of sound to sight? Or of wide or peripheral vision to attention to the particular. I’m not sure. Well, I really have gone on and solved nothing. Thanks for the post again, and your reply. I’m trying to see my street. Maybe I need to move.


        • Pete Guaron says:

          LMAO – “maybe I need to move”! Been there, done that. Three different states, covering two thirds of the continent. A dozen different flats/houses/apartments. Given up on it -I’m staying in this one till I go to the Rainbow Bridge, to catch up with all my dogs.

          “Seeing” is only part of our task as ‘togs. It’s where we need to be, to start. If – then – there’s extraneous material that we need to exclude, as Philippe does and you’re suggesting, we WILL see it and be able to work on how to exclude it. But first you have to see it. Like the telegraph pole, protruding out of your model’s head! That’s very obvious. But there are far less obvious ones, that we need to be able to see, too. Maybe just move them – or us – to change the composition.

          What I find – thanks to my friends in Kakadu – is that my eyes, my mind, are constantly “seeing” – composing – analysing. Walking the dogs even helps – they want walks at all sorts of strange hours, so I get to see “my street” and surrounding areas at all different times, all different lighting and weather conditions. And with nobody else there much of the time, you find yourself amusing your mind by looking all over, absorbing – recalling – comparing.

          My sympathies on your tinnitus – I have a passion for classical music, and a slight dose of post-disco era tinnitus caused by “Simply Red” and the “Rolling Stones” – I dread the thought of it getting any worse, and interfering with the music I really love. The wide open space idea first hit when we were kids, street lights went off around 11pm, and we could lie on the middle of the tennis court, behind the house, on the darkest of dark moonless nights, with only the stars in the sky to look at. A couple of decades later, in the middle of nowhere at dead of night, hundreds of miles from any settlements (let alone towns, or cities!) – on a continent measuring 2,400 by 2,000 miles. In the absence of any moon, the sky was unbelievably black, the stars unbelievably bright, and what few sounds there were, almost deafening in the silence of the night air.

  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Hey Pete,

    Good to see you back in the saddle and publishing again. Quite a colourful array of mopeds – I’m sure I would be hung, drawn and quartered by bikers for calling them that. Hope they are not the noisy sort that throw donuts in the middle of the night and keep the good citizens awake.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Pete Guaron says:

      Thanks, Ian. Of course like anywhere else on the planet, we do get the occasional moron burning rubber and blasting carbon emissions into the air, with a noise like a demented jack hammer demolishing a reinforced concrete building.

      But most of them are actually quite considerate. In fact, this small pocket sized chunk of suburbia, near the main harbour for the State’s capital city, is the nicest place I’ve ever lived.

  • >