7 April 2012
Cycle Chic Top 10 List of Where to Photograph Copenhagen Cyclists
Dronning Louises Bro - concentrated Cycle Chic
The ultimate guide to shooting cyclists in the World's Cycling Capital. In making the the top ten list I used the following criteria: number of cyclists, chic factor, variation, accessibility and - importantly - the availability of good shooting positions. Remember this is a personal take. Cyclists are everywhere in Copenhagen so you may already have or may find your own favourite spot.
(All the pictures here are geotagged - so if you click on them, you can find the shooting locations on a map at Flickr)
1. Dronning Louises Bro (Queen Louise's Bridge)
Probably the best place in the World for photographing cyclists! Heavy traffic every day around the clock. Wonderful mix of people, fashion and cycles. Lots of space and good shooting spots with beautiful backdrops to choose from.
My fav spot: North Side in the afternoon facing East towards the large crossing.
Tip: Friday and Saturday evenings the party people abound.
How to get there: By bike go to Nørre Søgade/Frederiksborggade. By bus 84N, 5A, 81N and 350S. By Metro, S-train and Regional train to Nørreport Station and walk 10 minutes along Frederiksborggade to the bridge.
2. Nyhavn / Kongens Nytorv
Great for a variety of close ups and compressed traffic pictures in beautiful surroundings. People biking fast, slow, walking, parking - its all here. A little cramped during rush hour and weekends, but good opportunities to blend in and get close.
My fav spot: Opposite Nyhavn at the crossing Kongens Nytorv/Bredgade in the early afternoon.
Tip: Weekends are packed with slow moving traffic with people shopping, eating and just hanging around.
How to get there: By bike go to Kongens Nytorv and head for the North side of Nyhavn canal. By bus 11A, 15, 20E, 1A, 65E, 83N, City Bus and 350S. By Harbour Bus (as in ship) 991, 992 and 993. Metro to Kongens Nytorv and walk 3 minutes to Nyhavn.
3. Knippels Bro / Børsen (Old Stock Exchange)
Another hot spot with lots of action. If it bikes, it will come this way! Remember to check out the sun light before you decide which side of the bridge to walk up. With its long approach you can easily target exactly the Copenhagen chic cyclist you have been hoping to capture.
My fav spot: At the beginning of the bridge at the crossing between Børsgade and Børsbroen where all the cyclists congregate.
Tip: On the bridge people tend to race down, so better to catch them on the way up or close to the top.
How to get there: By bike go to Slotholmsgade and park your bike and walk up to the bridge from there. By bus 2A, 40, 66, 83N and 350S. By Harbour Bus (as in ship) 991 and 992. Metro to Christianshavns Torv and walk 3 minutes along Torvegade to the bridge.
4. Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square)
Plenty of traffic from all sides, but also a lot of renovation and road repairs right now. Most cyclists passing by are commuters trying to whiz past as fast as they can. But there are lots of red lights to slow them down and also many cyclists shopping that pull their bikes across the large square.
My fav spot: At the bus stop opposite the crossing between H. C. Andersens Boulevard and Jernbanegade.
Tip: Remember to go to both sides of the square for a change in scenery and background depth.
How to get there: By bike go to H. C. Andersens Boulevard and park your bike at the crossing with Vesterbrogade. By bus 10, 12, 14, 26, 33, 82N, 83N, 85N 94N and 97N. By S and Regional train to Hovedbanegården (Central Station) and from the main entrance walk 5 minutes along Vesterbrogade to Rådhuspladsen.
5. Jagtvej / Nørrebrogade
Large crossing where you can see how Copenhageners use their bikes for a myriad of purposes to get on with their lives. Centred in a busy residential and shopping area the crossing is flanked by a large park/cemetery. Excellent shooting positions for all kinds of light and weather. Lots of small groups of kids, families and friends pass by.
My fav spot: On the pedestrian island facing East with Nørrebrogade as a deep backdrop.
Tip: One of Mikael Colville-Andersens most famous pictures was taken here with the yellow cemetery wall as a backdrop. See if you can match him!
How to get there: By bike go to Nørrebrogade or Jagtvej and up to where the two streets intersect. Try parking at one of the stores at the crossing. By bus 5, 18, 81N, 84N. The new Metro station will be ready five years from now...
Another large crossing with several excellent shooting positions and a choice of deep backdrops. Especially good for mixed pictures of cyclists and pedestrians as well as groups of cyclists waiting to cross or moving across. Good balance between commuters and local residents.
My fav spot: On Trianglen itself on the corner facing North towards Østerbrogade.
Tip: During most of the day you can find a street aligned with ambient light as your backdrop - in contrast to Copenhagen's many relatively narrow streets.
How to get there: By bike follow Østerbrogade until you reach Trianglen and park your bike there without blocking the way for others. By bus 1A, 3A, 14, 15, 80N, 85N and 95N.
7. Gammel Kongevej / H. C. Ørsteds Vej
Ever wanted to photograph a cyclist donning a 20.000$ fur? Frederiksberg is the place for a touch of Copenhagen's more elegant chic cyclists and this crossing is one of the best places to get lucky. Its also one of the absolute best places to get head-on pictures of cyclists, as two of the cycle paths make a "swing" just in front of a conveniently placed pedestrian island you can use to shot from.
My fav spot: On the pedestrian island facing South towards Alhambravej.
Tip: Great place for close ups and for evening/night shots
How to get there: By bike go to Gammel Kongevej and follow it up to H. C. Ørsteds Vej. Park in front of the super market on H. C. Ørsteds Vej. By bus 3A, 14, 15 and 85N.
8. Bridge between Havneholmen / Islands Brygge
Beautiful background scenery. Should be near the top of this list during summer, but due to the difficult light and surprisingly shadowy surroundings less so during the long dark and cold winter spell when traffic also drops. Lots of splendid scenery to explore and exploit. Shooting here during a summer morning or early evening when the chic factor peaks is not to be missed.
My fav spot: On the landing on the West bank facing North towards Copenhagen Centre.
Tip: Its easier to get great cyclist shots at the landings than on the bridge itself.
How to get there: By bike either follow Kalvebod Brygge or Islands Brygge along the water front until you reach bridge. By bus 30, 65E, 97N and 250S. By harbour bus (as in ship) 991 and 992. By By S train to Dybbelsbro Station.
9. Ingerslevsgade / Dybbelsbro / Skelbæksgade
With its open space and steady flow maybe the best place to catch the morning and evening commute. Many cyclists passing here come from afar on their bikes. In addition there is a constant flow of people taking their cycles with them on the S train and thus lots of opportunities to include the unique Danish cycle/train combo in your shots as well as many shoppers with bags and boxes from the nearby shopping centre.
My fav spot: At the crossing between Skelbæksgade and Ingerselvsgade facing towards Dybbelsbro and the harbour.
Tip: Go for the morning rush hour. Bring your best camera/lens. Shoot against the low hanging sunlight.
How to get there: By bike go via Hovedbanegården (Central Station) to Ingerslevsgade and up to Dybbelsbro S Station. By bus 1A and 65E. By S train to Dybbelsbro Station.
10. Christianshavns Torv
Beautiful people, buildings and waterfront. For sheer variety in personality and individualistic style Christianshavns Torv is a hit. And it can boast of heavy traffic 24/7. So why so low on the list? There are not many good spots to position yourself and the crowed square and incessant car traffic will ruin lots of those one-in-a-lifetime shots you see coming up only to have them blocked by someone or something. It may offer you the very best of the best, but may also leave you frustrated.
My fav spot: the pedestrian island at the bus stop in front of the Metro Station facing West which is great for head-on shots in the afternoon.
Tip: Move around to make sure you have the best light possible. Be persistent until you find a good spot to take your shots. Know you will miss a lot of great shots.
How to get there: By bike go via Christiansborg slot across the bridge at Langebro to Christianshavns Torv. Park at the Metro Station. By bus 2A, 40, 66 81N and 350S. By Metro to Christianhavns Torv.
Did I mention that I love Copenhagen?