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Lowes Bicycle

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

We all have a sentimental side. Personally, I am always looking into the past. I often drift into a daydream, wondering how people lived or how the world felt. Those good old days seem simpler somehow. Of course, the reality was likely a departure from how I imagine it. People enduring the period of the black death would probably say their lives were less idyllic than modern, comfortable living. None the less if I had the opportunity I would love to go back.

That is why I love pictures of old stuff! It takes me back. 

Looking at old, well-used items such as this bike I cannot help but think about its owner. What did they do? Where did they live, and so on? I find myself wondering when this bike became orphaned, obsolete, and replaced by a cheaper, modern, mass-produced version from China. 

Learning is another beautiful result of looking at antiques such as this. Antique hunting has become a phenomenon in recent times, and people far and wide search the country's breadths hoping to one day unearth gems from the past. The main draw is discovering something new. Something ground-breaking. Some discoveries can be life-changing in terms of knowledge and wealth.

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The psychology of antique hunting is multi-layered. Often the enthusiasm is fuelled by the thrill of the hunt. Afterall walking through the mall presents little challenge, but treasure hunting presents us with a meaningful and fascinating purpose. 

The second reason must come from our participation in the history of the item. That feeling of succession as an object passes from one person to another. An antique is continually imprinted with the experiences, memories, and stories of the past as it exchanges hands.

Thirdly, our love for antiques is the repercussion of not making things how they used to anymore. Previously everything was handmade, usually by a small team of dedicated and skilled workers who had honed their craft over many years. Even cars had the physical stamp of their manufacturer. It was clearly visible in the craftsmanship. Now it is all done by personality deficient robots, and we feel more unconnected to our surroundings than ever. Strange for a world that is becoming increasingly connected. Go figure!

Another theory is that owning antique items allows us to stand out. The rarest items are one of a kind, owned by no one else. It fills us with a sense of importance and makes us feel like we are trailblazers in a society that is all too uniform.

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier antiques are living stories. Looking at them allows us to escape reality for a little while. They charge us full of thoughts and emotions in the same way as images and words do. We construct the stories in our heads, whole scenarios, and plot lines just by touching, feeling, seeing, and believing in an old antique. 

Lowe has managed to capture an old bike leaning against a rustic fence, and it is dressed in interesting items to help pique our interest. The story I develop might be more elaborate than your account, but there rests its power. Antiques and photography, in particular, provide us with portals into the past and our most profound imagination. 

It is not so easy to successfully present relics from the past. They are inherently difficult to locate. Although Lowe's image is set up in a deliberate way there is a great deal of patience and skill required to find the perfect shot and tell a compelling story. 

Most decaying objects look great in isolation regardless of their setting, but good composition can achieve mesmerising results.

For example, imagine you came across an abandoned old bike leaning against a fence. How would you tell a compelling story about it? Is there anything that alludes to the history of the object, are there any signposts to its back story. Here Lowe has achieved his purpose by placing items in the basket and presenting it a specific way. They may not belong to the owner or come from the same period as the bike, but they pose a question, and all you need is a question to develop a good story. 

Lowe is not overly concerned about constructing the story for you either, with each object he is planting a seed, a seed for you to take and grow at your leisure.

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