Taiwan: The Cycling Island

Frame production at Giant Bicycles, Taichung.

I traveled to Taiwan a few years ago to visit an assortment of bicycle factories, check out the cycling culture while riding around a little bit and report back on my findings. The piece was published in the print and digital edition of Momentum Mag in May 2016. I’ve now reformatted the article and added some new images to the ‘Photo Stories’ archival section on my website. Have a look:

Taiwan: The Cycling Island – Writing & Photography by David Niddrie

Taiwan is a small island nation sometimes called the ‘Bicycle Kingdom’ and a staggering amount of the frames, components and accessories we’re familiar with in North America are designed and manufactured here. It was my first time visiting Asia, and first experience looking behind the scenes at cycling manufacturing on a massive scale. I’ve been to many bicycle trade shows, handmade builder expos, events and gatherings in Canada and the USA, but the scale of the global cycling industry – of which Taiwan is a huge part – was mind-boggling. Please head over to my main website and take a look at my piece on Taiwan, the brands, the people behind them and what this ‘cycling island’ is doing to promote and encourage city cycling in a nation of millions.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting the inside scoop for my readers and have a pile of outtake images, sound clips and interview notes from these adventures. I’ve done similar visits to facilities in Germany and the Netherlands and I would love to do this again sometime! Learning where and how bike share bicycles are made, going behind the scenes at an innovative e-bike company, photographing a custom build from assessment to the first pedal. Or something completely different, like vinyl LP manufacturing in Western Canada. Anyone want to partner? Contact me!

Hands on manufacturing at Velo Saddles.

Van Bikes – Portraits From the Cycling World

Last summer I worked with Colin Stein to produce portraits of key players in Vancouver’s city cycling movement. Colin is working on a really big project: conducting in-depth interviews, sourcing archival images, and bringing together first-hand accounts as he puts together the definitive oral history of cycling advocacy in Vancouver. I can’t wait to hear these voices illuminate how we became such a bike-friendly city. Check out the project here. In the journey to a printed volume, we’ll hear a lot more from Van Bikes.

You’ll see there are more than one hundred people who make up the fabric of this tale. Kudos to Colin for tackling such a big project, and one encompassing so many angles. See how bicycles factored into the ground-breaking Clouds of Change Task Force, continued today as the Greenest City Action Plan. Or the creation and philosophy behind our city’s beloved Bikeway Network. Here’s one on our bike-friendly Mayor Gregor and his party’s role in growing our cycling mode share (complete with a portrait I shot of the Mayor in 2012). This is just a sample of the stories to come.

The portraits were started with another photographer, so when I stepped in to help out we had a style to work with. A simple set up – one light, one chair, and a dark backdrop all aimed at capturing some personality to accompany the interviews. We converted to monochrome for a consistent batch to work with. I was happy to reconnect with past colleagues and friends from my years working in Vancouver’s cycling advocacy and media sector. Cool to finally meet some of the others whom, over time, I had known via a wave as we passed like bikes in the night. Keep an eye out on Van Bikes and related media, this story goes back many decades and continues to be written today.

Re-energized! Re-examining! Revealing!

It’s all happening!

I have been busy working on a number of projects – commercial and personal – but have been pretty lax about sharing what’s up lately. As I populate my main website with new stories and collections, I plan to re-invigorate this blog with photography, too. Taking some time away from the relentless battle against the Instagram algorithm, I hit pause in the new year and have been doing my own thing again. This blog and my site, along with Flickr, are dedicated spaces to see my work online. Consider my IG profile an archive of 2000+ images for the time being. We’ll see if I’m drawn back to that space or not…

Speaking of archiving, that’s been a big part of my life lately, too. Re-editing older projects with fresh eyes is very exciting! Expect to see more from my digital collection — 200,000+ images from the past 14 years. Prints, scans and slides are on top of that. It’s…a lot. But I love it. Not only do I take photos for a living, I shoot when I’m on break, too. It’s a career and a passion, something I am grateful for most days.

As a welcome back – to you and I – here are two shots from one of the best times in my life: my travels around Argentina and Chile with my love, Sandra. I passed over these images on my initial edit 12 years ago. The top shot is from a place outside Barreal, Argentina called the Pampa del Leoncito – a dry lake bed renowned for land-sailing and sky-gazing. The bottom shot is the approach to the Pampa, with the massive Cordillera de Ansilta – seven peaks in the Andes reaching up to 5900m – forming an impressive backdrop. That’s Cerro Mercedario dead ahead at 6720m. Along with Aconcagua further down, these are the biggest mountains I’ve ever seen!

If you haven’t already, please take a look at my previous post featuring framed prints, now on sale! Haven’t you always wanted some original artwork from a notable Canadian photographer* on your wall? I like to think so! Please let me know if you are interested in any of the specials.

* A notable contemporary Niddrie that is ;)

Framed Print Sale

Announcing the New Year print sale from David Niddrie Photography! I have been exhibiting fine art prints over the last 15 years and it’s time to pare down the existing collection. These prints are all made locally using high-quality archival materials, framed tastefully and many have been previously exhibited at art shows here in Vancouver. Shipping is available for out of town orders, otherwise pick up in Metro Vancouver can be easily arranged. There is a variety on offer: colour, b&w, canvas with images from Honduras, Argentina and Canada, along with hyper-local prints from the Disappearing Main Street series.

Please let me know if you see something of interest. And don’t forget, these are just ‘sale prints’ from exhibition — maybe you’d like a different image for your space? Because I do a lot of that, too. Now….without further ado: The Prints!


Trouble Brewing (Limited Edition)
Photographed in Cordoba, Argentina under a dark sky of unusual mammatus clouds.
Exhibited at Diane Ferris Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
12.75×19” black, custom framed, white matte (~7.5×12” image size)
Listed for $250.00 ltd edition, available now for $160.00

Photographed at Budgie’s Burritos on Kingsway near Main Street, Vancouver.
Exhibited at the This Is East Van photography exhibition, Vancouver, BC.
16×20” white frame, printed white matte (~9.5×14″ image size)
Listed for $165.00, available now for $115.00

Sunbaked Cinder
Photographed on the Helm Creek cinder flats approaching The Tusk, Whistler, BC.
Selected by Getty Images in This Is Canada 2012.
18×26″ deep-set black frame, archival canvas print w/ 1.5″ gallery wrap (~16×24″ image size)
Listed for $325.00, available now for $215.00

Ceiba Tree of Life // Duet with the Northern Sky
Photographed in Honduras on top of a pyramid at the ancient Mayan art city of Copán
Never exhibited, private collection, Vancouver, BC.
27×39” grey, plastic frame, white matte (~19.5×27” image size)
Value $350.00, available now for $195.00
Note: deep discount due to slight warp on frame-only

Photographed at Interbike bicycle trade show in Las Vegas.
Exhibited at the HUB art show and fundraiser, Vancouver, BC
12×15” black frame, white matte
Listed for $100.00, available now for $65.00

Photographed in downtown Vancouver, from the ‘City Square’ series
Exhibited at Photohaus salon show, Vancouver, BC
12×12” black frame, full frame, no matte
Listed for $150.00, available now for $100.00

Solitary Man
Photographed in downtown Vancouver, from the ‘City Square’ series
Exhibited at Photohaus salon show, Vancouver, BC
12×12” black frame, full frame, no matte
Listed for $150.00, available now for $100.00

The following are from the Disappearing Main Street photo series. This extensive body of work can be seen on a dedicated site here. The series captures Vancouver’s Main Street at it existed in the summer of 2011. Photographing both sides of Main from 2nd Avenue at the bottom of the hill up towards the end of the commercial district at 33rd Avenue, the series encompasses 62 complete blocks of uninterrupted streetscape. Prints available here were exhibited at our project launch exhibition.
All images from this series are available as made-to-order prints as well, please inquire.


Top Cars
East // 6th – 7th Avenue, Main Street, Vancouver

18×24” white frame, printed matte (~12.5×19″ image size)
Listed for $185.00, available now for $140.00

East // 26th – 28th Avenue, Main Street, Vancouver

16×20” white frame, printed matte (~10×15″ image size)
Listed for $150.00, available now for $110.00

West // 19th – 20th Avenue, Main Street, Vancouver.
16×20” white frame, printed matte (~10×15″ image size)
Listed for $150.00, available now for $110.00

Thanks for taking a look! Hit me up if you have any questions, comments or perhaps you are looking for something a little different? Let’s talk!
Note: all prices subject to GST and shipping, if applicable.

New Website!

The Kenda Tire factory in Taichung. From an editorial assignment looking at bicycle manufacturing in Taiwan. Photo Story coming soon on the new site.

The Kenda Tire factory in Taichung. From an editorial assignment about bicycle manufacturing in Taiwan. Story coming soon to the new site.

Hi there, it’s been some time! Sorry for the pause in the photoshow but I have been working behind the scenes on my new website and it’s getting ready to share! In fact, I have the basics up online right now. If you’d be so kind as to take a look and please let me know how it works for you. I am in the ‘bug testing’ phase, let’s call it ‘beta’ and see what happens. Much more fun to do it all ‘live’, right? Coming up on the site I’ll be adding many more ‘Photo Stories’ and other exciting new content. This blog will morph from my main site into what it started out as — stories, thoughts, photo galleries, editorial writing and video to support my online portfolios. Stay tuned for more and thank for sticking with me to date. Much appreciated!

Please visit: David Niddrie Photography


Fall Fishing & Ponderosa Pondering in the Skagit Valley

Visitors relax along the Skagit River in BC.

It was late September and summer was easing out, slowly becoming autumn here on the West Coast. Still plenty of time for camping and hiking as the mushrooms were just beginning to announce themselves and the trout were seemingly enjoying the cooler waters this time of year brings. For a fishing stream, the Skagit is renowned. Most people out here today were hip deep in waders and tackle. For us, the streams didn’t deliver but any day spent on the river in this gorgeous valley is fine by me. I caught some good shots, angled for some landscapes and portraits.

With the fish a no-go, we ventured into the woods and into a forest of Ponderosa. Certainly one of my favourite trees, but they really don’t grow around here so much, preferring the arid interior less than 100km away. But in between here and there, the coastal mountains with all their dark forests of fog, moss, cedar and fern exist. Those Cascade Mountains across the US border create a shadow, a microclimate for the dry-loving Ponderosa to grow. It was a little patch of Princeton, right here near Hope. With the sun making a hasty retreat to the west, we took the last light afforded our eyes into the woods and scoped out Angel Wings, Boletes and assorted funghi. A few made it home, most we left as is.

The colour palate that day was across the gamut – bold primaries mixing with the subtle hues of a darkening day and a changing season. A little cloud and the low, golden light a few days after equinox is a photographer’s delight. Here are a few scenes from the Skagit that day. The next was entirely different, and the one thereafter…forever onwards.

Skagit Valley, BC, 2016.

<click the first image to view ’em large – I would recommend it!>

Left Behind: A Short Horror Film

Sometimes things are forgotten, left behind in the forest….sometimes they come back to life in unexpected ways.

A short horror film created while camping near Whistler, BC.

A little bit of background. Sandra and I are frequent campers and we always have cameras on hand to document our wilderness adventures. Over a morning coffee and campfire, we had an idea. We began to notice rope, twine, and cord of all manner hanging in the trees, abandoned since they were last used for tarps and shelter. The wind picked up and the rope seemed to take on a life of it’s own, twisting and swirling in the sky with our wood smoke. Our morning thought soon became an afternoon of shooting in the woods. It was great fun! We came back with some creepy footage, and while taking a digital filmmaking course I began editing, using this project as a way to learn the software and get our ideas into a film. And now, just in time for Halloween, I am pleased to share with you the resulting short film.

We hope you enjoy it! Please share with your friends and let us know what you think.

Credits below the break:


Cycle of the Season: Autumn Bike Style

A couple meet in the forest to ride their e-bikes together

“Urban Escapes” — Published as a centrefold in the Autumn 2016 print issue of Momentum Mag. Meaghan Horne rides a Blix Vika+ foldable e-bike to meet up with Franky Morrell, riding a Blix Komfort+ step-through e-bike. Alternate take below, used on the table of contents page.

Photographed in Stanley Park, Vancouver, 2016.

A couple meet in the forest to ride their e-bikes together

The Totem Poles of Alert Bay

Totem poles stand tall at the traditional Namgis Burial Grounds on Alert BayOff the Northern Coast of Vancouver Island, and a ferry ride away from Port McNeill, lies a small island called Cormorant in the Queen Charlotte Strait. Home to the Kwakwaka‘wakw village of Alert Bay, in the ‘Namgis (Nimpkish) territory, this island is living history. At once traditional and contemporary, Alert Bay is home to an active population of ‘Namgis, and it’s these welcoming people who illuminate the island for visitors. From the tourism info centre, one is greeted enthusiastically and with a plan — depending on how much time you have on the island, a map and itinerary is offered for self-guided exploration.

We started at the U’mista Cultural Centre, a museum and heritage stop with the largest collection of Potlatch memorabilia in the world. Many of these items were repatriated from overseas after Canada’s prohibition, which forbade the hosting of Potlatch and other essential traditional ceremonies, was lifted. They are still collecting, still healing and still looking to reconnect a fractured past. By welcoming tourism in a big way, Alert Bay is a beacon for those interested in our West Coast history, both the beauty and the brutal.

From U’mista, we visited the Big House, off limits to visitors as it’s still in use today. Standing before the great facade was impressive enough, our imaginations ran wild thinking of the experiences contained within. Next to the Big House stands the “World’s Tallest Totem Pole“, at 173 feet tall. Beyond that is current ‘Namgis burial ground, and down the road and over the hill is the Anglican graveyard, a place with many mixed symbols and dedications. Private totem poles and arches are found throughout the island, you can see them all in one day as the island is just 12km around the edge.

The highlight was the original ‘Namgis burial grounds. On the edge of the ocean, totems stand tall and some stand crooked. They face the sea and remain alert, protecting and honouring those buried below. As an outsider, we weren’t able to get close, rather taking our photos from the road. Still, the energy can be felt on this island and in this place. While the skies opened up and the mist set in, it was time to take the ferry back to Port McNeill, thoughts of times past and times anew occupying our minds on the slow float across the sea.

Alert Bay, Cormorant Island, BC.

<click on the first image to view large – recommended!>


Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2016 – pt. III Sunday

Country singer Hayes Carll at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Folk Fest Sunday. It’s day three and everyone is in the groove by this point. The clouds took a while to depart in the morning… then they gathered up some energy and returned darker and firing electric bolts later in the day. Luckily there was just a sprinkle of a shower, and the stormy skies above the North Shore and Howe Sound turned out to be an excellent backdrop. If you haven’t yet, head back in time and check out the scene on Friday and Saturday. Then hit play on the playlist below to get in the mood. Ready?

The final day of the 39th Folk Festival was another standout. Time to catch all the music that’s eluded you so far and listen to the whispers from the crowd about who is a ‘must see’. Today’s the day! Aside from some bands from the previous few days, here we see the Brazilian flavour of Flavia Nascimento, Cape Verde’ Elida Almeida, the mindblowing modern/traditional music of Estonia’s Trad.Attack!, a flamenco/Arabic mashup from France’s Les Noces Gitanes, bluegrass punk rock from Montreal’s Lisa LeBlanc, countrified tales from Hayes Carll (pictured above) and Canada’s beloved Bruce Cockburn. I tried to replicate my shot of Bruce from his last appearance in 2004 — fairly close, right? Rounded out by Land of Talk, Henry Wagons, Cian Nugent, and a few more I took in without the camera.

I received my 15-year veterans badge this year, a milestone for me, and as such I included a little selfie here, too. Yea, I’m really proud to be a folk fest volunteer :) The other thing I have to mention — that Churro Ice Cream sandwich? Incredible! Search out the Dinner by Bayan food truck for this one, I can still taste it. Thanks for viewing, I encourage you to check out some of the artists in the player below and let me know in the comments who caught your ear. Already looking forward to 2017 – the 40th anniversary, it should be epic!

Vancouver, 2016.

Listen to my 2016 Folk Fest playlist below while perusing the photos. Enjoy!

<click the first image below to view large – recommended!>