Danny Lyons

When researching into different photographers that reveal images of culture, I came across Danny Lyon.


Lyons exploration of American 1960s biker culture helped to make preconceptions surrounding this edge of society. He spent his time around Chicago photographing a Motorcycle Club between 1963 and 1967. Lyon was one of the first to capture his subjects from the inside rather than as an observer looking in. This concept led me thinking into the styles and techniques he uses, and to see if I can use these with my assignment.


He participated in the biker group’s meets, races, informal gatherings and long-distance rides, travelling across the US in the process. Participant observation is a good technique to use when photographing a theme of culture, as the photographer gets an insight into what they are photographing. Photographs and recordings from his four years in Chicago created a body of work that changed stereotypes around the culture. A book titled The Bikeriders came out and revealed the group’s diverse characters representing the non-commercial face of 1960s America. Lyon’s intrigue in capturing margins of society has continued throughout his career with subjects including death-row inmates and the Southern Civil Rights Movement. The exhibition at London’s Atlas Gallery coincides with a re-issue of his book about biker culture.   Danny-Lyon-1 Danny-Lyon-2   Danny-Lyon-5Danny-Lyon-6 Overall, I believe that Danny Lyon is a photographer that will definitely help me with my project. I’ve got to admit, black and white photography is my absolute favourite. This is the main reasoning for my interest into his work. Black and White has stuck by me through the majority of my projects in the past as I believe this effect will give the audience no distractions, and makes them focus on the subject itself. I will be using this technique with this project to make my images more intense and capturing.

Butcher, S. (2014) VICE Media LLC [online] available from http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/danny-lyons-bikeriders-are-back [Nov. 21 2015]