PDN Photo of the Day

Sur La Route: Bicycles in Burkina Faso

In a traditional brick house on the edge of Bereba village in Burkina Faso, photographer David Pace spends 8-10 weeks every fall photographing various aspects of the community. The house is located along a dirt path where these portraits of local residents, most of them on their bicycles, were photographed. Pace, who’s been shooting his “Sur La Route” series since 2009, says the bicycle is the most common form of transportation there, and on any given evening 25-30 may pass by. All of the images in this series were taken between 5:30–6:15 pm during what he calls a “magic” 45 minutes, with a Canon 5D Mark III, a Canon 580 EX II flash unit and a Quantum Turbo SC powerpack.

Pace, who’s been traveling to Burkina Faso since 2007, has been working on nine different series in Bereba, and two more in Ouagadougou, the country’s capital. Lately he’s focused his energy been on “Sur La Route,” “Friday Night,” a series about a weekly dance party in the village, “Karaba Brick Quarry,” and “Market Day” portraits, as well as a gold mining series.

Pace is set to go back to Burkina Faso in September to work on a series he begun in 2013 called “L’Ancien Village” (the old village). He told PDN via email, “At the center of Bereba there is a core of beautiful adobe brick houses and structures that are more than 100 years old. Some are beginning to deteriorate so it is important to capture them before they disappear.”

Related: David Pace on How the Colorful Quarries of West Africa Changed His Photography

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