New York/Lab

The last few days have been life in photo hell sifting through hundreds of negatives from the past 25 years, taking them to the lab to scan on a high quality Imacon scanner. I’m putting together three sets of work: New York, Amsterdam, Berlin. There have been few overlooked pearls discovered, but it’s a good exercise going through everything and re-evaluating. There was one discovery, however. A photograph of a Checker Cab in all its glory. Those of a certain age will remember these capacious cars, which could seat five in the back seat with the use of fold down jump seats. I can remember waiting for Checkers–there were lots of them–when transporting boxes or bags, or when going out with a group of friends. New York desperately needs a somewhat smaller replacement for these workhorses.

Checker Cab, World Trade Center, early/mid ’80s (4×5 film)

I can’t remember making the photograph of the Checker cab. But I knew it was downtown, and the marble wall behind the car was undoubtedly from the World Trade Center. A small sign on the wall says “Tall Ships Bar.” I looked it up on the Internet, and found that it was in the Vista Hotel–later Marriott–WTC 3. All gone now.

I like the photograh because of the way the light spotlights the car against the neutral background. There was nothing to do but set the camera up in the right spot and shoot. No fancy business. Just get it on film. It’s a car that had already seen some wear and tear. The front license plate is wired to the grill, there are a number of dents, the rear bumper is askew, but basically, the car is in great shape for the New York streets.

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