Photographs with late-model cars and trucks have always been an odd challenge to my photography; they tend to appear as ugly, pedestrian chunks that I try to avoid in otherwise charming scenes. (The world has enough documentation of Toyota Corollas and Ford F-150s.) However, when I look back on old photographs from the mid-twentieth century, it’s inevitably the cars and the clothes of the past that are the most charming aspects. The common-car-filled images that I capture in the present must be a sort of investment; the boring cars of today will make this image a classic document of everyday life in 30 years.
The year has nearly come to an end, and winter has finally arrived in the North Country, but before I look to the future, I wanted to take another look back at my summer travels to the West Coast, and particularly to Seattle.
An early morning stroll brought almost-empty streets and golden hues.
The standard trappings of city life are a little surprising after a year spent in rural New York. Even this mild-mannered cab (particularly a Crown Victoria) looked like it had been placed by the crew of an about-to-begin film set.
The cheek-to-cheek connection of port and industry with everyday life surprised me the most. Ferris wheels and giant cranes share the water.
The side streets of San Francisco let the sneaky photographer creep up on an unsuspecting building. The tallest building in the skyline looks oddly small in this context. I particularly like the details at street level—restaurants, people, and signs, all a world apart from the geometric perfection of the pyramid.
The early-Saturday-morning light stabs down, under the metal bridge, to the precast concrete façade of the new and the ornate brick façade of the old. Overlooked in this corner of Seattle is a small metal door to an underground garage. I’m sure it’s perfectly mundane, but my imagination can’t cease telling me that some caped crusader’s high-tech ride is waiting on the other side. This is definitely where I’d hide my batmobile.