20 Beautiful Pictures Of New York City Taken By A Taxi Driver

FEB. 3, 2014, 5:37 PM

 
44129 FRAME 26A27David Bradford

Driving a taxi in New York City gives a unique eye-level view of the daily lives of the city’s 8 million residents.When David Bradford became a cab driver in the early ‘90s, he thought a view from the cab’s window would make for fascinating photos. He was right.

“I couldn’t anticipate it, but once I was in the driver seat, I realized I had a front row seat to everything happening in New York,” Bradford told Business Insider.

He’s published two books, Drive By Shootings and The New York Taxi Back Seat BookCheck out more of his work here.

Bradford has been a cab driver for the last 20 years, but he started his career as an artist, attending the Rhode Island School of Design for Illustration.

Bradford has been a cab driver for the last 20 years, but he started his career as an artist, attending the Rhode Island School of Design for Illustration.

David Bradford

Bradford was a skilled “blind contour illustrator,” meaning he drew without looking. He says it was incredible training for photographing from the cab, where he has to often shoot without taking the time to compose.

Bradford was a skilled "blind contour illustrator," meaning he drew without looking. He says it was incredible training for photographing from the cab, where he has to often shoot without taking the time to compose.

David Bradford

After college, Bradford became an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue. After ten years at Saks, he decided he wanted to pursue his own art.

After college, Bradford became an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue. After ten years at Saks, he decided he wanted to pursue his own art.

David Bradford

To pay the bills, Bradford became a cab driver in 1990.

To pay the bills, Bradford became a cab driver in 1990.

David Bradford

At first, he photographed things from the cab to use as references for drawings. After a couple of years, he turned to photography full time.

At first, he photographed things from the cab to use as references for drawings. After a couple of years, he turned to photography full time.

David Bradford

Bradford shoots while driving, rarely taking the time to look or compose. He has an instinct for what is interesting or compelling and acts on that instinct.

Bradford shoots while driving, rarely taking the time to look or compose. He has an instinct for what is interesting or compelling and acts on that instinct.

David Bradford

He says that snow and rain make for great photos of NYC.

He says that snow and rain make for great photos of NYC.

David Bradford

“There is more drama when the umbrellas are out and people’s faces are scrunched up,” says Bradford.

"There is more drama when the umbrellas are out and people's faces are scrunched up," says Bradford.

David Bradford

When passengers entered his taxi, Bradford would introduce himself and say, “I shoot the city from a taxi.”

When passengers entered his taxi, Bradford would introduce himself and say, "I shoot the city from a taxi."

David Bradford

He taped two of his prints to the glass divider in the cab and kept his portfolio on hand to show to interested passengers. He sealed two books deals and countless media appearances by talking up big-shots in his cab.

He taped two of his prints to the glass divider in the cab and kept his portfolio on hand to show to interested passengers. He sealed two books deals and countless media appearances by talking up big-shots in his cab.

David Bradford

Once, he showed his portfolio to a white-haired passenger who told him that he was also a photographer and that he was opening an art show at the Whitney Museum that week. It turned out to be famed portrait photographer Richard Avedon.

Once, he showed his portfolio to a white-haired passenger who told him that he was also a photographer and that he was opening an art show at the Whitney Museum that week. It turned out to be famed portrait photographer Richard Avedon.

David Bradford

Bradford would often camp out in front of the CBS offices or Port Authority to try to pick up interesting people.

Bradford would often camp out in front of the CBS offices or Port Authority to try to pick up interesting people.

David Bradford

After ten years of shooting, Bradford released “Drive-By Shootings,” which sold out its first printing run.

After ten years of shooting, Bradford released "Drive-By Shootings," which sold out its first printing run.

David Bradford

For his second book, Bradford decided to turn the camera on his passengers.

For his second book, Bradford decided to turn the camera on his passengers.

David Bradford

He says that he often shot passengers when they weren’t paying attention.

He says that he often shot passengers when they weren't paying attention.

David Bradford

Occasionally, passengers complained, but most told him that it was “the best cab ride they’d ever had.”

Occasionally, passengers complained, but most told him that it was "the best cab ride they'd ever had."

David Bradford

Bradford has been witness to everything happening in New York over the years. This is a shot he took on 9/11.

Bradford has been witness to everything happening in New York over the years. This is a shot he took on 9/11.

David Bradford

A few years ago, Bradford retired from taxi driving. He says it is of the most stressful jobs in the world.

A few years ago, Bradford retired from taxi driving. He says it is of the most stressful jobs in the world.

David Bradford

A race-car driver once told Bradford that driving a cab in New York City is the best training for driving a race-car.

A race-car driver once told Bradford that driving a cab in New York City is the best training for driving a race-car.

David Bradford

Bradford still misses the taxi life. “I have taxi dreams,” he says.

Bradford still misses the taxi life. "I have taxi dreams," he says.

 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/see-new-york-city-through-the-eyes-of-a-taxi-driver-photos-2014-1?op=1#ixzz2sJ2UviEQ

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