Traffic, or Memorable Moments of the Moving World

Whilst in Paris this weekend, I got a little lost and found myself in some sort of discount bookshop in Le Marais. For the princely sum of six euros, I picked up a book called “Traffic”. I mainly bought it for a couple of the photographs in there, since it was so cheap, but after reading the Foreword I discovered that I actually admired what the compiler set out to achieve.

To try to summarise, the book is a celebration of both photography, and the history of  ‘movement’. All of the photographs included are amateur photographs. From the Foreword:

“Transportation means movement; photographs require a steady hand and really demand that the subject of the photograph be motionless. All too often, for the amateur, the traffic even is past before he is able to photograph it. But, it is astonishing how often he seizes just the right moment. Many of these photographs document a hunter’s good fortune; they are the fruits of a successful hunt. Thus, these photographs are still exciting today, as each of us are still intimately involved with these systems of transportation. It is only in the recording of our relations with these machines that we have become careless, for the distance that motivated the amateurs to take their photographs has disappeared. The pioneer era is past.”

I genuinely wish that I had been around when the world witnessed many of these new modes of transportation for the very time.


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