Photos I Wish I Had Taken

Photos I Wish I Had Taken: Alfredo Mancini

Photo: Alfredo Mancini

Photo: Alfredo Mancini

New York City has been photographed to death. There’s not a nook or cranny that  hasn’t been Instagramed, Facebooked or Flickrd. So finding an image of the Big Apple that makes me look twice is pretty special. One that makes me stop and really spend time examining the photo, makes me wish I’d taken it. And so it is with this picture from Alfredo Mancini.

Here’s why I love it.

  • On the simplest level, it’s a perfect New York City moment: a drive in a cab overlooking one of the many bridges in the five boroughs. If you’ve been in NYC for any length of time, there’s very good chance you’ve seen this view, making it a scene that millions of people around the world can relate to, understand and own.
  • The use of the cab’s window as a frame:  Alfredo could have zoomed in past the other passenger to compose an image of only the bridge, but the story the photo told would not have been half as interesting. The window frame draws the eye towards the bridge, as does the vignette effect the blackness inside of the cab creates.
  • The profile of the other passenger imparts a humanizing element to the picture; it adds dimension and mystery. It’s more than a cold look at the inside of a taxi and beyond through the window, the silhouette anchors the image forcing the viewer to ask, “Who is that? What’s the story behind this trip?”
  • I like that the reflection in the Plexiglas between the driver and the passenger is different from the view out of the window. It drew me in, motivating me to look closer and deeper at the photo and to try and figure out what it was capturing.
  • It’s in black and white: Color is a wonderful thing but there’s something about the grit of black and white that I love. Monochrome pairs everything down to the essentials, leaving nothing to distract the eye but the subjects and the story.


Do you like the photo? If so, why? Please let me know in the comments below.


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10 replies »

  1. This is an amazing photo. I mainly like it is because it tells two different stories in one single frame. The one about the person inside the cab admiring the city and the one about the city that is always there for people to admire. It also gets extra points for the reflection 😉

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