Before becoming the acclaimed director we all know and slightly question the values of, Stanley Kubrick was a working photographer for LOOK Magazine. Working in the post-war years of 1945-50 the young staff photographer focused his lens on a particular group of people during the year 1946, the ‘People Of The New York Subway’ – we take a look back at this fascinating moment in time.

Kubrick was keen to keep his shots candid and off-the-cuff in an attempt to accurately capture the freeing feeling the subway at night provided people. If you’ve ever ridden a metropolitan railway at night you will know that after a certain hour it all gets a little debauched.

[MORE] – Stanley Kubrick’s raw street photography at the age of 17 is astonishing

To achieve this he rode the subway for two weeks, more often than not in the time between midnight and 6 a.m. always hoping to catch the right moment of openness from his subjects. Capturing them at all was a tricky venture, Kubrick could only operate the camera successfully when the train was fully stopped as the motion and vibration would ruin his shots otherwise.

Kubrick used a Contax and took the pictures at 1/8 second. The lack of light tripled the time necessary for development.

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

Staley Kubrick New York Subway 1949

 

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