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Eugene Salomon p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. Gene Salomon has been driving taxis in New York City since 1977. His blog Pictures from a Taxi features excellent photos of New York street scenes and people. A tattooed woman walking down 42nd Street on a sunny day; a homeless man in a wheelchair in Soho at 4 a.m.; a car crash outside Tiffany's; two lovers at a subway station in Greenwich Village; a visiting Korean pop star. All of these are captured by Gene Salomon's passing camera, and many more moments in the life of New York. His favorite books include memoirs of taxi drivers and a particular book of photography.

READERSVOICE.COM: Did you start taking pictures from taxis after getting a digital camera, and what sort of camera do you use?
GENE SALOMON: Yes. Actually I started taking some shots with film back in the early ’90s while taking courses at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and The NY Institute of Photography, but it didn’t hold my interest as it was expensive and I didn’t have the patience for the long lags between the shot being taken and viewing the final result. Digital photography, however, solves those problems and then some.  So it definitely rehabilitated my interest in photography.  I shoot with a Sony Cybershot DSC-H5.  It is basically a high tech point and shoot camera with a good zoom lens and good low-light capability, which is what I need to do the kind of street photography I do. 
RV: You mentioned some of your favorite books on your blog, like My Flag Is Down, Hacking New York, Taxi From Hell and others. What did you like the most about these books?
GS: All the books mentioned in the favorite books section of my profile were written by taxi drivers.  Hacking New York was written in 1929!  My Flag Is Down in 1949. Taxi From Hell was written by a Russian immigrant.  So all these books give a unique viewpoint about the profession of taxi driving in the city, and they also reflect interestingly about the city itself in the context in which they are written.
RV: What other books or magazines have you liked, whether about art, photography, music, novels, anything?
GS: The book that has most inspired me as a photographer, and which has been with me all my life, is The Family of Man. It was created from a famous photographic exhibition that was created for the Museum of Modern Art in 1955 by the photographer Edward Steichen.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.