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Be on the Lookout for Cabbie and Photographer David Bradford

The noted photographer and cab driver has published two books of his views from the front seat

He may be a cab driver now, but David Bradford — a noted New York-based photographer — has a long history of artistic endeavors. He moved to New York City in 1978 after graduating with a degree in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and became an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue, a position he held for a decade. After leaving Saks, Bradford became a freelance illustrator and designer. He started his taxi-cab driving career in 1990 so he could have more freedom to take on independent projects.

Not long after becoming a cabbie, Bradford began taking photographs from his cab to use as reference points for his illustrations. By 1993 he was snapping pictures for the sake of the photos themselves, creating a personal portrait of New York City from a unique vantage point: the front seat of a yellow cab. In 2000, Bradford published Drive-By Shootings, which sold out its first printing of 50,000 copies within three months. A second volume of photos, The New York Taxi Back Seat Book, followed in 2006, offering a more intimate view of the people who pass through the back seat of a taxicab in New York City.

Bradford continues to capture images of the city, most recently in the form of 15-second movies he shoots from the front seat of his cab with his cell phone’s video camera. The films are accompanied by a “soundtrack” (whatever music happens to be on the cab’s radio at the time) and published on his website as-is, with no post-production editing. Be on the lookout for Bradford; you never know when you might find yourself in his taxi, watching art made on the fly.

Our New York Moment series is a film journey that explores the unexpected moments that add up to the world’s greatest city. From the first man to illustrate a New Yorker magazine cover on an iPad to a musician who turns Times Square into his stage every day, see what makes the city tick through the eyes of the fascinating folks who live here. Click to see more.

Do you have a New York Moment of your own that you’d like to share? Tell us about it @NEWYORKCOM, #WELOVETHISCITY

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