Subway by Bruce Davidson

The Subway system of New York sprawls across much of the city and enables nearly everyone to travel far and wide for a reasonable fee.

Subway by Bruce Davidson is an exploration of the subway in the 1980s and it’s often considered to be one of the finest works of social documentary photography in existence. 

Why We Love Subway

Bruce had his camera stolen during this exploration of the Subway system, it was before Guiliani began to clean up New York and trips on the underground were often dangerous.

Subway by Bruce Davidson

He says it was worth it and we tend to agree. 

There’s something so raw and close up about these images that they defy you to look away from them. 

This is a documentary of the ups and downs of New York Life in a few taut pages and it’s absolutely captivating. 

Final Thoughts On Subway

If you want to take photos that offer social commentary, Subway is an essential read, if you want to see images that move you, it’s just as essential. 

Subway remains one of our favorite photo books of all time and once seen, you’ll never forget it. 

If you’re looking for other works to get photographic inspiration from, may we recommend Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places, Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects and Jeff Mermelstein’s Sidewalk too? 

You can grab a copy online here.

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