Lighting is everything. As is setting…
It has just stopped raining. The light is delicious. The street glows in the reflected gloaming, as a vehicle’s taillights cast their radiant wake in the damplight. It’s an album cover shot – shades of Ziggy Stardust or perhaps an Edward Hopper painting.
The combination of the banal and the everyday; the ubiquitous and socially upright Peugeot 504 berline, silhouetted against the decadent pull of the strip bars and empty promises of the wider Amsterdam nightscape is, to 21st century eyes at least, a striking visual metaphor.
What is interesting about this photo, given that it was published in a 1977 copy of Vogue magazine, is the vintage of cars parked on the streets. Of those which are discernible (and you may identify more than I have managed), all appear to date from the previous decade.
But it is not so much the substance of the image that matters here, as the spirit – the feeling it evokes. It speaks of ordinary lives transcended, of the (often shallow) promise of Saturday night on the town, of illicit pleasures, taken hastily in the dark.
Isn’t this what we live for? These transient moments in time?