Farewell, streetcars: Shoot now or cry later


Far from home — by Joe Reifer

This news just in from Telstar Logistics — at least eight of the vintage PCC streetcars stored up in Lake Tahoe have been purchased and will be trucked to suburban development near St. Louis where they will become diners, cafés, sushi bars, or bookstores. Read all about it, and don’t miss the fascinating backstory, and Telstar’s photos of this location from May 2006.

One of my photographer’s mottos has become shoot now or cry later. It’s hard to tell if an interesting site for photos will be around for 20 more years, or 20 more minutes. Every time a site gets dismantled, burned, or knocked down it’s just a motivator to check the location list and get out and shoot. Thanks again to Telstar for helping me make the streetcar shoot happen last year.

Also note: Prints of this image of the PCC streetcars in the forest are available.

6 thoughts on “Farewell, streetcars: Shoot now or cry later”

  1. “One of my photographer’s mottos has become shoot now or cry later. It’s hard to tell if an interesting site for photos will be around for 20 more years, or 20 more minutes. Every time a site gets dismantled, burned, or knocked down it’s just a motivator to check the location list and get out and shoot.”
    —–

    Great point Joe. There is a lesson to be learned after every shoot, or in some cases for shoots that never get to happen. Things change.

    - Jay W

  2. I like your phrase “Shoot now or cry later”.

    About ten years ago I came across David Plowden’s books in the library. He talks at length about photographing old buildings, factories, towns and machinery as fast as possible to create a record for future generations. My favorite theme from Plowden’s writing was how he felt he was always “…staying one step ahead of the wrecking ball.”

    I also have a “to shoot” list, like you mentioned. When I put it together, it was originally prioritized along the lines of what would be the most photogenic. More recently, I’ve reprioritized it along the lines of what is most likely to be gone soon.

    Andy

  3. That’s been my overarching reason for photography. Things that disappear will never be seen again unless we capture them. Luckily the Bay Area is full of talented individuals who are willing to take their time to photograph important places whose demise is imminent.

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