Deep In The Heart Of Taxis
I’ve caught taxis in many parts of the world, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a taxi company that extends such a colourful welcome - or a more enthusiastic, visible greeting - to prospective passengers.
These shots were taken in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last July, when the entire Authorblog family escaped the Melbourne winter and jumped on a plane to spend ten days in the tropics.
I was eleven years old when we visited Singapore for the first time and I remember being fascinated by the share-taxi concept that existed on the route from the city centre to Bukit Timah. You got into the cab and waited for three other passengers and as soon as they had materialised, the cab driver would get going. Because it was a fixed route, you paid a fixed fare, too.
That was a big deal for me, because the cabs that plied the route were big, majestic diesel Mercedes-Benz sedans. The first time I sat in one, I could barely believe my luck because it was the first time I had ever sat in a Benz. Man, did I have some stories to tell my envious classmates when I got back home.
I also remember vividly the self-closing doors of the silver-and-red taxis in another former British colony, Hong Kong. As soon as we got in I would reach for my seatbelt with one hand and the door handle with the other - but the door would swing closed. It was not immediately that I realised the cab driver was activating a switch that was closing the passenger door!
Both these shots were taken on the move. In KL. The first shot was taken on the long, scenic drive from the international airport to the Shangri-La hotel in the city. I saw the welcoming sticker on the door of a cab that pulled up alongside us at a traffic light - and quickly angled this shot before the lights changed.
The second shot (below) was taken as we walked along a busy footpath in the city centre a few days later. I could see the cab approaching in the lane closest to me and I knew the driver would have to slow down for a set of traffic lights.
I had my 18-125mm lens on the camera, so I composed a neat, tight frame and set the speed accordingly. Then I tracked the cab, allowing the camera lens to follow its path - and simply hit the shutter as soon as the cab was where I wanted it.
(Extra, extra, read all about it: I've been interviewed here. Thank you to all those who have followed this link and checked out the interview. There have been so many wonderful comments that I've tried to reply to each one personally - but you're setting a cracking pace. My humble and heartfelt thanks to all of you for the wonderful tributes and thoughts you have shared on the interview.)
For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.