A Photograph at the Pump (or four)


Wow, thought I, as I groggily looked at nytimes.com first thing this morning; they’re pulling Eggleston pictures for the front page! Oops, not so fast, Gonzales– this picture is a contemporary news image, shot for the Times by Michael Nagle. The caption:

Muhammed Matloob, who manages a gas station at Coney Island Avenue and
Lewis Place in Brooklyn, is out of 4s for his regular pumps and 5s for
his diesel.

That image could be thirty years old, if not for the gas prices. Does Nagle keep Ektachrome in his fridge?

What color photographer worth their salt does not have an image from the pump? Lord knows I’ve shot hundreds of ’em.

Here’s one of my favorites:


Martin Parr, Woman Gassing her Car, 1999

That one also looks way older than it is.

But this one is older:


Russell Lee, Filling station and garage at Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940

A quick search of the PS collection, and we’ve got a bunch, too. I like this one from Havana.

Nicholas Weissman, Havana, 2007

Where are your pump pictures?

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