Hiding underground in space next to the C line at Penn Station is the subway’s lost and found unit. These guys busy themselves all day collecting, registering, sorting, classifying, filing, storing. They research owners then notify and return to those owners any lost property that shows up on the subway system in New York City. In these lost property caves of Penn they have a bizarre collection of lost stuff, hundreds and hundreds of cellphones, handbags, wallets and other expected items like umbrellas, keys and student’s books etc but the collection extends into the realm of the completely unexpected. I particularly like the false teeth making equipment and the heads of mannequins. Oddly numerous people appear to have left behind their prosthetic limbs. Someone left a six foot stuffed replica of ‘Animal’ from the muppets with pink hair and others have even lost numerous items that cannot be mentioned on a family show. Its all down there waiting to be claimed!
As I mentioned before, there is a long tradition in photography of self captioning images. This one is nice and clear ‘Lost Property Unit’ big arrow to a member of staff so you know what you are looking at. Thats the main thing but I also like the light on the guys face, the way it lifts his eyes but drops to shadow on this side giving a strong element of defined contrast and shape to his head shoulders and hat. The camera is angled up to follow the line of the sign partly for dramatic effect in that now the sign dominates the guy and the image, but the angle is partly to use the natural shadow as ‘burning in’ for the edge of the image.
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