Stanley Kubrick was simply a teenager looking for work in New York City when he became one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. He began his career as a staff photographer for Look magazine in 1946, intending to depict the New York City subway, which is widely regarded as the city’s lifeline by most New Yorkers. People who ride the subway late at night are less inhibited than those who ride during the day. Various unusual activities take place late at night, including couples making love openly and drunks sleeping on the floor.
Kubrick rode the subway for two weeks to take pictures in the way he wanted. In the hours between midnight and six in the morning, he rode half of the route. Because of the motion and vibration of the moving train, regardless of what he saw, he could not shoot until the train stopped in a station. The moment he was ready to shoot, someone would walk in front of the camera, or the subject would leave the train.