Take it Easy
by John Duncan
Take it Easy: Portland in the 1970s revisits those uneasy days through a remarkable collection of more than 130 long-forgotten, black-and-white images captured by dishwasher, cab driver, and budding street photographer John Duncan. In images he shot while hanging with friends, walking the streets, or driving his taxi, Duncan emotionally and evocatively captured the innocence, mood, fun, spirit, struggle, and melancholy of a city and its people during an iconic era.
"The sheer volume of photographs, the compressed timeline, and the unusually concentrated location—essentially Congress Street in the midst of its epic fall from grace—combine to create an eye-opening collection of images that paint a rare close-up of a living, breathing city buffeted by change and uncertainty. Here in black-and-white was joy and pain and melancholy as it played out in real time on the streets of a city that, in many ways, is unrecognizable from the wealthier, trendier, hipster-infused tourist-magnet that so many love today."
Dean Lunt, editor-in-chief, Islandport Press
A Visual Diary
"I would take pictures while I was driving the cab and I would take pictures while waiting for a fare. Sometimes, I sat in one place and took pictures of whatever happened on a street corner or at a crossing. Sometimes I would just walk and shoot in sort of one constant motion; just stick out the camera and snap something without breaking stride. I took thousands of pictures. I loved capturing human behavior in its various manifestations. I photographed who and what was before me. Little did I know that, fifty years later, all these snapshots would become a wonderful record of my past—my visual diary—and, in some ways, a diary of a time, a place, and a way of life."