One way or another we all travel. For me, part of the enjoyment in travelling is ‘people watching’. I suppose I’m no different to others in that respect. We’re all the same. Inquisitive, nosy even. What sets the photographer apart, perhaps, is the desire to capture images of some of the people seen while going from A to B.
Travelling in cars or taxis is Ok. It enables you to take pictures as you pass by, but it engenders an insular attitude as you move through people’s lives. Watching. A voyeur perhaps. But, for real ‘people watching’, for real close up interaction, you can’t beat public transport. Buses, trains, tram’s, tube trains,ferries, whatever’ so long as people are moving with you, surrounding you.
I don’t profess this to be high art. It’s, both literally and metaphorically, just a snapshot, a moment in time as I pass through my life and cross the lives of others. I’m merely chronicling those ‘never to be repeated’ conjunctions and crossings. Sometimes beautiful. Most times not. But always interesting.
There’s obviously a need to get close. It takes some practice, especially if, like me, you want the subjects to remain unaware; awareness often spoils the picture you see. I use a small, quiet camera and employ the occasional ‘tactical cough’. And, of course, a wide angle lens is useful too.
Not for me the ‘In your face’ applied flash images by the likes of Bruce Gilden. They are, for this reserved Englishman, abrasive, coarse even. Flash isn’t for me. The people I picture are just being themselves,usually unaware and untroubled before and after I shoot them. People just being people.
Some more pictures of my fellow passengers. Not so much a project. More an everyday way of life. Hop on. Let’s go.
Lincoln Bus 1
Lincoln Bus 2
Lincoln Bus 3
Lincoln Bus 4
Lincoln Bus 5
Birmingham Bus 1
Lincoln Bus 7
London Tube 1
The chaos of a London tube.