Moscow Subway Portraits
I am doing a project in the subway of Moscow and now Kyiv as well. I would like to share some of the pictures to get opinions and suggestions.
First some background. I have lived for one year in Moscow and now I regularly go there for work and to meet friends, and to Kyiv as well. I am very fond of Moscow and I have learned the language and appreciate the culture. Moscow is, how to put it, rough sometimes. Still people can be very kind and warm, more than you, as a cool Swede might expect. In the subway everyone expect the rich meet and mingle. You have those without papers, the migrant workers, the unemployed, the pensioners, the poor, the middle class. In the Stockholm subway people stare into there smart phones, but in Moscow they sometimes look on each other. I wanted somehow to photograph this, and this evolved into this project. The atmosphere in Kyiv subway is similar, so I made photos there as well when going there for work.
I use a Nikon F3, sit down, remove the prism, and voila, I’ve got a waist level finder camera. The film is most often Tmax 3200 exposed at 1600, then Xtol. These pictures are negative scans (I have no dark room).
This is a small sample. What works, what doesn’t? What can be improved? Etc, etc. Thanks in ahead.
Last edited by Erik Petersson; 09-15-2011 at 04:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I really like these, and I like the idea as a concept.
It's pretty easy to have 'street photography', being so (relatively) trendy nowadays, become a series of snapshots. But these are clearly well crafted and interesting...all the more so as a group.
On a technical note, I'm interested in the TMZ -- the grain and tones look pretty appealing. Haven't shot the stuff for over a decade but you've got good results from it.
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first, some of the photos are made on Ilford's and Fuji's fast films, I changed the description to reflect that.
I have tried to photograph in the streets for years, and for some reason it's much easier abroad, but in a city that I know. The first days in a new place I can usually not make any interesting photos, got to get a feeling for the place first. And Moscow is probably the foreign city that I know best.
I agree with Colin, the theme is very nice. The reason I have not tried Street Photography is cannot think of a theme. Kudos to you and I hope you create and share more images.
Have you tried Ilford Delta 3200? I have some coming and I wish the grain is as nice as yours.
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Hi and thanks. I've used both Neopan and Ilford too in this project, and they all worked for me.
Hmm, in my case the first photos came before the project. Only after I while I saw the potential to combine them in this way. Now I work dedicatedly and shoot a roll or so every day when I am in Moscow.
There are more photos. If you are interested you could take a look at erikpetersson.livejournal.com
Like I said in a another thread with your images...these are fantastic. I really don't care for street work most the time, but the theme is great and the execution perfect. I'd put this in my photography shelf.
Thanks again, Klainmeister!
Maybe I should show some of my less successful photos as well... I am struggling mainly with two things, to make sense of the often distracting backgrounds with advertisements etc, and to make sense of when people sit together. Sometimes they interact in an interesting way, sometimes not.
I really liked all the photos I've seen. I wonder if you could group them in interesting ways - either as an exhibition with an order or as a book so photos on facing pages highlight a contrast, similarity or theme. You may be able to tease out some interesting observations doing this. One other thing, could you also change your angle of view? Perhaps by standing and having the camera hanging round your neck? This way you could have a view down the carriage rather than across which may give you some nice compositions.
well, I am thinking of finding somewhere to exhibit them here in Stockholm. That would be a really interesting exercise. The order of the photos will of course be important. I don't know how to go about this though, I even lack a reliable way to print the pictures.
The angle of view has been decided by my sitting down and not raising the camera to my eyes. To do that would be too obvious, I believe, and the moment would be lost. Standing up might work, I'll think about it.