You are doing beautifully by yourself.
However another source of guidance might be to examine the work of Walker Evans. He traveled the subways of New York 1938-1941.
“EVANS, Walker, "The Passengers", New York, 1938, Walker Evans, Princeton, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton University Press, 2000.”
Other books that have examples of this work but are not limited to his subway photos:
Walker Evans; Museum Of Modern Art, NY, NY; Szarkowski, John, 1971
Walker Evans; Hambourg, Rosenheim, Eklund, Fineman; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000
thanks for that link John. Walker Evans basically did what I want to do, just a few decades earlier. I'll try to find that book.
He seems to have had worse light than I have in Moscow, or maybe slower film.
Most everything looks great to me, you're still brave to use an F3 even without a prism, because I'd think its still a little obvious. I dont think it will work with my F4, they will hear the motor wind, lol.
I think it will work better with my EXA.
But people seem not to care. I try to think that photography is a contact sport. But also, that many people like to be seen and noticed.
Here is another book on the subject. The lens peeking through a button hole may have been why the lighting was less than your experience in Moscow with a more modern camera and as you say faster film.
Ha! That explains his framing!
When I'm trying to be inconspicuous with the WLF of a TLR these days I often get someone yelling, "Is that a Rolleiflex?!?! Do you still shoot film!?!? Do they still make it!?!?" Sigh...
The Walker Evans title that you should probably seek out is "Many Are Called". Though Evans made his subway photos during a 3 or 4 year period starting in 1938, he was uncomfortable with publishing the photos until 1966 (lord only knows why). He used a Contax 35mm which he concealed in his coat, with a cable release that was threaded through the sleeve. He often rode with a decoy (Helen Levitt was one, there were others) to help conceal what he was doing. Though it's often stated that he "shot through a buttonhole", he actually shot through the opening between buttonholes (so his problem wasn't so much dim lighting as it was slow film).
I've made photographs on the San Diego Trolley (a couple are posted in the gallery) and found that using a TLR wasn't problematic in the least. I think that the move away from film and into digital happened so rapidly here that it's made it very easy to do this sort of thing in the open. Nobody really knew, or cared, about what it was that was perched on my knee. I think that to do this right and place a unique stamp on it, you have to use a different methodology. 35mm SLRs restrict your vantage point and because they don't look vastly different, they're still a recognizable camera, thus harder to conceal and operate.
I'm actually getting ready to publish my photo-book via Blurb. The version available now is really just a review copy. I've been going back and forth with one of my mentors regarding the current edit. You can take a look at it here;
That is a wonderful book you are publishing. I especially like the portraits of passengers. But one also gets a feeling of the entire thing, the tunnels, stops, wagons etc. And such a good idea to make a book. The blurb is book on demand service, right? They print and deliver the books after each order? It is true that a TLR would be easier to get away with, but the Moscow metro is dim so I really need the depth of field that 35 mm gives on f4, f2.8, sometimes f1.8. Also, I really like the puzzled faces I sometimes get. The woman with the number 51 in the background for example.
About the Walker Evans book, I am already ordering it. By the way, there will be a Helen Levitt exhibition in Stockholm starting next week, which I am looking forward too. The photography world must have been small in those days.
Perkelleinen, you said something about the angle of view earlier. I have been thinking, some of my pictures are made with an almost unpleasant angle. Too low. Thanks for that observation.
If you haven't got a copy of Bruce Davidson's famous book now is a good time as Aperture have just published a third edition so the price is back from the stratosphere for a while.