DC wedding photographer | Amber Wilkie Photography » Photography for awesome people.

In the Metro

Washington D.C. MetroNo, of course I’m not going to let that boo-hoo post sit there on the top of my site!  Things are good, even if I *am* busy.  I skipped yoga last night and I feel great!  …Okay, I really will stop blaming yoga.  Yoga is trying its best.

Let’s talk the Metro.  I’ve only extensively experienced three public transportation systems – the BART in California, the streetcar in New Orleans and the Metro here in Washington D.C.  I’ve been on Mexico City’s Metro, the Subway in New York, the El in Chicago, the T in Boston,  and Barcelona’s Metro.  Mexico City has, by far, the most efficient, complete and cheapest transportation system of any of these, but this isn’t a review of public transportation.  Instead, it’s a post about shooting in the metro!

There are many many others in my fair city with far more experience shooting in the metro, but I still do it and I still like it and I still like my photos!  To be relevant, here’s one from yesterday, on the right.

After you do it for a while, you realize that your settings need to change very little, if at all.  Here’s what I use to shoot in the metro: 35mm f/2 400ISO 60s.  This works for into trains and also is acceptable for people standing in the doorway that might not be lit too well (see below).  I don’t even bother trying to shoot the people waiting for trains unless they are illuminated by the maps or advertisements.  I just don’t have the glass for it.  The metro is very dark.

I go for 400ISO because I can push and pull it quite a bit in post without the image becoming too grainy.  At 800 you can get more light to begin with, but it tolerates exposure sliding much less.

Enough technical talk!

Here’s my favorite metro shot (that I took) ever.  It was actually selected for a juried photography show at Northern Virginia Community College.  It’s not the National Gallery of Art, but it’s still neat.

I do color sometimes too, but not very often.

The truth is, black and white is easier to push and pull in digital (can’t really say for film).  It also really fits the atmosphere.  Here’s a couple more.  Most of these were taken during my commute to or from work at L’Enfant Plaza.

And I’ll stop here with this image (above) I called “Bored with Lil’ John.”

Know what’s not boring?  People on the metro!  I swear that this is one place I can always go to see something new and interesting.  If you’re not a metro shooter, get on it!  There’s a world of humanity under the streets.

facebook comments:

Weekly Photography Links: 09/18/2010September 18, 2010 - 10:10 pm

[...] Here’s a great collection of street photography in the Metro. [...]

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