Street Photography Below Street Level

Rush Up
Rush Up | Stockholm | 2016

Sometimes I turn Street Photography into Subway Photography. There are various good reasons for that. In the underground you can escape foul weather. On their way to and from the trains people are mostly in a rush so they tend to oversee the “hunting” Street Photographers. And in the subway cars travelers are often so focused on their smart phone or their books and papers that you have a very good chance to go unnoticed while taking candid portraits. For other good reasons to take your Street Photography below ground and more subway photographs continue reading after the jump.Another reason why I like to shoot underground during the day is that I like to play with long exposure times. To me motion blur is a creative component of telling a story in a photograph. While in the streets in bright daylight you need to add an ND filter to reduce exposure time to a level where you can effectively play with motion blur (1/15 of a sec and longer) down below the artificial lighting is typical on a level where reaching those exposure times is not a problem.

Another point not to be neglected (at least in Germany) is that motion blur (or not being able to recognize faces) is also a way of shooting street photography while being fully compliant with the German privacy laws.

Subway Ghost
Subway Ghost | Stockholm | 2016

As on the streets you can work with both monochrome images and color, you can play with motion in people, the moving trains or both as in the example above. You can actively hunt for interesting scenes or just sit in front of an interesting background and wait for the right subject to enter the stage. In the image below I somehow liked the advertisement of a fitness studio on the far wall. While sitting on a bench and waiting for my train to arrive the guy in his sports outfit approached from the right and I found him to be a perfect subject to combine with the billboard.

Nordic Wellness
Nordic Wellness | Stockholm | 2016

While mainly using my Olympus cams or the Ricoh GR II for my street photography I also shoot with my iPhone because it is a perfect tool to go unnoticed while taking an image, Nobody will notice you if you pretend reading your smart phone while using the cam instead, so you can get away much more while taking candid portraits of your fellow travelers. The picture below is an example for that.

Com-Muter | Stockholm | 2016

So I hope these photographs provide you with some inspirations to take your street photography below grounds at the next opportunity.

Underground | Nuremberg | 2016
Exodus | Nuremberg | 2016


Related Posts:

Street? Airport!

Street ? Airport ! (2)

Street ? Airport ! (3)

Saturday Rush (or running after the subway bird)

12 thoughts on “Street Photography Below Street Level

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  1. Hallo Marcus,

    Ich habe mit großer Begeisterung deine Blogeinträge zur Olympus Pen-F gelesen welche ich auch mein eigen nenne.
    An und für sich will ich dich einfach nur zum schönen Blog mit tollen Bildern beglückwünschen. Ich freue mich schon auf neues Material von dir.

    Beste Grüße aus der Nähe von Stuttgart


    1. Vielen Dank für das Lob, eine echte Motivation weiter zu machen! Du hast auch einen tollen Blog! Würde mich freuen, mehr von deinen PEN-F Erlebnissen zu hören. Bei Dir scheint es Probleme mit der Kommentar-Funktion am Blog zu geben, ich wollte dort etwas schreiben, habe aber nur Fehlermeldungen bekommen.

      1. Danke für die Blumen. Von der Pen-F gibt es demnächst wieder was. Zur Zeit muss ich nur die passenden Motive für den Blog Post finden.
        Ich schau mir das morgen mit der Kommentarfunktion mal an.

    1. Ganz lieben Dank für das großartige Lob, und das von einem Profi wie Dir! Eine schöne Ermutigung weiterzumachen. Und das mit der Inspirationsquelle kann ich nur aus tiefstem Herzen zurückgeben, denn Dein Blog und Deine Porträt-Serien sind unglaublich kreativ und berührend!

      1. Ach komm… Ein Profi wie ich??? Nee, nee, ich bin auch noch in der Lernphase. Und die dauert noch laaaaange an 😉 Aber ich mag auch Deine Art zu sehen und abzudrücken. Was besonderes….

  2. Fantastic photos with motion blur! And the last image when a dove is walking in front of people is outstanding and it made me smile:)

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