Photos on public transport


Photos on public transport

During this warm month of November, Manfrotto has invited me once again to share my approach to street photography with you.

For the first article, I invite you to follow along on some of my favorite photography haunts: the world of public transportation. Even if I have to confess a preference for the Paris metro, buses, subways, and trams throughout the world fascinate me.
Noises, music, shouts, conversations: all of these are fascinating elements to capture on film.


For one thing, it’s about the passion and pleasure of photography, and for another, it’s about connecting what’s pleasant to what’s useful. When you think about the repeated journey that takes you from your bed to your office as some kind of endless playing field, sometimes you’ll find a certain pleasure mingling in the crowd when something happens during rush hour (even on line B of the RER commuter train). And that’s when the miracle begins…

In these inhospitable places, you’ll find all sorts of scenes of real life. It’s important not to let your equipment slow you down.
If you feel like reworking and enlarging your photos taken with the 5D Mark III CANON, there is a very high risk of missing out on the moment. First of all, unless you’re on a tourist interlude or you’re specifically down in the tubes to shoot, you probably won’t have the time to unpack your equipment. Next, the promiscuousness that provides this situational diversity is also your enemy when you’re talking about being discreet.


For purists, and for junior reporters armed with a lovely briefcase, a nice Leica will solve all the problems of dealing with bulky equipment, and it will achieve fantastic results. However, this isn’t something everyone on municipal buses will have within their reach.


A much-maligned alternative, which used to be very limiting, resides within our dear smartphones. The majority of the latest models available on the market are in fact fitted with a high quality sensor that can compete with some compact cameras. The photo you take won’t be of a particularly large format, but if your goal is to capture an intimate moment, a farcical situation, or the dynamic energy of the crowds moving through corridors, your telephone can in fact be your best ally.

For some time now, I have been using my iPhone to immortalize my traveling companions and take advantage of all the time I spend on public transportation. In fact, I post some of these photos under the instagram hashtag #JobTrainLife.


My way of seeing makes the metro into a jungle, where everything is slowed down and vivid, and life is disconnected from the world above ground. With buses, you’re placed above the traffic flow, and on a tram, you weave your way through the sidewalks. Really, I could never recommend strongly enough that you should use your daily movements for the benefit of pursuing your passion for photography.


Ben PG

Ben PG is a young French photographer who wanders through the streets – Discover his work at www.benpg.comhttp://instagram.com/ben_pg et www.flickr.com/photos/benpg/


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