Quarter Second Tube

Doug Stratton Doug Stratton

Quarter Second Tube
Quarter Second Tube

I've taken a long break since my last blog post - partly due to a busy period in the day job, partly just due to the difficulties of getting out there and shooting under lockdown! So here's an exercise I carried out in 2019 before all this madness. I think it's worth pointing that out in case the lack of facemasks enrages anyone...



One day I was stuck for inspiration but knew I wanted to go out and shoot some photos of *something*. So I came upon a plan - restrict the camera to a particular setting, and see what I can make of it. In this case I chose a 0.25 second shutter speed. I have pretty steady hands so I don't necessarily need a tripod even at this slow speed, and if anything that added to the challenge. Slow shutter speeds work really well in giving a sense of movement, so I thought where better to shoot than under the streets on the tube.



Most of the compositions were shooting along platforms with a train arriving or leaving, but this man standing in just the right place at London Bridge grabbed my eye immediately. Fortunately he kept nice and still as the train came in. Timing the shot so I got some red from the door and blue from the train carriage wasn't easy...!



I love this tilework at Green Park. I felt it gave a sense of the leaves being blown around by the oncoming train. Once again the people were kind enough not to move around too much.



Wherever possible on the tube I like to get a composition with just one person. Too many people makes the scene too busy, whereas no people makes it just ghostly and lacking in a story. I waited for a few trains at the Bakerloo platforms at Waterloo before one train dropped off just a single passenger.



A bit of tube minimalism, capturing those famous three words.



Curved tunnels are the best. This platform at Waterloo (as well as the Central Line at Bank) is one of my favourite places.



A frame within a frame. And a very good boy.


Looking back from the perspective of March 2021 it's hard to believe this was an unremarkable scene. Here's hoping it will be again, soon.

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