I’ve always loved the subway.
Besides the classic American diner, there is not better place to share space with such a variety of people from all walks of life. But much like the disappearing diner, subways are changing into a well curated, well lit, boring adventure where the number of everyday people is being taken over
by those with their head down and eyes fixated on their phones screen.
The warm glow of florescent lighting has been replaced with overly bright LED lighting. The token, now just a piece of nostalgia has been replaced by smart cards and soon payment by phone. Posters advertising all types of products and services are mostly dominated by ads for Apple’s latest phone giving the subway stops a weird George Orwell 1984 feeling.
Dimly lit subway concourse tunnels now have a feeling of an indoor mall in New Jersey. No matter if you were in Philadelphia or New York walking down the steps into the subway gave the impression of traveling into another world. It was an adventure full of uncertainty that’s being replaced with all the thrills of riding up in an office tower elevator.
Three years ago when the change just began, I started to photograph in the subway with an urgency of knowing what was to come. I took my old tiny Ricoh point & shoot camera and spent hours riding the subway and walking the stations and concourse tunnels. The tiny camera let me go
unnoticed so not to upset what was happening naturally. My method resulted in some of the grittiest photographs I’ve taken.