52:500c – Week 33 – Transit

There are many things that Toronto is known for, like rabid hockey fans, Drake (sadly), and a robust craft beer scene. But one thing the city isn’t known for is its subway system. It’s small and rather uninspiring. Inspired by a recent post on Atlas Obscura, I took my Hasselblad into the Toronto subway system to catch them in all their 1950s glory.

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Despite not being the prettiest out there, some of the stations like Museum and the new Union Station stand out as decent stations. St. Patrick and Queen’s Park look a lot like the tube stations in London. The rest all seem just to carry on looking like public washrooms. I’m not saying that in a bad way, I like the virolite tiles and the strange little throw packs that occupy lines one and two (Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth respectively). So after a rather successful photowalk earlier in the day I decided to hop on and off the subways to shoot specific stations along my way back to Kipling where my car was parked.

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I also wasn’t aiming for any perfection in these photos. After reading through a book on Eugene Atget and seeing his work how it was gritty, contrasty, and not always spot on perfect I took a page from his book and approached week 33 in the same manner. Pushing RPX 400 and souping in Dilution A I did little to suppress the grain that picked up; I never shot any smaller than f/8 most ranging from f/4 to f/5.6 often sacrificing depth of field for shutter speed but even then not worrying if I went to 1/30th and got camera shake. It was good to get away from the tripod and deep depth of field every so often; I am pretty happy with the results.

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Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-1600
Kodak HC-110 Dil. A 5:30 @ 20C
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015)

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5 thoughts on “52:500c – Week 33 – Transit

  1. Any restrictions on shooting in the subway? Here in the states they’ve become unfriendly to photographers due to the excuse of security.

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    • Technically you have to seek permission, but really that’s only if you’re getting out the tripod and stuff like that. I kept it fast and handheld and no one gave me a second glance.

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  2. I had never seen any pictures of Toronto’s subway before, so thanks for that! These are all nice and moody! I seem to be on the opposite end of the tripod equation: it’s seldom when I ever use one. Being mobile to me is half the fun of taking pictures out and about.

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      • I do pretty much all my vacation photos handheld on ISO 100 slide film, mostly with a polarizer installed that steals an extra stop. Used a zoom lens for the first time this year; I hope the images aren’t all shaky 😊

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