08 Shoot the urban underground
Whether you live and work in London, or you’re just visiting the capital, spend some time looking at the architecture of the Underground with fresh eyes.
All you need is a lens capable of going wide – and an exposure mode that won’t fire the camera’s built-in flash. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be London! Any subway network or subterranean system will offer plenty of amazing photo opportunities.
“Flash photography is banned, as it can distract the train drivers,” says Hertfordshire-based photographer Aaron Yeoman.
“Also, tripods aren’t allowed, so images have to be taken handheld. Most of the stations are quite dark, so you have to boost the ISO sensitivity on your camera.
“I try to find the lowest level that will allow me to get a sharp image but also keep noise to a minimum. It’s not always easy; I’ve sometimes found that one or two of my shots are out of focus when I get home.
“Another challenge, for my style of photography at least, is trying to get images with no people in them. Sometimes it’s impossible to get this type of shot, as no matter what time of day there are always people using the Underground.
“However, late morning to late afternoon (before rush hour) is usually the quietest period.
“When it comes to lens choice, the wider the better, because you’ll be able to capture a stunning expanse of walkways, tunnels and escalator shafts.
“I rarely use anything other than a Sigma 10-20mm and a Samyang 8mm fisheye, which are fitted to a Sony A77. This is attached to a BlackRapid camera strap, which allows me to have the camera by my hip and provides quick access.”
Get started today…
* For photogenic stations try Southwark, Bank and Gants Hill.
* Leave your tripod and flashgun at home, and be ready to increase the ISO.
* Use a wide-angle lens and an f-stop between f/8 and f/13 to keep most of the image in focus.
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