A Personal Photography Project

Inspired by Philip-Lorca diCorcia

I never took the subway until I came to Vancouver; so i fell fascinated on trains. I’ve always had the thought that taking the train is like a short journey, bringing you from this side to another. Maybe there is somebody waiting for you upon your return, or waiting to meet you at your destination.

I photographed  people on the skytrain last semester; however, after i finished that project, i still felt that i hadn’t explored enough. It became my motivation to keep people-watching. I ask myself: “where are they going?”, “what will they do”, and “is this a pleasure ride, or simply a means of transportation to and from work”

I recently looked at a collection by philip-lorca dicorcia. It left me impressed and excited! Dicorcia’s work inspired me to capture facial expressions and to show the mood after the subway trip. This is what i want to convey to the viewers.

The pictures are shot at the Broadway station entrance. In a busy skytrain station during rush hour, correct positioning of the subject is everything. I set up so the subject is about 25 feet away from my camera, which is equipped with a telephoto lens and synchronized to an off-camera flash. When the subject  comes into the optimal flash zone, i press the shutter and the flash activates. I have never talked to any of my subjects, which is central to my portrayal of them. I want to capture their unconscious facial expressions.

I am recording ordinary people passing by the skytrain exit. This is documentary photography, of interest to people who wish to know that is happening to those in their surroundings. I hope this portfolio strikes a chord with other people, and that people would care more about their surroundings. I wish to encourage our sense of existence as human beings in a community.