If you have ever been to London, you've been on the underground - if you knew what was good for you. If you were in London for any amount of time you would have learnt that loading up an Oyster Card was the way to go. If you were a roaming Lomographer you would have seen the beauty in riding the sardine can carriages and the scenes that played out on the platforms.
During a recent trip to England I ventured to London from Kent about an hour south by over-ground train. Once arriving at Victoria Station I then made my way to the underground to start my day around the city. Picking up a tube map so that if my memory fails me I can have it to fall back on I’m quickly through the gates and down the never ending escalators- keeping to the right of course, through the maze of concrete corridors and straight onto a train.
Most Londoners will complain about the tube. I think it is a wonderful system, I very rarely have ever had to wait more than 5 minutes for a train to come along, have always been able to work around any route closures and (thankfully) have never had too much of a hard time minding the gap.
Circle, Piccadilly, District, Victoria. Whatever the destination, the different lines will get you there, as long as you have two legs to stand on and aren’t claustrophobic. I’m a huge statistic junkie so here are some from Wikipedia:
The Underground has 270 stations and 402 kilometres (250 mi) of track, making it the second longest metro system in the world after the Shanghai Metro.It also has one of the highest number of stations. In 2007, more than one billion passenger journeys were recorded,making it the third busiest metro system in Europe after Paris and Moscow.
As for taking photos in the underground, I am yet to perfect this but I look forward to working on it. So many people around, fast movement and terrible lighting conditions all add to how hard it is. I’ve discovered that flash really won’t do you much good, unless it is an object close to you that isn’t moving. Long exposures can be disrupted by the stream of people getting on and off at each stop.
So next time you are in a major city like London with an underground, give it a go, see what you come out with and share your tips! Oh, and don’t forget to wash that black soot out of your nose when you get home.
Erin Woodgate is an Australian and UK citizen living in Canada now with a home in Lomo.