Going Underground - tyneholm
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Going Underground

Assignment S08

With around 150 Metro systems around the world there is plenty of opportunity to shoot an interesting street photography assignment in stations, ticket halls and platforms, and on the trains too.

Keep the scope of this assignment pretty tight; maybe focus on one particular line, or people with animals, or people wearing interesting or unusual shoes, and aim to produce 12 final images.

Experiment with slow shutter speeds to blur the movement of the trains or the swarming masses of people during rush hour, emphasising the hustle and bustle of a busy Metro system.

View the images


  • The lighting can be pretty dire underground, so don’t be afraid to increase your ISO.
  • You can get interesting effects using a slow shutter speed to blur the movements of a train while keeping people and other objects sharp.
  • Try using your cameraphone to be ultra-stealthy, but make sure the flash is off.
  • Beware of mixed lighting. Shoot in Raw so you can fine-tune the colour-balance later.

Field Notes

  • Blend into the crowd and don’t look like a photographer.
  • People’s behaviour will change if they see someone with a huge camera and long lens, so if possible use a small camera with a wide-angle lens.
  • Check the ‘rules’ about photography on the Metro before you start shooting.
  • On the London Underground, for example, photography is generally accepted if you don’t use a flash or a tripod and don’t linger in the same spot too long.
  • Elsewhere, you may find that you need to ask the operating company for a permit (with perhaps a fee as well) or that photography is simply banned.