So over the next week or so I will be doing a series of posts about our recent trip to Montreal. While there are bunch of things that were shot, I wanted to start with the pictures from the Metro. The Metro is the Canadian version of the subway, but better by leaps and bounds. There are three main lines that connect you to Montreal, Old Montreal and the outskirts of the city. You can ride all day for $8.00 which includes buses as well. The system runs like clock work, is cleaner that anything I have ever seen and could not be easier to use. Now that I am done plugging the Canadian transit system it is on to why I began this.
About a year ago I took on a project for a gallery and based it on subway musicians. I spent a few months riding the subways and capturing performers well, performing. It was such an amazing experience, there were dancers, singers and even a full 5 piece band! As we entered the Metro I got the same sensation I had when I did my last subway adventure. The funny thing is that there weren’t really any performers this time. Maybe because we were there Monday to Wednesday, but I didn’t care. I love to people watch and steal pictures of whoever I can. Some of the people watching always gave that confused look of “what are you taking a picture of?” While most others had no clue. To be honest I don’t care either way. I have come to the realization that posed pictures in a city or urban setting do nothing for me. I love capturing everyday life and people being people, not people being posed by someone who wants to create a vision.
To me there is something about black and white photos of people that makes an impact. Maybe it is some kind of subconscious play on life being so black and white. Or maybe its that when it boils down to it the theory of black and white makes it easy to see the stark contrast of people in their element. I feel that when you see an image of a person and it is done up to make them look like they are in a magazine, it is fitting for weddings, portraits and commercial work. I love these types of shots and love the photographers who shoot them. As a matter of fact I happen to have two very close friends who make this look easy. They are so good at it, but I see life as a much less glamorous medium when it comes to everyday things. One should look beautiful and their best on their wedding or when taking a family portrait, but not when going to work, heading to school or just getting from point a to point b.
Life is a funny thing, no two people really view it the same and time and time again I am always fascinated by seeing a photograph of nothing in particular and realizing that it was there all along. There are so many great photographers who have captured things that I, and most likely you, have never thought to take a picture of and gave it life, meaning and some sort of purpose the moment it was looked at as more than just something you pass by. People watching is a clever way to see what life is all about. Sometimes people don’t even look up from what they are reading to see me take their picture. Other times I feel like I am in a game of cat and mouse or spy vs. spy. At the end of the day, I may only end up with one out of one hundred shots that I like, but that is fine by me.