The Beauty of the Metro

If you’re a photographer or have an eye for design, you can’t help but notice every once in a while how awesome our Metro system is, especially relative to other stinky, dark, dirty subways around the world. For being a product of the 70’s (opening day was in 1976) and being nearly as old as I am, it’s aging quite well. The arched patterns of intersecting concrete are functional as well as beautiful and give you a feeling of spaciousness unlike many other subway systems.

All of that being said, I can’t bring myself to take any photos down there in the dark catacombs of commuters. We’ve all seen other’s attempts to shoot something interesting but they all end up looking about the same. I know one day a creative idea will pop into my head and I’ll drag my camera gear below ground, but until then, here are some of my favorite Metro shots by Flickr users Samer Farha, dbking, Grundlepuck, and LaTur….

Rather than me explaining what I like about them, let’s hear what you have to say. Good or bad? Any critiques? Do you want to frame them and hang them on your wall? Let’s hear it!

2 Comments so far

  1. Doug (unregistered) on September 16th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Photography aside (and yes those are some interesting shots), in my opinion the underground stations could be better lit, and especially the signage needs to be higher contrast and easier to spot from the trains. I often meet people new to the system who are confused and board the wrong train or the right one in the wrong direction. It took me a week or two to get used to it when I first moved here, but now that I have, I have to agree that for the most part the Metro is a real DC area asset.

  2. Robis (unregistered) on September 18th, 2006 @ 10:59 am

    Well, I don’t neccessarily agree that DC’s Metro is more awesome compared to other systems around the world, but I do think it is pretty darn nifty. It doesn’t look like you’re hanging out in someone’s basement, like some other systems, but its overall blandness keeps it from being as pleasant as other systems. Like Doug, I think some better lighting is in order—something that accentuates and flatters the design. After all, even the prettiest cathedral would get lost in The Dank.

    That said, I think DC’s photogs should be put in charge of lighting improvements. If Metro looked as good on an average day as it does in the photos you present here, all my criticisms would disappear…

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