Introducing 'Beneath the Surface'

I'm pleased to announce: work on my first major personal project (yippee!) has begun...

Since starting street photography in August 2016, my focus has been to produce standalone photos, united by identifiable style and location. This approach has served me well but something has been missing - a clear sense of direction and purpose behind my photography. 

So, after thinking long and hard, I've decided a more project-based approach feels like the right evolutionary path to follow. Hence for my first long-term project, I'm dedicating time to tell a story about my home city and something that helps connect the people who live and work here - the London Underground.

Street photography in the London Underground.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Tube network is the heartbeat of London. Without London's Underground the city simply wouldn't be able to function - it's like the arteries that spread life throughout the city.

'Beneath the Surface' is a social documentary project exploring London's Underground network from a fresh perspective - illustrating the diversity and disparity in income, race, religion and culture within the city. 

The aspect I find most fascinating, is how the London Underground brings people together - different races, religions and cultures who wouldn't necessarily cross paths in any other place - for that brief time on the Tube.

London Tube photography project.

APPROACH, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

These are fairly fluid at the moment, but outlined broadly:-

  • Duration: the minimum term for this project is 12 months. I don't want to rush or force the photos - the process must happen naturally, regardless of how long it takes. A year will also provide the opportunity to document the Tube throughout the changing seasons.
  • Number of photos: produce at least 60 images that work together as part of a cohesive story. 
  • Colour or Black & White: for documenting this project, I don't feel colour is going to play an important role. Therefore, all images will be in black & white.

Publishing a book, or hosting a solo exhibition, would be the perfect way to conclude the project, but my principal motivation is a desire to create a thought-provoking photography project that inspires people in some way. 

Piccadilly Line in London Underground.

NEXT STEPS

I'm in the process of experimenting with different focal lengths. Although, I really enjoy using long lenses for street photography, short telephoto primes really limit the photo context in such a confined space. Showing context in the photos will be critical to the success of the project so it's important to try wider lenses that offer this for the viewer.

Once the decision over lens choice is made, I'll be sticking with the focal length for the duration of the project. I won't be working to a predetermined shot list - the photos shouldn't be forced in any direction. I'll just be capturing fleeting moments as and when they catch my eye.

I'll be sharing updates throughout the project whilst continuing my colour photography at street level.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone - from family and friends to clients and customers - for the invaluable support you've provided. Without you, I wouldn't be able to follow my dreams...

Leicester Square Tube Station.

Thank you for reading. Please 'like' and leave a comment below (no login required).

Website links: