Thrice in the Subways of NYC


I’ve been editing and re-editing this same picture ever since I took it back in May 2008. Starting with Photoshop 7 back in high school, and then moving to Photoshop CS3 in college and eventually CS5.1/Lightroom 4 now, I’ve come up with my favorite version thus far (above.) Earlier iterations were warmer and brighter in the highlights; I wanted to convey the cool underground feeling that subway platforms often project. Think The Matrix, only less… dystopian.


Back during freshman year in college, I revisited the picture with a new color grade and the superimposition of my favorite passage from Wordsworth’s “The Prelude” in Jellyka Nathaniel font. The combination of photography and poetry may be more appropriate when engineered by one who understands poetry, but the juxtaposition of “beauty and fear” in The Prelude was something I found appropriate to my state of mind in 2009.


The original, when I was first learning to use Photoshop. I didn’t yet understand layers, temperature, or contrast, but I liked the picture and knew it was worth an edit. This was the most exciting picture in my high school senior project, which photo-chronicled both a 1-day trip through NYC and my misadventures trying to take photo portraits. This was the picture that got me into photography with my then-new Canon EOS Rebel XTi. A 15-second exposure pointed at an arriving subway train yielded some interesting results — enough to hopefully get me back photographing subway trains in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *