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Digital photography has made photography of the London Underground vastly easier than with film.
ISO 400 too slow? Notch it up to 1000, or 1600, or higher.
In the old days with film I’d rarely experiment with any lens longer than 100mm underground. Not only were my longer lenses relatively slow, but trying to keep them steady at low shutter speeds was impractical.
Today, I push up the ISO and snap away.
The adjustable rear screen on my FujiFilm X-T1 is a great tool for photographing from the hip. Back in the old days, I’d take the prism off my Nikon F3T for a similar technique, but this made focusing difficult.
I made these photos in Early May 2016. For me the Underground is more than just photos of the trains and tunnels.
Since Overground primarily serves neighborhoods in London’s outer reaches and is a much more recent addition to London Transport, it is undoubtedly less-familiar to visitors than the Underground. Yet, Overground is a boon for the railway enthusiast, since it connects a variety of interesting railway hubs and junctions.
Overground services are fully integrated with other elements of London Transport, and there are many places allowing cross platform transfers to Underground and Network Rail services, as well as connections to buses and the Docklands Light Railway. Overground is open to holders of Day Travel Cards, Oyster Cards and other urban fares.
On the down side, many Overground stations suffer from austere, utilitarian, and otherwise uninspired architecture (if the term can be applied to the line’s platforms and shelters). Yet, I found the services well run, and stations and trains clean and easy places to make photographs.
London’s Overground system provides a regular-interval rapid transit service on various radial railway routes. These routes utilize a mix of Network Rail mainlines, new specialized Overground lines, and lines converted from former Underground lines. Over much of its network, Overground services share tracks with franchise long-distance passenger train operators, freight services, and in a few places with Underground trains.
Recently, Overground completed an outer orbital ring. This allows passengers to make a complete circle around London (albeit requiring a couple train changes). Since this circle intersects several significant freight lines, I found it useful for studying and photographing freight trains in the London area.
Overground provides an easy link from popular places to photograph freights such as Kensington-Olympia, Wandsworth Road, and a variety of stations on the North London line. My experience on this most recent trip produced mixed results.
Since, Overground services have been much expanded since my last visit, I focused my efforts on riding and photographing routes that not previously experienced while re-exploring places I hadn’t visited in several years. As result, I wasn’t as patient waiting for freights to pass. While I saw many freights from the windows of Overground trains, I made only a few successful images of freight movements.
My time in London was limited and I had variety of social and business engagements. Also, I visited a variety of London’s museums, pubs, and other attractions. Yet, I made good use of my time on the Overground. These are images are just a few of my results. Check London Overground—Part 2 for more views.