Month 9: Kilburn

This is the first time my coin has landed on a tube station. I wondered if it would, as there are more than 250 of them (something my All London Tube Stations project has taught me). And I’m glad it has, because London Underground – despite its sweaty, overcrowded, black-sootedness – is pretty awesome, and very much a part of the fabric of London life. The last time I photographed in a tube station was for another art project, so I was looking forward to seeing a smaller, different kind of station with my photography eyes on.

I decided to start outside the station, to make the most of the sunshine before it vanished. I had purposefully started this photo excursion late in the day, as judging by the map, I thought there may be some good vantage points for night time light trails, and I had my tripod with me for that. I wandered down a few residential streets heading towards a bridge that looked like it crossed 2 large railway routes, as I thought I might be able to get a nice shot with some trains in it. Sadly, the bridge had high brick walls on both sides, so I couldn’t see anything. I took a chance and held my camera above my head over the wall, and took a few shots. Somehow I had managed to get the bridge’s wall in the shot, too – but I really liked the way the lines in the mortar reflected the lines of the tracks, and there were some awesome clouds to boot. Nice.

Fruit Stand, Kilburn High Street

I headed back towards the high street, stopping off along the way to capture some lovely, long, late afternoon shadows. After a few mediocre shots of various fruit stands and a retro-looking launderette, I headed back towards Kilburn tube station, as I had seen some murals outside the station that looked promising. Sure enough, the sun was hitting one of the murals directly, and casting long shadows of the passers-by onto the lower part of the wall. Unfortunately, it was a very busy intersection, so most of my shots were ruined by passing cars, but after at least 20 failed attempts and a lot of time waiting, I did manage to squeeze one in between the heavy traffic, with some well-positioned shadows of people. After spending such a long and tiring time in this spot, I had a short break for some dinner, and returned with my tripod as dusk fell.

It was difficult to find the right position, as although the traffic was heavy, it was slow-moving, and there was a lot of visual clutter. I eventually settled on a spot which had every type of ground transport in it: rail, tube, bikes and cars. I snapped a few shots here, and then remembered I was supposed to take some shots in the station, too. By this time, I was exhausted, and my back ached from hunching over the tripod, so I only managed a few photos within the station itself before I decided to head home to rest my arms, back and eyes.

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