When you think of the tube, you most likely think of the underground tunnels teeming with people jostling to get to their desired destinations. But it’s not always a frenzied frazzle of flailing limbs, there are rare beautiful, peaceful and creepily quiet moments too. James Whatley has been capturing these fleeting instances of calm since February 2008 and has now put them all on to a lovely blog called Empty Underground.
But how does he find these quiet spots? We asked the man behind the lens to explain all:
‘People often ask me how I do manage to get the photos during times such as rush hour, or the middle of the day, but the thing is, London’s commuters come and go in waves. It’s like the whole system breathes. If you time it right, you can snap a completely empty central line platform at 6pm in the evening, just as a carriage pulls away. Admittedly you only get one or two seconds to get the photo, so you have to be quick, but it isn’t difficult.’
‘There’s something quite haunting about an empty underground station. It’s almost oxymoronic; this space for commuters, that should be filled to the brim with travellers, is completely empty. An ‘absence of occupancy’ as I like to call it.’
So there you have it. Enjoy James’s top ten moments of tube zen…
Waterloo & City
Tunnels of London Bridge
The Number 5
A pure view at Piccadilly
See more at emptyunderground.com.