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Metro Photography on Instagram

Today, I want to offer a double view on metro photography through the eyes of two instagramers, each in his/her city : London and Paris.

Making photos in transportation is close to Street Photography excepted that there are many people in a tiny space under an electric light. But it is all about people. It’s like you are in a moving street lit by neon.

So let me introduce Cecile and Bal !

Cecile / @cecile_e : PARIS
Bal / @mrwhisper : LONDON

I asked some questions to both of them. You will find their words along with their photographs.

Left hand side : Cecile photos /  Right hand side : Bal photos.



First a short presentation of these two mobile photographers :
Cecile / PARIS :

Cecile lives and works in Paris. She has been using instagram app since shortly.
She has always been a naturalist person. Her hobbies brought her to photography, at first through plants and then through birds. This allowed her to sharpen her sense of observation. She has been interested in modern art for a long time and then in contemporary art and modern architecture. Traveling has been, and probably is still a transversal way to combine both urban and nature discoveries.

If you look at Cecile’s stream on Instagram beyond the fourth page, you will discover her pictures taken in the bus or in the metro in Paris.

Her favorite apps : Cecile uses native iPhone camera and Instagram basic filters. She doesn’t like very much photo processing.

Favorite photographers : Saul Leiter, Lucien Hervé, Sarah Moon, Pierrot Men, Willy Ronis…

A few words about mobile photography : “Digital technology has revolutionized my relationship to photography. Before, the limitation to 24 or 36 shots worried me. It seemed impossible to experiment. The transition to the almost exclusive use of the iPhone (I still use my Lumix LX2), is a true liberation. I feel less hostage to the device whose technology does not interest me.”


Bal also known as Mr Whisper or Whisperazzi ! / LONDON :

Bal lives and works in London as a Freelance Digital creative director. He goes nowhere without his iPhone. He Loves travelling, meeting good people and creating things. He dislikes Pigeons, broccoli and the rain.

Mr Whisper has a healthy appetite for gadgets and technology, fashion and a new way of doing things.

He has never considered himself a photographer, as He has never had a DSLR. However, He has been using his mobile phone as his camera for a long time now. He discovered once on holiday that his mobile would enable him to take shots where DSLR’s were left behind, i.e. rock climbing up a mountain, kayaking through monkey infested banyan tree’s, snowboarding at high altitude. With this kind of freedom to document his experiences with surprising clarity, he hasn’t considered buying a DSLR for a long time. With the introduction of terms like “IPhoneography” He guess he can be considered a photographer just using his iPhone !

His favorite apps : Pro HDR, Camera Plus, Photo forge 2, Pic FX, Noir, Snapseed.

Favorite photographers : David La Chapelle for his surreal vibrancy and his superb compositions.

A few words about mobile photography : “The digital age has made photography more and more accessible to the masses. Devices are getting smaller and with higher mega-pixels. Online photo communities are everywhere inviting people to share. IG is an awesome example and conduit for this. It’s such an encouraging community that it enables everyone of all ages to feel like a photographer and share – even me.”



Cecile : “Paris is an infinite field of play”

Bal : “my boring daily commute to work proved to make an interesting subject and gallery”





Cecile : “I started to love making pictures of people during a trip to Madagascar three years ago. Malagasy people do not have the same relationship to the camera that we have. It was a first successful experience and the beginning of the sequence …”
Bal : “My collection of tube candids came about by chance. My boring daily commute to work proved to be my only opportunity when I’d be able to shoot.”



Cecile : “The metro is an idea of a series I have had for some time. The recent acquisition of the iPhone 4S allowed me to implement it on a larger scale.
Bal : “I’d see such interesting people and situations everyday, it proved to make an interesting subject and gallery. And quickly made my mundane commute into an exciting daily photo shoot.”





Cecile : “I did not expect to be attracted by so many situations. It is therefore easy to take the game.”
Bal : “Thankfully, I’ve never had any trouble. But I have heard stories from friends who I’ve inspired ;) That they have forgotten to switch there phone to silent, and then had to sit out the rest of the journey in a world of awkwardness, until the next stop arrived. My best tip for candid’s, other than always keep your phone on ‘mute’is always be prepared to explain yourself when taking your photo. I always keep a loose excuse in mind.”


To discover more : Enjoy their photo stream on Instagram