Anyone who regularly uses the London Underground probably has a story or two they could tell you about something or someone they’ve seen. It’s impossible to ride ‘the tube’ and not eventually encounter a strange or odd looking person… Better yet, maybe you have been that person?
The abundance of wonderful weirdos and interesting anthropological opportunities on London’s busy underground network has provoked one anonymous commuter to start a blog called ‘People I see on the tube.’
The title explains it all but in the first post made on March 26th this year the ‘secret photographer’ writes. “I’ve started to take snaps of people that I see on the London Underground. I am constantly shocked/amused/creeped out by some of the bizarre people that I see.”
While the photographer has chosen not to reveal her own identity, she can be seen in reflections on a number of the pictures posted on the blog.
Wary of the possible objections that some of her subjects might have about their photographs being posted online, the photographer has provided details of how to request the removal of any pictures. However, it’s worth noting that anyone who uses ‘the tube’ is monitored by a complex network of some 12,000 cameras recording their every move.
The last time I was on ‘the tube’ a highly intoxicated man who had a distinctive aroma began engaging me in loud an absolutely incoherent conversation. He then started pointing at people, apparently choosing them slurring “You can stay” then pointing at others and grunting “Not you.” – I’m glad to say I made the cut.
I’ve often considered starting a blog of a similar nature, but I don’t commute to work. Besides which you need to live in a city the size of London to be able to gather new and interesting content on a regular basis.
The next time I find myself riding the tube I’ll be on the look out for the anonymous photographer, though hopefully I’m not creepy or shocking enough to get her attention. You can see the secret photoblog at peopleiseeonthetube.com.
Unfortunately, ‘the secret photographer’ closed the website shortly after this blog post following contact from Transport For London who own and run the tube. According to ‘the secret photographer’ someone complained to TFU about the site.
I have no further information at this stage though it’s difficult to see how TFU could exert any authority over the website or the photographer as she was not doing anything illegal.
‘The secret photographer’ has now changed the focus of the site which is now called ‘People I see on the street‘ which I have to be honest and say I don’t find nearly as engaging as the original.