Sunday, March 29, 2009

Metro Station

The other day, I was standing on the platform waiting for a train when a Metro employee scolded someone who had just taken a flash picture of the station. We are now in the High Season for tourists, with the cherry blossoms at their peak. Many visitors are experiencing riding our subway (or perhaps any subway) for the first time. They see a subway photo as a nice souvenir. I can understand the overly-cautious mindset that leads Metro officials to see picture-snapping as an opportunity for information-gathering by those with destructive motives. But that moment made me think of stories from the old Soviet Union, when tourists would have their film confiscated because of something "sensitive" that might have ended up in the background of an innocently-made snapshot. So here is the Metro as I see it. The great arch of the vaulted ceiling is coffered, like the Pantheon. The light is dim, draining away much of the color. So I chose to take this picture in black and white. Nobody stopped me when I set my camera on the floor and let the timer trigger the shutter. My only motive is to share a grand, elegant and under-appreciated space that those of us in the Washington area use but forget to really see.