Twice a day, Monday to Friday we find ourselves moving along with crowds of people as we make our way to and from work. Some drive while others find themselves reading or daydreaming the minutes away on trains. If you're one of these people, for one day try putting the book down and pick up your camera instead.
Do remember there are rules to follow on station platforms when taking photos. The National Rail website
, for example, states that taking photographs on stations is permitted providing it is for personal use. Tripods aren't allowed at busy stations and locations where they are allowed, tripod legs must be kept away from platform edges and behind the yellow lines. Flash photography is not permitted, and images of security equipment can not be taken. Do take the time to familiarise yourself with the rules and ensure you've done your homework before taking your camera out of its bag. The tube has a different set of rules to those set out by National Rail and details on the London underground's filming and photography permits can be found here: Transport For London
A good all-rounder zoom lens (your standard zoom will be fine) will be really handy to have, particularly for shooting candids. For something with a little more reach take a look at the Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3,5-6,3 Di II VC PZD
. It's described as a travel zoom but it will also be at home in the hands of a commuter, on the move who has everything from people to buildings and close-ups to capture. If you're going to be working hand-held you may need to use faster ISOs or you could try using shorter lenses that are easier to hold.
There's plenty to photograph on your commute. Platforms, signals, candids of commuters, trains and old stations are just a few examples of what you can capture on your way or to or from work.
Old stations have great architecture so do take time to look at the glass, metal and other materials forming interesting and in some places century old buildings for you to photograph.
While waiting on the platform look for patterns and other small details or why not photograph fellow commuters as they hurry from the trains. Candids on the carriages showing people's emotions, feelings and behaviour can make for interesting shots. You could even try them in black & white to see how it changes the feeling of the images.
If you do have particularly steady hands try using a slow shutter speed as a train pulls into the station. This will leave the train sharp but blur the surroundings. This technique will also work with people as the longer exposure will exaggerate the movement of the crowd through blur.