In Pictures: A Window Into The World Of London Commuters

Londonist reader, Arnau Oriol, is a freelance photographer based in London. His most recent project, Commuters, is a series of photographs that focus on train-travelling Londoners as they make their daily, early morning journey into the capital.

Arnau describes the thinking behind the series:

“I find the overground train the most enjoyable of the means of commuting. Unlike the underground, the windows offer a view to the city and space for reflecting, thinking and dreaming. To me, such moments are full of beauty and romanticism, and also melancholy. I like to think that these anonymous commuters, in their natural state of introspection, are unconsciously reacting against the mechanic, banal and routine act of commuting by going beyond it.”

The photographs are all taken from a train platform as the train passes through, and Arnau’s motivation for the series came from when he was a child.

“When I was a kid I used to take pictures with my eyes. I would see a moving car coming fast, and turning my head, I would follow the car direction and blink. For a few seconds, the frozen image of the driver would be retained in my brain. I took these portraits in this same way, this time using my camera”.

All photos by Arnau Oriol.

Arnau is a freelance photographer and documentary filmmaker, based in London since 2008. Most of his photography work has been produced in the east end of London and he has worked on documentary projects for the Hackney Museum and Hackney Archives, who have supported part of his photography work in London. 

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  • http://www.corporatephotographylondon.com/ Corporate photographer

    great commuter images- it reminds me of the woody allen film where he is on the wrong train.

    • Arnau

      Hi! Thanks! I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve heard that he is on the looser train and tries to get to the successful people’s train…

      • http://www.corporatephotographylondon.com/ Corporate photographer

        that is the one- its a view via train windows and he looks across at people in another train having fun and his is full of unhappy people

  • http://nieve.heroku.com Nieve

    Reminds me some of the photography work by Chris Marker.

    • Arnau Oriol

      Hi Nieve. Didn’t know Chris MArker’s photography work, I love some of his films though. I had a look and Chris’s is more on the region of Bruce Davidson’s Subway. Check it out if you don’t know it, for me is one of the best photography books ever made. Thanks for commenting!