There and Back Again
While the commute can take many forms, it all started with the railroad. The railroads began offering reduced fare or commutated tickets in the mid-1800’s as a way of encouraging ridership and development along their fledgling rail lines that radiated out of the eastern cities. For these commuters, as the holders of these tickets came to be known, the journey is not “the thing”, but a part of the normally routine experience of getting to the office and back home again.
The journey starts and ends on the station platform, a place where routines and habits are easy to recognize in the regular commuters. Coming or going, the regulars have their favorite seats and have pre-determined where to board the train at the station so that that they may rush on and grab “their” seat. On board the train, the commute duration becomes transition time filled with work, reading, conversing, music, napping or now more likely, the constant engagement with a digital device. This transition or “down time”, is prized by most commuters and gets integrated into their daily routine.
As a regular commuter, I experience and witness this journey first hand and seek to interrupt my observations and emotions into photographs that are both a document as well as a personal statement about what I see. For this project, processing my images into black & white best conveys mood and reinforces the experience that I want the work to express.