In The Station:
An Encounter with Light and Time
This work was photographed over two days in January of 1978 during
which time I was a student of photography at the Antonelli School
of Photography in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Because I lived
with my parents in the suburbs of Delaware County, each day required
a commute into and out of the city utilizing the metropolitan
network of trains, buses and subways, plus a good bit of walking
and waiting around.
On one such day I found myself with time to spare in the spacious
environs of Penn Center, sometimes called 30th Street Station,
an enormous classical structure overlooking the Schuylkill River
as it meanders past the historic city. Although this particular
day was frigidly cold, the sun's energy was visually ntensified
by a recent accumulation of snow. Inside was relatively dark except
for powerful streams of brilliant light slicing into the cavernous
room through large panels of frosted glass rising 15 or 20 feet
beside the waiting room benches. The difference between the deep,
recessed shadows and the strong directional light was very exciting
for a young photographer like myself.
first I photographed cautiously; from behind trash cans, with
the camera on my knee or placed on the bench to be as inconspicuous
as possible. At times I held it above my head to capture passengers
behind me. After a while I became less inhibited and was in the
end climbing on the radiators for alternate views.
What strikes me the most about these images is the solitude,
the way each individual occupies their own space in the waiting
room, their own piece of bench in a world unique and private unto
For the technically minded, these images were photographed with
a 120 format Mamiya C330 f twin lens reflex camera with an 80mm
f/2.8 standard lens. Most were recorded on Ilford FP4, but a few
were exposed on Kodak Tri-x. Development was in Kodak D-76.
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