Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Catching the train - a toycamera* story

I usually park at the station and catch the train when I can. I say it's because I am a nervous driver. Or parker.
However, the truth is there is something mesmerising about train travel. Even when I do remember to take a book (today I forgot), I often find myself leaning against the window, staring out at the rush of the world, the swirl of time and place passing me by. I love looking into people's backyards, I love back fences and graffiti. I also like all the intersecting and parallel lines: railway sleepers, telephone wires...
I like the structures. I like train stations and their oddments of building. I like the glimpses into the past.
I like the way everyone descends into themselves on the train. We are travelling together, separately. It is a very human thing to do, to catch a train.I even enjoy those glimpses of suburbia, those billboards and brand names that dominate the landscape, places I don't go to, things I won't buy. Yet the commercially generated nostalgia is not entirely lost on me.
The train is a holding pattern. It's as if life doesn't happen on trains. As the train reaches the station everything slows down, even time itself. Then the doors open and people get off, they leave to get on with their lives, time catches up with them and propels them with a rush, out of the station and into the business of being in the world.
Until I am the last one left in the carriage.
These photos were taken with my iphone using the Toycamera application, which applies a random filter to your photographs.


  1. Michael2:38 PM

    That was great - and this is coming from someone who often thinks that train stations are the most depressing places on earth!

  2. I like train rides too, for all those reasons. That is beautifully written.

  3. That's gorgeous, Penni.

  4. how cool is that toy camera setting?! I like train rides too, and long tram rides, although there is something less mesmerising about the tram.

  5. I am more of a people watcher on the tram.
    I am loving toycamera! The iphone camera is good for a phone camera but doesn't usually take brilliant shots, I love the toycamera though, I think it's my new favourite thing.

  6. Ooh lovely snaps Penni ^__^ I am loving the Lomo camera app at the moment - it has similar cool filters. I'm a people watcher too, I love to doodle sketches of train folke, and make up wondrous stories about their lives... Look, that man over there, he has birds in his pockets - they fly under the seats and gather people's secrets, then flit back to whisper them into his beard.

  7. Damnit, the iPhone even thought of that function huh?

    I have quite a few toy cameras in my camera collection and I love using them, though getting prints off them is a bugger.