The Artist’s Commute: Ramin Talaie

Ramin Talaie is an Iranian born freelance photojournalist based in Brooklyn. He has been shooting the subway for a long time and about 4-5 years ago, started a body of work he calls “Trainspotting.” For this project, he documents subway life in photos. “For me it is full of interesting subjects and places to document. I always carry my camera and look for a new photograph,” said Ramin on his inspiration for Trainspotting.

Here is our interview with Ramin:

What is your process. Do you hide your camera? What is your inspiration?

I use pro digital SLRs, so it is not easy to hide my camera, but I try to be as covert as possible. I am always ready, if I see something I take a quick photo and put the camera away. My inspiration is everything. Everything you see in the subway: different looking people, someone sleeping, even an empty car.

Does anyone ever react to you photographing them?

Sure. Sometimes I smile back and sometimes I just don’t take picture. I am not trying to catch something “bad” or do an exposé on people. I think if it is done right and covertly, no one really cares.

Do you have any fun or interesting stories from the subway?

I have photographed the old City Hall station, directly under the City Hall. I also photographed the 100th anniversary of the subway system where the MTA had old cars in service for one day. A few years back I rode one of the last Red Birds cars during a special ceremony before they were taken out of service and used as artificial reefs. I have also seen a number of accidents and emergencies which seems to be inevitable with millions of riders in NYC.

Visit Ramin’s website here and keep an eye on Subway Art Blog for more images from Trainspotting!