NYC Subway Tunnels by MTA Photographer Patrick Cashin


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An Unbelievable Glimpse of The Tunnels In Progress Beneath New York City was shot by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and assembled into a photo story by Fastcodesign.com.

MTA Staff Photographer Patrick Cashin has been shooting for the MTA since 2000. He has covered major events and projects such as this, the East Side Access process, connecting LIRR to Grand Central Station, Winter Storm Juno, and rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy.

The Photos:

The photos from this gallery speak for themselves. The depth of the tunnels is tremendous. The intricacies of the construction are artlike. And the realization that it’s all happening underground makes man realize how minute he is in comparison to our Earth.

New Yorkers are aware of the average size of a train car, cherrypicker, yellow excavation digger, bulldozer — the average size of a man. But in this setting, not so deep underground, these usual objects seem different.

These objects are different here because we will never get to see them with our own eyes down inside these giant holes. These photos successfully tell the story of this tunnel construction by exposing the true volume of them this way. With a variety of shots, Cashin documents the effort and amount of work that has gone into developing and improving the already complicated system of railways. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.30.02 AM

The Layout:

I like the way the interactive gallery feature is used to display the photos one by one. The captions are visually clean and do not take away or distract from the photos. The fonts are clear and I like the multiple sharing options. It was a good idea to have the interactive gallery but to also have a single photo to separate the blocks of text.

The simplicity of the layout allows the photos to be front and center. Fast Company maintains this design throughout their websites in order to highlight the photos and videos of the online magazine.

At the end of the body there is a helpful link to see more of the MTA’s photos and a courtesy “Hat tip” to Gizmodo.

The Content:

The captions tell the story in short bursts as the reader clicks along in the interactive gallery and it is also told in the couple of blog-style paragraphs in the body of the post. The content in the captions and in the body is the same.

Some of the captions are jokes or just don’t say anything substantive. That doesn’t work for me. I think that the person who put this together could have made a couple of calls to get more information about the underground construction and maybe interviewed an MTA communications representative.

Overall I think this photo story is great. I get the point. I’m seeing something that normally I wouldn’t see and something probably very few people have actual access to see.

Patrick Cashin is an incredibly talented photographer and his work on the MTA Flickr Account show it. Although he isn’t a photojournalist, he and his employer shared the photos online for the public to see and blogs began making photo stories. These photo stories were then shared on social media and picked up by other blogs.

The public was engaged to the photos online because the MTA posted them on Flickr and wanted people to share them. The album on Flickr has over 90,400 views.

The fastcodesign.com post had:

51PINS  84GOOGLE PLUS  100LINKEDIN SHARES  819TWEETS 1.2KFB LIKES

The Gizmodo article that fastcodesign.com credited also had 251,300 visitors to it’s page and over 11K Facebook Likes to the post. We must keep in mind that these are only two of the many places online where these photos are featured. The MTA is publicizing itself online through its free, widely circulated original photography.

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