While working on another piece for Rear Curtain, I came across a whole series of photos taken through a bus window. As a daily commuter, I take the whole sitting-on-bus-until-station thing for granted. But when talking to people who drive, cycle or even catch the train to work, it’s apparent that it actually does offer its own unique experience to other forms of commuting (not in a good way, the non public transport users will pooh-pooh). Such as:
- The driver giving you a sound scolding for flagging him down while looking at your phone
- A new driver getting his route thoroughly wrong and taking you on an unexpected tour of the neighbourhood
- Being able to listen to a bunch of drivers joking with one another on the radio
- Watching the route’s regular passengers shift as one, without coordination, for a passenger in a wheelchair to get aboard and settled
- Watching a bus full of passengers suddenly start chatting with one another when the bus breaks down halfway through its route
I could go on, but those are things you’d not come across, at least in that vein, on the trains or another form of transport. What I love about taking the bus is the relative ease with which I can take pictures of suburbia. The newer fleet of public buses here have broad windows that allow for uninterrupted viewing of the outside world as you whizz by it, so aside from the stray bit of reflection, the scene unfolds, uninterrupted by bits of the vehicle’s shell.
I find that the longer I walk or bus around taking photos of my daily surroundings, the stranger they become, especially with extended concentration on one area or perspective. I’ve found myself wondering why our bus stops were built in that peculiar way, why the bus sounds the way it does. What was going through the mind of the person who designed them, et cetera. In tandem with that, sometimes said vehicle’s shell provides an intriguing frame for what goes on outside it. So I’ve got another set on the site as part of this bus/commute project. Have a look: Transit Framed