9 thoughts on “People watching on the Porto Metro. Portugal. 2009”

  1. Great “catch” – I like how the woman only looks at you/us with one eye, plus we don’t see her complete face. Could be used as a teaching example on gaze and perception. And get entirely overanalysed :)

  2. Grasswire

    I’m fascinated with how we are always checking each other out.

    All I really wanted was a picture of inside the train with people in it. I take pictures inside of every metro system I go into. I’ve got pictures on the trains in Mexico, Sydney, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Germany and Singapore. I’m interested in crowds and transportation and how we experience them.

    Usually, all I’m interested in recording, is the interiors with passengers (because the fashion of their clothes help place the image in time) not the people themselves, but of course people think I’m taking pictures of only them. It’s been interesting to see the reactions I capture.

    Photography is like physics because the very act of observing, affects to reaction being observed. Perhaps the post modernists were right in that there is no such thing as an objective photograph. Not just because we subjectively select what to frame, but because we are part of the image, even though we aren’t in it usually (unless of course there are reflections or shadows caused by us).


    That’s funny, I thought she was thinking, “oh piss off!” Whereas the guy was probably thinking, “I’ll have some of that”.

  3. I used to find people watching on the trains in Brisbane & Sydney a fascinating pastime. I was never game to take their photo though. Congratulations on a job well done. She looks like she is having dark thoughts, he wants to ask her out but is worried about her psychiatric state. I wouldn’t trust her with a knife. Or maybe it’s just my disturbed mental state that has made me view her in that way. Maybe I am the one who shouldn’t be trusted with a knife, after all I am on medication for a mental health condition….
    Oops I am rambling on, sorry….
    Your photo reminds me of a Brisbane train experience, I’ll blog it later.

  4. Great picture. Just look at all the potential stories! He is definitely checking her out… and what is she doing? I like your comments, razzbuffnik, about how the act of observing affects what we observe. I agree with that, and the effect gets stronger, the more up-close and personal the observation.

  5. Tony

    I think you’re right about the woman being annoyed. I guess that’s of the paradoxes of being a woman. They spend a fair amount of time to look attractive and then resent being looked at…. by the wrong people.

    I look forward to your post about your Brissy experience.


    I don’t remember her smiling. I’ve noticed in Latin countries that the women don’t tend to smile at strange men, possibly because it might it would be interpreted as a come on.


    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how taking photographs changes the way how people react. For instance, a good friend of mine always pulls stupid faces when a camera is pointed at him and then of course he wonders why all photos of him make him look like a fool. People are amazing creatures!


    Thanks for the link. Some great images and it makes me think of what I’d come up with if I focused on one type of image or subject for that long. Trouble with me, is that just about everything interests me which means that my photography is far more general. I feel I can slip in and out of genres quite easily.


    I thought you weren’t “into” Freud? That is to say, “the cigar might be just a cigar”.

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