The last thing some of us urbanites might want is someone getting a close-up of our face while we're waiting (most likely impatiently) for a train home in rush hour crowds. But that's exactly what Adam Magyar is doing with his series "Stainless"—and he's making us all (collectively) look artsy and awesome through slow-motion 'portraits' of public transit platforms.
Side-by-side is a trip (apologies to Magyar for the cheap thrill)
Those are excerpts of Magyar's footage of Alexanderplatz in Berlin and 42nd St/Grand Central Station in New York City. The films were created with a backpack-concealed camera that shoots footage of train platforms from inside approaching cars. It's pretty eerie the way quick gestures are still movements in a mostly frozen frame, but with a small fraction of the speed. Hair flips, hands grabbing for bags, children chasing each other—they're all turned into scenes straight out of Kirsten Dunst's semi-smashing (and super depressing) apocalypse film, Melancholia:
Magyar's latest work, shot at Shinjuku station in Tokyo, is one of the very few 11-minute videos on the Internet that are worth watching all the way through. Check it out:
The "portrait" was shot in 720p, 50fps—camera settings that help achieve that smooth, surreal transition from person to person. For more on his autodidactic method—Magyar uses custom, self-made scanning software to achieve the detail and focus in his work—check out Medium's in-depth profile with the photographer here.
The series is much more than pretty photographs and film—it's a striking reminder that you never know when the backpack through the train window is mega-focusing on your irritated, public-transit-fatigued face.