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.
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.
Erika is the editorial assistant at Core77. When she isn't covering design, you can find her writing about music, food, and healthy living habits. But mostly music. She also has a strong affinity for hedgehogs, bowling, and bands with goofy names.