• 01.07.14

Incredible Photos Of Subways Freeze An Entire Commute In Time

Most photography aims to capture one magical moment in time. Adam Magyar’s amazing work mashes up thousands of moments that take place on trains each day together into one image.

Adam Magyar is a Berlin-based photographer who creates his own camera systems. For one project, he took an old office scanner and a medium-format lens, and created a new type of slit scan set-up. Working in major urban settings, he created a series called Urban Flow, in which people look like “particles in a system all heading in the same direction.”


The video and photos at the top of the page are from a recent project called Stainless. Magyar took a high-resolution camera normally used in factories for quality control and customized it for shooting moving subway trains. As he explained in a recent PopTech talk (below), he had plenty of problems before arriving at the final result–from uncooperative lighting in Tokyo to a run-in with the New York City cops. Several times, he had to make his own software and kit.

Magyar hopes to capture more than just one “magical moment in time,” as standard photography does. His idea is to bring thousands of moments together, expanding time somehow, and revealing something new about reality. “These are the moments that we tend not to really perceive or recognize,” he says. “I really like seeing in between these lines with these devices. It’s amazing how [many] invisible things they can capture.”

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.