25 Lomos: 4. Metro man (2004)

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In 2004, I went to Moscow, the first stop on a nearly five-week trip across Russia on the Trans-Siberian with a friend.

I decided there was no better way to document a trip across Russia than with a bag full of Soviet cameras. So along with an Iskra medium format folding camera and a Zenit 19 SLR, along came my Lomo LC-A.

 

We stayed in Moscow for around a week before jumping on a train to Kazan.

It was August and Moscow was simmering in summer heat. We traipsed across Red Square and paid homage to The Scorpions at Gorky Park. We filed past Vostok rockets and Tupolev airliners on the avenues of the All-Russia Exhibition Centre, the VDNKh. We walked past ranks of Soviet tanks in the Frunze Military Academy and criss-crossed the city in one of Moscow’s real gems – its metro system.

When the Soviets built the Moscow Metro they meant it to be more than just a way to move the city’s workers from home to work and back again. It was designed to show the glory and might of the Soviet Union, and the stations were monuments of soft power – palaces of the people. They sport massive chandeliers and huge friezes decidated to the heroes of the USSR.

 

This pic was shot on one Metro trip. Trains are much more frequent than in many underground networks – you really have to wait more than a couple of minutes before another Soviet-era train rumbles alongside the platform.

I thought I would simply catch this man in silhouette, but at the last second he turned to the side, the peak of his cap becoming apparent.

Kodak E100VS doesn’t usually go this colour of toxic green when cross-processed – it tends to accentuate blues or reds. Perhaps it was down to the lighting; Moscow metro’s space may be palatial, but the lighting can be dungeon-like.

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