Photo essay proposal: PATCO Speedline

For my photo essay assignment, I’d like to take on option one, taking a set of photographs on a particular subject, in my case the PATCO speedline. I live across the street from the Woodcrest station, the third stop on the PATCO leaving New Jersey, and I ride it to get into Philadelphia on the weekends. There are 13 stops in total, the first six from NJ (Lindenwold, Ashland, Woodcrest, Haddonfield, Westmont and Collingswood) quiet, wooded suburbia that take you through the Camden stops (Ferry Ave, Broadway and City Hall). The contrast between the first half and the second half of the ride is so stark, it makes you wonder how such thriving towns could exist just a few miles away from one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country. One minute you’re looking at Haddon Ave, with its quaint antique shops and Zagat-approved restaurants, and the next you’re looking at the rubble of abandoned homes covered in graffiti. Once you reach the stations in Philly (8th & Market St., 9-10th & Locust St., 12-13th & Locust St. and 15-16th & Locust Street), you walk up from the underground out onto the bustling streets, and it feels like you’ve stepped into an entirely new world in just 20 minutes.

I would like to use a disposable camera for this photo essay to get a motion blur effect, capturing the feeling of movement of riding on the train (I’m considering juxtaposing moving shots through each town with its respective station, as they are undergoing some much-needed renovations at the moment), but I’ll have to take a test run to make sure the technology in the camera is just enough up to snuff that the photos don’t come out too blurry.



One comment

  1. Hi Wayne,

    I think this is a fascinating topic and I like how you think are thinking about using a disposable camera. Try to get one that doesn’t have flash or use electrical tape over the flash. You might look online to find out the shutter speed for the various versions of the camera, as slower will be better.

    The idea of juxtaposing images from the street with the images from the rail is also good. If you choose that, please be safe if entering into less safe neighborhoods.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


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