THE SUBWAY SERIES
As a full-time photographer, Evan Pantiel was looking for a way to balance the everyday photo assignments that pay his bills and his need for creativity. He found the answer in the subway stations of the Stockholm Metro, and began his Subway Portrait Series , processed with Replichrome II: Slide , which gives us a glimpse of Stockholm’s diverse culture.
Pantiel isn’t Swedish, and his outsider’s perspective helped him notice a cultural trend in Stockholm, SE. While using the city’s metro, he observed that each of its three lines, red, green, and blue, had its own distinct style. He began documenting each set of track’s unique riders, creating a compelling portrait of the lines’ personalities.
Every photo in Pantiel’s subway series reveals something about the subject. He uses consistent framing and editing for each image, which allows their unique personalities to shine. Three elements come together for this effect. First, the background, Pantiel chooses a spot in the subway station with great color and texture. Second is the framing. He always center weights his subjects. Third is editing. For consistency, he chooses a preset from Replichrome II: Slide that pairs well with colors of the background he used for the portrait. By combining these three steps, a uniform look is created, which allows the subject’s unique personality to stand out in each photo.
For Pantiel, each photo is a challenge. He doesn’t speak the language fluently, and his subjects are usually in a rush and don’t want to stop, but he never lets difficulty slow him down. His favorite image of the entire series came from a tricky situation. While searching for his next photo, he noticed a priest, and immediately knew he wanted to take his portrait. Pantiel’s girlfriend approached the priest to ask him in Swedish if they could take his photo, but he didn’t understand. Next, she tried English. No luck. German, same thing. Eventually they tried Spanish. After asking, "Tienes un photo por favor?" the priest agreed. Relieved, Pantiel thanked him, and the priest responded in Swedish. He had been multi-lingual the entire time, and thought it would be a funny joke to pretend he didn’t understand.
Pantiel could’ve given up the first time the priest pretended not to understand, but he persevered. It’s a testament to his passion and creativity. He is dedicated to his art. The result is a truly unique series of photos that create a portrait of the diverse lives traveling through Stockholm’s underground.