|The future 86th Street Station is part of the Second Avenue Subway project in New York City.|
And sometimes opportunities arise because we know the right person. That was the case recently when I had the chance to photograph the Second Avenue Subway Project currently under construction in New York City.
|A group photo of neighborhood residents affected by the construction is taken as part of their tour.|
|While major construction and blasting is completed for phase 1 of the project, scenes like this still serve to offer a glimpse of what it takes to create new stations and subway lines.|
So last month as I was planning my trip to New York City for Photo Plus Expo, I made plans to meet up with Pat, even if only for a quick lunch or dinner. He responded that he was also attending the expo, but the real surprise was that he asked if I would be interested in joining him on an assignment the next day photographing underground. Better yet, he had secured permission for me to photograph as well.**
Typically only residents of the neighborhood affected by the project are given the chance to tour the project. One restriction, however, is that they are not allowed to take photographs, which is why the MTA provides a photographer to both document the tour and take a group photo.
|View of the future 96th Street Station using the train tunnel to help frame the shot.|
For gear I was pretty sure of two things. That it was going to be dark and that I wanted to shoot wide, so I brought with me the Nikon D3S along with two lenses, the 14-24mm and 24-70mm. And of course I also had my Fujifilm X100S . I knew that light would probably be the biggest issue. I didn't bring a tripod so I relied on the high ISO capabilities of the Nikon D3S to capture the scene. The trade off of course is noise. I processed the images using Lightroom 4.0 where besides some color correction, I opened up the shadows and ran some noise reduction. But for the most part a little noise in these types of photographs does not bother me. With few exceptions I set my ISO to 3200 and everything was shot RAW.
|Including a MTA employee in the photograph helps to show the scale of the train tunnel located at the south end of the future 86th Street Station.|
|An opening to street level allows natural light into the future 96th Street Station which created some challenging mixed light situations.|
|Shooting wide with the Nikon 14-24mm lens allowed me to emphasize the size and scale of the project.|
|An MTA employee makes the 150' trip to the surface from the future 86th Street Station.|
Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York
*This project was originally proposed in 1929 as a major expansion, although work never commenced due to the Great Depression. Digging for the project did begin in 1972, however it only lasted a few years before New York became insolvent. Ground breaking for the current project happened in 2007.
Phase I of the current project begins at 96th Street then runs south where is will join the existing 63rd Street Line. Additionally, three new stations will be located at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street. I entered the project via 125 foot elevator at the 86th Street location and then walked underground via the rail tunnel to the 96th Street station and back.
**In order to photograph the project I had to sign an agreement with Capitol Construction limiting my use of the photographs and while I do retain copyright, I am unable to license them for commercial use. For all inquiries about photo use, please contact Rosanna Alcala at email@example.com.