Bus stop, bus ride

Our Double Exposure series pairs two artists, presenting their different takes on the same street photography theme. Two views of the bus are interpreted this time.

Marie Fontecave

Marie tells us about her series “Bus Stop.”

I was visiting Limoges, a small village in central France well known for its porcelain production. When I arrived at the bus stop there, I saw through the window a boy who who seemed upset, as if overwhelmed.

There was a beautiful afternoon light, I had my camera with me and took the photo. This was the first of the series (above). Right away, I liked this idea and the abstract aesthetic. I continued taking more photos at different locations over the course of my stay. It wasn’t until perhaps eight years later, a friend of mine suggested that I exhibit my essay at a small festival.

I took the first photos at the end of my stay in Limoges. When I returned there a second time, the glass on these bus stops had been replaced by clear glass, taking away all the charm of the series and the grain that was indispensable to its coherence. It bugged me, so I went on a search to find a bus stop that had this famous glass, and found it nearby a school. That’s where I shot the rest of the series.

I’m always drawn to photos taken with what I call “filters,”(windows, curtains, plastic,) which offer playful adventures, visions rich with illusion, but which could also make you feel unsettled.

If the people are without faces, it is so I wouldn’t be seen. I remain behind glass — “incognito” — the spectator of their attitudes. That’s what always interests me, the way they sit, waiting. A bus stop, it’s a place of passage, one doesn’t hang out there. One stops…immobilized. Some remain standing, others sit down. They wait for the bus that will bring them home, to their work, or elsewhere. We don’t know where they are going. We can only imagine their stories. That is the reason why this theme can seem somewhat abstract.

Marie Fontecave is from Bordeaux, France. She got her first digital camera in 2003, her constant companion ever since, and was immediately drawn the most to the “school of vision” of the street genre. She is always looking for intimate, personal ways to express images of this “infinite, improbable, surreal, yet always human street.”

Claire Atkinson

Claire tells us about her Manchester 42 bus series, 2012-present.

Ever since I can remember I’ve taken pictures anywhere I go. On the bus, in the post office, at the supermarket, and even in the doctor’s waiting room.

When I injured my knee several years ago, I needed a temporary fix to carry on taking pictures without all the walking. I made a conscious decision to start taking pictures on the bus. It proved an easy way to get my street photography fix without aggravating my knee.

I specifically chose an interesting bus route between East Didsbury and Manchester Piccadilly, because it trails from suburbia to the heart of the city and you see all types of living — trendy neighborhoods, suburban streets, student villages, to a mile of popular Asian restaurants, and into the city.

Once every two minutes a double decker bus will drag itself up the busiest bus corridor in Europe. Being a passenger was described as “chaotic, unpleasant and stressful” by the local transport committee.

Sometimes I would go on the route three or four times in a row, sharing the space with an interesting variety of people. Pampered students, suits, retired people, families on day trips, school kids, drunks, local legends. The chaos on the bus forced my gaze outwards, the only way to ignore the owner of the thigh pressed up against my leg and block out Rihanna being blasting from tinny iphone speakers at maximum volume.

Claire Atkinson is from Manchester, England where she works as a freelance photographer.

Her Side of the Street 
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