Views From The Bus

A visit to Patti’s ‘Nylon Daze’ blog revealed a post of images taken from a bus window. I thought – Hey… That’s my territory ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I decided that maybe a few of my inside and out shots from buses could be of interest as a response and provide a contrast with the view from Public Transport in New York. Thanks for the idea Patti ๐Ÿ™‚

Fighter PilotDown by Victoria Station, a Police Community Support Officer talks to a group of colleagues. The hand gestures look a bit like a fighter ace demonstrating a dog-fighting manoeuvre!

RoutemasterPassengers and the conductor on the lower deck of a Routemaster on Fleet Street

FerrariA rather nice motor on the Finchley Road ๐Ÿ™‚

RenaultInside a Renault Agora in Perpignan

YL'sYoung Ladies onboard a Renault Agora in Canet-en-Roussillon

PolicePolice Officers question suspects in a car park in Guildford – from a passing Routemaster

W&FThe Wingate and Finchley team and board members en-route to a cup final game – that’s our Manager standing in the aisle

Full and FrankA Full and Frank discussion at Crouch End!

Mod consAll Mod Cons on a Greenline Van Hool coach in Notting Hill Gate

Kentish TownAlmost bedtime – a night journey through Kentish Town


  1. I am surprised no-one complained that you were taking photos of them!

    • People only tend to complain if they’re aware that you are taking a photograph. The ladies on the French bus were too busy talking to notice. The routemaster is working on a tourist route so the taking of photos on board is kind of expected. The shot on the team coach was taken as part of my role of Wingate & Finchley match photographer – in fact you can see Joe giving me the double thumbs up from near the rear of the vehicle ๐Ÿ™‚ I do quite a lot of candid work and the trick is to be unobtrusive without looking surrepticious!

  2. Ah. Music to my Soul.

  3. Love the idea . . . and the execution. Especially enjoyed the second shot and the one of the brilliant police cars ~ our are drab in comparison.

    • Well, the idea is Patti’s so I’ll redirect the love her way ๐Ÿ™‚ The colors of our police cars have changed a lot over the years – This type of colorscheme with the alternating blocks on the sides is usually referred to as ‘Batenburg’ after the cake ๐Ÿ™‚ The diagonal reflective stripes on the rear are to increase the visibility of the vehicle when stationary on a busy dual carriageway and hopefully to avoid some fool driving into the back of it!

  4. Great pics. But what I really want to ask you is, “how those young ladies allow you to take pictures of them”? It’s quite impossible in our part of world. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like both yours & Patti’s post on this new concept a lot. Very creative.

    • Hi Arindam – I don’t know how it works in India but in generally in Western Europe and the UK photographing people in a public place is a legal activity. If someone complains then I won’t take the photo or I’ll delete it. But normally people are too busy doing their own thing to even notice you taking a photo as long as you are not acting in a suspicious manner whilst doing so. These ladies were concentrating on their morning chat in the noisy environment of a bus so they wouldn’t have heard the shutter fire. The one thing you must not do (and I certainly don’t) is follow an individual person with the intent to photograph them – that constitutes stalking and is altogether a different thing to an opportunist photo in a public place. I firmly believe that taking chance shots of people going about their daily business or just general shots of normal streets, is an essential way to build up a library of images that will be invaluable to social historians in the future. It’s ironic that many of our best social history shots from the period between the wars are actually photographs taken by public transport enthusiasts! Not sure if you saw this A-Z Challenge response or my Waiting post for the WeeklyPhoto Challenge?

      What is the situation on street photography in India?

  5. what fun martin, your buses look very fine inside …. and you reminded me that my london ancestors once lived in kentish town …. no doubt all the buses were busy this last weekend!

    • Hi Christine – I’m always pleased when one of my photos revives memories for someone… Makes it all worthwhile ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure the buses and tubes were very busy – I stayed at home myself!

  6. You are probably sick of hearing me say this, Martin, but I am always so very impressed by your ability to pull off such crisp, well-laid out work on the go like that! One of my biggest difficulties with street work is how distracted I get by everything… so I can’t react quick enough to compose, check / fidget with settings and then actually hold still long enough to grab shots like this (still life is enough to give me fits usually). Wish I could borrow your skill!

    • Bob – you are too kind. I take lots of shots and have many failures. Most street shots require recomposition. Set the camera at a depth of field that will cover most contingencies like f8. Then adjust the ISO settings to get a good shutter speed for what you’re taking.

      In the old days of the AE1 with iso 125 film or Kodachome 64 I used to position myself to take action shots right to left because the shutter was a horizontal plane shutter and moved left to right – you could gain the diference between 1/250 and 1/500 that way! Doesn’t work with digital cameras ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      May I suggest just choosing a type of image you’d like to get on a specific day and then going out looking for something that fits. Don’t forget that most of my shots are driven by my transport interest, so they’re not what you may be trying to get.

      The only thing you need to borrow from me is Luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Great shots Martin! I love the gritty Crouch End scene where I can almost hear the accents!

    Your shots are so much more colourful than mine what with the bright, abstract colours and form in the buses compared to drab industrial over here. My set came about because I am always playing with different settings, curious to see what might happen if I do this or that . . . plus the crowd on this bus were chatting away so noisily no-one would hear a shutter. Different situations call for certain approaches and often I don’t hesitate to ask certain people if they would mind my taking their photo when a passing chance shot is never going to work. With the digital display I can then show them the result for their approval. Martin, I should stop here before this becomes a post but it is a fascinating topic and thank you so much for your company and the view from the London bus windows!

    • Hi Patti – I think your shots are every bit as colourful as mine and I felt that your post deserved a response. Not least because of the wonderful shots of protest activity you’ve been posting! Street photography is following in the footsteps of Cartier Bresson and to be encouraged at every opportunity ๐Ÿ™‚ We both use SLR’s so we are as obvious as possible – no subterfuge! There are times to ask and times to just take the moment because otherwise it is lost.

  8. I used to enjoy bus rides, but I learnt to drive. Your pictures bring a few memories to the surface, nice ones as well. PS thanks for reblog. chugging train gathering pace. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lol Gerry – I used to love taking shots out of train windows – then they made them non-opening! Glad i found some memories for you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hope that train brings some results ๐Ÿ™‚

      ps – I do have a car… It’s the 2 litre HDi diesel 206 and I eat Porsche Cayenne’s for breakfast ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Great idea picking up on Patti’s, and how different the photo series are!
    (Of course the French buses are the most stylish. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Me too, v. impressed with your skills, as hers, in operating in the candid mode so tellingly, skillfully, and yes, artistically.

    • LoL Judith – The French Renault’s lack the awesome beauty of the Routemaster! They should really go and find some chic designers ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think the key is to show the person (s) in a time and place that will be of use to historians in the future – the young ladies in France doesn’t quite fit that ideal (though the mode of dress will be of interest) but that is what I generally aim for in my candid shots.

      I really like Patti’s selection because of the art contained in her choice of subjects – I just take realism in a standard view – you wouldn’t find me taking the long socks in the trainers. That’s what makes Patti’s work sing for me – a nicely different style!

  10. Interesting photos Martin. Love that Ferrari. I haven’t been on a bus in years. I should jump on one sometime.soon

    • The best way to get around London Tony – much nicer than the Underground, though it’s not as fast. Best routes for tourists visiting are the 9, 15 and 23 – taking in many of the key tourist sights along the way.

      • My wife & her Dad leave for the UK on Sunday for their 5 week holiday to visit family there. They aren’t going to London though. Her Grandma lives at Beck Hole plus they are also touring all over the rest of the country too

      • Michelle & her Dad arrived in Manchester 5am Tuesday she’s loving it al/ready

      • Hi Tony,

        Glad they arrived safely. Hope they can avoid the worst of the rain and have a great time ๐Ÿ™‚


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