The Phoenix Railway Photographic Circle / W_Hobson_2
Exhibition: The Human Element

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Subject :

25.152 with a parcels train at Bangor station, at 7.47 a.m. on 10 th August 1983 . This was an up train stabled at the down platform pending the passage of overtaking passenger-trains. The cases belonged to a holiday party, who were presumably due to take the train I was waiting for. I’d never seen passenger luggage left in an unattended group like this at Bangor before; and I seized the obvious opportunity to make a visual linkage between luggage and a parcels train. Working with wide-angle lenses was still a relatively new departure for me at this time, and I took full advantage of wide-angle’s greater depth of field to get up close to the luggage in order to emphasise the juxtaposition.

Technical details:
Train speed: Stationary
Light: Bright
Camera: Pentax Spotmatic II
Lens: Tamron Adaptall–2 1:2.5 28mm
Film: Kodak Plus–X black-and-white negative
Film size: 35mm
Exposure: 1/30 @ f16
Film developer: Kodak D76 diluted 1:1

Wyn Hobson

W. Hobson 2

I wonder what the rest of the passengers thought when they saw you lurking amid all the suitcases? Bomb left on Bangor station... ah, well. Nice one, Wyn -- once again you've made good use of the wide-angle lens. Even though the loco is distant, the suitcases seem to lead the eye straight into the picture. (Larry Goddard)

This is beautifully 'seen' and executed. A real working railway pictures well-composed and helped enormously by the train. The good condition of the run-of-the-mill suitcases suggests a holiday party of elderly people. Had the title not already been used for a painting, I would have suggested it be titled "The Last of England"! (John C. Baker)

Took it in case it worked, eh? Well, it did. One of the most constructive wide-angle shots I have seen. You could probably have trimmed 3/4" left -- it goes on a bit relentless there. (Peter Shoesmith)


Another very well seen cameo of a now vanished part of the railway scene. I mean lots of unattended suitcases, though the comment would be equally applicable to the loco and stock. Well composed. (Bob Avery)


Effective historic shot of luggage in advance. (Ian Cowley)


Good use of the wide angle lens to include the luggage and the background and to keep both in focus. I don’t think that many of us would have seen the possibilities here. (David Flitcroft)


I particularly like the prominent Birmingham luggage label in this picture. (martin Higginson)


How to capture the human element with no one in the picture. I'd love to see them get that lot on a Virgin train today! (Jonathan Cordle)