Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Takes the Subway

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Future Contact Improvement[edit]

I knew I should have posted this earlier.

I also have to first start of by apologizing for oversleeping. I had a bad shift last night but I thought since I came home the normal time that I would wake up the normal time too. I was wrong.

However, it does not take that long to get into the city. The problem is that everything seemed to have banked on getting to GCT at the 9am time. As of now it is 10:56am.

Methinks next time we could pool our phone numbers together for txt messaging like with the meetings. That way we can easily splinter into groups before hand. This was we also can plan route before hand as well and hit locations faster.

Oh and I would be glad to join in now at 1pm if I knew where everyone was eating at GCT. You can STILL contact me at and I can give you my cell from there.

Just some thoughts from a sleepy head,

Sidepocket (talk 11:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Which stations do we need?[edit]

As this is drawing closer, I'd like to know: do we have a list of the stations currently lacking photos? It strikes me that most of them will be elevated ones in the outer boroughs, which does make this event a little weather-dependent. Daniel Case (talk) 16:51, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I have compiled 5 different routes, and am confident that we will be able to take photos no matter the weather. Stations in all 4 boroughs that serve the New York City Subway will be visited. Sam Blab 20:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Good. How about other subway-related things that we might want pictures of? (on behalf of WP:NRHP, I will point out that the Signal Service Building and Tower B at the 207th Street Yard, listed on the Register (and currently lacking an article, much less a pic), can be photographed quite easily from the north end of the platform at the nearby station (That one could also use a platform view). Daniel Case (talk) 21:55, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
No, that's not currently on the list. However, if you finish early, you may have free reign on wherever you choose to visit. :) Sam Blab 22:04, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, let me just add that north of Marble Hill we have no photos at all of stations on the 1 line in the Bronx. Someone will be going up that way; they can take it on the way there or back. Daniel Case (talk) 15:34, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Also IRT Broadway Line Viaduct, currently a redirect to 125th Street (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line), is up this way as well, although the existing images may suffice. Daniel Case (talk) 15:47, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Good idea, but due to sheer volume I left a boatload (or should I say train-load) of subway stations off because of concerns on the number of participants. We'll probalb yhave a 2nd event sometime in the spring. Sam Blab 16:02, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Fine, outdoor photos might not look as good in snow showers (which are in the forecast). We'll see. Daniel Case (talk) 21:05, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Taking good subway-station pictures[edit]

This has all the elements of an encyclopedic aboveground subway-station picture: enough of the surrounding environment, a sign, and a train that serves the station. All it needs is warm weather on a good day.
My personal favorite of the two subway stations I've shot: motion, color (both thanks to turning the flash off), and a fairly rare detail: the bridge over the tracks at 168th Street on the 1/9.

I guess here is a good a place as any to share my tips on taking a good picture of a NYC subway station (Face it, the city may have the most stations of any underground heavy-rail rapid transit in the world but it will never have the photogenic stations that Moscow does. But we can certainly make ours work better than most of what I've seen on Commons.).

I personally think that every subway or train station pic, aboveground or underground, that we shoot for Wikipedia should have three elements:

  • A readable sign identifying the station,
  • A wide enough view of the station to show most of it (underground) or the surrounding area as well (aboveground)
  • A train of the type that serves that station in view.

The picture of Beach 67th at right has all three. This sort of shot is easiest to get if you park yourself near the end of the platform as this photographer seems to have done.

When shooting underground stations, I find you get better pics turning the flash off and using ambient light. The subway is about two things photographically: motion and little spots of color against a background of stark black/white contrast. I took the flash off even before that train arrived; because I knew that with it I'd get a still train with its near portions lit well but almost all the rest of the image in dark shadow that I would have made extremely noisy lightening in Photoshop (and you can't, with a moving object in the center, combine two shots at different exposures like you could with a still one. It just wouldn't work. At least not for me).

With the flash off, I got the arriving train blurred just slightly, green and blue from the mercury-vapor lamps in the station that David Shankbone complimented me on, and the somewhat unusual bridge over the tracks (for which I was willing to give up getting the whole station to focus on). And don't forget the most general thing to remember when shooting down tracks: vanishing point perspective. One of the easiest things to make work. Daniel Case (talk) 07:19, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Very good; these are all ideas I usually skip due to haste. So, where are the pix? For a station that already has a poor one meeting hardly any of these criteria, for example one I made by looking out the car door or while bicycling past the street stair, don't be shy. Put your better pic in the place of honor atop the infobox, and move the inferior one down to the lower left, or remove it from the article entirely if it's already crowded or if the old one has nothing to add to what the good one says. Jim.henderson (talk) 00:44, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The pics are on Flickr, and when all are there we'll put them on Commons. Sam Blab 00:45, 24 January 2009 (UTC)