The next stops are: Weirdville, Bizarretown, and Strangeburg! There’s something unique about subways, metros, and the tube that brings out the weirdest and funniest side of humanity. A side of us that you won’t find on any other form of transportation. Buses, cars, horseback riding, high-speed trains, and trams have nothing on subways. We can promise you that, 100%.
You know for a fact that our team here at Bored Panda loves photography. The more unusual, the better. So we’ve collected a list of the most amusing, downright bizarre, and hilarious photos that people took while on the subway. Scroll down to see the best of the best! Oh, and while you’re upvoting your fave ones (the duck in the backpack stands out to us, personally), consider sharing your weirdest experience while on public transport, in the comments.
And if you’re in the mood for some more subway humor and weirdness, then you’ll definitely want to take a peek at Bored Panda’s articles right here, here, and over here. We sincerely hope you have a pleasant journey. Enjoy and… be sure to mind the gap.
I reached out to photographer Dominic Sberna to get his opinion on the etiquette we should follow when taking photos of people in public spaces, as well as his advice for amateurs hoping to take some great shots. You'll find his thoughts below. Scroll down for Bored Panda's exclusive interview.
Photographer Dominic explained to Bored Panda that there isn't one specific set of rules or etiquette that can apply to all situations when it comes to taking pics in public spaces.
"From a legal standpoint, if someone is in a public place, they can be part of your photography. That is something I learned in college," he shared. "However, you should ask someone for their persmission if you plan to make their identity the focal point of your image. As in, a proper portrait versus someone walking in front of a building for example." This is something that photographers, veteran and amateur alike, should keep at the forefront of their mind, whether they're taking pictures on the subway or anywhere else.
Dominic stressed the importance of timing. It "is everything when trying to capture a specific moment or action," he told me. As anyone with a creative streak knows, it can sometimes be hell trying to decide which photo to showcase when you've got several great ones. According to the photographer, deciding between the photos "is as simple as deciding what you want to convey."
We need to consider what message we'll be sending. "The first photo could be more impactful and the second one could be a different message entirely. It comes down to preference and intention at the end of the day," he said.
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As for his advice for amateur photographers, the essence is putting yourself out there and seeing what you can find. "Just go out and take in your surroundings and pay attention to the little details. The smallest of details in the everyday mundane might stand out to you on any particular day if you're in the right state of mind," Dominic shared.
However, we also need to learn to kick back, relax, and enjoy life, instead of worrying about missing out on some great photos. "Again, this is personal preference. It's good to just enjoy life and put down the camera sometimes, but it's also good to be prepared. You win some and you lose some, I suppose."
Some time ago, Rick McGuire, the founder of the ‘Subway Creatures’ project on Instagram, shared with Bored Panda his own insights about what it is about subways that turns the strangeness all the way to 11.
According to him, commuters are forced into a confined space and have no other choice but to deal with each other. That means that everyone’s in close proximity with a small microcosm of society, including its most interesting and strangest parts.
"The NYC subway is still one of the most efficient ways of getting around and if you need an audience, this is the perfect place to find one. This can sometimes work out for the best and the worst," Rick shared with Bored Panda.
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He explained that the “wild, bizarre, and crazy things” that the New York City subway had to offer inspired him to create the ‘Subway Creatures’ project as a way to document it all.
"NYC has this unspoken rule of 'keep your head down and mind your own business' but I'm a huge people-watcher. There's so much going on around you at all times and it would be a shame to miss some of these typical 'New York moments.' When I'm on the train I always find myself looking for obscurities and checking my surroundings. You never know what you'll see!" Rick said.
Meanwhile, career coach Rita Friedman shed some light on commuting and how it shouldn’t always be used for maximum efficiency. Sometimes, you simply need a break from the rush. And your ride on the subway can be just that.
"A commute is literally a transitional unit of space and time, and a lot of commuters use it as their break between the responsibilities of home and the responsibilities of work or school, so it's the perfect moment to look at pictures of failed cakes or animals making funny faces. It's just nice to have time where nobody is holding you accountable," Rita told Bored Panda.
According to the career coach, zoning out while on your commute can be therapeutic. It also helps manage our stress.
"That might be scrolling through social media or half-listening to a podcast. I'll also say some of my best ideas have come to me when I've been staring out a window or at a wall. "If work is really taxing, you might find that bringing something on your ride lets you focus away from the distractions of the office—it actually might be a lot easier to knock out a report without a chatty coworker hovering nearby."
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Though, if you’re feeling up to it, you can use your commute to catch up on some personal tasks. Like replying to emails you might have missed or managing your calendar to get your agenda in order for the near future. In short, your commute could be your morning ritual to sort through what you need to, so you can dive right into work the moment you get to the office.
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"You might also find yourself more productive at work if you spend your commute doing something like reading or playing a strategy game that gets your brain warmed up. If you are actively walking /driving/biking, taking a different route can help shake things up and break up the monotony," Rita said.
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"Unless you have a very long commute, it's probably pushing it to try to get into any kind of study or meaningful work that requires a state of flow, but it could be a good time to watch a 5-minute refresher tutorial on a new skill you're working on or to skim through an article your colleagues will also have read."