Late last year, someone brought to our attention the photography of Alejandro Mejía Greene, who has a stunning series of photographs of each of the SkyTrain stations. We caught up with him recently to find out more about the photos and his inspiration for creating them.
Tell us about yourself and your photography.
I’m originally from Mexico City, I moved to Vancouver 2 years ago. I’m a mechanical engineer. I started taking photos when I was 14. In 1989 I asked for a “real” camera as a birthday present, and I got it. Obviously in those days, there weren’t any digital cameras available, it was all film. Together with friends and family I got the opportunity to travel to new places, and during those travels I discovered that I enjoyed taking pictures, not just as memories of those places, but also as interpretations of the reality through my eyes.
How did you come up with your idea for the SkyTrain photo gallery?
Mexico City has a fairly big metro system, so I’m used to underground mass transit. Later on I visited and used more and more systems in different cities (even falling in love with some of them), taking photos (but not necessarily a series). When I moved to Vancouver, I thought about stopping at least once at every station. And then just popped in my mind the idea of documenting this.
Tell us the story of putting this gallery together and choosing the final images.
As part of my style of taking photos, I limit myself to the tools I have in my camera, in other words I don’t do any post-processing on my photos. Therefore, taking the photos is definitely more time consuming for me, than choosing them. I first visited the Canada Line, since I use it more often. Waiting for a weekend with a blue sky, especially for the stations that are elevated. So sunny weekend after sunny weekend, section after section I completed the journey.
How long did it take to get all the images you wanted?
All the photos were taken during 2011, from May to the end of the year.
Which of the photos do you like the most and why?
29th Avenue Station (photo above). In general, I like geometric patterns on my photos, this one has a frame inside the frame, straight lines, curves, perspective, etc. Also the fact that the train itself appears on the photo makes it special.
Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite mode of public transportation?
I do. Definitely metro/SkyTrain. I’m positive that this is the most efficient means of transportation we can have in any city. I also use the buses, but my favourite is the SkyTrain. I can’t wait to see the Evergreen and the Broadway lines!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ll continue talking photos of the City of Glass where we live in, on a regular basis. And of course, transit is included in my planned subjects.