Week 6 :: Wormhole

Torrassa Metro Escaleras, Barcelona. Ricoh GR II in Black and White.

With this weeks spectacular announcement of the first ever detection of gravity waves from the merger of two black holes, it seemed appropriate to find some vague link for the next set of photographs. Fortunately, Linea 9 Sud (South) on the Barcelona metro opened just this week, giving an opportunity for exploration of a virtual wormhole (I admit this is a bit tenuous). Currently, only the north and south sections of the line are open, although they will eventually join when the construction is completed.

The new line 9 is the deepest in Barcelona, and it needs some spectacular elevators and chains of escalators. The image above of is shows part of the escalator system at Torrassa.

Metro Line 9, Barcelona. Ricoh GR II in Black and White.

The above is 0.5s exposure, hand-held in a bumpy train. Not easy with an non-stabilised camera, but the rapid speed helps straighten out the lines. Unfortunately, our stabilised camera is currently on holiday…

Metro Line 9, Barcelona. Ricoh GR II in Black and White.

While most of the tunnels are round – dug by the huge tunnelling machines – the stations are excavated more conventionally and are square sided.

Metro Line 9, Barcelona. Ricoh GR II in Black and White.

The new line is potentially interesting because it connects directly to both terminals T1 and T2 at Barcelona El Prat airport. However, there is a ticket surcharge at the airport that makes the journey cost not far removed from the equally frequent coach services. It takes nearly an hour to travel to the city centre by metro, more than double the time by the frequent bus service. While I doubt that many tourists will use this service, it is, however, only a fifteen minute journey from the airport to Fira 2, making it useful for large conferences such as MWC (and as an added bonus, the driverless trains are presumably less prone to the strike action that is expected around this year’s conference…).

Metro Line 9, Barcelona. Ricoh GR II in Black and White.

But at the moment, it looks like the only people riding the train are doing so out of curiosity. When we arrived at T1, almost everyone got out leaving just myself and a few others on board while the train ran through the junction to switch tracks and commence the return journey. When the train stopped again to pick up new passengers from the other side of the platform at T1, everyone got back on – to cries of “hello again”!



    • Thanks! Yes, they are hand-held, typically for 1/3 to 1/2 second for the motion blur images. The trick is to get the camera lens as close to the (vibrating) window glass as possible without actually touching it, while using something (eg a hand) to block any light that might reflect off the glass. At these shutter speeds it should be possible to get really excellent hand-held results with an image stabilised lens/camera – something I would like to try in a week or so’s time.

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