Visualizing the Germs Living in the New York City Subway

New York based photographer Craig Ward was riding the subway last year when he recalled the old urban myth of how touching the pole was like "shaking hands with 100 people all at once." Combining that thought with seeing a fellow photographer's bacteria photos, Ward came up with the idea for a series of photographs featuring the bacteria found on the subway.

The railings (unsurprisingly) yielded the most dramatic results. Not every colony can be named, but Ward was able to ID quite a few microorganisms by shape and color. Many are the benign everyday bacteria found in saliva and sweat and skin. Others are more sinister — Ward found E. coli and a few strains of staphylococcus, plus (inevitably) a bunch of mold. Some viewers “might just recoil and say it’s gross,” admits Ward. “But this is a portrait of New York. That day, that time.”

Read the full article in New York Magazine for more on the series.

7 Train: Contains Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus
7 Train: Contains Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus
Photo: Craig Ward
Times Square Shuttle: Contains E. coli, salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus
Times Square Shuttle: Contains E. coli, salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus
Photo: Craig Ward
L Train: Contains E. coli, Proteus mirabilis, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Serratia marcescens
L Train: Contains E. coli, Proteus mirabilis, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Serratia marcescens
Photo: Craig Ward
G Train: Contains E. coli, salmonella, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis
G Train: Contains E. coli, salmonella, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis
Photo: Craig Ward
B Train: Contains E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis
B Train: Contains E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis
Photo: Craig Ward
F Train: Contains E. coli, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis
F Train: Contains E. coli, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis
Photo: Craig Ward
M Train: Contains E. Coli and Bacillus subtilis
M Train: Contains E. Coli and Bacillus subtilis
Photo: Craig Ward
D Train: Contains E. Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, mold
D Train: Contains E. Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, mold
Photo: Craig Ward

via NY Mag

Something wrong with this post? Let us know!

Brought To You By…