Surprisingly Poetic Portraits of Subway Passengers as Renaissance-Style Paintings

Some people read books while riding the subway, others create 16th-century-style portraits of their fellow commuters. British photographer Matt Crabtree, who we learned about on Design You Trust, does just that while riding the Tube in London. He stealthily captures portraits of passengers on his phone, retouches them on his phone, and posts them to his Instagram account — all while still on his underground route. What makes a great Renaissance-era portrait? Crabtree’s photos have a certain murky lighting, a soft glow about the face, and his subjects tend to gaze upward. It’s subtle, with just enough to reference the time period — and it works.