There’s something romantic about long train journeys, but despite the onboard snacks, the bigger windows and the blur of countryside whizzing by, spending hours on a train can be arduous. San Francisco-based photographer McNair Evans has captured this restlessness and anticipation by shooting 15-day train journeys in his series In Search of Great Men.
The range of characters McNair has photographed is wonderful and it’s his portraits that are strongest. We catch glimpses of how different passengers travel, some seek comfort in surrounding themselves with food and toys, others wrap themselves in blankets. My favourite images are those taken in the daylight hours, where sunlight streams in through the windows beautifully and the warm glow contrasts with the dark blue chairs and pallid grey table-tops. While McNair’s photographs don’t sugarcoat or glamorise these strangers’ journeys, the way he shows our tendency to create a home wherever we go, no matter how temporary it may be is fascinating.