March 23, 2014

The Other Underground

Photograph by Mike Deere, National Geographic Your Shot

"I've long held a fascination with unseen spaces, and when I first heard about the vast number of lost rivers in London, it really piqued my interest," says Your Shot contributor Mike Deere, whose photo was selected for the Daily Dozen. "While researching, I came across a very small subculture with similar interests to my own, a small band of curious individuals excited to see the hidden depths that exist so close to our everyday lives but remain all but forgotten."

Deere captured this photo at the junction between the River Westbourne, which was assimilated into the London sewer network during its construction in the 19th century, and the Ranelagh Storm Relief Sewer.

"With lighting options very limited in the narrow, pitch-black tunnels, I opted for backlighting to highlight the shape of the space and the texture of the Victorian brickwork," Deere says.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot. Check out the new and improved website, where you can share photos, take part in assignments, lend your voice to stories, and connect with fellow photographers from around the globe.

See more pictures of underground rivers »

42 comments
Karen Hartung
Karen Hartung

Great shot. I love that you chose to backlight.

claudia arrua
claudia arrua

Perfect picture! Great composition..Congrats!

Glenn Manderson
Glenn Manderson

Stunning photo (but how did you get access to the tunnels)!

Angel Fitzsimmons
Angel Fitzsimmons

Striking shot w/dramatic lighting.  Sometimes black and white is the only way to capture texture.  Love it, Mike.  (Oh yeah, I do think that is 007 standing there - that music is resounding all around him.)

Hh H.
Hh H.

inside the veins

Lalitha Krishnan
Lalitha Krishnan

Beautiful shot and what a sparkling -clean Underground! :)

Janice H.
Janice H.

Great angle and perspective.         Beautiful and artistic in it's own way.         The brickwork is phenomenal!

pamela letstalkaboutcorsica
pamela letstalkaboutcorsica

Victorian brickwork, splendid indeed and we need more images like this! it's like going through the tunnels of the mind, wonderful shot

Stephen Aske
Stephen Aske

Nothing like the contrasts of good old black and white. Great shot Mr. Deere! Keep on shooting.

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

One pictures tunnels as anything but this! My minds eye sees them as squalid, dirty ,and dank. This great photographer has given us this unbelieveable shot, with the lighting that turns it all to silver! And the figure standing there, brings it all of it to life.  I enjoyed his story a lot, and that it brought about this wonderful picture, is just that,wonderful.  Thank you,Mike. j.e.s......

abdul SAIFUDDIN
abdul SAIFUDDIN

Beautiful shot! who knew these old structures hold valuable to this day and in such remarkable condition

Andreas Peter
Andreas Peter

it's unbelievable how thorough and accurate this tunnel system was built. even after more than a century no scratches or missing bricks. and if you look onto the supermodern buildings of our days...here in berlin for example were falling huge glass windows out of the facade of totally new buildings...

Sandra Hickman
Sandra Hickman

Seen this pic in the daily dozen. Great photo. Congratulations for making the photo of the day. Was my choice for an excellent photo.

Para Noid
Para Noid

What clean (for the circumstance) and nearly immaculate walls. Excellent for those with lively imaginations!

Scott Parmer
Scott Parmer

I like this a lot. I love a good black and white shot.

Lawrence Sibley
Lawrence Sibley

Wonderful geometry of circles within circles, with the dark crescent in the center, and the enigmatic human figure in the illuminated tunnel.  The lighting is excellent, revealing the detailed Victorian era brickwork of the sewage and drainage tunnel network beneath the city of London.  The story associated with this photo is fascinating.  

Mike Deere
Mike Deere

@Andreas Peter  I agree! Sir Joseph Bazalgette's forsight and the skill of the many thousands of bricklayers involved in construction is truly mind blowing. If it wasn't for this incredible feat of civil engineering then London would be a very different place nowadays.

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