I often get asked what gear and camera settings I use when venturing out to shoot on the streets. What works for me is less gear and very basic camera settings.
Let’s talk about the gear first. I switched from my Nikon setup to Micro Four Thirds because I was tired carrying around a big backpack with 5 kilos and more of camera equipment but without compromising image quality. Another benefit from using m4/3 gear is that when you carry a big Nikon with a big lense attached (and even Nikon prime lenses are huge pieces of glass) you always get attention, you are automatically regarded as a serious photographer, with all the negativ implications and restrictions many photographers encounter today when roaming the streets. Now with a m4/3 camera that is much smaller and a small prime lense attached you generate much less attention, blend more in, and that is generally what you are looking for as a street photographer. People tend to much less notice you and when they do, they more regard you as a tourist snapping away than a photographer looking for some serious shots.
The PEN E-PL7 with the 17mm f1.8 attached and the even smaller 45mm f1.8 next to it
Having said that, I typically go out with a single camera, either my OM-D E-M1 or my PEN E-PL7. Attached to it I have typically my M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 prime lens. 17mm in m4/3 translates to ~35mm in full frame format. A fast, perfect and small piece of glass with excellent image quality. Many famous street photographers shoot 35mm only, as it is more or less equal to the normal field of view of our eyes. In the streets I like to shoot wide as my desire is to show people in the context of their environment. (more…)
“Fränkische Silhouetten” – Olympus OM-D E-M1 29mm 1/250 sec @ f / 9 and ISO 200
Tourists and Nurembergians enjoying some warming rays of a soft February sun on the ramparts of Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle (Burgfreiung der Kaiserburg). The silhouettes caught my eye as I was roaming around the castle grounds. Even though the shot was taken as a crisp color-shot at ISO 200 I already hat a B&W conversion in mind as this is just the right way of showing silhouettes. Applying the VSCO 05 Kodak BW400CN preset I not only converted the image to black and white but I also introduced some visible noise in the sky, as the emulated B&W film runs on ISO 400. But this is what I intended when replaying the scene while doing the post processing in Lightroom, as the light and textures in the sky were incredibly soft and this is what I feel the conversion to an analog film style brings out in this image. Comments welcome! Everyone enjoy a great weekend.
Who says you can show street photography only while roaming the streets? Airports are great locations to take pictures – “on the fly”.
The following pics I took during my business trip to the US last week at Chicago O’Hare and Washington-Dulles airports. Travelers are generally so in a rush or engulfed in activities or thoughts that it is easy to catch them in candid moments. So next time you take to the skies make sure you take your camera along (or use your smartphone camera, because the best camera is the one you have with you).
“The last email”– Ricoh GR II 1/60 sec @ f / 3,5 and ISO 320 (more…)
With the PEN-F the latest Streetshooter from Olympus will hit the shelves
At the end of February Olympus will release the latest camera in its PEN lineup, the PEN-F. Designed in a beautiful retro rangefinder style look the PEN-F features a new20-megapixel Live MOS sensor, 5-axis image stabilization (as in the OM-D’s) and a high resolution OLED electronic viewfinder. Another new feature making the cam attractive for street shooters is a monochrome/color profile quick-select control dial on the front of the body.
As a passionate and convinced user of the Olympus m4/3 system (see “About My Gear“) I’m really looking forward to the PEN-F as a potential upgrade over my PEN E-PL7 that I primarily use for street photography (besides my Ricoh GR II), although the price tag (it can be pre-ordered for 1199€) would require some serious saving….