B&W Street Photography

Street Photography really isn’t my thing, but it does force me to push the envelope, get out of my comfort zone and interact with the human beings I find around me (albeit with a camera between them and me).  It also forces me to see people as people, and not just as objects.  I always try to approach my subjects with respect, and to preserve their human dignity despite their circumstances.  Note:  Click on individual images to enlarge for better viewing.

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1/640s @ f/4, ISO 100, FL=200mm

I think that good Street Photography should provoke, it should provoke both questions and emotions.  It should tell a story, or a least suggest a story.  When I step out of my role as a Wildlife Photographer, and into my role as a Street Photographer, I then enter the world of Photojournalism.  And a good photojournalist is a documentarian, he faithfully records what he sees around him.

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1/200s @ f/4, ISO 320, FL=200mm

Street Photography is controversial, it always has been.  When does individual privacy give way to public interest?  Legally there is no problem, it is pretty cut and dry:  if a person is in the public purview there can be no expectation of privacy (this has been upheld in the courts many times).  But what about the ethical and moral ramifications of Street Photography?

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1/200s @ f/4, ISO 200, FL=200mm

It’s up to the individual photographer to answer those questions for himself, and to live with the consequences of those answers.  I find that no single answer fits all situations, and that I must be sensitive to all situations as they arise, situational awareness is key.  I am confident (in my own mind at least) that I act in a responsible, ethical and moral manner, but there are others who might be tempted to disagree.

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1/100s @ f/4, ISO 100, FL=126mm

Walking around Quito, Ecuador this morning, I chanced upon these five photographic opportunities.  I like each image for its own reasons, and I hope that they provoke a question or two, or stir an emotion.  A story lies behind each image, but (like you) I don’t know what that story is.  It tweaks the imagination, and therein lies the mystery and appeal of good Street Photography.

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1/320s @ f/4, ISO 100, FL=200mm

Most of my Street Photography is done in Black & White.  Why?  Because I think that it eliminates the distraction of color, and allows the viewer to better concentrate on the subject (and story) at hand.  I have included the camera settings for each image for those of you who might be interested.  All images were captured in CameraRAW with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II full frame digital camera and Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM zoom telephoto lens (a stellar portrait lens).  RAW file conversion, post-edits (including Black & White conversion) were all completed in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 (PSE11).

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Stephen F. Dennstedt

Photographer, Writer and World Traveler

Reporting from Quito, Ecuador

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2 responses to “B&W Street Photography

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