Anyone here who works in color for street photography?

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by akochanowski, May 4, 2003.

  1. I'm curious who here concentrates on color in their street
    photography. Are we shooting TriX because that is how it was "done"
    by the standard bearers in the field? I come at this from the
    perspective of having shot B&W for years, and one day waking up and
    saying to myself "I'm done with that". It's slide film and its
    blocked up shadows and exposure frustrations and contrast for me! If
    anyone has a color street or candid portfolio, please point me to
  2. Reporting, sir. I don't have an organized collection yet; I just post as appropriate. As far as color is concerned, I am currently scouting the area between full-blown color and monochrome. My mainstays are Provia 100F and NPZ (great even at EI 3200!) with NPH and Sensia 400 on occasions. I suspect I will switch to Astia 100F when it becomes available in June (right?)
    Delta 3200
    Provia 100F
  3. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I don't think it's that uncommon. You should track down some of Rob Appleby's work, I'm not sure where it's hosted now, but he does a lot of street and documentary photography exclusively in color. Also, check out Brad Evans, who posts here and on Photocritique, he does a lot of color street photography.
    I shoot it sometimes, but because I prefer to shoot at night, or at least at dark times, I don't find color that useful. Also, I generally use print film, finding it more amenable to street shooting...
    Downhill, Copyright 2000 Jeff Spirer
  4. Everything on my site, is shot with Provia 100F, as far as I recall. Contrast and speed is somewhat of a problem, but it's not that bad, once you learn to live with it. There are compromises to be made with all media ...
  5. I shoot B&W because it's cheap (just a little over $2 per roll) and I can process it quickly in my bathroom. If I were rich I would shoot color and desaturate whenever I want a B&W picture. That way I would get the best of both worlds.
  6. I do shoot colour in street photography, but I tended to use print film.

    1) its cheaper, and printing the few keepers is cheaper than processing an entire roll of slide
    2) I used a non-metered camera so a print film is more forgiving in exposure
    3) ISO400 print films vs ISO 100 slides enables me to greater dof or hyperfocal techniques.
  7. Most of my street and candid stuff is b&w, but I use color on occasion. I use transparency film because it makes editing much easier, but I think print film is better suited to the task most of the time.
  8. thank you all for responding and posting some interesting work. I'm curious why Mike thinks print film is better than slide for this type of work?
  9. It's better in the sense that color negative film will maintain highlight and shadow detail in high-contrast scenes better than slide film, and exposure accuracy is less critical with print film, so you can shoot more rapidly in changing conditions. Because you have very-limited control of the lighting in street and candid shooting, it should be easier to get technically good results with a more tolerant film.
  10. Mike, agreed about the properties of print film, but I've found that I like the deeper contast with slide film metered about 1/3 stop down for the type of work I've been doing. I like the isolation that loss of shadow detail brings to certain scenes.
  11. I use color negative film alot, Fuji Press mostly. I always drop them off at the Fuji Frontier pro lab, which is way better then normal labs, try it and be amazed ;)
  12. I use digital now, amounting to a D30 with a 128MB CF card. Although the quality isn't like fine-grained B&W film, I do get 86 high-resolution jpgs per card and on-the-fly edit capability. Though the sensor does behave a lot like slide film with its head cut off, I still find it adequate for my needs. Now if there was only an easy way to print to silver from a photoshop file...
  13. these really work for me, Grant.
  14. I shoot colour because these days the film is cheaper than black & white and I can get someone else to process and proof it very cheaply too. What's more, if I think something looks better in mono I can greyscale it in Photoshop and still have the colour version to go back to.
    Reading Station
  15. Jesus... OK, excuse my outburst, but I'm going to smack anyone who says "color negative film is better than black+white, because you can always just desaturate in photoshop!!111". Color film looks NOTHING like B+W film. Multiple emulsion layers or one? Soapy, or razor sharp images? Easy home processing? Great amount of creative and technical freedom? You know where to look. ;)
  16. Evan, you have your view, I have mine. Who died and made you god?
  17. I shoot in color and probably convert about half to B&W.
    Digital Ready ©2003 Brad Evans
  18. I think Nicolas Pascarel's work on people on the streets of Italy, Cuba, and Cambodia qualifies as street photography and he uses color slide film with a medium format camera. (also my teacher for the last two weeks at Alliance Francais Chiangrai, Thailand)
    I don't think he's street photography in the traditional sense because most of what he's been teaching us is how to approach people and set up shots that do it right the first time, not whipping off roll after roll of film. He's very picky about light and the time of day he shoots. He sets up each shot slowly and precisely. Now are working in pairs hanging out in one crowded place for awhile and blending in so people accept your presence and don't notice your intrusion. When you are first starting out I think this slow painstaking striving for precision is good.
  19. FWIW, I only work in colour, here in Sydney Australia. Gave up on B&W about 10 years ago.
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