Street Photography Colour / Black and White

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I have been Shooting Street for a very long time now, right from as far back as I can remember so well over 40 years, it’s always been a part of me to shoot people as a subject, but when I shoot it has to be candid. True Street as I have always understood it, will not interfere with the dynamic in the street, and this is the Street Photography I love.  I know the point where you press the shutter to being spotted and getting a reaction or creating a reaction, is a very fine line involving fractions of a seconded, and find this point very well discussed in the street world.

Street portraits are on the rise but I stopped asking a for portraits years back,  I do ask for the odd one or two if the subject is very exciting but hardly every post the images.

I want to go back to my early days and explore the early days of street in my everyday life and workshops and explore the more modern side of street in my new project.

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I have shot Street with film for years and as many people know I had a fire in my Flat many years ago and lost my camera gear all my prints and negatives. I stopped shooting for long time and only used a camera to record my family growing up. I just took family snaps in colour and black and white,before the calling of the photography world grabbed me again.

I always preferred black and white film and when I first moved over to digital, I hated the way digital cameras would process black and white and colour.

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I stuck to black and white for all the reasons people used black and white in digital, but have been shooting film for my unseen personal work, I will continue shooting film and hope in the future have even more time shoot more and more film and less digital.

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I have always struggled with colour in digital and I know in Photoshop you can almost make the colours how you want them and almost do the same in Lightroom but I don’t want to spend hours and hours trying to make colours look how I want them to look. The days of transparency film were so simple, shoot get developed and view! Print your work! Job done…

Up to last weekend I have shot 95% black and white but the more I get in to Street the more the colour medium is calling me and thanks to Fujifilm this is so easy, my XPro1 and X-T1 produce such amazing colours, I hardly have to touch them in Lightroom. So it looks like I will be shooting more and more colour over the coming months. I will start off with just street images that feel right in colour and put them mainly in my Tumblr account to see how I feel, and a few on Instagram and possibly a few on Google + Its very hard to mix colour and black and white so I am going to struggle with this in 2015.  But I am starting to fall back in love with colour again thanks to Fujifilm.

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I shoot in RAW and the cameras are all set to standard for colour and Lightroom imports the RAW file and I hardly touch the RAW file it’s just a little levels and curves and dodging and burning but I am at last after all this time starting to find my Colour feet.

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I very much doubt I will go over to shooting more colour than black and white as I find colour distracting and not a great story telling medium, I also struggle in separating my subject at times in colour but I can’t ignore it any more! I guess it’s just part of the journey.  Who knows I might even shoot colour film again! But I doubt it.

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7 thoughts on “Street Photography Colour / Black and White

    Andrew said:
    January 26, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Very interesting. I shoot mainly with an X-T1 now or the X100s. I shoot RAW and jpeg in tandem. The jpegs are very good but the shadow detail isn’t quite so good. I convert many to B&W but keep colour for really strong vibrant scenes. I still have my M3 and put a roll of film through occasionally. I love the M9 as rangefinders slow me down. I get a bit annoyed about all the arguments around ‘what is real street photography?’ I shall look for you on G+.

      matt6t6 responded:
      January 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Yes that is exactly the issue I found with JPEG. There is not enough information in the file for the shadow areas. Street is street and you are quite right social media is full of opinions about street !

    […] Source: matthewhartphotography.wordpress.com […]

    Henry Buchanan said:
    January 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Great pictures- I am just starting with my street photos collection and I am going to mix B&W and color.
    Would you mind sharing some of your in-camera settings for those beautiful colors. ??
    Thanks-

      matt6t6 responded:
      January 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      I shoot RAW with standard setting and import in to Lightroom, I just give is a little levels and curves etc

    Marcelo Valente said:
    February 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Great article. I have an X-E2 and only recently, after moving from the canon to Fuji started getting into street photography…falling in love fast with it. What you can also do is shoot jpg+raw selecting one of the BW film simulations. This way you will have the BW out of the camera and the color raw file to play around with.
    Will follow you in instagram and G+.

    Street Photography Colour / Black and White | M... said:
    August 25, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    […] have been Shooting Street for a very long time now, right from as far back as I can remember so well over 40 years, it’s always been a part of me to shoot people as a subject, but when I shoot it has to be candid. True Street as I have always understood it, will not interfere with the dynamic in the street, and this is the Street Photography I love. I know the point where you press the shutter to being spotted and getting a reaction or creating a reaction, is a very fine line involving fractions of a seconded, and find this point very well discussed in the street world. Street portraits are on the rise but I stopped asking a for portraits years back, I do ask for the odd one or two if the subject is very exciting but hardly every post the images…..  […]

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