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Black And White Street Photographers Famous.

Take Control. Although coloured filters should still be used to manipulate contrast when shooting digital black and white images, it’s more prominent to save this work until the processing stage. Until a few years ago Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the preferred means of turning colour images monochrome, but now Adobe Camera Raw has more forceful tools (in the HSL/Grayscale tab) that allow you to adjust the brightness of eight individual colours that make up the image. It’s possible to adjust one of these colours to make it anything from white to black with the sliding control. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the whole image when adjusting a particular colour as subtle gradations can become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or pinkish shirt with the red sliding control, for instance , will have an impact on the model’s skin, especially the lips. The Levels and Curves controls could also be used to manipulate tonal range and contrast, but the HSL/Grayscale controls allow you to create separation between objects of the same brightness but with diverse colours.

Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture. The complimentary and opposing colours that bring a colour image to life are all decreased to black and white or shades of grey in a monochrome image and you have to look for tonal contrast to make a shot stand out. In colour photography, for example, your eye would right away be drawn to a red object on a green background, but in monochrome photography these two areas are likely to have the same brightness, so the image looks flat and dreary straight from the camera. luckily , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours singly to introduce some contrast. However, a good starting point is to look for scenes with tonal contrast. There are always exceptions, but as a general rule look for scenes that contain some forceful blacks and whites. This could be achieved by the light or by the brightness (or tone) of the objects in the scene as well as the exposure settings that you use. The brightness of the bark of a silver birch tree for example, could inject some contrast (and interest) in to a woodland scene. Setting the exposure for these brighter areas also makes the shadows darker, so the highlights stand out even more. Look for shapes, patterns and textures in a scene and move around to find the greatest composition.

Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a mode that comes from the traditional darkroom and is usually used to burn in or darken highlights and hold back (brighten) shadows. Photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools allow a level of control that film photographers can only thought of taking a degree of because you should target the highlights, shadows or mid-tones with both. This means that you could use the Burn tool to darken highlights when they are too bright, or the Dodge tool to brighten them to increase local contrast. It’s a great route of giving a sense of superior sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you can set the opacity of the tools, you may build up her effect gradually so the impact is crafty and there are no hard edges.

Shoot RAW + JPEG. The unsurpassed monochrome conversions are set foot on by editing raw files which have the full colour information, but if you shoot raw and JPEG files simultaneously and set the camera to its monochrome picture Style/Picture Control/Film Simulation mode you get an indication of how the image will look in black and white. As numerous photographers struggle to visualise a scene in black and white, these monochrome modes are an invaluable tool that will help with composition and scene assessment. most cameras are also capable of producing decent in-camera monochrome images these days and it’s worth experimenting with image parameters (usually contrast, sharpness, filter effects and toning) to find a look that you like. Because compact road cameras and compact cameras show the scene seen by the sensor with camera settings applied, users of these cameras are able to preview the monochrome image in the electronic viewfinder or on rear screen before taking the shot. DSLR users can also do this if they kick in his camera’s live concept mannerism , but the usually slower responses mean that most will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.

Try Long Exposure. Long exposure shots should work really well in monochrome photography, especially where there’s moving water or clouds. During the exposure the highlights of the water, for example, are recorded across a wider place than they would with a short exposure and this could help enhance tonal contrast. The blurring of the movement also adds textural contrast with any solid objects in the frame. If necessary , use a neutral density filter such as Lee Filters’ Big Stopper or Little Stopper to decrease exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively). naturally , when exposures extend farther than about 1/60 sec a tripod is wanted to keep the camera still and avoid blurring. It’s also advisable to use a remote release and mirror lock-up to minimise vibration and produce super-sharp images.

Use Filters. Graduated neutral density (AKA ND grad) and polarizing filters are purely as useful in monochrome photography as they are in colour. In fact, because they manipulate image contrast they are arguably more useful . An ND grad is supportive when you require to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter can be used to decrease reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, think of taking two or more shots with diverse exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) composite. Don’t be afraid to use a ND grad with a standard neural density filter if the sky is brighter than the foreground in a long exposure shot. Coloured filters, which are an essential tool for monochrome film photographers, may also be useful for manipulating contrast in digital images. They work by darkening objects of his opposite colour while lightening objects of her own. An orange filter, for example, will darken the blue of the sky while a green one will lighten foliage.

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Eric Kim is a street photographer widely recognized for his contributions to the subgenre of candid image making. Just as Free does, Kim as well sticks to the black and white style that honors the heritage of street photography and the movement’s greats. Eric combines techniques of approaching close and observing from a far, depending on the current situation. Besides producing fascinating photos, Eric Kim also teaches workshops all around the world, helping aspiring artists to set sails in the right direction. He is also famed for his phenomenal blog that can easily be considered as one of the most informative blogs about street photography. Kim writes about becoming better, how to overcome your fears, how to appear invisible in the streets and tons more of useful information.

The street photographers of the world might envy photographers who take portraits or stage photo shoots. The latter group gets to control and create an image before taking it, which seems a hell of a lot easier than being able to get the perfect moment on camera as it occurs spontaneously. The street photographer has to wait for just the right moment to capture something worth shooting.  

Attempting to unravel a strict definition to street photography is a challenging process and it eventually always hurts the liberating and non-uniform spirit that this fine art form of making images is famed for. Street photography can be described as a genre which aims at capturing opportunistic moments of an unsuspecting urban public space within a camera’s frame. Although the word street can be found in the very name of the movement, this subgenre of photography does not strictly demand that the image is made on the actual street. A completely valid photo of this style can be taken in a train, a bar, at a basketball game, during a concert or inside a cinema – an image can be realized literally anywhere and this has greatly contributed to the flexibility on which street photography has been praised upon for the majority of its existence.

Featured image: Joel Meyerowitz – An untitled photo from Paris – Image via huffingtonpost.com

We’ve compiled a list of these kinds of photographers — the ones who have turned their cameras to the streets and come away with images worth hanging in the most prestigious galleries  — from the forefathers of the photographic genre to contemporary artists. And there are still many young street photographers who are just developing (non pun intended) their skills. If street photography is something you aspire to personally, be sure to check out our list of expert tips to take your photo game to the next level.

Bruce Gilden is an American photographer from The Big Apple and a valuable member of the already mentioned Magnum photography agency. This true giant of street photography is regularly acclaimed for his trademark style of using an off camera flash to give his photos a special dramatic Gilden look – an effect that is one of the most widely copied methods throughout the world of photography. A believer in the candid necessity, Gilden approaches people in the streets and snaps them intrusively with his Leica, exposing usually deeply hidden emotions of people and capturing the unique energy of the streets. For the last two decades, Gilden has been focused mostly on The Big Apple, tackling an approach to its urban spaces – this project resulted in two critically acclaimed publications of Facing NY and A Beautiful Catastrophe. Bruce Gilden’s work has been exhibited all around the world with massive success and has been published numerous times in many magazines. He is a winner of multiple awards and has had many short documentaries made about him. Gilden also teaches photographic workshops.

Howarth, Sophie and McLaren, Stephen, Street Photography Now, Thames & Hudson, New York, 2012, 240 Lewis, Gordon, Street Photography: The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment, Rocky Nook, New York, 2015, 149

Featured images in slider: Oracio Alvarado – Tough Guy – Image via phillipehan.com; Joanna Mrówka – Untitled – Image via lensculture.com; Marius Vieth – Untitled – Image via designfather.com; Shane Francescut – Red Balloons – Image courtesy of Shane Francescut

Featured image: Alex Webb – Untitled – Image via leica-camera.com

Featured image: Thomas Leuthard – Untitled – Image via dodho.com


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Vladimir Milivojevic, much better known by his artistic alias of Boogie, is another New York-based street photographer on this list. Originally from Belgrade, Boogie made a name for himself thanks to his outstanding documentary and portrait photographs of people on the margins of society. Unfortunately for the Big Apple, this metropolis served as a perfect place for Vladimir to seek mistreated and overlooked individuals. His beginning can be traced all the way back to the 1990s when Yugoslavia was amidst a civil war – this terrible setting provided young Boogie with numerous dark topics and subjects. His stunning street photography work has been featured by the New York Times, Time magazine and Huffington Post, as well as published in several books, most infamous being his first monograph titled It’s All Good. This cult book displays a gritty, graphic and gripping exposé of the New York underworld and its inhabitants.

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An artist with an impressive history of working in the music industry and editorials, Zack Arias is a street photographer from the city of Atlanta. Besides accepting interesting commissions that manage to reach his doorway, Arias never truly stopped making street photographies for himself and is one of the more active artists on this list. He has a simple and adorable style with classic visuals that pay homage to the subgenre’s greatest names. The way his subjects succeed to pop and shine is undebatably associated to Zack’s background of photographing music stars. Arias uses both black and white and in color images, never afraid to experiment and even uses humor on a regular basis. His contributions to street photography is immense as he is always somehow involved with many kinds of projects and happenings. Since he is Fujifilm’s official representative photographer, Arias has influenced thousands of artists to pick up their cameras and hit the streets. Due to his multifaceted nature, highly active work habit and overall influence, Zack has had his work published and featured numerous times in well-known magazines, podcasts and online shows.

Still very active despite his old age, Joel Meyerowitz is an internationally renowned American street photographer from New York. This real street photography legend never stopped impacting the scene, with his latest projects being just as influential as his older, more classic ones. Joel began photographing in color in the early 1960s and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. To put it lightly, the size of Meyerowitz’s work is overwhelming – he has done over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world and has sold more than 100,000 copies during his long and highly productive career, which is still very much alive. His most famous work is associated with the 9/11 tragedies as Joel was the only photographer to be granted an unimpeded access to Ground Zero immediately after the attacks, systematically documenting the painful work of rescue and recovery. Besides working in the street subgenre, Joel Meyerowitz is also rather successful in portrait and landscape photography.

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Featured image: Anna Delany – Untitled – Image copyright Anna Delany

A genuine street photographer must only stick to one austere rule in order to be considered a member of this style and that is making sure that the photos taken are completely candid. They need to be unmanipulated and totally unstaged, providing the camera-holder with an accurate expression of everyday life and an unfiltered doorway to observing unordinary moments occurring in an otherwise ordinary world. This is the reason why street photography is often quoted as the most honest art form to have ever been invented.

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Featured image: Martin Parr – Untitled – Image via chloe328.com

Featured image: Eric Kim – Jazz Hand – Image via adammarelliphoto.com

Due to its unrestricted nature, this subgenre of photo making proved itself as one of the most adaptive techniques to emerge in the last two centuries. This, naturally, paved the way for many aspiring artists to leave their own marks on the subgenre, all of them contributing with numerous theories, stylistic alterations and artistic goals. If one starts exploring the street photography from a chronological perspective, that person will eventually arrive all the way to the 21st century and its practitioners, finding out that the modern time offers many individuals dedicated to further development of the subgenre. What follows next is a list presenting some of the most prominent and highly influential street photographers of modern times that continue to leave their artistic stamp on this latest stage of street photography.


Featured image: Boogie – An image from the It’s All Good project – Image via alldayeveryday.com

Featured image: Bruce Gilden – Picnic with Serge – Image via piotrekziolkowski.com

Originally from New Zealand, Anna Delany is a famous New York-based street photographer with an impressive catalog more than worthy of deep exploration. Her extraordinarily captivating photographs of despair and human resilience are deeply immersed in the streets of New York and its subculture. Delany’s work is gritty and full of rare honesty, depicting how lower classes of the Big Apple spend their days. Anna’s images are incapable of lying and are a true mirror of the society they depict. They document the beauty and the subtleties of everyday life in the decaying neighborhoods and overlooked communities found outside of the mainstream media. Due to her tireless nature, Delany is always on the road and in a constant search for new subjects, looking for eccentric people, bizarre events, iconic landmarks and unique cityscapes.

The essential attribute of street photography is chance — and that’s likely why we’re so drawn to it. Unlike documentary photographers, who wish to tell an overarching story of the subjects and places they capture, often for news publications, street photographers take photographs of fleeting moments that may exist outside of a greater narrative. Often, they are only meaningful for the single moment they capture. 

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Another American street photographer on this list that is associated with a Magnum Photos membership, Alex Webb is a massively influential artist that can easily be placed on any list concentrating on prominent photographers of the street. Originally from San Fransisco, Alex has tremendous experience that has impacted the wider community with his unique style of photography. Experimenting with depth and working primarily in color, Webb uses strong tones, light and emotion to capture beautifully complex images of orderly chaos found in the streets. His more recent photographs have been getting richer and more complex with every trip he takes as he wanders the globe and they depict a complicated and inexplicable place we call the world. Alex is also often described as a master of photographic compositing. Webb’s work has been published in numerous books and in such magazines as Time, NY Times and GEO, and also exhibited around the world, including Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Photographic Arts and Walker Art Center.

The whole point of street photography is to capture happenstance — unplanned moments in public space. Often this involves humans (sometimes doing funny things, like tripping or making strange expressions), but sometimes street photography just captures the photographer’s surroundings. Although it can be similar to architectural photography, it doesn’t have to focus on the structures in front of a lens. Instead, the focus of a street photograph is the composition of random objects coming together in a photographer’s frame. The talented street photographer captures these chance happenings in a meaningful and engaging way. 

Martin Parr is a British documentary and street photographer who is often described as the most explosive surprise to ever suddenly emerge onto the subgenre’s scene. Known around the world for his intimate and satirical photographs which focus on different aspects of modern life, Parr usually explores various topics concerning social classes of England and the hypocrisy of the West in general. He concentrates on photographing the mundane, everyday life of people that live just around the corner, enhancing the images with vivid colors by using specific flash techniques. Many have even went as far as describing his work as actual kitch. With almost forty books published and over eighty exhibitions held worldwide, Martin has established himself as one of the most prolific British street photographers. It should be noted that Martin Parr is as well a valuable member of the Magnum Photos organization.

This fantastic book presents the forty-six contemporary image-makers who are dedicating their entire careers to creating candid depictions of life around us, including compositions took on the streets, in the subways, at shopping malls, movie theaters, on beaches and in public parks. Authors Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren offer a perfect opportunity to study how the subgenre of street photography looks today and find out how well did this style adapt to the modern requirements placed before it. Logically, the focal point of the Street Photography Now book are the illustrations of photographies, many of which have been provided by the legendary Magnum Photos company and their members. The book also prides itself on the worldwide coverage as it leaves out no current street photographer worth mentioning regardless of the geographical location. Besides images, a reader can investigate the four provoking essays and a global conversation between leading street photographers, all in an attempt to fully understand the mindset driving the representatives of this movement. Street Photography Now is also the perfect place for an aspiring camera-holder to begin his artistic journey and get acquainted with the contemporary greats.

Definitely one of the most well-known contemporary street photographers in Europe is Thomas Leuthard, an artist hailing from Switzerland. Despite making numerous shots of his own country’s streets, Thomas enjoys traveling all over the world in order to make more and more unique photographs. Besides photographing, Thomas also teaches workshops and offers online street photography courses. Leuthard has written and shared five completely free E-books concerning street photography, presenting the readers with both his works and the mindset hiding behind it. However, E-books are not the only thing that Thomas Leuthard provides free of cost – he also uploads ALL of his images online and makes sure that not a single penny is charged to anyone interested into downloading it. As if the lack for additional profit was not impressive enough, Leuthard never stops amazing the audience with his talent for composition and perfect timing.

Featured image: Zack Arias – Tunnel of Light – Image via saadiamahmud.com

Featured image: John Free – Untitled – Image via streetviewphotography.net

Los Angeles-based street photographer John Free has been a crucial figure in the scene for over three decades and his masterful images shave often been referenced as some of the best ever made. His photography work is underlined by the habit of getting very close to people on the streets, proving that one needs to get rid of the social awkward norm in order to become a fantastic street photographer. One of his most famous photography series is the legendary End of the line project, a project that took place in the Los Angeles freight yards where John photographed railroad “tramps” daily for ten full years. The second series that made Free famous is 24 Hours in the Life of Los Angeles, a series which featured several international photographers selected to take part in the project that eventually resulted in the book of the same title. Besides inspiring with his work, John Free has also influenced thousands upon thousands of young artists through his photography classes – lectures which are given all around the world. Free’s images have appeared in numerous renowned magazines, such as Newsweek, US News and World Report.

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