Urban photography in black and white


June 27, 2018

On a recent occasion, I experimented with another type of photography, which is quite close to street in my understanding: urban photography. The trigger for that short adventure was a book again (probably a major vocational disease as an academic) by Eric Forey on urban photography (La photographie urbaine), which I bought after I finished another one of his excellent books (Serial Photographer). Coming from the idea of making people the center of my photographic journey into street photography, taking pictures of architecture and interesting buildings was not immediately something I was highly intrigued by. However, looking through wonderful examples of urban photography and motivated by the highly engaging writing in the book, I went to a quite new eco-district in my city to put some first ideas into practice. 

New subjects, old habits

Although I am thrilled to try new approaches to develop my view and skills in photography, some already well-established habits are difficult to overcome. The major one is imagining the final picture in black and white – I have to admit that the excellent ACROS film simulation for the X100F makes it extremely easy to plan for monochrome results. When wandering through the streets of the new district on a very sunny day, the hard light provided some very heavy contrasts, what I found particularly nice in this approach to urban photography.

Cartoucherie 3 | 2018

Cartoucherie 2

Cartoucherie 1

Major challenges and homework for the next urban photography session 

While I had fun exploring this recently discovered photographic genre, there are several challenges I would like to tackle in the next urban photography session:

  1. Perspective, angle, and viewpoint: Eric Forey added a nice sub-chapter on the importance of the perspectives and angle in urban photography that change from the ordinary typical flat look in human height on buildings. I think next time I definitely need to spend more time on exploring interesting architecture from multiple angles.
  2. Colors: I am a big fan of monochrome photography, but absolutely need to develop a better eye for colors in photography.
  3. Urban life: so far, I either concentrated on people or on architecture – the combination is an excellent venue and will be addressed next time.
Anmut Street Photo

Anmut Street Photo

Family man and academic, I am an amateur street photographer since 2017. My photos explore people in urban environments.

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