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Baltimore street photography

The honorary title of street photographer is available for anyone with a keen eye for detail and the want to see the heart and soul of a city. Street photography can sometimes be a nebulous genre of the craft. Some definitions mention the capture of the human condition in the urban environment specifically the city, while other definitions refer to the cataloging of the city itself, it's buildings, streets, and art.

Bank of America Building.
Antonio D. Paterniti
The Baltimore and the Domino Sugar Factory
Antonio D. Paterniti

Baltimore is the perfect city in which to perpetuate the time-honored tradition of street photography. Whether capturing images showing human interaction with the city or just the details that make Baltimore unique, spontaneity, and patience are key. Rush hour traffic or the lunch rush show the city pulsating, crowds rushing, flowing across streets and between buildings. The quiet hours in between show the moments where the city holds the masses inside, behind windows and walls.

With easily traversed neighborhoods, Baltimore allows the street photographer to quickly map out the city and plan out the day. From the touristic center of the Inner Harbor to historic Federal Hill, Riverside and Locust Point neighborhoods a little wandering and exploring can yield a unique view of the city. Pack light and wear comfortable shoes.

Traditionalists will hotly contest what camera set-up makes the ultimate street photography rig. Some say a wide angle 24mm lens is king, while others favor a 35mm as a mild wide angle with the ability to capture the environment as well as its citizens. A 50mm allows an image to look like it was shot with a telephoto or a wide angle depending on the distance from the subject making it a long time favorite of die-hard street photographers. An artful street photographer will favor a single camera body and a single lens, be it a 24, 35, 50 or even 85mm lens. Street photography can be presented in timeless black and white or vibrant color.

For the minimalist street photographer, today's advanced smart phone cameras can yield stunning effects. Favor composition and contrast over filters and heavy digital manipulation. Whether going traditional or embracing new technologies, focus on the city as a living, breathing entity, host to millions of symbiotic relationships. Scoping out the city with attention to detail will bring forth a city as unique as the individuals behind the lens.