ISO 6400 Street Photography

ISO 6400 Street Photography is, you guessed it, photographs taken with ISO 6400…  There is something exciting about being able to continue shooting in conditions where most people would have to put their cameras away.  Follow the ISO 6400 Street Photography series by subscribing to (there is a box on the right you can enter your email address in and hit subscribe).

Gear I used:

The original goal of the evening was to find some interesting spots to capture light trails within the city (very difficult in Pittsburgh) but I kept an open mind and an eye out for other opportunities.  As I was leaving the city I noticed the “Cultural District” carving at each cross walk in, you guessed it, the Cultural District.  I’ve never noticed these, I always see the Penn Avenue (the road that cuts through the Cultural District) carvings but never these…  I’m sure they were there, proof that you see something new each time you visit the same spot.

At first I was playing with capturing light trails but because there is a light at each intersection and it was early enough that cars were lining up on all sides the test shots all came out looking rather messy.  This would be a great spot late at night when a car can catch a green light going each way, allowing me to merge multiple photos into one that looks like fast-moving traffic – thanks Photoshop.

Long story short, I used ISO 6400 to capture this shot and I’m thankful that the camera handled it with minimal noise (I actually added a little in post-processing).

I’m really enjoying pushing the cameras low light capabilities, it’s made me much more confident to shoot at higher ISO.  I can remember not too long ago when I would cringe at the thought of shooting at anything higher than an ISO of 1000.  Now I feel as though I can confidently shoot up to ISO 6400 and still walk away with usable images.

*This is where the age-old argument of “gear doesn’t matter” falls flat on its face…  Not all cameras are created equal and some will do well at high ISO while some will look terrible.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money to get good quality.  In fact, Leica is terrible at high ISO’s and those cameras cost $4-9k (the new M240 is acceptable but as soon as you start to pull detail from shadows at high ISO you’ll get some ugly-looking patterns out of the shadows).  The shot in this article was taken with the Fujifilm X100T.


  • Ehsan says:

    awesome picture! it’s an honor to be in your street photography 🙂

    • John Barbiaux says:

      Hey Ehsan, it was great meeting you! Thanks for stepping in (pun intended). If you want to capture your own street photos you should check out the October 3rd workshop (under “workshops” in the menu). Thanks again!

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