ISO 6400 Street Photography – Seeing In The Dark

ISO 6400 Street Photography is, you guessed it, photographs taken with ISO 6400…  But furthermore, these are photographs taken after then sun has set, shooting after everyone else has hung up their camera and took their bubble baths.  There is something ethereal about Street Photography after dark that beckons me to explore the shadows.  The city becomes peaceful yet dangerous, quiet but tense.  It’s really quite amazing how different a single street can look after the sun has gone down and street lights have flickered on.

One of the benefits of seeking out darker places/times is that there tend to be fewer people around and you’ll find yourself more willing to explore with the camera in ways that you may not if the area were brightly lit and well populated.  It’s as if you become closer to being invisible…  Imagine the photographs you’d make if nobody could see you (don’t be a perv).

The shot above was taken in the Subway (we call it the “T”) in Pittsburgh.  I’ve only ridden the T a couple of times but I have ventured down into the belly of the beast city to see what interesting photographs were waiting to be discovered on numerous occasions.

The day I took this shot my inspiration was incredibly low, I had photographed my cousins babies first birthday earlier that day and I think I used up all of my creativity there.  Instead of packing it up though I usually use days like that to push myself to try something new or different.  On days like that, days I feel like I can’t come up with anything interesting, I throw caution to the wind because I figure anything is better than nothing in terms of images…  Maybe I’ll stumble onto something interesting or learn something new.

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.

Do you push the limits of your camera?  Feel free to share some of your ISO 6400 (or higher) images via the Facebook page.