Street Focus 65: Q&A and Street Challenge

Street Focus 65: Q&A and Street Challenge

This week my guest co-host is my good friend, photographer, author and founder of the the Out of Chicago conference, Chris Smith. Together we answer questions about printing, being invisible and B&W vs. Color.

Who is Chris? Chris Smith is the founder of Out of Chicago Photography and the Out of Chicago Photography Conference. He is the author of The Photographer’s Guide to Chicago and host of the Out of Chicago Podcast. Chris specializes in photographing Chicago at night. By day, Chris is a high school physics teacher and lives with his wife and two kids in the Chicago Suburbs. Follow Out of Chicago at See the Out of Chicago video here.

And the winners are… On the last street challenge, guest co-host Marius Vieth offered to send two Neoprime magazines to the winners of the Abstract in the Streets challenge. He also picked a winner.

Marius' challenge winner: Keith Johnson with this shot from Las Vegas

©Keith Johnson
©Keith Johnson

Valerie's challenge winner: Gagan Sadan

©Gagan Sadana
©Gagan Sadana

NEW CHALLENGE! The Human Element in the Urban Landscape. Listen to the show to hear some tips. Here are some samples below. Enter your photo in the comment section below by January 7!

Picks of the Week:

Chris' pick: Fujifilm Fujinon XF35mm F/2.0

Valerie' s Pick: Fujifilm WCL Wide Conversion Lens for X100 cameras

Examples of human element in the urban landscape by Valerie Jardin for inspiration:


  1. Great information on these podcasts : news of the Out of New York event and recommendation for getting work printed

  2. I thought I’d take a stab at the questions raised about lens distortion. (Please chime in for any corrections!):

    My guess for the question Valerie raised about the 28mm equiv. wide angle conversion lens for the x100, is that by adding more lens elements to the 35mm equiv., it helps correct the distortion found in the original compact lens (sort of like giving a person eye glasses to correct their vision). FujiFilm optical engineers probably were tasked to make the camera as compact as possible, which likely made trade-offs in the lens design. If they were allowed to make the 35mm equiv. lens bigger and more complex, the x100 would likely have a more distortion free lens.

    But the distortion that Valerie brought up, might be some kind of barrel distortion inherent from the lens design. The physics distortion mentioned by Chris, sounds like the natural distortion found in wide angle lenses. When you choose a lens wider than 50mm equiv. objects appear unusually larger the closer they are to the film/sensor focal plane. Also, objects at the corners tend to appear stretched.

    I enjoy making portraits, so I tend to stick to 50mm, 85mm, 135mm+. But when traveling or documenting a scene, I’ll go for any of the wide angle lenses (e.g. 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, etc.). When shooting people with a wide angle, it’s best to keep them close to center in the frame, and keep your distance reasonably far. You can always crop a wide angle lens to get the view angle of the traditional portrait lenses, to make people look more flattering.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, much appreciated!! I still think it’s magic 😉

  3. For the Human Element in the Urban Landscape.
    ‘Hotel Network’
    Marina Bay, Singapore. Olympus E-M1.

  4. I had a couple to choose from but finally decided on this one taken in the Salt Lake City public library. I used my Nikon 1 J3 for this one.

  5. For the ‘Human Element in the Urban Landscape’. From Cuba, it of course has to be in colour 😉 Some thought-provoking podcasts recently, thanks a lot for doing these

  6. This is my submission for the human element. Leading lines, modern and not so modern architecture, and 23mm lens distortion.

  7. Valerie, I enjoyed the podcast as well as your class in MN a few weeks ago. Here is my entry into ‘Human Element in the Urban Landscape.

  8. Thank you for all of the great podcasts this year. This is my entry into “The Human Element in the Urban Landscape.”

  9. Thank you for all of the great podcasts this year. This is my entry into “The Human Element in the Urban Landscape.”

  10. Here is my entry from Paris. I only recently found your podcast, but I’m really enjoying it.

  11. I enjoyed your podcast with Chris. Below is my Street Challenge image. Cheers!

    Art Institute of Chicago

    1. I really like this. You know there is a person in there and there he is when you look. Nicely framed.

  12. Hey Valarie, Love your podcast, thanks for taking the time to do them.
    Here is my photo. Though it’s similar to last months winner I enjoyed taking it.
    Thanks, Tim

  13. Hi Valerie, love the podcast, this is one from my trip to New Orleans a few weeks ago, got me a 11-16mm lens to get the as much of the atmosphere as I could, and had some nice results for my first time trying street photography.

  14. Garden City, NY train station from an overpass on a gray December day, intentionally at the time when few but some people were expected. “Church of Geometry”… Happy New Year to all!

  15. Hi Valerie! Enjoyed your podcast, as usual! Keep up the great work.
    Here’s my entry for “The Human Element in the Urban Lanscape” It’s the so called “Burgtor”, part of the famous Hofburg palace in the very heart of Vienna!

    Happy New Year to everybody!

  16. Hey Valerie! Just wanted to thank you for putting these shows together. I was immediately inspired to go shoot after listening to this podcast, particularly because of your discussion about approaching street photography differently. So yesterday I snapped a few shots in SF’s Chinatown for this challenge and really like how they came out. I liked them so much, in fact, that one of them turned out to be my entry (haha). Happy New Year, everyone!

  17. Hi Valerie, thank you for your show. Here is my pick for this challenge. Happy new year everyone!

  18. My contribution for the challenge – this time not completely on the street but from the inside of a building.

  19. For the Human Element in the Urban Landscape.
    Musemum of Islamic Art, Doha. Fujifilm X-T1.

  20. For the Human Element in the Urban Landscape, ‘The Cruz Bay Shuffle’
    Cruz Bay, St John, USVI.
    I chose this because of the colors that are so prominent on the islands. The simplicity of the doors and windows accented with a single human form was what caught my eye.

  21. Entry for the Human Element in the Urban Landscape. Lots of humans at the Shibuya station street crossing in Tokyo.

  22. Great discussions in your podcast! Here’s my entry for the competition, titled as “Shadow Walker” taken in Turku, Finland in 2015 [Fuji X100S – ISO 800 f 7.1]

  23. Great choice for the challenge Valerie!

    To me, there’s always something so captivating about quiet moments. Here’s a photo I captured of a man in contemplation by the river. The shot was taken early in the morning on Pier A in Hoboken, NJ.

  24. Wellcome to new year.

    Here is my input for the contest. It’s an image taking on the christmas market here in Munich, proper to the seaon.

    Regards Egbert

  25. Wellcome to new year.

    Here is my input for the contest. It’s an image taking on the christmas market here in Munich, proper to the seaon.

    Regards Egbert

  26. One person and two little ducks

    I came across this great location in Paddington Basin, London. The way the building with the large white area reflected in the water. This just cried out for someone in dark clothing to walk past. The two little ducks were an added bonus.

    Great show as always Valerie. Happy New Year to you and everyone else

    1. Haha, and you can’t play this time Chris as you were the co-host 😉 But I love this, There is a street photographer in there somewhere, I knew it!