Where are you from and how did you get into street photography?
I was born in Russia and have lived in London since 2005. I’ve always liked street photography and experimented with different gear. When I was trying to make street shots with Canon 1D and 1Ds…that was a very difficult time. Eventually, I switched to small cameras and phones, which worked much better. The discomfort with these smaller cameras is minimal for me as well as for the subjects. Later I switched to Sony, which has excellent face AF. Honestly, I think they are the best for street photography.
It looks like at some point you transitioned from black and white to color? Why the shift?
I still use both B&W and color, I really like the very-contrasty, pushed-processed film look of classical film, so I try to simulate that look. Large sensor cameras have better dynamic range, color photos are much better with them. Phone camera photos are much better in B&W.
Are there any street photographers in particular that you draw inspiration from?
I really like Meljoe San Diego, he uses mostly B&W and in most cases the object looks in the lens, I’m trying a similar style. He inspired me to try mirrorless cameras for street, particularly Fuji.
Where is your favorite place to take photographs and why?
I take a camera with me and ready to shoot anywhere I go. Currently live near Brick Lane, good place for street photography.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in street photography and how have you overcome them?
It used to take ages to get one photograph out of a camera which is not good for street photography. The biggest challenge was fear of being detected. The introduction of a small mirrorless camera and later Sony with excellent face AF resolved these problems, with Sony you can get good shots from the hip without raising the camera. wide lenses work best for me, 50mm is too narrow. currently I use 24-28mm, and think this is the best focal length for street.
What is your most memorable moment or photo from street photography?
I hope that moment will come in the future. 🙂
What has street photography taught you?
Street photography changes the way person sees the world. I think he sees stories much more than just routine.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Nickolay and see more of his work, be sure to visit his Flickr photostream. This photographer was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine), where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine.