Leica Lab Interview: 28mm lens in Street Photography

Leica Lab Italy asked me some questions about the use of the 28mm lens in my photography. 

There has always been a lot of uncertainty about which was the best lens for street photography, many argue the 50mm, 35mm and then the other way to get to those who go to the 28mm and over. 

There aren’t better lenses than others. Even defining the concept of best or worst is misleading. The lens you choose is by the way very important because it defines the specificity of your point of view.


What is your approach to Street Photography ?

When I walk with my camera I have a very simple approach. I am looking for those moments of everyday life that included within the boundary of the frame reveal little stories made of emotions, graphics and harmony.


Why the 28mm?

My approach with people changes a lot depending on my mood and my emotional state. There are times that I maintain a certain distance from my subjects and I will only capture what is happening around me without interfering. Other times I decide to get in closer contact with the world and the people I meet. On these occasions, the 28mm is the lens that I prefer because I’m “forced” to be very close to my subjects. It is not easy to understand  the 28mm perspective and it needs for sure a lot of practice, but it gives you the ability to really get into the scene. You have be aware of all the elements in the frame. To find the right balance between the subject and the context. And it also works so well in zone focusing and hyperfocal making it a fundamental lens in the kit of any street photographer.


It’s not easy to get so near to people, to enter in their intimate space, how to overcome the fear of shooting in the streets.

Practice and desire to change. Much depends on your character but the joy that Street Photography can give you is strong enough to force you to change. For some people it’s easier and they experience contact with strangers with no particular stress. For others it is more complicated and Street Photography is a good medicine against that kind of shyness that should not be part of a photographer personality.

Street Photography it’s a tool for personal growth, because it forces you to interact with people, places and cultures, and also is a tool of professional growth, because it allows you to have greater confidence and to master the techniques about the study of the light in  situations where you have no control of it.


More depth of field, closer, more ability to describe the environment around us, not too much to handle?

Also in this case the practice helps to “see” and anticipate events. At first may seem too many variables that come into play, but once trained the eye and our reflexes, we start to realize that things that are going to happen give us unmistakable signs: the imaginary lines of people on the move, the obstacles that they may meet, colors or graphics components of the architecture and the many objects that surround us. All those elements at a certain point thanks to the photographer vision, get together in the frame and you can capture them creating something beautiful and unique.

My Leica Q Review
My Street Photography Fine Art Prints