This is a syndicated blog post from our premium publication La Noir Image. For more stories like this, sign up for a subscription at a fantastic price. All images and text by writer Mason Resnick.
In recent years, thanks in part to social media and the ease with which participants can share images, street photography has enjoyed unprecedented popularity. A generation of digital cameras, inspired in part by the classic tools of street shooters, has combined with the power of social networks and easy image sharing to empower a new generation of photographers to embrace street photography. The results: A glut of photos: many of them mediocre, some good, and some of them really good.
But even the best of digital street photos have a problem. Digital street photos are too smooth. They’re too clean. They seem clinical. They have very little noise, and certainly no grain. That grittiness, dirtiness that reflects the chaos of the street is missing. And so, software tricks are employed to emulate the graininess of classic films. Click a button, and your grainless digital image suddenly looks like it was shot with the film of choice for many street photographers throughout the years: Kodak Tri-X.