Manu Grinspan: Colorful Street Photography In Cities at Night

All images and text by Manu Grinspan. Used with permission.

I’m Manu Grinspan, a photographic artist specializing in evocative images of the living world and best known for my ‘unique-in-style’ color photography. Born in Belgium, I moved to Israel in 1996 and started to discover my passion for photography. Within a short time, I started my life as an international traveling street photographer. My photographs of people and street reveal a compassionate understanding of my subjects and my unique photographic touch.

In 2015, I became the official photographer of Israel’s Nature and Park Reserves.

I use a Nikon D610 and a D850 with 85mm f1.4, 24mm f1.4, 18-200 Nikkor lenses.

Why did you get into photography?

My passion in photography comes from my love of colors, light, and shadow. I’m also doing art all my life: I finished my academic school of music in classical piano, then started to do painting and drawing, and at last discovered the art of photography.

Which photographers are your biggest influences?

David Drebin, Hamilton, Saul Leiter, Newton, Elliott Erwitt, and others.

How long have you been shooting?

I’ve been shooting for 14 years.

Why is photography and shooting so important to you?

It’s been my best partner for already 14 years. I cannot walk out on the streets without having a camera with me, being too afraid that I will miss an important moment that I will never be able to reproduce again.

Do you feel that you’re more of a creator or a documenter? Why?

I’m a creator of emotions. I recreate emotions, I don’t document them.

What’s typically going through your mind when you create images? Tell us about your processes both mentally and mechanically.

The first thing is I have to see something that sends a strong emotion into my brain. Usually, it’s all the little details which tell me that somebody really put attention on them. Then, I think about the moment before taking the image to the end processing of it (what will be the atmosphere I want, the exposure, its shadows and lights, etc.). I need to first see in my mind the final result, and only when I have a clear image of the final result do I start to shoot the photo. The shooting process is very fast, not more than 1-2 seconds. After the shot, I never look at the result and I immediately continue to walk and look for another shot.

Want to walk us through your processing techniques?

I use Adobe Lightroom for the usual editing of vibrance, white balance, exposure, etc.

Tell us about the project that you’re pitching, or your portfolio.

Imagine you can only choose one street of each city in the world. Just one. One that attracts you the most. One that stands out from the others. One with the most dramatic or cinematic stories. One where its visitors are in perfect harmony with its lights and shadows. For every city, I choose just one street to photograph. 1STREET’s power comes from capturing a single street with its combination of elements such as people, weather, mood, and lighting.

Current cities:

1STREET Barcelona – Spain
1STREET Paris – France
1STREET Jaffa / Tel Aviv – Israel

What made you want to get into your genre?

I wanted to recreate all the emotions I had when I saw beautiful & interesting things and to share it to everyone.

Tell us a bit about the gear that you use and how you feel it helps you achieve your creative vision.

I use Nikon D610 and D850. I want to avoiding shoot at night with a tripod as much as possible, since I want to capture the immediate instance of people walking along a street. Therefore, I’m always looking for a camera that can capture higher ISO images with minimum noise. Also, I’m looking for cameras with exceptional dynamic range to be able to reproduce all the colors.

What motivates you to shoot?

100% passion.

To learn more about Manu Grinspan and his colorful photography, visit his website and follow him on Instagram.