Street Photography


A couple of weeks ago, I had posted a series of photographs I made with a Sigma 24mm f/2.8 in a little park in Westminster, at the intersection of Bond Street and Green Street. The Sigma 24mm is an effective 36mm lens on the Sony Alpha 700. I wanted to try a 28mm lens (42mm on A700). I took along my lightweight Sigma 28-80mm (42mm-120mm in 35mm format) and shot from the same locations as with the 24mm, and a few others. It wasn’t as cold as the last time, and I could loiter a little while longer without freezing my poor hands.

When I left the park, I turned onto Green Street and photographed a couple of the historic homes. I ended up close to McDaniel College, so I grabbed a few shots of the school buildings, as well as the corner of Main and Union Street. Here are the pictures with the Sigma lens set up – these were taken on Wednesday morning with the same lens.

The Sigma is truly a versatile lens, and has a macro capability down to 1:2 as well in case you need it. It’s one of those lenses that you tend to ‘fit and forget’ since it seems to feel so natural.

Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster – Sigma 28-80mm
Warfieldsburg Rd

Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Green Street
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Green Street
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – McDaniel College
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – McDaniel College
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – McDaniel College Gateway
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Union St and Main St
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm Kridder’s Rd Church
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Warfieldsburg Road
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Rte 27 Ridge Road
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Rte 27 Ridge Road
Westminster, MD – Sigma 28-80mm – Rte 27 Ridge Road

Photographed with a Sony Alpha 700 and Sigma 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 aspherical macro lens. ISO 200, Cloudy white balance. 1/80 at 28mm and 1/160 at 80mm (The Sigma is 42-120mm in the 35mm format equivalent)



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olympus/zuiko by Ajoy Muralidhar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
text and images © 2008 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners. thank you for visiting olympus/zuiko. dhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.

I happened on this location by chance, as I returned to Gaithersburg from Baltimore . I took 295 (Greenbelt parkway) on my way back, and got off the exit that leads to the Robert Kennedy Stadium – going around it, I soon found myself on C street, and all these beautiful buildings. There was plenty of parking, near the intersection of C street and 11th, and I lingered there for a few minutes before driving down west towards 10th, where I stopped for a few more minutes.

Winter is a great time for streetscapes and architectural photography, since the buildings in the older localities aren’t obscured by trees, as they normally would be in the Summertime. I was carrying the Sony A700 with the Sony 18-200mm lens, nothing fancy. The Sony lens (SAL 18200) is a great all-around lens, especially if you make a modest investment in a 62mm Circular Polarizer.

Zooms give a great deal of flexibility, but at the same time, the perspective varies from shot to shot. You don’t really notice it while shooting, since we’re so focused on getting the proper framing and composition, but later, when organizing, we find a wide range of focal lengths. Interesting, of course, but not easy to catalogue.

I think street-photography is best with a zoom, but when recording specific architectural details, it may be better to use a fixed length 35mm or 50mm equivalent prime. I think I will go back again soon, and re-shoot some of the more interesting buildings with a 35mm equivalent prime as well (that would be a 24mm lens, which would give me 36mm on the A700).

Here are the photos from C street. The buildings are in perfect condition, and in the late afternoon sunlight, they look delicious.


C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street

C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street
C Street

Photographed with a Sony Alpha 700 and Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens with a Circular Polarizer.



Creative Commons License
olympus/zuiko by Ajoy Muralidhar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
text and images © 2008 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners. thank you for visiting olympus/zuiko.

I finally had the last roll of film from the Baltimore Inner harbor shoot developed this week…. these were with the Minolta Dynax 800si and the Phoenix 28-105mm lens. This is one of my most used Minolta AF lenses, since it spans such a useful range of focal lengths – from wideangle to medium telephoto.

Although it is most useful as a portrait lens, the 105mm is just right for closing in on interesting architectural detail, and the 28, 35 and 50mm focal lengths are always available. I believe that this is the one lens to pack if one is traveling light. I usually carry a Tiffen 812 warming filter in case of overcast or open sky photography and a Tiffen circular polarizer when its bright and sunny out.


Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si AF camera and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-3.6 lens on Fujis Superia 200 film. I used a Tiffen circular polarizer


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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On the last day of my conference at Baltimore, I lugged along my autofocus Minolta Dynax 800si with the Phoenix 28-105mm lens. This road is leads to Harbor East, which is the former warehouse district. Most of the grungy old buildings have been torn down, and it’s being developed into a vibrant business and commercial area.

Two blocks further down, you can still see some of the remaining warehouses, they are really decrepit, and the neighborhood is generally rundown and boarded up. No trees, just concrete sidewalks, uncared for streets and no place you’d care to stop. I walked through that area one afternoon looking for a decent place to eat, and ended up walking 3 blocks back to the edge of Little Italy. I can recommend Petalos Restaurant for their fine salad.

To anyone who believes all development of older city areas is bad, I’d recommend that they walk along Pratt Street in Baltimore, and go past the ritzy hotels to the older, undeveloped areas, and tell me if they still feel the same. What I am against though is the tearing down of older housing to make for multiple residential complexes, and shopping places filled with the same old coffeeshops.

I wish cities would encourage more diversity in the commercial areas, and make it possible for the smaller artisan shops to afford a location in the newly developed areas. Would be like adding a bit of spice to otherwise bland fare.


Harbor East
Harbor East
Harbor East
Harbor East

Additional pictures of the Inner Harbor area

Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor

Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor

Photographed with an autofocus Minolta Dynax 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-3.6 zoom lens, Fuji Superia 200. I used a Tiffen 812 filter in the shade and a Tiffen Polarizer in the sun.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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I was on the road early, driving to Baltimore trying to beat the morning rush hour. It was unusually foggy on the drive in and I was hoping that I’d get to the harbor before the Sun was high enough to burn the mist off. I was lucky – I managed to get in by 8 am, parked at the Pier V Garage, and rushed out with my Ricoh 500 rangefinder. I was using the Sunny f/16 rule, and it’s a little tricky with the changing misty conditions and fog. Here are the results.


Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G

The Inner Harbor looks great by sunset too… these were taken from the 5th floor balcony of the Marriot Waterfront hotel

Inner Harbor – Sunset
Inner Harbor – Sunset
Inner Harbor – Sunset

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G rangefinder (fixed Rikenon 40mm f/2.8) and Fuji Superia 200 film f/5.6 at 1/250 second.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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More pictures from the Cherry Blossom festival – these are from my backup camera. I had taken the Ricoh 500G along. It’s small and unobtrusive, and good for close quarters street photography. I was using Fuji Super HQ 200 film in the Ricoh, and I used the Sunny f/16 rule for the exposure – basically 1/250 second at f/16 for the most part.


Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G

Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Washington Monument, street photo- Ricoh 500G

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G Rangefinder (40mm f/2.8 fixed lens) and Fuji Super HQ 200 film. 1/250 sec at f/16



text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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This year the Cherry Blossoms peaked between April 01 – April 04. It was a beautiful day when we visited on Tuesday April 03, when the flowering was at it’s peak. After the dull and dreary winter, it would be more apt to name it the “Cheery” Blossom festival instead.

It was slightly windy at the Tidal Basin, just enough to blow some petals off – up in the high 70’s. A very bright and sunny day with lots of people around. It was hot later in the afternoon, and the Popsicle and cold beverage vendors were doing a brisk business.

No one minded the heat though, since everyone knew what was coming – the weather reports had called for rain and heavy winds later in the week, and nothing is as bad for the flowers as heavy rain and wind – the petals get knocked off or are blown away. It’s not very comfortable either, too cold and windy to be outdoors.

It seemed as though all of DC was at the Tidal basin that afternoon. I guess everybody who could get away made it to the Tidal Basin that day. Besides, it was a working day, and it’s very probably that people who work in the Government offices around the Tidal Basin would have all taken their lunch out there, or just taking a walk.

The weather went bad by Thursday, so people who had been planning to visit DC that weekend lost out. It’s been cold and rainy since then, and the trees have long since lost their flowers and leafed out. It’s still cold in the DC environs… very unseasonable for this time of year. Up here in Westminster, the Cherry Blossoms and dogwoods are still blooming.

I took the family, of course…. We visited Cherry Blossom Festival for the first time last year, and it literally took our breath away. We made a resolution right then to return every year as long as we lived in the DC area  We got there around 11 am, and were lucky enough to get parking right at the Tidal basin lot, close to the Washington Memorial.

I had originally hoped to get there early in the day to take advantage of the morning light. The late morning/early afternoon sun casts a very flat light, and that washes out colors and makes everything look flat and lifeless. I didn’t have much choice, though.

I had taken my Minolta Dynax 800si with a 28-105mm general purpose zoom lens with a Polarizing filter. I was using Fuji Superia 400 film with the camera, since last year was cloudy and overcast – this year, it was so bright and sunny that a 100 ASA film would have been ample. The polarizer served as a 2x neutral density filter as well, slowing down the film enough to shoot at around f/13. For these photographs, I used the landscape and portrait settings.


Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-f/3.5 AF lens fitted with a Tiffen Polarizer. The film was Fuji Superia 400. I shot at f/13 at 1/350-1/750 second and used the Portrait and Landscape settings.



text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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