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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Street-Photography-Marco-Wilm-35GM-1.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.jpg
Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

How This Minimalistic Street Photographer Uses A Fast 35mm To Get Creative With Light & Space

Berlin-based photographer Marco Wilm (@mxwilm) learned to embrace empty spaces in his street photography throughout the pandemic. “At first I felt it would be difficult to do street photography during lockdown, when no one is on the streets anymore. However, I think it actually helped to develop my style and shape my approach. I really like emptiness and space in my photographs and I try to keep it minimalistic as it allows a sense of scale when I incorporate architecture and tall buildings. I often look for scenes and shapes created by the light and wait for the right person to walk by.” The Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master paired with the Sony Alpha 7R IV is his street photography gear of choice, and we connected with him to learn more about how he uses this combination to achieve his minimalistic style.

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

See how street photographer Marco Wilm utilizes the Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master & Sony Alpha 7R IV to achieve his minimalistic style.

The Versatility Of 35mm For Street Photography

“35mm is a very versatile focal length for me,” Wilm explains. “I can walk around all day with the Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master without feeling the need for another lens. This is especially true in combination with the 61MP sensor of the Sony Alpha 7R IV as I can always crop in post if I ever feel I need to punch in. It is wide enough to include much of the scenery and architecture, which I like to do a lot, yet it still feels like a natural focal length with no distortion and I can also use it to get close to people.”

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/4, ISO 100

A large part of Wilm’s style is manipulating colors and focusing on dark blue tones to create a cohesive look among his shots. To create that look, he likes to photograph in dark spaces where a fast lens is especially useful. 

“The 35mm f/1.4 GM is currently my favorite lens because of its outstanding focus speed and accuracy, its sharpness, and fantastic low light capabilities. Since I like to shoot in dark places like underground stations or museums, it's important that my lens of choice is sharp, even wide open at f/1.4 and that it focuses every time, even in low-light situations. The Sony 35mm f/1.4 GM does exactly that.”

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

“I love the image quality that I get from this lens and the way it handles. The contrast is excellent, which makes editing my pictures a lot easier and quicker because the files look great from the get-go. It's also really small and compact, which is very important, since it's less intimidating toward strangers and also more fun to walk around with for hours, without weighing me down. I think the fun factor and the way the lens feels is very important, because it makes me want to use it more often. Knowing that I can rely on the 35mm GM every time makes it the perfect street photography lens for me.”

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

The Sony Alpha 7R IV: Megapixels + Battery Power = Fewer Restrictions

Wilm uses the Sony Alpha 7R IV for his street photography. “The biggest advantage to me is the superb 61-Megapixel sensor. It allows me to get the best quality and also have the ability to crop later in post production and create exactly the composition that I want. It allows me to be free of any restrictions and be assured that I have enough megapixels at any time, even after cropping, to create big, beautiful prints.” Combined with the low light performance of the Sony 35mm f/1.4 GM, the dynamic range of the Alpha 7R IV only adds to his shooting capabilities in low light.

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/2500-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/4, ISO 320

“The sensor has amazing dynamic range. I often shoot in difficult lighting conditions, and the ability to recover so much detail both from shadows and highlights makes all the difference compared to other cameras that I've tried. The focus system allows me to capture runners or cyclists within split seconds exactly where I want them to be within the frame and I also often use focus tracking to take multiple shots as people move through the frame, so I can decide which one is my favorite when I'm editing. I use the custom buttons to quickly jump between focus functions for a seamless workflow. The camera's battery life allows me to be out for hours without running out of power, which gives me great freedom and peace of mind.”

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Photo by Marco Wilm. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/200-sec., f/1.4, ISO 200

See more of Marco Wilm’s work on Instagram @mxwilm.

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