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Our Street Photography Challenge Winner: Behind the Shot


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Congratulations to @Naty for winning our Street Photography Photo Challenge! We were blown away by this distinct moment and spoke with Naty to learn more about how she made this shot. 

Could contain: City, Road, Street, Urban, Path, Person, Sidewalk, Adult, Female, Woman

I'm Natascia Mercurio, also known as Naty, an Italy-based storyteller. I wear multiple hats as an art director, photographer, and filmmaker. I define myself as a storyteller, aiming to convey emotion through my work. Playing with light and color is my joy, I love using complimentary colors to create simultaneous feelings of warmth and coolness in my imagery. 

I studied graphic design and worked as an Art Director near Milan, handling major clients like Mercedes and Teatro alla Scala. After four years and collaborations with Sony, Billboard, and 500px, I decided to leave my full-time job to dedicate all my time to photography and filmmaking. Influenced by video games, anime, and Asian movies, my cinematic world is diverse, featuring strong characters and powerful stories. It's a journey supported by a passion that drives me to capture emotion in every frame. 

My signature teal & orange palette is a classic cine-color turned into something personal and recognizable. This distinctive aesthetic allows me to navigate various genres without sacrificing consistency. 

The Scene: Visualizing Your Story 
This shot was taken in Navigli district, Milan. I was doing one final lap before going back home. I was crossing a bridge and as I was walking on it, I saw on the right side of the bridge this man sitting down all alone at a table for eight and I immediately knew that in order to freeze the moment I wanted to capture the busyness of the street to accentuate the sad and still moment of the man sitting down at a dining table all by himself. 

Gear that helps you Achieve your Creative Vision
For this shot I used a Sony Alpha 7R III, my main camera body. I paired it with my favorite lens for street photography which is the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8. This body plus this lens give me the best results in terms of fast shooting and high quality, especially for a night time shot like this one. 

For this shot I’ve set my camera at 1/10 of a second to highlight the still figure and the moving pedestrians. I was holding my camera very still while resting it on the surface of the bridge to make it more stable since I barely carry a tripod with me, especially when I’m out and about taking street photos. 

Editing to Draw the Eye 
I mainly use Adobe Lightroom to edit all my photographs since I have the best control in terms of colors and masking. I highlighted the subject since it’s the focus point of the image and added a black vignetting on the edges to accentuate the importance of the main subject. I’ve also accentuated the orange façade of the restaurant on the left side of the frame to help balance the image more and to make it more pleasing to the eyes. 

Join our next photo challenge HERE! We’re celebrating Thanksgiving by sharing our food photography. 

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