Iconic Imprints of Paris

Documentary Street Photography by Rolf Kjolseth

About Rolf
Style & Technique
Printing Procedures
Order Prints
Style & Technique  


As a street photographer, my goal is to capture naturally occurring, everyday events in their normal contexts.

Still photography is an extremely selective practice. First is the choice of which images to capture on film. Later comes the selection and printing of the images that are true “iconic imprints” -- those that convey the spirit of a particular time, place, person or activity.

My photographs are intended to leave a visual record that says, “Yes, that is how we were.”


I use medium-format rangefinder cameras and, most often, wide-angle lenses. One of my approaches is an unobtrusive technique of shooting, usually from the hip or while walking, and very close to my subjects (2 to 3 meters). This has two advantages.

First, my subjects don’t notice me taking pictures, so they don’t feel inhibited by the presence of a camera. Their movements, activities and expressions are natural and unposed. What you see in the photograph is what you’d have seen if you had been there.

Second, because the camera is held lower, the horizontal angle centers a standing person in the frame. This creates a “closer” or more intimate perspective that draws the viewer into the scene of the finished print.

I also have my own darkroom and do all of my own printing. You can read about my printing procedures here.


Until 1997:
  • Hasselblad (6x6 cm negatives)
  • Body/Lens: Usually SWC/38mm (wide angle), sometimes 500C/M with 80mm (normal), or rarely 150 or 250mm (telephoto)

1998 to the present:
  • Mamiya 7II (6x7 cm negatives)
  • Lens: Usually 43mm (wide angle), sometimes 65mm, occasionally 80mm (normal), rarely 150mm (telephoto)


All medium format Black & White (120, 220) including:
  • Ilford: Delta 100, HP5+, XP2, FP4
  • Kodak: TX, TMX, TMY, TMZ, T400CN