What exactly do you mean with ‘real’ life? There is no real life beyond our streets, as I’ve shown five minutes ago in my f… statistics!
L.T. Major C. Browne, Baltimore 2005
The photography style in The Wire is oriented on street photography or better: it is pure street photography – which you can see perfect in the 3rd season, especially in the 4th episode called ‚Amsterdam‘.
Amsterdam stands for three drug free trade areas in the city, which is an experiment of one of the majors to get other street corners ‚clean’.
In this episode Amsterdam will be shown a bit darker as the usual The Wire colors are, to work out the special character of these area, to emphasis the uncontrolled underworld character shown in dark and white.
Usually The Wire uses for street scenes pale colors, seems like ‚washed out‘ from the sun light.
The street scenes are focussed on drug dealers and their gangs, the movements they make during their sale actions. On the other hand the scenes of the policemen plays often in-house during they monitor the mobile phones of the gang members.
Most of the scenes are filmed with wide-angle lenses – to understand the constellations in the street, in the observation room and in the city hall, which plays more and more a role in the The Wire, simply politics.
For sure the policemen in The Wire use cameras, analog ones, with large tele-lenses, to take close ups from their suspects.
If you like street photography – start looking the wire. Yes, there is some patina on the HBO series (2002 – 2008), but not that much, that you will not enjoy the street photography style.
Link to the Offical HBO THE WIRE Page