Dyes and photographic elements containing them as silver halide sensitizing dyes, which dyes have the structure: ##STR1## wherein: X1 and X2 each independently represent the atoms necessary to complete a benzo-condensed 5- or 6-membered heterocyclic nucleus, which, in addition to being substituted by Z1 and Z2 respectively, may be further substituted or unsubstituted;
n is a positive integer from 1 to 4,
p and q each independently represents 0 or 1,
each L independently represents a substituted or unsubstituted methine group,
R1 and R2 each independently represents substituted or unsubstituted aryl or substituted or unsubstituted alkyl,
Z1 represents a substituent which contains both an amide group and an aromatic ring which may be appended or fused to X1; and
W1 is a counterion as needed to balance the charge of the molecule.