Berlin Street Photography in Mid-Summer

Summer in Berlin is prime-time for Berlin Street Photographers.

The beautiful morning sunrise, evening sun sets. That special light that can be seen and experienced during the last moments leading up to twilight.

As the sun drops behind the houses. You have to shift your feet along the streets to find the last patch of sunshine, it can create a feeling of urgency in your street photography.

Either a positive feeling of being in-the-game, or a negative feeling of too much pressure.

Either way, it gets the brain working. It creates focus and helps with making up your mind about what motifs to photograph.

You must act quickly in street photography.

Street Photographer in Berlin 2023

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I set out late last night – at 8 PM. The sun was definitely behind the houses and most of the streets were in shadow – flat colours, no contrast, and peoples’ faces were one tone of pale.

I thought, well I need to get out and shoot a few frames. I’ll simply do that, I maybe there’ll be a lucky shot amongst the ten street shots I take.

crowd pushing for free beer in Berlin 2023

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the more knowledge that you acquire about the place you live, the more interest you take in what you look at.

I always say that knowledge about a building, its history, the people who built it and lived in it, helps to develkop insight about the building.

Berlin is full of history. That history stems back to its beginnings, and it goes back to the days of my own lifetime. I remember how places and buildings, locals, and shops have changed over the years.

Personal feelings about an object creates a basis for curiosity. And as street photographers we need a motivation that stems from a deep curiosity about the world we live in.

U-Bahn-Station esculator, Yorckstr 2023

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The photo above, an escalator in Yorckstrasse Bahnhof/underground train station, is a successful little photo. It’s an example of how we can look at a large city through sections. Then cut down into small chunks of structure that express a city as an abstract set of ideas. It’s interesting, that’s all. It could be an escalator in any city. Except for the tiling which definitely gives it away as a section of Berlin.

Most Berliners could look at an Ubahn station wall in a photo, and tell you which underground station they are looking at. They all have different designs and structures. That’s good city planning, it avoids the uniform-look that can ruin a city and turn it into a boringly squared off, easy to navigate place that has no character.

Character in a city comes through its surprises. Platze that are newly designed. Train stations that don’t look the same. Streets and neighbourhoods that have a different vibe according the type of residents who live there.

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Above photo: Another section of the city seen as two buildings closing in together. They create a small passageway between them. Tower above people on the street, and can feel ominous at times. Especially in winter months when the dark clouds hang above and create sweeping shadows and leave no room for light.

Brandenburg Gate at Sunset, Copyright; Sean P. Durham Street Photography in Berlin. 2022

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I love watching crowd that flow, stop, walk, get caught at a red traffic light. Two people can wait a the lights, then more join them. When the lights turn green and everybody steps out to cross the road, it can often be a like watching a painting come alive. Sunlight spreading across bodies, faces flashing in and out of shadows. It’s a good place to stop and watch.

The above photo is of a sunset at Brandenburg Gate. The evening light catches the white clothing and creates a brilliant flow of light throughout the crowd.

Group of People walking past Brandenburg Gate, Image copyright; Sean P. Durham, Berlin street Photography 2023

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Three people pass me by, I take the shot. A fast shutter speed and my ISO wound up quite high because the light was fading.

Street photography is made up of moments – you can never tell what’s going to happen. So, it’s a good idea to use a faster shutter speed to be ready for fast action.

The shot above reminds me of the Beatles album “Abbey Road”. The people in the shot could be hippies from the 1960s. “What goes around, Comes around”.

Crowds and buildings are the perfect subject for a street photographer to watch and capture.