My weekend trip to Berlin in July this year was my first to a city I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. My love of electronic music, architecture and increasing interest in street photography have made it a wonder to me and my friends as to why this was my first trip.
It was to be a photography city break with a fellow photographer friend. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get lots of shots and take in the city but in the end I didn’t take as many as I thought I would and I also didn’t take pictures of certain things that characterised the place for me. Having thought about it I think it was down to two things 1) being new to city break photography, I don’t usually go on holiday to cities, and 2) the way I like to take in and inhabit spaces and how I use the camera.
When I’m somewhere completely new I don’t like to get my camera out immediately. I like to inhabit the place for a bit so that I can get some kind of a feel for it. Instinctively I feel that seeing a place from behind the camera for the first time is disrespectful because it immediately objectifies my surroundings and separates me from it. I don’t see my surroundings, whether a natural or urban setting as simply something to be objectified. In order for me to capture images of it I have to feel it first and see how I fit into it.
Having said that maybe I can learn to be more immediate and capture images that move me. For instance with Berlin I was struck by how spacious and straight the streets are. It struck that it was almost possible to see the horizon, something that is impossible on the packed streets of London. The effect this had on my state of mind and how i inhabited Berlin was quite striking, however I didn’t get a decent example of it.
So whilst the images I do have may not be the quality I expected I have learnt about what I should do in future when visiting cities abroad.
Most of the images you’ll see below where taken in the Kreuzberg district and are the first time I've shared any of my street photography images.