I finally finished scanning and editing all the photos I took in Berlin. Some of the photos are visible at my flickr-page.
First of all Berlin is an amazing city. If you're into street photography, it's quite a gold mine. My girlfriend and I where there in July right up the high season and I'm guessing the hottest one as well.
There is a lot of variety and diversity all around. The city is a mixture of old and new. In the middle of town you have the modern city with the high skyscrapers and busy high class shopping areas whilst the outskirts are all worn down but enriched with history. This is where the magic happens! In the suburbs of Berlin where the buildings are all concrete and brick and mostly worn down there is an amazing amount of street art! Everywhere you look there is art! On the facades of shops, residents or abandoned buildings. It seemed to be accepted by the people living in the area. Wallpaintings, graffiti, carvings or even large scale photos printed on wallpaper and pasted on the facades! Incredible!
The subway system! Gold mine! Haha! I just love subway stations! Its something about the atmosphere, people, lighting and the lines. I didn't have the time to explore the subway system but I would love to go back and do it. Also it is hard to find a balance between a vacation with my loved one and street photography :) I will return to Berlin dedicated to photography!
Photographing in Berlin was very educational. I learned a lot about how I photograph and why I photograph. During our stay I used my 15mm f4.5 Voigtlander Heliar Super Wide Angle. It's an great lens with enormous filed of view. I didn't want to switch lenses on the streets so I decided to try using it for the whole week. Also the 15mm felt more reasonable to use. I could photograph architecture, the streets and us at 0,6 meters and even get a lot of background.
As I was scanning the negatives I realized that I was seeing everything in 35mm field of view. This is my standard lens and has been for the last two years. This resulted in not filling the frame in every shot. The only time I really did fill it was when photographing my girlfriend and me at 0,6 meters. Using this lens on the streets I was a bit shy on the intimate space of the people. When I thought I was close enough (1-3 meters) I really wasn't. The Voigtlander is a great lens, but I think it is a bit too wide for my style of photography. In the future I will stick to my Summicron 35 for street photography although I still will carry the 15mm with me to take photos of us.
Several of my photos didn't really turn up the way I wanted it or the way I say the scene. Some of them because of the reason above but mostly they didn't have much going on. There was one or two subjects, no story, no contrast, the composition was sometimes off.. nothing was really happening. Talking to my friend Jesper he told me it is part of the process. We all know that practice makes perfect. I knew that but sometimes it's better heard from another person. Taking photos for him was not really about taking the best photo. It was more of a feeling when he likes to push the shutter button.
Lately I think I have felt more pressure into taking "good photos" and less about the feeling of photographing. I think it all started with the creation of "thefootographer.com". Suddenly people could see my photographs officially and associating them with "thefootographer". That meant that they also were judging them and my work. Maybe I felt some pressure in creating better photographs and thats why I felt quite disappointed when many of the frames I shot weren't what I expected.
Photography for me is truly an escape for me as for Jesper. I came to realize that there is no need for pressure in taking a good photo it's really about the feeling that builds up until you press that shutter button. I am not a professional photographer, I don't have any education in photography and I am not the best photographer. I am but a person with a camera trying to capture a moment to be remembered.
Don't be afraid to take bad photographs!
Thanks for your support!
© 2013 Photography by Joel Foo