Street Photography in Berlin, 2022

Framing Your Composition with the Tip of Your Nose

People talk of rules. In photography there are no rules, only guidelines.

Sean P. Durham
5 min readAug 26, 2022


To better understand how to take a good photo we must understand how our own mind sees the world.

Breaking rules is how we discover our own creativity. We focus on the meat of the thing, and not the tool.

If you’re always about the quality of the tool, then you’re simply in the trap of blaming the tool for a bad outcome.

Sometimes, if a person asks me which camera I use, I tell them I only have a shoe box with a pin hole at the end. It has a coat hanger poking out the side to wind on the roll of film. As a Brit, I can do the straight faced humour quite well.

If for a moment they believe me, their eyes pop, and they see my work as an amazing feat for such a primitive contraption.

If a photographer wants to create vision, then they should work hard on their creativity. That’s the kernel of the thing, of everything in life.

Understanding our own motivations, learning to see objects on our own terms, and formulating visual ideas within the frame for ourselves, leads to a better photo.

I’m always mucking about with settings. When I first got my digital camera, I noticed how sharp everything was, how amazing the finely honed glass is, and how I could zero-in on my subject like a hunter in the fields.

I took lots of photos with the lens at F 2.8, it made me wish for enough money to buy a lens that would crunch everything into a F 1.4 field of vision. Then I stopped, and asked myself why?

I realised that I’d been caught up in the techie world of, “my lens can isolate the tip of a nose” — and yours can’t.

When you feel the motivation to photograph an object, it helps to know something about that object.

Artists tend to look at the world as if it’s already a piece of art. We see trees, and streets, people, and all the variations of humanness before us as one…



Sean P. Durham

Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Street Photography. Fine Art Photography, writing, art, cats.