The Fine Art of Urban Street Photography and Colour Composition

All artists are inspired by something or someone, but it’s not always important to know why we are inspired.

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“I work completely intuitively, I do not have a concept,” Harry Gruyaert

As a street photographer myself, I’m always working towards making fine art out of street motifs that rise and fall in the streets of Berlin.

I do look for subjects, colour schemes, compositions, but I don’t limit myself with an idea of a concept. That would be a self-imposed restriction that the streets don’t cater for.

I have days when I go out and promise myself to stick to black and white. A dull day in Berlin can be daunting when you feel happy and colourful.

Berliners always seem to gravitate to dark drabness when they dress. Black and white photography suits Berlin.

I saw this colourful panel against the back of a small grey building on Savigny Platz. The brightly painted figures make a nice backdrop for the right moment. I thought if I could hang out and wait till somebody came along, then took a moment to stop and observe it with their back to me, it would make a nice shot.

A few people passed. A man then passed by, looked at me, and I took the shot. Maybe there’s a touch of contrast happening between the turned figures in the wall illustration, and person staring at the camera lens.

Again, he’s wearing black clothing, he must be a Berliner.

Copyright; Sean P. Durham, Berlin, 2023
Image by Author

Time seems to stand still when you are scanning the street for an unusual moment to occur.

Standing on the curbstone with a camera in hand, eyes penetrating every red brick, colours, passing pedestrian, always ready to lift the camera, compose, frame, and click. Then, what you saw, is gone.

I look for colour compositions, sometimes they elude me, but if you look hard enough you’ll come across some good examples.

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Sean P. Durham

Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Street Photography. Fine Art Photography, writing, art, cats. http://berlinstreetphotographer.com