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.


“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.



Sean P. Durham

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