Street Photography During Lockdown
Berlin is now in its second “Hard-Lockdown”. This means that we can expect the streets to become less populated with residents bobbing around town, shopping — not going to happen. Drinking in public, not allowed. Bars and restaurants lockdown hard until an update is given in January.
What does this mean for street photographers?
Well, walking around with a camera with the intention of taking streets shots of people, groups, and the hustle and bustle of the city, is probably not going to happen.
I went out last Sunday, the 20th of December, and strode along chilly and sparsely populated streets around Mitte in Berlin. There was a general feeling of “miserable day”, among people. I could tell by the look on people’s faces that they weren’t happy with being out and about in the cold Berlin weather.
In spite of battling feelings of, “nothing much happening”, and the slight disappointment of the sun disappearing for the day, I took a few shots. I simply did my best to get my thoughts attuned to what was offered.
Below are a few results of what’s possible, even when you feel like you aren’t getting the edge, or ‘feeling it’.
Potsdamer Platz is a great area to wander around for Street photography. Not so many people about these days, but when it’s full of tourists and locals you can find yourself spoiled for shots of compositions, colours, and occasionally an odd looking person walking along the street.
In the above shot, I was taken by the lines created by the shadows under the bench. The bench is made of concrete, and therefore gives an immediate feeling of weight, solidity, and so the shadows reflect that sharp edged look of heavy stones.
The shadows set off by the reflection of a slightly sunny sky, creates a nice balance of tones that work best in colour. It would have been a waste to not use the smooth pastel red of the middle stripe that runs along the road at Potsdamer Platz. This red strip, used as a walk-way in the middle of the traffic area, makes a good stand point to get some good street photography shots down, and to watch and think about angles. You are constantly aware of the many angles and lines that can be used to create interesting compositions at Potsdamer Platz.
After wandering around town, hoping to bump into some street drama to photograph, I ended up stopping at my partner’s home for a cup of coffee and a slice of her fine ginger cake with caramel.
On leaving, I managed to get this window shot from the street. I love the way the kitten looks so serious, as if she’s posing her best side for the camera.
Now, I'm hoping for rain and snow. When the rain comes pouring down on the Berlin streets it’ll create a little drama as people dodge about looking for shelter. Or rush along a splashy street and cause ripples, reflections, and soaked hair.
All Images are copyrighted by Sean P. Durham, Berlin, 2020.