2011 was the year I carried my camera almost everywhere, the year the camera became an extension of my right arm, the year I found myself on the streets over and over again, the year the streets accompanied me through my highs and lows. This post is not a personal best-of, but rather a selection of how I saw and felt about street photography in 2011.
January. After having neglected street photography for a long while, I picked up my camera again. It instantly felt right.
It stuck as the month the obsession started (again) and never left.
I took walks for hours, alone. I shot everything I saw.
I took the bus instead of the subway, so I could see and shoot from the upper decks.
February. I changed perspectives.
I tried different vantage points.
I tried juxtapositions.
I discovered that I like shooting on familiar ground.
I found out that I like reflections.
March. I went to Frankfurt.
I tried getting close.
I shot street with my sister for the first time. It felt great.
April. I went to Hamburg.
Saw the Vivian Maier exhibition. Was blown away by her work and frustrated with my own.
I kept on shooting anyway.
Most of the stuff didn’t feel right.
May. I went to Austria.
Vienna taught me how to see light.
Vienna taught me to wait.
I went to Latvia.
I worked on a movie set. I shot whenever I had a break.
I went to Riga.
I dared to get closer.
I was suprised with what I could get away with.
I took Robert Capa’s words literally.
June. I went back to Berlin.
I tried shooting from my bike, never turned out any good.
I still thought that I had to get closer.
But somehow it didn’t feel quite right.
I went back to my old approach.
I used public transport instead of my bike. I wanted to shoot all the time.
I decided that I was okay with taking pictures of kids.
July. I went to Frankfurt again. I was inspired by my sister.
I discovered medium format.
I went back to Berlin.
I got comfortable shooting people.
I tried shooting at night.
August. I went back to what I thought I could do best.
I discovered that I loved harsh contrasts and shooting around midday.
I went to Frankfurt again. I decided I would go back to shooting film. It changed everything.
This was one of the last frames I shot digital.
This was the last frame I shot digital.
September. Analog. Medium format. Color.
It felt refreshing.
I got a rangefinder. It changed everything again. I shot only color for an entire month.
I found out that I was better at black and white.
October. The rangefinder system was a revelation.
It freed me from the constraints of the slr. It changed the way I see.
I set up a mini lab in my bathroom and got into developing again.
November. I was obsessed about developing and scanning.
December. I changed my pace.
I let things happen.
Some things came together nicely.
Some things sucked, but I’ll keep on shooting anyway. I’m ready, 2012.