After presenting all the great international Street Photographers in my recent 25 Top Lists of 2017 in Color & B/W, I guess it is time to share our thoughts on favorite pictures that we took in 2017.

Although 2017 was quite a rough year in terms of inspiration and I felt very little motivation to go on the street, there has been a huge development nonetheless.

Sharing my ideas and thoughts on this Blog about Street Photography has really kept me sane over this past year and now I feel I have rediscovered my passion for Street Photography.

Especially after visiting Hanoi & Jakarta and meeting the great Street Photography community there, it keeps me going and I want to share my view of Berlin and the cities that I may visit with them in the future.

After this little intro, here are the personal highlights of the Berlin1020 crew.

Alex Pfeiffer

I made this image on a walk with Martin U Waltz around the area of Berlin, Alexanderplatz. Directly under the Fernsehturm you have several hallways with shops on their sides and when you stand very close to a shop window, you get an almost complete reflection of the scene. I was using a 28mm Leica Elmarit from 1986, so I set the focus manual, using an aperture of 5.6 and a fast shutter speed.
In my images, I´m trying to work with geometrics, lines or patterns and I love confusing reflections or light/shadow plays. I chose this one due to the arrangement of the persons, looking like a doubled reflection and the hard contrast, caused by the bright sunlight during that day. This geometric composition is what makes this image special to me personally…

Christian Schirrmacher

My photo of the year shows a man eating an ice cream. The place: Paphos in Cyprus. I had vacationed there with my family. On the beach, an ice cream truck came regularly. I was interested in fair-skinned people, who stood in front of it to buy an ice cream. I got into a conversation with a man. He interested me because he seemed to be a tough guy with his appearance. The moment he bit his ice, I pressed the trigger. What fascinates me about the photo is the contrast between the hard guy and the soft ice cream.

Martin U Waltz

This is certainly my favorite shot of 2017.  It is more a social documentary photograph than a street pic. I took this in the backstage area of a music club in Berlin Kreuzberg. While I took the shot candidly the backstage area was certainly not public. The organizer of the concert had asked if I could photograph the concert. I replied that I was not very much a fan of concert photography but I would happily document everything that was going on the backstage area.
On the photograph, we see Mark and Lena, two musicians waiting for the show and their performance to begin. Mark later explained to me that his aim prior to the show was “to preserve the energy”. Basically, he was turning inwards saving his energy for the show. So he was quite silent while everybody else was chatting and joking.
I took the image close range with a Fuji X70 using the tilted display to frame the shot. This unobtrusive setup allowed me to remain unnoticed.
This image won a bronze medal at the Prix de la Photographie Paris. I took it at the 8th of January 2017.
The backstage life series:

Oliver Krumes

„Prenzlauer Allee“

I am often at this train station in the eastern part of Berlin because it is in walking distance to a coworking space I am regularly working at. On this day, on a late August afternoon, I saw the station in a light I have never seen or maybe never recognized before. It was like it was shining in the most vibrant colors I have seen in weeks – colors you only see during summer in Berlin. I set my camera to 1/1000 and f11 while squatting on the stairs with dozens of people walking towards me. I made about 50 shots with rather boring silhouettes until this young couple showed up at the scenery. I instantly knew that this was the shot of the day. I still love to look at this photograph, especially on cold, grey Berlin winter evenings, remembering the colors of summer.

Sebastian Jacobitz

My personal favorite seems very unspectacular at first sight. It is very different from my usual style, as it isn’t in Black & White and doesn’t really embrace high contrast.

One thing though is still a constant, that I used an off-camera flash in this photograph. Although it isn’t very noticeable, the woman’s face would have been a lot darker and the strength of her expression wouldn’t be the same.

The general appeal of this photograph speaks to me as if it would also fit on some record cover. It isn’t often anymore that you see such characters on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. Usually, the place is now flooded with tourists or businessman. Which can be interesting to photograph as well, but the character of Berlin is missing.

I don’t know the background of these people, but to me, they could be a perfect example of a couple that just left a Berlin “Eckkneipe”. The “Kurfürstendamm” sign makes a nice triangle with both persons and I really like her expression, as well as his gentle smile.

The picture was taken while being on a photo walk with my buddy Chris Candid and the moment I took the picture, I had already a very good feeling about it. So I handed him over my RicohGR and after seeing the photograph in the display, we were certain that it would turn out great.

Roland Groebe

I shot the Photograph in Amsterdam while walking through the Grachten.

Through the windows, I was able to see the kitchen and the employees were preparing the opening of the restaurant for the day. Interesting for me were the reflections in the window which show the street, but also the direct eye-contact with the chef. There is a lot to explore in Photographs like these because there are multiple layers and it almost seems like a double exposure. The connection to the chef is divided by the window and allows me to take some time to get the picture that I want because I know that the subject can not leave my stage.

The Berlin1020 Collective

As you can see, our style is quite different. From harsh black&white to silhouettes and color combined with flashes. Yet, I believe it is important to meet and discuss with Street Photographers that aren’t exactly like you. That have a different view on Street Photography and with their point of view can inspire yourself to experiment and change your style.

Even throughout the year, my style has changed tremendously and I am still experimenting what works for me and what doesn’t. It easy to always do what you know best, but I feel that it can get quite boring very fast.

How was your progression through 2017, what were your favorites and why?

We wish you many many good pictures in 2018!

Street Photography