Rediscovering my passion for photography in East Berlin

A while ago, I made a decision for myself that I needed to focus on shooting more photos for myself again.

Mitchel Lensink
Aug 7, 2019
5 min read
mitchel Lensink Berlin street photography

Table of Contents

A while ago, I made a decision for myself that I needed to focus on shooting more photos for myself again. The whole reason I started doing photography in the first place, was because it was an excellent way of expressing myself. I loved being out and creating stuff through things that only I could see at that particular moment.

I received a lot of love for my compositions in my early days and I have always made it a point to use that in my commercial work. Still, despite continuing to push the bar on what I can do with photography, somewhere I lost the will to create for myself. That needed to change.

To abroad or not to abroad

I had always considered myself to be a fan of traveling and seeing new places. It had never been difficult for me to wonder about the marvels of everyday life and being in foreign places has always helped with that even more. Despite that, it had been a few years since I actually left the country.

I didn’t really pay it any mind at first, as I was too busy engulfing myself with work and seeking progression but something inside me was starting to grow more restless everyday. Finally then, my girlfriend Charlotte and I decided it was time and a trip to Berlin was soon planned.

Marrying your passions

It didn’t really hit me at first but I soon realised that this trip would be the first one abroad where I actually focussed on and made an extended effort to document it with my camera. I had been on a handful of trips before, where I shot some of my favourite photos, but I never really made it a point to do such a thing while visiting a new place abroad. This is when I realised that my love for travel and my love for photography had never properly been introduced to each other. These few days in Berlin where to change everything though.

Boy did everything change. It may not seem obvious, not even to me, but I completely rediscovered my passion for photography and was relieved to notice I haven’t lost my ability to see, shall I say something, in ordinary scenes. While I realise that may sound vague or unguided, it means that I try to find little moments of everyday life in mundane scenes. Being in an unknown place helps a great deal as the ordinary suddenly stands out, to you. The things locals walk by everyday, you are seeing for the first time. That turned out to be exactly the amount of stimulation I needed to create without a clear goal again.

Undefined goals

I did not have a clear goal for my photos when I started shooting and only distilled some patterns and commonalities when I returned home. I liked it that way and frankly, it is exactly how I think photography like this should be approached. It turns out that this photo set that I created in Berlin will consist of two parts. I shot a bunch of photos in the Eastern part of the city, which is where we spent most of our time. So, part one will consist mostly of photos taken in Eastern Berlin, from early in the morning, to when the sun shines brightest, until finally nothing but artificial lights illuminate the streets.

Part two will be uploaded at a later time can be found here and, while containing fewer photos as we haven’t spent much time there, will mainly be photos taken in Western Berlin. I did not plan on making this distinction beforehand but each of the photosets gave me a different vibe and I wanted to highlight that.

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