Berlin-based street photographer Joerg Nicht’s portraits capture the calm behind the chaos of urban life: a lone figure captured crossing a city street, the glass and steel edges of high-rise facades, trolley cars clattering up rain-dampened streets, U-Bahns rattling over bridges, and, every Sunday, an image of a car that caught the photographer’s eye. Chicago, Lisbon, Havanna, London, Athens, and of course, Berlin, are just a few of the cities that have fed his creative work. All visible on his hugely successful Instagram account. As a Panasonic LUMIX ambassador, the Berlin Travel Festival is thrilled to have Joerg hosting a talk, Street Photography – Wie man an fremden Orten Fotos macht (DE), and a workshop, Bewegung in der Stadt. Ein Photowalk zum Thema Street Photography (DE) that will take to the lively streets of Kreuzberg for a photography session. We caught up with Joerg to learn more about how he became so successful on social media and how he works on-the-go.
What camera do you recommend for globetrotting Instagrammers?
For those who only want lightweight equipment, I recommend a LUMIX GX8 or GX80. These cameras offer the flexibility you need because you can use different lenses to take great photos in different situations. Compared to other systems, the LUMIX lenses are light. If you want to take photos and make videos while traveling, you should take a look at the LUMX GH5 or the G9. These cameras are larger, but have excellent video functions.
How do you, as a successful photographer on social media, translate the professional capabilities of a Panasonic camera to social media? What editing tools do you use?
LUMIX cameras are very fast and give me different options for photographing movements. The continuous shooting function and the 4K/6K photo function offer an incredible amount of creative freedom. The cameras can also be networked with smartphones and tablets. If I’m traveling, I upload the photos in RAW format to my tablet and edit them there with the Lightroom for mobile app.
What camera are you currently using?
Currently, I am using a LUMIX G9 and an iPhone or Honor 10 View. For a project I’m currently working on, I also have a small analog camera with me.
What’s the biggest challenge of street photography in Berlin?
In comparison to other cities, Berlin has reserved a lot of surfaces for parking spaces. As a result, there is still traffic on almost all of the roads. For example, f you want to take a picture of someone getting out of a taxi, you have stand in front of parked cars. Also, the legal conditions for street photography are less favourable than in other countries, such as the USA, where public photography is less regulated than in Germany.
How did you build up such a large following?
I’ve been on Instagram since October 2010, i. e. from the beginning. I’m constantly developing my account and posting regularly.
Of all the places you’ve visited, in Berlin and the world. Which one would you most like to return to (to photograph again)?
New York and the Cuban capital Havanna.
In your opinion, what moves people about an image?
That’s difficult to say. I’m fascinated by photos that are well composed (keyword: golden ratio) and tell a story. True to the motto “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Images courtesy of Joerg Nicht
You can register for Joerg’s Street Photography Photowalk, taking place at 3:30pm on March 11 at the Berlin Travel Festival here.
You can find a full listing of photography workshops and presentations on our program page.