Nina Berman is an award winning documentary photographer with a focus on the American political and social landscape. In a video released as part of the Nikon 1 V2 Speed Project, Berman takes us on a street photographer’s tour of Manhattan, giving insight into how she captures the buzz of the city and searches for that perfect moment.
“Street-photography is kind of an endless pursuit of a perfect moment, that you can’t really imagine in your head, but when you see it somehow you realize: that’s it. You develop a sort of hyper alertness and you try and fit into the flow and into the energy of the street.”
Wandering the streets of Manhattan with her Nikon 1 V2, Berman crouches, bends and stretches to capture different moments and aspects amidst the flurry and frenzy of city life. For Berman, Manhattan has such a great history of street photography, that when you make a picture “you feel as though you are contributing to that history in some way”.
Berman’s advice for people thinking about starting street photography is:
“If you want start doing street photography, the first thing is you have to realize that there’s no perfect picture. So when you go out there and you start walking around, wandering and you’re thinking ‘what is it that I’m looking for, what picture am I here for?’, don’t worry–go out there, notice how the sun moves across the buildings, notice expressions on people’s faces, just try and get into the dimension of the street. Have a camera that’s really comfortable, really light for you, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.”