Christmas time in Berlin with a Ricoh GR by Sebastian Jacobitz

Christmas time in Berlin with a Ricoh GR

by Sebastian Jacobitz

“The Berlin Ku’Damm is the most prominent shopping street in Berlin. Normally the street is filled with people looking for the newest dresses or Cellphones. But when the sun leaves the scene, another characteristic is visible. Almost like a blurry dream, the series displays another side of the street. Creating those scenes with a flash and a longer shutter speed, the characters of the people become a different twist. Unimpressive, mundane & usual at day. Extraordinary, gritty & wild at night. This is Berlin in a photography series.”

The photos were taken during the Christmas Time in Berlin. The Ku’Damm is enlightened with all the Christmas decoration and offer a unique opportunity for this kind of Street Photography.

Often times we feel less motivated during the winter. Especially for photography, there seems this prejudice that we need good light in order to create good photographs. Often times I even hear that Street Photographers don’t want to go out for a photo walk when it is a little cloudy or rains a bit.

With this series, I wanted to challenge myself. Street Photography is always possible no matter the circumstances. Wherever I go I take the camera with me. A small RicohGR makes that possible.

Since Street Photography is about life and life mostly happens on the Christmas market during that time of the year I wanted to show the different facets.

Some people are more joyful because of the delicious hot wine. Others seem more lost in thought.

Either way, the light of the festive decorations in the background allowed me to create these blurry images.

With the flash in my hand, I am my own master. I don’t need to rely on the sun upon illuminating the scene, but I can consciously direct the focus.

The RicohGR was the ideal partner for that project. It is small enough to be controllable with one hand while having the flash in my other. The shutter speed varies between 1/5th of a second to 1/20th of a second, depending on the length of the light trails that I wanted to create. When facing a lot of background light, I chose a slightly faster shutter speed, to not overdo the effect.

To get these two different layers, I needed to get close to the subject to have a greater effect of the flash. Most images were created from a distance of 1.5m to 3m, which might scare you at first because you believe that people get angry.

From my own experience, this isn’t a problem. Street Photography with a flash is way easier than expected. If you haven’t tried it out, don’t miss that opportunity.

Links: Street Photography Blog

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Bio: I am Sebastian Jacobitz, a 29-year-old hobby Street Photographer from Berlin, capturing the everyday life in this city.

Best Regards,



  1. Really nice photos… I like the tones (film-like), the movement and that light.

    I wonder what kind of flash you used.

    I’d love to experiment with this kind of thing, but I feel self couscous enough doing non-flash street photography.

  2. Your technique has the disruptive style of atonal music. Jarring, in a thought provoking manner.

    Always travel with my GR in pocket. Irreplaceable.

  3. This is what I want to see – – all the expensive kit is totally unnecessary! All you need is skill ! Well done, I AM impressed !

  4. The GR is a gem, meant to be run and gun. I added a VF for something a bit more studied but it works best when in one hand, snap focus and no one is the wiser to your means.

    These are stupendous esp the one gentleman who looks like he saw his own ghost.

  5. Cool! My ricoh gr II goes with me everywhere. Love that camera. Truly pocketable and incredible lens for its size. Really an ideal camera for street photography and or everyday use.

  6. Cool photos. As to flash in your other hand, was it cabled or you used some kind of remote trigger. I have myself GR, love it a lot. Wide converter is excellent even at f:2.8, best at f:5.6 on. I do wish that updated GRIII will have build-in remote for flash and a tilt LCD. Talking about disturbing flash at night, one technic is to use it off camera Bruce Gilden style on orde not to flash in peoples eyes. Another thing is to set ISO at 800-1600 thus reducing the power of flash. Ricoh Snap setting is definitely a bonus here. You can rapidly change it by holding macro button down and turning the front wheel. Once more good work and see you at RicohForum.

  7. This could get you into legal problems because thanks to the flash and the minimal distance to the people their faces are clearly to be seen. Of course other street photographer’s like Weegee, Garry Winogrand and many others have done the same but in those days the clocks went more backwards than in these days.
    I like the passing of time effect due to the long exposures.

  8. The Ricoh GR has always done it for me, I love the image quality. I’ve never owned one,
    probably because of no viewfinder… maybe pick one up one day for fun and use an optical. Great shots!

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