The new photo book “BerlinNights” captures the surreal and other-worldly atmosphere of the cities nightlife with a candid style in intense monochrome.
Bored of his profession as a commercial web designer in the late 90’s, Christian Reister found diversion in night strolls through Berlin. He found himself in intimate moments and cinematic scenes that inspired him to pick up his camera. He wanted to try capturing this intangible atmosphere on film that comes truly alive after dark. Reister started taking images in 2001, focusing on urban streets and city life. After 10 years of working as a photographer, he turned his back on colors, adopting a grainy, experimental approach that allowed him to create even more abstract and atmospheric work.
“I think that my photographic style in my night photographs comes quite close to my feelings about Berlin, Berlin nightlife, long nights out and melancholic night walks. I have always enjoyed night time and like to go out ‘til late,” Reister told Street Photography Luxembourg in an interview, “My photos are by-products of my life. They happen or they don’t happen. Sometimes I plan to go to an event where I would not go without the aim of taking pictures, but I think that’s it with plans.”
The image maker put himself on the map with photographs he took of Alexanderplatz between 2008 and 2010, back then still in color. Reister tried to document his own fascination for the iconic square right in the middle of Berlin. “Berlin-Mitte is often considered one of the trendiest and most yuppie places the capital has to offer, but how is it possible that its largest and most famous square is of such inelegance?” Reister told the blog ObstundMuse. But these “anti-aesthetics”, as the artist calls them, are what inspires him the most to pick up his camera. “Who are the people there? What are they doing?”, he asked.
After his first take on snapshot-like, black-and-white photography of Berlin nights in “Alle Katzen Grau” (2015), his “Driftwood Zine” series went on a journey through the urban life of other cities. Now, in “BerlinNights”, his dramatic imagery returns to where it all started – on diary-like trips through the German metropolis, sometime after nightfall, capturing a dark, grainy and blurry realism.
The photobook “BerlinNights” will be released by independent, East-London based publisher Hoxton Mini Press. You can purchase the book here.
The launch party for the book takes place on the 23rd of November at Bildband, Immanuelkirchstraße 33, 10405 Berlin.