On this trip, I was chasing the light as most street photographers do, to experience the extraordinary dimensions that it gives to ordinary life moments.
Istanbul in the early morning, sunset or even high noon can look quite magical through the lens. It’s a city of almost 18 million residents, bustling with life, energy and that little extra something unique to it… every photographer’s dream.
I am on my last morning here and already planning a trip back in the future, inshalla…
Upon first arriving in Istanbul, you are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of visual stimuli and with the unusual that makes the city what it is. Magnificent architecture, unique sounds and smells of its exotic cuisine and spices, the water ways surrounding it, and mostly the birds.
The seagulls and pigeons are everywhere, flying, fishing, communicating loudly and making themselves the stars of the show.
The birds complete the final touches on the spectacular canvas that is the city of Istanbul.
It rained most of the day today In Istanbul. Rain has this way of forcing it’s mood on you, doesn’t it? There is a sense of containment and going inwards, where if you had the choice, you would curl indoors with a book or bake cookies.
I love rain photography, when reflection, rain drops and moody skies abound. Istanbul delivers all that and more.
You can even find the smiles between all the grumpiness of bad weather if you search for them hard enough.
Tarlabaśi, an area in Istanbul that locals advise you not to visit, where uncertainty and possible dangers abound… naturally that’s where I found human connection. The mood of the streets was one of intensity, alert eyes watching, unkempt children and wild cats roaming the alleys and a common thread of desperation bring the whole scene and my camera together into a symphony of connection.
I was told this place is destined for demolition and that the Kurds, Arabs and Turks living there will have to relocate and give room to modern buildings and to a brighter future. But what of these children? A girl that sells you guns in the street, the boys that build fires for fun and the child with the hammer training for hard labor. What of their future?
Will they be the soldiers of tomorrow?
Waking up on the second morning here in Istanbul to the sound of the call to prayer, a stark reminder of where I am, traveling again, exploring the amazing quirkiness of another culture and the inner worlds of other people.
What first met me in Istanbul on this trip was incredibly unrelenting traffic jams, impossibly busy streets, strange smells and sounds, enchanting architecture and local color, but most importantly, HUMANITY.
It’s a great reminder of why I love to travel and why I do what I do. It’s the people. The common thread that binds us all together, we are born here on this planet and find ourselves in this strange, difficult at times and yet irresistible journey of life, finding hope around every corner.
It took coming to a place like this to reignite my wish to write and share these impressions…
From a hotel room overlooking the ferry station in kadikoy, it’s 6 am, still dark and I can hear and see the rain washing this bustling city.
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