• purple

    May 17th, 2013

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    And that’s all there is to it!

  • passages

    April 3rd, 2013

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    If posting has been a little erratic lately that’s in part because I’ve been gearing up for a week-long exhibition I’m taking part in called Printemps Des Artistes which opens in Galatasaray next week. The theme is Passages. I’ve been trying for the last couple of months to shoot, select and narrow down a number of photos which fit this theme, but also sing of Istanbul. The images shown here were shot for this purpose but didn’t make the final cut. While it’s a fantastic compliment to be asked to be part of an exhibition,  narrowing down the images for my first exhibition was really difficult for me. Fortunately, I had plenty of guidance from the organizers and was also able to draw upon the expertise of a true friend, Ahmet Polat — I couldn’t have done it without you. All the self-induced torture and torment dissipated when I saw the images appear in large format art prints at Difo in Seyrantepe. Hope anyone who’s in town will come out to the opening and see the final cut.

    Doors open at 18:30 Friday, April 12 at Sainte Pulchérie Fransız Lisesi,
    Çukurluçesme Sokak No 7, Parmakkapı 34433 Beyoglu, Istanbul

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    Posted in Photography | | 4 Comments
  • shadow & light: the colour of the space between us

    March 21st, 2013

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    The range of emotions you experience in a city like this makes a minute wear like a day, a day like a week and a … well you get the idea. Yet there’s nothing wrong with feeling, right? But how much can you confine to such a small time and space? Something could rupture. Hope it isn’t us.

  • Kids and cameras

    August 19th, 2012

    One of the great things about taking pictures in Turkey is you don’t always have to look for subjects. Sometimes your subjects find you. Yesterday as I was taking a walk around with my friend, Ahmet, a proper professional photographer, he had the idea of going to the top of a parking garage to get a different, unobstructed view of Galata Tower. As he was shooting four kids sprang upon me wanting their photos taken. It’s always a gift when something like this happens. When you have willing subjects there’s an interesting energy at play.

    Their leader in particular, was a real comedian, posing and alive, proud to display his tattoos on either arm, and showing me the invisible boat on his back which had sailed away, he said, pointing at the Bosporus. After Ahmet and I finished up taking pictures here, we took a walk to Eminönü. We were standing on a street corner when we saw a guy with a Leica taking pictures. Even though he was wearing a Beşiktaş team jersey, I knew he was English immediately. What was fascinating to me was how divergent his approach was from either of ours. Wearing headphones and getting right up in people’s faces, he fired off shots without a moment’s hesitation. Ahmet made me laugh by taking a couple of shots of him at work, which caused him to pause and lift up his left headphone and smile. Turned out he was English and a street photographer known as Two Cute Dogs. He leaves no time for his subjects to be ready, willing or able.
    I think what I find most interesting about photography is unlike writing it’s a very connective pursuit. Writing is one of my passions, but can be very isolating. You can sit alone in a room and work at it, letting your mind assemble events as it will, until you find your moment of truth. With a camera you have to engage the world around you. How you do that is up to you. The nice thing is even if it’s an inanimate object you really have to interact. This connects you to things. When your subject is human, it really gets interesting.

  • Balat textures

    July 4th, 2012

    Balat is one of my favorite places to get inspired. It may be run down but the light shines differently here. There are textures, colors, scents and a mood you won’t find anywhere else in Istanbul. Last time I visited my fingers were freezing on the shutter release. Yesterday was a different story. A whole new experience, in sun-drenched, tumble-down Balat.

    Read More…

  • Neighborhood watch: Tarabya

    June 5th, 2012

    In a few months we’ll probably be leaving our beloved Yeniköy for Tarabya, one village farther up the Bosporus towards the Black Sea. Like Yeniköy it’s originally a Greek village (Therapia). However, it differs from Yeniköy significantly in that it has a large natural harbor dominated by the architecture of the Tarabya Hotel which is currently under renovation. This building is unique to the Bosporus in both its architecture and its size and under normal circumstances would be an illegal building for the Bosporus, exceeding its building height restrictions, yet somehow this one snuck through. While I wouldn’t want more hotels like this crowding the shores of the Bosporus, I’m actually quite fond of it and its placement at one of the last points before the strait curls towards the Black Sea.

    Tarabya is a very mixed neighborhood. Waterside there are pricey properties and perhaps one too many a fish restaurant. Cresting the hills above, there are mansions and gated houses. In between, tumbling down the hills—sometimes literally—the buildings tend to be a bit more of a shambling affair, some from neglect, others because they were probably hastily assembled by flashlight. Regardless, there’s a friendly feel, and as I was exploring the backstreets this morning, I was hailed by three men having tea who invited me to join them. Originally from Rize in the Northeast/Black Sea region they were taking a break from working on a building behind the mosque. They were curious what a funny-looking foreigner was doing roaming the streets. For a glass of tea they got me to surrender some of my story. While I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about moving to Tarabya, it’s good to know there’s a friendly neighborhood watch.

  • B&W Istanbul

    May 31st, 2012

    You’re a stable chaos. A dangerous haven. Your noisy kind of quiet makes the sane crazy, and the crazy sane. From a lit up night you deliver a dark dawn. Your ugly beauty gives me a raging love. Your deep shadows frame the most brilliant displays.You ruin and make me, kill and resurrect me daily. We’re friends and bitter enemies. You make sin a virtue and virtue a sin.

    Istanbul, black and white, shadow and light.

    Posted in Photography | | 2 Comments
  • Dilovasi Steel

    May 28th, 2012

    By now you probably know I am fascinated by heavy industry, shipping and any kind of adventure involving these sorts of things. This Saturday I went to observe Ciner’s Fatih self-loading steel into its holds at Dilovasi on the Marmara using its four onboard cranes under leaden skies. As usual the scale of these things seems monstrous. I’m sorry I didn’t get any usable shots of the refinery itself—equal parts ugly and fascinating—as I ended up hearing a hearty bellow from security when I tried to snap a few in the parking lot.

    Maybe this will inspire you if you’re expected to do some heavy lifting this week. Happy Monday.

  • Seeing roses

    May 23rd, 2012

    Everywhere I go lately I’m seeing roses — and I don’t mean this in the proverbial sense. In Yeniköy, Tarabya and all sorts of other places there seems to be an explosion of these flowers. Red ones firing off over fences.  Pink ones blasting through slatted rails. Yellow ones bursting through every imaginable crevice. It’s an assault of color like none I’ve ever seen before. Last year I didn’t notice nearly so many. What happened? Perhaps I simply wasn’t paying attention, or perhaps they were simply planning their attack.  I’m trying not to fight it. We can co-exist, right?

    Though to a lot of people they may seem like a cheesy symbol of romance and bad poetry, I have to say I’m beginning to respect them a little bit more, un-plucked and on the vine. Perhaps it’s all the reading I’ve done on alchemy and Rosicrucianism. Perhaps it’s what natural healer Jayda Uras told me about the rose’s unique properties. Who knows? Am I being subdued by flower power? Should I be worried? Don’t know. Maybe I’m just seeing things differently.

  • The Alchemy of Pink

    April 30th, 2012

    Pink, there are times when you come off a little garish, or seem the feebler cousin of Red, lacking that vibrant color’s conviction. For some you can be a little hard to define, your hue being somewhere between Red and Magenta. But when you place yourself in partnership with Green, you truly know how to shine, perhaps even how to heal. You also know how to highlight magnificently the hours of dawn and dusk in between the contrast of slanting beams of light and long layers of shadow. You’re the color of love and the signal fire that says the equinox is here.

    Pink, you definitely have your moments. The spectrum of the universe would not be the same without you. Keep shining.