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.