Wednesday, February 29, 2012

7 Super Shots from Istanbul

I’m a little slow to the game, 7 Super Shots, that HostelBookers started.  I’ve enjoyed looking through the photos taken by people who inspire me, so I was stoked that Kate of Adventurous Kate nominated anyone who wanted to participate who hadn’t been tagged.  And I’m nominating anyone who wants to join the fun, just say I tagged you. 2011 taught me how to take better photos: getting an iPhone finally, travel photo tips at TBEX, food photo tips at Food Blog Forum, and getting lenses for my iPhone.  I always could tell what made a photo great instead of just okay.  I just didn’t know how to achieve the styles I loved.  The hubs is pretty good at getting a nice artsy shot, too.  And I’ve included some of his in this round up.

Istanbul was a huge trip for me last year.  It had always been a dream to go, and thankfully, I paid for it before I got laid off so we didn’t need to cancel our plans.  The history, the architecture, the food, and the culture were just amazing for both myself and the hubs.  So with that, I’m going to do an Istanbul themed 7 Super Shots.  They might not be the most artistic, but they are all truly special to me.

1. A photo that takes my breath away

Hagia Sophia: the church-turned-mosque-turned museum dating from the 6th century.  The enormity of such an old building is mind-boggling.  The fact that the dome seems to float overhead thanks to the windows in the drum (the part that connects the dome to the walls) is a true feat of Byzantine engineering.  If there’s an earthquake in Istanbul, this is the place to be in, with its buttresses and semi-domes supporting the walls and roof.  I just love hoe bright it is inside, yet it looks so gorgeous when you focus on the light streaming through and darkens the space for a photo.  All time favorite building, and a highlight in my life.

2. A photo that makes me laugh or smile

How can you not laugh at this guy trying to nab my sandwich while I was taking his photo?  I love me some kitties, and Istanbul is full of adorable ones looking for an easy meal from tourists or a basket to sleep in from shop owners.  I saw one lazing inside Hagia Sophia and one taking a nap in a shop’s window display.  But the expression on this guy won out, and I always laugh when I see it.

3. A photo that makes me dream

This one makes me dream because it’s a sight that people have seen for over 2000 years.  The Bosphorus and the sunset haven’t changed in all that time.  The buildings along the coast have come and gone, and bridges have been added, but the space itself is still the same.  Just thinking that Constantine saw something like this is amazing.

4. A photo that makes me think

This photo makes me think, “what is she thinking?!?” Look past the woman with the turquoise head covering.  There is a woman with her head and shoulders uncovered even though they strongly suggest covering up upon entering the New Mosque.  Not only that, but she’s standing in the prayer area, reserved for men, and taking photos.  Seriously? Do the 900 signs not apply to you?  There was also a woman, outside the frame, wearing a head covering and a *tight* mini skirt.  It boggles my mind that people can be so out-of-touch.  Recognize the customs and expectations for travelers around you.  Have a little respect. Don’t make me want to slap you.

5. A photo that makes my mouth water

Behold: trays upon trays of pastries.  How can dozens of baklava and tarts and kunefe not make your mouth water?

6. A photo that tells a story

I took this photo of some of the souvenirs and art for sale next to Chora Church.  Buses of artsy-minded tourists swing by to see this late Byzantine wonder and dine at the fancy Ottoman restaurant nearby.  But walk just a block away, and you’re in a neighborhood of working-class citizens without any touristy crap around.  This one little lane is the only place that tourists see of the neighborhood.  We walked from Chora Church to the Golden Horn to see the cast iron Bulgarian church, and we didn’t see a single traveller along the way.  Just residents of the neighborhood going about their daily life.  This lane gives you an artificial Istanbul, yet the real Istanbul is just a block away.

7. A photo that I am most proud of

After going to Mass here at St. Anthony in Beyoglu, I got this quick shot before finding coffee.  Rose window lined up with the quatrefoil cast iron gate for the win!


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6 Responses to “7 Super Shots from Istanbul”

  1. 1

    Jade - — February 29, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Turkish sweets!!!!!

    • ehalvey replied: — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:39 am

      I could eat baklava and Turkish Delight with hazelnuts every day.

  2. 2

    Melanie Waldman — March 4, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    You had me at cats, sweets and slapping people. I really wanted to visit Turkey before I read this post, but now I really, REALLY want to go!

    • ehalvey replied: — March 5th, 2012 @ 9:08 am

      Ha! I really wanted to smuggle a few cats home.

      Turkey was amazing! You have to go.

  3. 3

    Jenna — March 5, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    Love these, and I love that you focused on just one place. They tell a nice story of the city. I just can’t wait to visit Istanbul. (I haven’t been tagged yet so may take you up on your offer).

    • ehalvey replied: — March 5th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Thanks, Jenna! The cat photo is my favorite because I laugh every single time. Go for it! You must have some really amazing ones from Brazil and Bali.

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