Jul 192011

It is already time to leave Turkey. A few readers wrote me and asked whether I could provide some tips for each of locations we visit, both in terms of photography and travel. I don’t intend to make a long and exhaustive column but just a few points about the countries we visit. So let’s start by Turkey.

Street Photography
We spent about 10 days in Istanbul and it took a while to get the feel of the city and go to places outside of the typical tourist paths. Indeed, the touristic locations are overcrowded and pretty similar to other Western cities. Once you get out of these neighborhoods, the everyday life of inhabitants and the oriental setting is wonderful for shooting. I urge you nevertheless to inform yourself before heading there since some parts of Istanbul might result dangerous. Overall, people reacted very well when shot and I mostly got smiles. I found Turkish people to be very friendly and helpful. The biggest trouble I got in was an old lady shouting at me in the middle of a square. Note that I also found some reluctance in Central Turkey, especially in small villages.

Leica M8 with 35mm Lux Asph at F2.8, 1/500, ISO160

Favorite locations for street shooting
– the Ferries docks at Eminonü
– the Galata bridge and its fishermen (a Ara Güler classic)
– Fener and its veiled women
– the sunset at Kadikoy on the Asian side

Leica M8 with 35mm Lux Asph at F2.8, 1/750, ISO160

Hotel recommendations
– Hotel Town Palace in Sirkeci by the piers. A bit more expensive than we would have liked (Istanbul resulted much more expensive than expected) but great value for money (49€) and great breakfast with view on the Bosphorus

– Hotel Valley Park in Goreme, Cappadoccia. Again a great terrace with view on Goreme for 27€ a night. Not a luxury place but a friendly owner and a good way to meet many people.

Thank you to all the great people we met here, we surely will be back one day !

Leica M8 with 35mm Lux Asph at F2.8, 1/8000, ISO160

Jul 172011

Like any touristic destination, there is the amazement, the discovery, the fun and the flows of money spending. Yet, behind the busy streets, every day life follows its normal course.

(click on first picture to launch slideshow, then use navigation buttons in the pop up)

Jul 162011

It is close to 5h in the morning. We sit on the top of a hill overlooking Goreme and the neighbouring valleys. It is still dark yet suddenly, a light bulb seems to switch on a few kilometers away. The first balloon is ready to take off.

An hour later, as the sun slowly rises in the horizon, 49 balloons seem to play a gigantic air ballet. So the tourists can get a better view on the rocky valleys below them.

Many thanks to Claris and Andres (and their new born son Alessio) from Costa Rica that led us to the wonderful viewpoint.  (click on pictures for high res).

Leica M9 with 35mm Lux Asph at F1.4, 1/30, ISO640

Sigma DP2 at 40mm at F2.8, 1/1250, ISO100

Jul 162011

Among the emails I receive or comments that are made on this blog, the most recurrent question is on how do I post process my pictures. Therefore, instead of repeating myself over and over individually, I thought I would share my thoughts on it in a page. Click here to read about it.

Jul 152011

A little hill overlooks Goreme’s downtown. One follows a little trail and finds itself in the middle of a field of golden grass. Below stands the town, bathed in the last sun rays that pass over the cliff.  (click on pictures for high res)

Sigma DP2 at 40mm at F2.8, 1/400, ISO100

Sigma DP2 at 40mm at F3.5, 1/400, ISO100

Jul 142011

There are a few places in the world where you get the impression to be in the middle of a movie. Be it for Star Wars (Episode IV was filmed here) or Lord of the Rings, Goreme is one of these places. Nevertheless, it is in the end a small village whose inhabitants are extremely quiet and friendly.  (click on first picture and use slideshow buttons for better viewing).

All pictures taken with Sigma DP2.