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AF-S Zoom Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Istanbul From Fener

Istanbul (Turkey). Some years ago – it was end of 2011 – I was walking around the districts of Fener and Balat, along the upper west side of the Golden Horn. It was an unexpected warm afternoon, considering it was December, and walking up and down around this very typical part of Istanbul was extremely pleasant. While I was descending from the old mosque of Mirimah Sultan to the sea, my attention was captured by this landscape, which I found perfectly representing the daily life of Istanbul. Even though light was decreasing rapidly, I could capture the image without any tripod or support, and I decided that this view of Istanbul from Fener was one of my favorite photographs ever…

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Women’s Prayer Space

Istanbul (Turkey). Since today it is the first Friday after the end of Ramadan’s holidays (Ramazan Bayrami), I selected this photo with sun rays filtering through the window and illuminating the praying room reserved to women at the Eyup Sultan Mosque.

It’s not easy to take photos of women praying in a mosque, since they have a reserved (and normally obscured) room separated from the rest of the building. In some cases – like this one – there was a narrow passage between the main prayer room and the women’s room, and I used it to capture this photo (also leveraging the wide angle of my lens). Of course, as in a typical situation of street photography, I had to stay in front of (or at least pretty close to) this passage for some minutes to be “visually accepted” by people and to not create problems with my camera, and at the end it worked quite well.

However, since women do not like to be photographed, to respect their will I took this photo when none of their faces was recognizable.

 

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Changing of the Guard in Athens

Athens (Greece). Walking around Syntagma Square in Athens, it’s possible to assist the ritual ceremony of the Changing of the Guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I found this tradition very interesting to be photographed, not only for its symbolic ritual, but also because just behind me, few hours before, there had been furious riots between people protesting against the IMF “troika”, and the local police. This sharp contrast made me think a lot in the following days: from one side everything was apparently ok, and the guards were performing their ritual; from the other there were desperate people fighting furiously and protesting against job cuts, low salaries and reduced services. It was really a “Greek Tragedy”, but it was tremendously real…

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Friendship Request

Asylah (Oman). I was lost somewhere around the East Cost of Oman, driving with a friend through a very poor village. Few people were around, most of theme were children playing in the streets. From the way we were observed, we got the feeling it was not a “typical” touristic place. At a certain moment, we stopped the car to u-turn and leave that place; and immediately, a group of 4 little girls ran to our car. The first one was probably the most “daring”, as she wanted to introduce her shy friend to us. I captured this photograph in that exact moment, and it opened a window of thoughts into my mind…

We live in a socially networked world, made of virtual friendship, tags and likes: are we sure we are still keeping the real sense of friendship? That moment, for me, was so intense and special that from time to time I like to ask myself the meaning of friendship. The pure and ingenuous smile of this young girl, while she tries to involve her friend, always brings me back to reality. For this reason I consider this photograph – not technically perfect – one of my favorite shots ever.

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