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Istanbul

29 Ekim Cumhuriyet Bayramimiz Kutlu Olsun

Istanbul (Turkey). The Turkey Republic Holiday is a very important day, probably one of the most celebrated anniversary around the Country. The tradition foresees a sumptuous pyrotechnic show in Istanbul, with fireworks skyrocketing from many places all around the First Bridge crossing the Bosphorus. The event is really unique, and many people gather on the streets to enjoy the show.

This photo was taken in 2012 from the seaside at Eminonu (Sultanahmet). At that time I chose this place because I particularly liked the symmetry of the bridge: I was a bit far from the show, but fireworks were so big and luminous that it was impossible not remaining impressed. I was surrounded by people and although I went there very early, it was very crowded. Luckily, everyone was very respectful of my needs – I guess that they noticed the big camera, the long lens and the tripod, thinking that I was shooting for some magazines or newspapers…

Under the tag 29 October I’m collecting some other photos of this special day, when people greet each others with a proud “29 Ekim Cumhuriyet Bayramimiz Kutlu Olsun!”

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Waiting for the Ferry to Leave

Istanbul (Turkey). This photograph was taken some weeks ago: while waiting for the ferry to leave from Besiktas to Kadikoy, this man isolates himself from the rest of the world. I think it gives perfectly the sense of loneliness that you can experience in Istanbul – which is ironic, if you think about the several millions of people living there. As I always say, Istanbul is a city of contradictions, and this is one of them

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Photographing Galata from Eminonu

Istanbul (Turkey). This is one of my favorite places in Istanbul, and I could stay here for many hours watching and photographing the city around me. This photo has been taken at Eminonu, just at the end of the Galata Bridge (or at the beginning, approaching it from the old city of Sultanahmet) and where – in a ray of few meters – there are so many things to see and to do!

Take a map, pin this place (here you are the exact coordinates: 41°01’05.6″N 28°58’15.7″E) and follow my virtual tour: at south-east, there’s the “Yeni Cami” (or New Mosque, definitely one of my favorite one); proceeding clockwise, there’s the “Misir Carsi” (literally, the translation is “Egyptian Market”, but it’s mostly known as “Spice Market” – although spices are not so good anymore in my opinion); just on the top of the hill, it’s possible to admire the stunning Suleymaniye Camii (Mosque of Suleymaniye) dominating large part of the city; continuing to move, at my left there’s the most popular (and commercial, though) place in town to have a typical “balik ekmek” (in English, fish burger); few meters after, there’s another jewel, the Rustem Pasha Mosque; and – finally, in front of my eyes – there’s this nice view of the Golden Horn (Haliç) and Galata, with its unmistakable tower.

And I could not find a better moment to capture this image: it was at the beginning of the year (probably the 1st or the 2nd of January 2016), it was cold, snowy and cloudy. Being at mid-afternoon of a day without the sun, there were very few colors: but some rays of light – the last ones of the day – suddenly illuminated the district of Galata, its tower, its roofs covered with snow, and made more “gentle” the contrast between the old traditional houses against the modern buildings. All around my viewfinder, seagulls were flying begging fishermen on the bridge for some fresh fish.

These are the moments that confirm – as if it were necessary – my deep love for Istanbul.

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Istanbul Under the Snow (Welcome to My World)

Istanbul (Turkey). This end of 2015 has been magic for those who were in Istanbul! Since December 30th, a generous snowfall has been covering the city with a thick white layer, changing completely the landscape – and not only, considering that even the “city’s sound” is different. I was walking around Istanbul with some friends and of course my camera, and the last day of the year we took the advantage of not too many people around visiting Sultanahmet to head – in my case one more time – to one of my favorite places ever: Hagia Sophia.

As written in one of my previous posts, there is a small window at the first floor of this wonderful Church Mosque Museum: from there, the view is breathtaking because it’s possible to admire both the domes of Hagia Sophia and those of the Blue Mosque with its minarets; such a perfect postcard of Istanbul! But this time was different: everything was so incredibly white, magic, poetic, muffled. It is impossible to described this situation with words, I wish I could do it with this image.

And for photography geeks, this photo made me also reach the conclusion that “my world” is more and more at 28 mm… What does it mean? Since July, I’m travelling and using almost always my Leica Q camera, with a fantastic 28 mm Summilux lens. There’s nothing to do: this is MY LENS, this is my focal distance, this is the perfect extension and the ideal angle of my eyes. So, like it or not, if you wanna follow me, you must get prepared to see more and more the world – my world – at 28 mm! Oh yes, welcome to my world!

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