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Nikon D300s

Broken Chain Berlin

Berlin (Germany). The Berlin’s “Broken Chain” is my photo of today. Well, this is indeed one of the most popular monument in Berlin, and its meaning is very clear: it’s about the two divided sides of the city – Est and West. But as it symbolise the separation between the two parts of the city, I think it is the most appropriate picture for me today. Those who know me perfectly understand what I’m talking about…

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The Glorious Turkish Flag (and some legends about it)

Istanbul (Turkey). My photo of the day (although I’m not always able to post one photo every day…) is not a landscape, or a building, or an interior. Today I post the photo of a flag, the glorious flag of Turkey.

Perhaps I’m not objective – Turkey is an important part of my life – but I have always thought that the flag of Turkey is one of the most beautiful flags in the world. It dates back to mid of 1800 – during the Ottoman Empire period – and the red recalls the blood poured by Turkish people for their nation, whereas the meaning of the crescent and the star has more than one interpretation. Some studies refer to a dream made by Osman I (the first ottoman emperor), when he saw the moon and the star appearing on his breast and expanding: this was seen as a presage about the future conquest of Constantinople. Other legends say that the moon and the star were seen the night when Mehmet II entered in Constantinople in 1453. According to some others, a reflection of the moon and a star appeared in pools of blood after the battle of Kosovo in 1448. However, the crescent is an ancient symbol for Istanbul: when it was still Byzantium, its patron goddess was Diana and her symbol was a moon. When in 330 the Emperor Constantine rededicated the city to the Virgin Mary (and named it Constantinople), the star symbol was superimposed over the crescent.

Whatever is its meaning, this beautiful and glorious flag today will stand out at many doors and windows along the streets of Turkey’s cities. Today is the 29 of October, the Turkey Republic Holiday – a very important day for the Country.

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Being a Commuter in Istanbul (Winter is Coming)

Istanbul (Turkey). Sometimes I should post my photos without writing my thoughts: not because I’m lazy, or because I’m overwhelmed with my work. More simply, because some photos speak for themselves.

Before reading below, please take few seconds and think about what this photo is saying. You can keep it for yourself or write a comment if you want: it does not matter; the goal is to make you watch something without the usual rush.

Why I’m doing this? Because this what usually happens when you are a commuter in Istanbul… You are always, constantly in a hurry, and thousands of people around you are in the same situation: most probably, you will have to take a bus, then a boat, then a metro and finally maybe a taxi or a “dolmus”… However – here I’m coming with my message – if you can find the time to “think about what you are doing”, then you will realize that the frustration of “being a commuter” can develop into the consciousness and – let me say – emotion of “being a commuter in Istanbul”.

I took this photo some years ago, and it is still one of my favorite one: I was waiting for my boat, but I was so hypnotized by the situation, that I remained on the side of the Bosphorus for a long time watching this scene. What for everyone – me included – was something of absolutely normal (even boring or, as I said, frustrating) was slowly becoming unique. The ferry (in Turkish they are called “vapur”, keeping the old name of steamboats) was slowly leaving the dock from Uskudar to bring people to Besiktas: the sky is grey, the city’s colors are totally erased. A group of seagulls is following the boat, and people are feeding the animals with small pieces taken from their “simit”. In the background, the Galata Tower interrupts the skyline made of old houses and some mosques.

Now, think about it one more time: how is being a commuter in Istanbul?

 

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From the Boat Crossing the Bosphorus

Istanbul (Turkey). Crossing the Bosphorus – for hundreds of thousands of commuters every day – is just moving from home to office and back: it’s quite normal in a city with 15+ millions of inhabitants, and which extends itself along two continents… But if you are in Istanbul and you want to feel the spirit of the city, do not miss the opportunity to catch a boat (from Eminonu to Uskudar or Kadikoy, or vice-versa) and breath the sea-breeze. By crossing the Bosphorus you will be impressed by how the city can be different from that perspective point. No traffic (except maybe some seagulls), no noise, no pollution: it’s a sort of refuge, an escape way from the daily noise. And a wonderful point for capturing photos of Istanbul’s landscape.

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The Natural Arch of Legzira Beach, Morocco

Sidi Ifni (Morocco). Last night, reading a news website, I sadly discovered that one of the natural arches of Legzira – a beach in Sidi Ifni, close to Agadir on the Atlantic coast of Morocco – collapsed for natural reasons. I link this place with the memories of an amazing “on-the-road” trip, thousands and thousands of kilometers around Morocco, freely deciding the itinerary day by day and discovering its incredible beauties. It was between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010.

This photograph (and the others posted with the tag “Legzira”) has been taken on January 2nd, 2010: the new year’s eve’s excitement was just over and that afternoon, with the sun offering a magic sunset going down into the Atlantic Ocean, I spent several hours contemplating this wonder and the surrounding landscape, as well as making good resolutions for the new year which had just begun. And since at the end the 2010 had been an important year of my life, I like to imagine that this place in a certain sense brought me luck.

For this reason too, the idea that one of the natural arches of Legzira does not exist anymore makes me very sad. I remember that in front of such an amazing wonder, I understood how much nature can build great masterworks! And today, sadly, I also understand that as it can build, it can destroy. In a certain sense, it’s possible to imagine that nature does not have the sensibility to preserve something of beautiful, something built or excavated in thousands and thousands of years. No, nature must go on along its own way without being satisfied for what it has been able to do: nature must proceed along its path, and if this means destroying something, it does not matter. I don’t think there’s too much to do, just getting consciousness of our impotence: and if we want to deceive ourselves that we can stop the natural development of things, the only way we can do it is just shooting a photo.


Sidi Ifni (Marocco). Ieri sera, guardando il sito di un giornale, ho letto la bruttissima notizia che uno degli archi naturali di Legzira – spiaggia sulla costa atlantica del Marocco nei pressi di Sidi Ifni, vicino ad Agadir – è collassato in maniera naturale. Lego a questo posto il ricordo di un viaggio bellissimo, tutto “on-the-road”: migliaia e migliaia di chilometri per il Marocco a scoprirne le sue incredibili bellezze a cavallo tra il 2009 e il 2010, decidendo giorno per giorno l’itinerario in totale libertà.

Questa foto (e le altre che ho postato con il tag Legzira) è stata scattata il 2 gennaio 2010: da poco si era spento l’entusiasmo del capodanno e quel pomeriggio, con il sole che scendeva nell’Oceano Atlantico regalandomi un tramonto magico, passai diverse ore in contemplazione di questa meraviglia e del panorama circostante, facendo buoni propositi per l’anno appena cominciato. E visto che il 2010 fu un anno che importante della mia vita, mi piace pensare che questo posto mi abbia in un certo senso portato fortuna.

Anche per questo l’idea che uno degli archi naturali di Legzira non ci sia più mi intristisce molto. Ricordo che di fronte a un simile spettacolo, capii quanto la natura sia capace di costruire cose grandiose! E oggi, tristemente, comprendo anche che come le costruisce, le distrugge. In un certo senso, si può pensare che la natura non abbia la sensibilità di conservare un qualcosa di bello, magari che ha impiegato migilaia di anni per essere realizzato. No, la natura deve andare avanti per la sua strada senza mai compiacersi di quello che ha saputo fare: la natura deve proseguire nel suo cammino, e se questo vuol dire distruggere, non importa. Non credo ci sia molto da fare se non diventare consapevoli della nostra impotenza: e se proprio ci illudiamo di fermare il corso della natura, l’unico modo per farlo è proprio scattandole delle fotografie.

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