Istanbul (Turkey). Crazy night ride around Istanbul! Driving around the city can be incredibly cool…
Istanbul (Turkey). Although its position – which is not very efficient, being in the middle of the bridge crossing the Golden Horn – the Haliç Metro Station is an amazing observatory for capturing great photos of the Sultanahmet skyline.
The bridge crosses the Haliç fiord between the Galata Bridge and the Ataturk Bridge, just in correspondence of the Suleymaniye Mosque (here in the background). The metro line is the one going between Yenikapi and Taksim (proceeding to Levent and Haciosman).
My favorite moment of course is at sunset, when the sun goes down toward Eyup and the beginning of the Golden Horn: the water surface looks like covered with a layer of gold, and the Sulymaniye Mosque gets colored first with orange tones, and then becomes pinkish.
When the Haliç Bridge was built, there was a tough debate among politics, experts and citizens, mainly because its shape (it is a cable-stayed bridge) and its dimensions were compromising the landscape of Sultanahmet historical area, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The risk was in fact the possible consequent cancellation from the UNESCO list, a big shame for such an important place. It was the typical and tough trade off for cities – like Istanbul – between the preservation of the cultural imprinting and the efficiency required by the urban development. As far as I know, the situation is now stable and – according to UNESCO website – Sultanahmet is not at risk of cancellation.
However, it must be said that in the last years, Istanbul improved significantly its public transportation networks. The city is huge, and it is not easy to move from a point to another given the traffic at every time of the day and the night. The metro is expanding its lines and stations, is clean and efficient. And most important, is safe.
So, for those who are going to visit Istanbul, I recommend to include a walk on this bridge in the “to-do” list, bringing a sturdy tripod to mount the camera after the sunset.
Istanbul (Turkey). Bride and groom celebrate their wedding along the Bosphorus
Istanbul (Turkey). It’s snowing again over Istanbul. After a magic white New Year’s Eve, another snowstorm is currently hitting the north-west of the country, causing some problems to the circulation, including ferries and airplanes (Turkish Airlines is cancelling several flights, internal and domestic).
Istanbul covered with a white layer is amazing: I know it’s pretty “normal”, and that it snows average once or twice per year, but still this event captures completely my attention and shows to my eyes a completely different city. Somehow, I have the feeling that the snow “cleans” everything and makes the city landscape more “uniform”, more regular, normalizing its irregularities and exalting the old city’s skyline with mosques and minarets.
I took this photo from the SALT Galata in Karakoy at the beginning of this year: at the top floor there’s a window with this amazing landscape. I guess it’s pretty much the same right now…
Istanbul (Turkey). This happens only once per year: it’s an unique event, and Istanbul lovers shouldn’t miss it. Of course I’m talking about the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon!
No, do not misunderstand me: I’m not proposing to run the 42+ km of a full marathon, neither to take the shorter 15 km run. What I’m talking about is to experience the fantastic opportunity of walking along the Bosphorus Bridge, which is normally jammed by cars and trucks, but one time per year is fully dedicated to runners, walkers and families.
Indeed, what for me is a very nice scene to be seen, is how much families and people truly love their bridge, which in this occasion is not simply an “infrastructure”, but becomes something more like a “legendary part of the city” (although it’s not so historical as monuments in Sultanahmet). During the marathon day, after runners’ start, people gather on the bridge to walk, discuss, protest, have breakfast (traditions matter!), play backgammon (tavla), sell simit with ayran and – of course – to take unique photos. In other words, the bridge – which normally connects the two sides of Istanbul, Europe and Asia – in this special day keeps its function of connecting “people” from different political parties, social extraction, cities of Turkey, football teams (yes, normally they fight like cats and dogs, but on the bridge they become friends) and so on. A sort of “occupy the bridge” day: isn’t it fantastic?
This here is one of the many photos I took last year during the 2014 Vodafone Istanbul Marathon (I created a specific tag): just click on the link to see the others; but if it happens you are in Istanbul the marathon day (this year it will be on the 15th of November) do not miss this great opportunity of experiencing something of unique.
Erzincan (Turkey). Many days ago I found myself in the middle of nowhere a bit far from Erzincan, along the Euphrates river, for business. Driving off-road along a narrow and tortuous track, my attention was captured by an abandoned house, which had probably been transformed by local people in something else. I asked the driver to leave me there, while the rest of the team was proceeding for some kilometers before coming back and pick me up. I was a bit shocked by graffitis of guns, and probably I had been crazy because nobody knew about my presence there and I could had been easily kidnapped. The area was not safe at all, and I knew it, but – still – I wanted to stay there and capturing this photograph.
I titled it “Interior Design” since I was mostly concentrated on the wall’s graffitis and writings.
Istanbul (Turkey). A night trip with the ferryboat (vapur) from Kadikoy to Besiktas is an excellent opportunity for photographing the Kiz Kulesi from a different point if view…
Amasya (Turkey). I was visiting a hydro power plant today, and this nice lovely puppy of Kangal dog came to play with me. Kangal is a Turkish breed of guardian dog: when they grow they become very big and loyal… So, considering the context, I decided that he was the guardian of the entire power station.
Istanbul (Turkey). The city is constantly changing the shape of its skyline. The “new” Besiktas is growing close to the old one, and by night it’s quite impressive.
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!