Reflections of an amateur observer of everything

Well, well...This is an unambitious photo blog. I use it to organize my thoughts, document them forever not to forget.

Some instances I capture - I imagine this is true for any photographer - connect to my mind in a special way. Not always because they are pretty, impressive or artistic but simply because at the very moment I freeze and capture the light, I happen to have a thought that I would remember and together with the instance on film they freeze and connect to the picture forever.

I do not, cannot, should not claim that either the photographs or the thoughts that accompany them have any artistic value. That would be quite arrogant of me. They are at least and at most spill overs from my mind. I hope at least a few will appreciate and enjoy...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Flight of the Swift

Well, true to its name, swifts are fast, agile hunters. They occupy the bug hunting niche, they are sort of daytime bats except they use their sight instead of a bat's sonar. Watching them hunt as the daylight wanes is always amazing. Trying to capture their movement on camera (short of a multi thousand tele-objective) is extremely hard. Here are a few shots I tried with my Canon D80 and Nikkor 18-135 lens. Some of them are a little blurry, but they capture the fighter-plane dynamics nicely.

These pictures were taken during a visit to the lovely Behramkale (Western Turkey, Aegean coast), also home to the ruins of the Ancient Greek city of Assoss. This city was an outpost established by the settlers of Lesbos.

Looking for prey

Moving in

Against the vast blue

Some light play

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rumeli Feneri

This lovely place is one of the few remaining fishing villages in Istanbul, Rumeli Feneri. Like many neighborhoods that fell victim to various forms of gentrification Rumeli Feneri is also a member of an endangered species. Here are a couple of images..

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seeking Inspiration


Even in its crammed up concrete forests İstanbul offers inspiration to an artist. Mind you the view from this artist's studio is a rare delicacy not many Istanbulers enjoy. In this instance I was just getting used to my new Nikon D80, taking snapshots of a friend's quest for perfecting her coloring skills, and making some snide comments. Probably nullifying any inspirational help she was exacting from a Istanbul panaroma which by now should have become all but ordinary.

I took a few more shots, experimenting with light a bit. And all but forgot this shot. A few weeks ago I rediscovered this shot while browsing through my folders in order to find a suitable profile picture for a friend's Facebook page. I remembered that I felt how unexpectedly inspirational, inadvertently enjoyable a great city can be. Istanbul today is mostly a gigantic mass of gray patches of dusty buildings that have no artistic sense of architecture, not an iota of the majestic legacy of the city they were built on (not in but on because they feel to have been placed on the ruins of an older version much like the seven layers of Troy built and rebuilt on top of one another). Istanbul can be concrete giant mostly, but still breathtaking and inspiring.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The three towers

Another İstanbul instance. This time, I just saw the three towering structures and imagined a photograph with all three in it. Quite lame actually. Not very inspiring, artistic, creative or even mindful. But this picture still invokes a critical look at the magnificent city itself.

On the one hand this is a city where you can put three different towers (well, after all all minarets are technically also towers, are they not?) from three different generations that span almost 2000 years. Three functional buildings, three structures that served and still serve a purpose. Yet, the setting of all this awe inspiring historical storytelling is the ugliest of concrete chaoses.
Unfortunately modern Istanbul is such. All the magnificence you can expect from a city, all the amenities of a megapolis, all the pleasures of Sodom and Gomorrah and yet all this is wrapped up and served in a increasingly chaotic concrete and asphalt platter. Sadly, all this was instantly, painfully apparent.

This is not about the mindset at the moment of taking the picture. Anyone who lives long enough (and mind you, this does not have to be a very long period of time) in this city becomes aware of this. Always in the background of your mind, you start to live a dilemma of sorts. All metropolises are hard to live in. All of them brings about different challenges, different hurdles to overcome and hazards to avoid. However, nowhere all these are so much woven into the very fabric of the city as in Istanbul.

-Nikon D80 Shutter Speed 1/320, Aperture F16

Friday, January 15, 2010

Deep in thought on the Golden Horn

This instance was deeply inspiring. At least for me. Especially when I recall that at the very moment I captured this instance, I was just having good time, downing a few bottles of beer with thoughtless abandon. But isn't this kind of contrast between the observed and the observer the interesting part of it all? At the moment, I inadvertently imagined a parallel between the respective contrasts of the glimmer of the Golden Horn and the man in thought on the one hand and the mindsets of the thinking man and the thoughtless observer on the other.

The man, craving for a connection to luminescence maybe for clarity, or perhaps for advise but most certainly unaware that he is a party to blooming thought in process. And the observer, just marveling at the parallelism he finds, real or imagined.

Anyway, this was a fine autumn dusk at the shore of the marvelous Golden Horn. I think it is just natural for even an amateur like myself to find inspiration.

Real sized version here

- Nikon D80 Shutter Speed 1/4000, Aperture F14