Experiencing Istanbul, Chp 1: Roam the Streets

When I first arrived in Turkey, my game plan was to get out of Istanbul, maybe go to Cappadocia, then park myself on a quiet little beach down south, and relax for a week or so.

I arrived in Istanbul on my first night, and ended up staying for the entire two weeks before my flight to Nairobi. Parked on the roof of Mavi Guesthouse (definitely recommended) for a tidy little price as a result of my long stay, I noticed the contents of my backpack spreading across the floor, further each day. Tucked away in the back corner of the 27 bed roof dorm was myself on one bed, and Vale, the fresh receptionist, and also my Istanbul bezzie, as proclaimed drunkenly by her around 11 days into my stay. Coincidentally, that was the day that the clothing mess spilling from my backpack bridged the gap to the growing pile of crap emanating from under her bunk, making the floor around our bunks almost impossible to navigate.

As one of those travellers who never excelled at paying money to see the attractions (definitely not my strong point), my fallback has always been simply wandering, and hoping to find something interesting. In my 2 weeks in Istanbul, I’d like to say that most of my time was spent wandering. In truth, it was probably just number two. I definitely spent more time just bludging around the hostel, talking sh*t with whoever I had befriended, playing backgammon, doing literally nothing, or consoling Vale after encounters with the numerous older, weirder, more frustrating guests. But still, I did spend a while wandering around aimlessly, taking photos of pretty things (remembering my definition of pretty is typically grungy, dirty, or trashy).

I shot off a respectable 5 or 6 rolls of film in my 2 weeks there… And in an attempt to make up for the mess caused by Vale and myself, I’m going to cover my time in Istanbul in photograhp sections. Also, I need to stall y’all until I find somewhere in Nairobi to develop the black and white film I shot… So, for now, here’s my attempt at street photography, shot from the hip, with my Minolta SRT101. Unedited, of course.

Classy lookin' bloke, Istanbul Markets

The Mussel Man. 50c a pop. According to some, they are grown in a toilet

Caught in conversation, some mosque, Istanbul

Devo I missed focus on this one. Istanbul markets

Shoeshine? The only shiner not carting an elegant, gold shinebox

Fishermen on Galata Bridge. Could have taken a better one but forgot..

Flagging down directions

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2 thoughts on “Experiencing Istanbul, Chp 1: Roam the Streets

  1. Intriguing imagery. I’ve always wanted to take candid images of normal human interactions in the places I visit, but I am too self-conscious and I fear that the strangers will get mad and yell at me. That is probably fairly irrational on my part. This is the style of photos I have always wanted to capture the beauty of various humans in their daily lives. Well done.

    • Irrational, perhaps, but you could always attempt the sly ‘take a photo from the hip and hope they don’t notice’ approach which I have used from time to time.. Plus I think I have the benefit (?) of being a (according to some people) tough looking guy, which may help me get away with it?? Regardless, thanks heaps, it’s not often I get compliments like this!

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