Friday, 1 October 2010

Turkish delight

I met Salim, a local Turk, fishing off the Galata bridge this morning at 6:30 AM. He is fishing off the bridge along with several other seemingly 'regulars'. The fish, little sprats, they catch is sweet to the taste he told me. From our brief 10 minute conversation, in broken English, hand-gestures and lots of head nodding, I gathered he used to be in the Turkish navy, in the 50's, and had been to Singapore and Beijing during his service.

This was our early morning shoot on Day 2. The group got up at 5:30 AM and left our hotel to photograph dawn breaking from the bridge. It was magical. Photographers often speak of the Golden Hour, which is 1 hour after sunrise and before sunset. The light seemed to change upon every minute we were on the bridge, looking out towards the Bosphorus.

A giant cruise ship, the Queen Victoria had docked across the Beyoglu side Istanbul, and the local ferry boats were spewing out morning commuters from the port every few minutes, disappearing into the narrow streets and alleys, like ants searching for their food. A lone fisherman stood precariously on a heaving floating jetty, bobbing up and down in the huge waves that often crashed along the embankment caused by the ferry boats.

Back on the bridge, we encountered friendly and obliging locals, who allowed us to photograph them. We sampled tea and pastry from the passing vendors that ply its length.

Last night, the review of the group's first day of selected photographs were projected onto a white bed sheet taped up onto Andy's hotel room wall. The word of the weekend is definitely 'edgy' to describe non-cliche, 'experimental' or even accidental images that a few of us had taken. We looked through many tilted horizons, unintentional blurs and raw urban photographs and a few of us discovered that interesting photography doesn't have to be perfectly executed and sharp images all the time.

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