Hi Folks, and welcome to day two from Istanbul. Well thats not strictly true as I wanted to start with a couple of shots that I took from our hotel balcony last night at dusk, how's this for a view !!! The second shot was at ISO 3200 handheld so I had to give it a bit of noise smoothing in Lightroom, still it has a nice feel to it.
The hotel is called the Rast and is in a fabulous location right in the centre of Sultanahmet in the old city. Before I start on todays shots, now that I am fully rested after the overnight flight from Singapore, I wanted to show a few photos that I took late yesterday afternoon.
Regular readers of the blog will know how fond I am of backlighting and there were many opportunities to take these kinds of shots in the narrow cobbled streets in the old city. If you are trying this, you need around + 1.7 to +2 exposure compensation and shut down the lens as far as possible to help with the starburst effect.
Here is another nice example of a street seller who appeared towards dusk at Beyazit Square near the university. This is a very interesting spot that I visited a few times during the day and it seemed to change very time I went. I took a few shots of him before he got fed up with me and I can't make up my mind which I prefer, I like the feel and action of the first but can see his face and expression in the second.
Here is another backlit streetshot that I like a lot, the rim lighting is just right and as an added bonus I have another model in red in the top left of the frame, this wasn't intentional but I think it improves the photo immeasurably. Ok, Here is the last shot from Yesterday afternoon and its a cigarette street streetseller. In my enthusiasm I didn't spot that I was reflecting in his machine, never mind, I like the back-lighting and the pose. A quick word about the little Lumix lens, the 14mm F2.5 is a fabulous street lens, its extremely light and compact, reasonably fast, sharp wide open and very flare resistant when shooting these kind of backlit photos. Its become a firm favorite with me and is never off the OMD now.
For today, feeling totally refreshed after a long lie and very nice breakfast. I decided to follow the tram lines done towards the Bosphorus and see where I ended up. I personally love just wandering aimlessly and its amazing what you come accross. I found my way to Sirkecis Train Station and got a few nice natural light shots in the old waiting room area.
I am finding that most Istanbul citizens are pretty good when it comes to taking photos of them and they either ignore you or politely smile and let you get on with it. This was the former :)
You really can't go wrong with nice window lighting and its also hard to go wrong when you get a nice graffiti painted wall, all you have to do is station yourself and wait for the right actors to appear on your stage. I had only settled there for a few minutes when along came this guy in red trousers and i had a polarizer on the Lumix 14 so the result is very nicely saturated.
Following a refreshing afternoon nap I decided to try the evening light down at the Galata bridge which spans the Bosphorus and is a hive of activity in the late afternoon. The bridge itself is pretty big and has two levels, the lower of which houses restaurants and bars. With the OMD rigged with my favorite 14 mm lens and the GX1 over my other shoulder with the equally flexible 20mm F1.7 attached I was ready for anything. For some reason I found myself favoring the GX1, 20mm combo this afternoon and I quickly found a fascinating shadow opportunity.
I thought it looked cool to leave my own shadow in the shot it seemed to create a nice tension across the frame. I really liked this location and took a lot of shots trying to find the right subject and it turned out that timing was everything, it proved very tricky trying to anticipate and shoot at the right moment. Something I like about the GX1 like the GF1 before it, I seem to be able to view with my left eye and watch for subjects out of frame with my right rather like rangefinder shooters do.
Here is another shot that I liked of the avid fishermen on the bridge. These guys were really keen and some of them spend all day on the bridge and for some it turns into a kind of family affair.
Just to close, here is what I think is my favorite shot of the day that I took just as the light was going. I really like the feel of this and somehow it creates an 'end of the day' type emotion. This really is a gorgeous setting in the late afternoon and I am really liking the flexibility of the OMD 14mm and GX1 20mm set ups, they cover the perfect range for my style of shooting.
Well thats it for day two folks. I am off for some well earned sleep and have one more day to wander about on my own before the course starts. I am off to bed weary but already filled with anticipation for tomorrow.