My experience in the city of Istanbul was quite nice a couple of years ago. I got so many good pictures because people were nice to me. Although some people wanted to sell me rugs so bad, and a few people tried to drug me out and/or rip me off in a restaurant. But I didn't have any rough time.
The only thing I didn't understand was/is about the women. I know, generally speaking, most Turkish women are tough and they have this tradition that they cannot really hang out or be seen with men in public. But I ran into quite a few flirty ones and couldn't figure out what to do...
I don't get to travel far like most of you. However, I did find the same sort of thing with two day hikes I took into the Sandia Wilderness last fall. The first was on the La Luz trail, a very popular trail travelled by thousands a year with magnificent rock formations and views. I got an assortment of typical photos one might expect.
The second trip was the much less travelled Pino Trail. This one I shot a roll of Adox 125. The resulting photos were way more beautiful, even though the subjects might be considered mundane to most. I sold several 11x14 prints of two particular pictures. I would have to say this trip was more productive from a photographic perspective than the La Luz trip. I would also have to say I had a better time as this was a trip without many people around. People bother me (and I bother them) as I am always blocking the trail composing shots. Most people on La Luz are looking at their watches and trying to beat their last time to the top. I'll take all day getting there.
Interesting story; thanks. Like you, I've often made my best pictures 'off the beaten track'. And what's intriguing is how short a distance you may need to go. In Yosemite, for example, go a hundred yards from the car park or food concessions and you'll see one-tenth as many people. Go five hundred yards and you're very nearly on your own.
After that first bad experience, almost all the people I met were very helpful and friendly, but the trip had been 'poisoned' to some extent. There were other bad bits at the beginning too: I had to ask for another hotel room (the first one was awful) and the weather was bad for several days, clearing up only on the last day-and-a-half of the trip.
Originally Posted by firecracker
I'm told that in any case, Istanbul is about as typical of Turkey as New York is of the United States or Paris is of France.
I tend to make more and better photographs when I am able to descend into that state of hightened sensitity. I really try to connect to the place just for the sheer pleasure of being there, sensing it. My mind needs to slow down to the point it is so still, so empty, so blank, that it really feels there no one there. Then it almost always it starts flowing. I see stuff that I wouldn't have seen and see it in ways that I wouldn't have seen it.
There are places in which I connect more profoundly than others. When there is the connection I am compelled to pull the camera and do some work. When I am unable to connect for whatever reason, I really don't even bother making photographs. I much rather drink a cappucino.
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Place mean a lot and perhaps bad places sharpens your view. What about warzones,
New Orleans after Katrina or places i Africa with hunger and deceases. All these places good pics are made and not all of them is about the disasters and misfortune in the area. some is about beauty, hope, happiness and human relations or just daily life.
I can be in the mood for photography yet find myself in a place that does not inspire me to take pictures and I can feel uninspired yet suddenly see the great pic in my surroundings.
Last edited by Soeren; 09-06-2006 at 05:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Hah! If there is a "Rosetta Stone" approach to Fine Art photography, this is it!
Originally Posted by colivet
I agree completely, and that "slowing down" - quieting the internal dialog, is a wonderful way to heighten one's senses, and to open the door to our internal capabilites, which, I've found, are FAR greater in ALL of us than we can consciously perceive.
- To "hear", shut up and LISTEN. That principle applies to ALL art.
Where is my chisel? This deserves to be carved in stone...
Ed Sukach, FFP.
That is pure Zen. And I agree 1000%.
Originally Posted by colivet
maybe it is a adrenaline/serotonin-thing?
sometimes the added stress of not wanting to be somewhere helps edit-out the bad images that could be made ( kind of like a filter )-- you just want to leave. when you are somewhere enjoyable, your senses are so overwhelmed by the beauty of the surroundings, nice people &C that even though things are so bad they look good ?
i always read about people doing darkroom work or shooting film while under the influence of " ------ " when they were exposing their paper or film, they were constantly saying " this is gonna be great! " and the next day when they were sobered-up they said " can't believe i wasted all my time doing that" ...
maybe it is the same sort of thing ?
I am blessed to live in Colorado, where there are few "bad" places.
In my 20's & 30's it was all about getting to "the place." Always in a hurry to "see" the next destination. Watching the clock, beating the traffic, finding the "perfect" campsite. Mostly because I only had the weekends to explore.
Almost like being on assignment with a specific criteria of shots. Looking back, I think I missed a lot of things that today I care about. But that sense of urgency seemed to make everything more "important." But for what I do, that was the only way to find the best places to match my inner vision. Discarding the ones that don't work, where I don't see anything, in favor of the ones where I basically go nuts, and shoot way too much film. But I still return to those forgotten places, and today see them in a different light.