Monday, April 4, 2011

Istanbul - day three

I'm laying across my bed in a different hotel room, it's 23:40 and despite being very tired I can't get to sleep. I guess then it's a really good time to get some ideas and thoughts down.

I know for a start without even reading my original script, those days of shooting different subject are right out of the window. Why? well I've had a hard time trying to keep focused, and more so strict to follow my own preconceptions of what I should be doing. It's been a very different trip than I had expected. I'm finding my feet more and becoming more and more confident each day.

This morning we got home around 3AM (again) and after nearly an hour walking, I was inside a coffee shop making use of a bathroom. My stomach wasn't too good and it really slowed me down. I got some great shots of people on the street. I'm starting to have a modus operandi and have begun to employ methodology. I am drifting along my pace is incredibly slow, I almost feel as if I am walking backwards. It is working to great effect, I can see so much more and I have now begun to feel the street.

I've not shaved now for nearly a week, and have somewhat of a beard. I am wearing dark brown walking boots, dark jeans, a black coat, and a pale red hoodie. My camera is held to my side, and it's strap wrapped around my hand. As I walk along so slowly I hear who is coming from behind, even though I keep looking forward; now and then I change direction, stop, pause and move on. I try and keep my pace and movements unpredictable. I can't afford to loose my camera, images already captured - the time and energy wasted. I stand back, I try and blend in, no make any contact with people until I want to photograph them. I stand back observe and try and make a judgment. It works, and it fails. I have started to form my own set of rules.

I don't want sneak photographs. I walk towards the person(s) and ask, 'foto, foto' - point my hand between them and my camera. 'sure' or a nod is a good sign, other times no hands wave. 'Thank you' is always my parting comment regardless. I'll get down low, always eye level never from above or looking up. I wait for them to stand as they'd wish. I don't want to direct or pose them, that is for the studio - this is the street!

Today I saw an old man, dark skinned weather by sun and wind. His face unshaved, rounded and happy. In his hand a sketch book, not many pages left but small in size. He was sat on a low wall that skirted steps. I walked over - 'that's good' it was a basic rough drawing of some bushes and trees. I asked him, 'foto'?? he looks at me and replies in Turkish. I raise my camera, 'No, No' - I didn't understand. He holds up his drawing then looks back down. I thank him and walk on.... This was a missed photograph. I have many more, but without his permission I didn't want to take it.

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