A bright day has started!
After a night cruise and good food last night, today was set to start off better. I hoped. I had already started the day with my funk still looming over my head. I was getting depressed that I couldn't take any pictures yesterday, once my mind had spiraled down it was impossible to raise it up.
I sat down to breakfast with Mary, she was trying her best to inspire me. "Take photos that reflect your mood".. "even if it's one or two (try this etc.)" I was terrible. I wouldn't listen, just became grumpy and insisted that I will have another poor day. It's not easy to become creative and find your feet. So before she had to start work, we went for a walk I didn't want to photography anything. However of course my camera was with me.
A Helicopter was also flying very low, which made us think something might be happening? It didn't take too long to come to a central point. I remembered the location from before as many protests have started from it. I already had this in my previous blog post as an idea, or perhaps I called it a bonus? anyhow it was indeed a bonus.
Yesterday I had noticed that a large marquee had been erected. I didn't really understand what was happening, but today it had become apparent. Around the square stood about fifty to a hundred men wearing caps and tracksuits. They all were holding a large red banner of some kind, they didn't hold it vertically but horizontally, and as we walked closer it seemed that they had it curved around forming part of a circle. A band had also started to form, and all of course in some form of uniform... it had become apparent now that they were the Police. In fact the men in tracksuits were Police, and that banner was Red with White Stars, Crescents emblazoned upon it. That Helicopter was transmitting live images to a large screen located behind the marquee. I didn't noticed it until later, but the Police holding the banner were in fact forming the star and crescent of the Turkish flag.
I started to take photographs of all of this happening. It was a slow start and I felt concious as I photographed the Police. A few of them would smile, others turned away and some even hid their faces. I didn't really feel that I was getting what I really wanted. All the images didn't flow, they wouldn't work as a series. We carried on walking down the main high street. Soon noticing Photographers and TV crews heading the opposite way that we walked. This could never be a good sign, but still we carried on. I wanted Coffee and another reflection of yesterday. Mary indeed described what would make good photographs, and they would have but I wasn't really ready for that. It's very hard to describe, but the feeling of not feeling confident in oneself does show in your work.
We pressed on and sure enough something was heading towards us, it didn't take too long for the energy in the street to chance. Almost like a wind what was heading towards blew along a crowd of supporters. The Tram was decorated with Red and White, on it stood Police handing out Red and White carnations. It was very surreal, like a post apocalyptic trip from the sixties; returning G.I. were showered with flowers, but in reverse the Police handed flowers out rather than Hippies. All smiles and excited to be walking along holding a giant banner.... it was the same as before, but now it seemed to be miles long.
I walked along taking photos at random intervals, I looked for people watching. Standing up higher and holding the camera above me I captured the symbols on the flag. It went on for miles, however it stopped and stalled at times, bunching up and interrupting the flow. The men carrying the flag were indeed Police, and what seemed unique from my understanding; this procession/demonstration had very little Police to 'Police it' - not surprise really. However we carried on and took a chance to go under the flag at an unexpected halt.
Now looking for a cafe with an over look would be great. Mary lead the way knowing of such a place, and sure enough it paid off. Now I looked over and captured images of everyone in the square. I lent over and photographed from above. I drank some Coffee and looked again, now some balloons got released and a cannon fired red, white and blue. I left Mary on the terrace as I went looking for some action.
The band had started to play, and a little boy dressed in a Police uniform waved a flag. I got down low and photographed him. Then the band, and inside Mary joined me. We walked through and looked at all the various displays. Then all of a sudden lots of security, it seemed that an important man was visiting. I had no idea who it was, so I tired to get some photographs; but the press had surrounded him; they formed a cordon which I couldn't reach; security blocked my path. Still I didn't know who he was so I moved on.
Mary left for her work, so I was all alone but now with that shutter finger ready for action! I decided to take a derive (a drift) off the main street. It didn't take long to discover another world. All the massive adverts and money seemed to be far away, as the roads and side streets seemed to erode to neglect.
I started to take candid photos, but the aesthetic for me didn't work. I didn't feel right just taking photo's with any interaction. So I stopped and looked for subjects, I'd find something that captured my mind. I went up to the people, and held my camera up 'foto' 'foto' and gestured my finger as to imply can I? it seemed to work well, the people didn't mind at all. Some in fact looked quizzical as I photographed the scene. A man with his cart of slippers, another repairing a door way; men recycling goods from rubbish - they in fact refused, but I captured an image without them knowing. A man in a secuirty box, his eyes peaking out as he rested his head. Another man in a store reading a paper, surround by fruit and amazing coloured posted and prints.... I carried on, a peasant woman sitting eating from a paper bag - she waved goodbye....
I'd well and truly shock that funk away, I was in my own zone... I carried on taking more and more... now thinking of a final output. I stopped and reviewed my images, it was hard to see on the camera; but all looked pretty good. One image looks a little soft, the rest great. I then decided that I'd return to the hotel to type this, and my journal for an assignment.
I start to walk back, it makes me think. I did well, I asked people and they allowed me. This is much better than the feeling of 'stealing' that a candid image contains, it isn't the same feel or look - but I'm happier. I didn't speak any Turkish, although a few thankyou's were attempted.
I then see a man selling bright blue and silver beads. I think should I? no I'll carry on, but then I think, 'No - I'll return" I head back along, and crouch to ask him - I use my method of pointing and 'foto, foto' - he smiles and agrees, but holds the beads; he now points at me. We agree this exchange, so I take his photo - then buy a beaded something from him. He Blesses my kind nature as I hand over 5TL (approx £2.50) I have an image, he makes a sale we both have got something. I don't know how I feel about this, paying for the photo? all the others I didn't. I guess at least with this man, he sold something to me; so our interaction was sound.
The photographs that expand these words will follow in a weeks time. Now? time to get on with more Uni work, then tomorrow the same again (hopefully no rain) and more importantly the inspiration keeps flowing!