Passing In The Street

•January 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Passing In The Street, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

This picture was taken in the older area of Ankara within the castle walls, where a little girl was seated selling bracelets and keychains as an older man passed her on the street.

The girl is covering her face because to the right and out of the picture, a local photography club was passing by on a photo walk, and she didn’t want her portrait taken. People around the world have various reasons for shying away from a camera – once in Ecuador, I had a woman approach me in a market and ask me not to take pictures because her friend was afraid her soul would be stolen away. In conservative Muslim cultures, including those found in parts of Turkey, married women in particular will cover their faces or turn away because for them or their families, modesty requires it. A photographer needs to know and understand the people around him, and respect their feelings or beliefs.

I know this girl a little and often buy bracelets from her for my own children when passing by. She was laughing while covering her face, and I think her reason is one that can be understood by anyone in any culture when faced with a strange camera: she was embarrassed. Cultural beliefs may be different from place to place, but underneath some things are just human nature.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/7.1, 1/40 sec.


Avanos Clay: Watching From The Wall

•December 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A child rounds the corner of an old house now used as a pottery workshop in Avanos, Turkey.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/5.6, 1/400 sec.

Down The Street

•December 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Down The Street, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

Old houses and young children on the back streets of Ulus, the old town at the center of Ankara.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/5.0, 1/25 sec.

Village Wedding 19: Blood On The Car

•July 8, 2010 • 1 Comment

Blood On The Car, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

And this is the way they like to send the bride to her new home in style. When Eren asked if my car could be the bridal car for his wedding, I think he forgot to mention they’d be sacrificing a chicken on the front right wheel.

This picture was taken just before I left to drive home; fortunately someone had thought to say, “You might want to clean that up – the police might have questions for you.” Mehmet Abi broke out the hose and soon I was heading home, free of any suspicious markings or poultry parts.

Village Wedding 18: Seyirciler (The Spectators)

•June 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Seyirciler / Spectators, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

The roof of Mehmet Abi’s house was not left abandoned after Eren and his best man had finished raining confetti on the bride below. Wives, sisters, nieces and neighbors continued to crowd the balcony, watching as the happy couple embraced well-wishers in the dirt yard below.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, f/10, 1/125 sec.

Lower Church In Kayakoy

•June 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Kayakoy Lower Church, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

Kayakoy, in the Mediterranean hills of southwest Turkey, was populated until the first part of the 20th century, when changing world events saw all Greeks depart for the western side of the Aegean Sea. Greek settlements like Kayakoy became ghost towns, their religious buildings empty monuments. The Lower Church shown here was built in the 17th century; frescoes of saints and carved crosses preside over crumbling plaster and a congregation long gone.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-400, f/10, 1/15 sec. (handheld, 18-200 Canon IS lens @ 18 mm)

Henna Night At Another Village Wedding

•February 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Henna Night, originally uploaded by Josh and Julie.

The kına gecesi, or henna night, is an indispensable part of any Turkish wedding. Essentially comparable to the Western practice of the bachelor party, except that in most Turkish cultures the bride’s role, and that of her friends, is given more importance. In most Sunni villages the men and women would gather separately; in other settings including Alevi communities, men and women celebrate together. The common ground is always the henna, which in this case was not only used to dye the bride and groom’s fingers and palms, but also to form round pasty green candleholders circulated throughout the party on trays. Here, Mikhail and his veiled bride are surrounded by candles, singing and video cameras the night before their wedding in Kahramanmaraş.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-1600, f/3.5, 1/60 sec.