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Author Topic: Istanbul in Summer  (Read 4121 times)
Bobtrips
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« on: March 19, 2005, 03:43:41 PM »
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Two suggestions (but no direct answers)...

Lonely Planet - The Thorn Tree (forums) for travel info.

Trek Earth for a couple hundred Istanbul pictures (Gallery -> Middle East -> Turkey).  Lots of ideas as to what you might see.
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bobby sargent
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 07:41:48 AM »
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Do not walk under the pigeons when they start to fly away.
I lived in Turkey for 19 months and loved it.

Lisa is right. The food is fantastic and I loved going into the shops and looking around. Or walking into a cafe and getting the chicken, bread, 2 veggies, a coke for about $3.   The bread is fantastic nice and hot out of the oven.

 I would not eat any food from any vendors you see on the street.  But a lot of people do.  

Never ran into any problems with any of the people.

I wish I had my maps or I would tell you a few other places to go. I will look for my big map and get back to you. Will tell you where the pigeons are at. Just off the Ferry landing at one of the Mosques.

You will love it and I wish I was going along. bobby

 
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 08:36:12 PM »
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Lisa - dont worry - Ive been to Egypt
and know how those "rug dealers" are
wired :-) I had a T-Shirt with me which
was printed over with "NO THANKS" in
seven languages, even arabic  but it
didnt help much

I've been to Egypt too, and the salesmen in Turkey were *much* easier to deal with than in Egypt; they *do* take "no thanks" for an answer after about the second iteration, and are much more good-natured about it.  Smiley   Istanbul also felt much safer than Cairo.  I wouldn't worry about wandering all over Istanbul by myself, but I *would* avoid it in Cairo.

I like the T-shirt.  We've joked about doing that (and adding "I do not like camels" in arabic) if we ever go back to Egypt.

In Istanbul, I'd strongly recommend staying somewhere in the historic part of town (Sultanahmet neighborhood), instead of in the modern business districts or elsewhere.  The atmosphere is far better and over half of the interesting things in town will be a short walk away.  There are places in all price ranges there.

Lisa
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2005, 10:51:21 AM »
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You're gonna have a great time. Unless, of course, you're killed and eaten.

By who, the occasional vacationing New Guinean tribesman??? :laugh:

While we're on the subject of places to not miss, I'd like to add a couple:
The Basilica Cistern (also called Yerebatan something-or-other). Huge ancient Roman cistern with fancy columns and weird lighting; not like anything else I've ever seen...
The Blue Mosque (both exterior and interior).
If you like museums of very old things, the archaeological museums (in one cluster, not too far from Hagia Sofia) are wonderful. (I don't know if photography is allowed inside, but it's well worth seeing anyway.)
In addition to the Covered Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar too.

I didn't dress up as much as John when I was there, and it seemed to work fine. I was mostly in jeans and simple long-sleeved shirts (because it was cold when I was there, not for modesty particularly). I was obviously not a local, though (maybe John did better at briefly fooling the locals?). Actually, a local told us that one of the most sure-fire ways they recognize Americans are the athletic shoes! (Though it's possible that's changed in the last five years; I don't know how aggressively shoe companies are marketing them abroad...)

John makes some fine comments about wide-angle lenses. I second them.

Have fun - it's one of my favorite cities to visit.
Lisa
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2005, 11:03:48 AM »
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I am heading this way myself in June. Istanbul for a few days, a wedding in Ankara & then an open itinerary. Has anyone made it as far as Van in the south east? I am intrigued...

I haven't made it as far as Van, but I've made it as far east as Cappadokya (on the central plateau, southeast of Ankara) and as far south as Antalya. I think the most interesting and photogenic part of Turkey (that I've seen, and I've seen much of western & central Turkey) is Cappadokya. Also, if you have any interest in very old things, don't miss the archaeological museum in Ankara while you're there; not huge, but with an amazing array of interesting early artifacts.

A link to one of my photos of a typical landscape in Cappadokya, so you can see why it's so interesting:

click here

Lisa
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Joja
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2005, 05:42:36 PM »
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istanbul is a really nice city, but the light can be quite harsh when the sun shines. but with the DR of canon  dslrs it wont be a problem.
youll can find some of my photographs from there on my site

enjoy shooting
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Concorde-SST
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2005, 01:49:09 PM »
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Im on an holiday in Istanbul end of this
July - I know its very hot - but can anyone
give me some advice for this city?

I use a 1Ds MkII -

Is it like any other big cities (for taking care) -
how could lighting situations be handled there?

thank you!!

Andreas Suchert
www.suchert.com
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 03:47:34 PM »
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I've been there a couple of times, but not in summer, so I don't know how hot it can get.  As far as safety, it's not unlike other big European cities (probably better than many); you just have to learn to firmly say "no thanks" to the rug salesmen who try to convince you their brother is living in your home town so you should stay and chat (and buy a rug from them), and keep an eye out for taxi drivers trying to overcharge you.  In general, the people are polite and friendly, with a long tradition of hospitality.

If you like history and architecture, it's a fascinating place.  But some of the best photo opportunities will be indoors (the Hagia Sofia, the Basilica Cistern, the Spice Bazaar, etc.), so a tripod might be useful (though I don't recall where tripods might or might not be allowed, unfortunately, since I didn't have one with me then).  To get the most out of it, I'd recommend getting a guidebook of some sort ahead of time to look for the places you most want to see.

Lisa

P.S.  The food is great, too, and cheap (as least the last time I was there).  The cafe in the Topkapi Palace is surprisingly good, and the Pandeli restaurant in the Spice Bazaar is excellent.  There's also an amusing (though rather spiffy and expensive, by Turkish standards) fine restaurant in an ancient Roman cistern, lit by candlelight.
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Concorde-SST
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2005, 04:48:57 PM »
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Thank you all very much for your useful
information!! Ill try to keep myself
out of harms way (the pigeons  ) -

Lisa - dont worry - Ive been to Egypt
and know how those "rug dealers" are
wired :-) I had a T-Shirt with me which
was printed over with "NO THANKS" in
seven languages, even arabic  but it
didnt help much  I definitely will bring
a tripod.

mille grazie again,

Andreas
Concorde-SST
www.suchert.com
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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2005, 09:17:50 PM »
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In my opinion, you're going to the most fantastic urban photography site in the world. Not only that, you'll probably like the Turks. The food is good, and the city is pretty safe.

Gotta go to: The Kapali Carsi, the Grand Bazaar or Covered Market, it's called all those things. One of the greatest in the region. Look for old cameras. You won't believe the place, you probably won't want to leave. Gotta see the Haghia Sophia. Also, gotta go over to Asia, and shoot back, especially in the late afternoon, when the sun turns gold and the city gets a golden haze over it: with the low, broad domes, Istanbul looks like something from a Sci-Fi novel. Great people shooting on the Ataturk Bridge over the Golden Horn. Actually, great people shooting just about everywhere. The Topaki Palace is really...palace-like. You know, in the Eastern Sultan sense of the word...

Equipment... I'd take your 1DsII, at least one lens that will go wide, one that will go long, and maybe something for portraits. (But be sure to ask about close shots of people; the Turks are more relaxed about Islam than in most places in the Middle East, but some religious Muslims don't like having their image taken.) I shoot Nikons so I'm not familiar with the Canon system, but do take a solid wide angle lens. In some of the narrow crooked streets, you can't get back; and you may want to ask about shooting inside some of the stores. I loved the little musical instrument district, narrow streets, strange instruments.Take at least a monopod, or preferably a tripod, if you can handle the weight. Be about as careful with your gear as you would be, say, in Greenwich Village. There's some marvelous stuff behind glass, another place a short, and fast, lens would be good. Also, for dimmer areas, of which there are many, a flash is necessary; if you could manage 2, with a slave, that would be even better.

Dress conservatively. If you really plan to get into it, I'd take a pair of grey or khaki slacks, a light-weight dark sport coat, and a shirt with a collar. Depending on where you plan to go, a tie would not be a bad idea. Doesn't have to be expensive, just neat. That will get you into all religious sites -- a lot of religious sites, Christian as well as Muslim, think American casual dress, especially shorts, is disrespectful. I think the No. 1 most-hassled tourists are the guys in shorts and photo vests, or quasi-military style stuff with epaulets and bush hats. If you're wearing shorts and a photo vest, or a bush hat, you ain't from there. If you're wearing a blue coat and grey slacks and dark shoes, you might be. The city you're going to is one of the most sophisticated in the world, the equivalent of Paris. Safari gear is not needed.

You're gonna have a great time. Unless, of course, you're killed and eaten.

JC
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Concorde-SST
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2005, 03:15:58 AM »
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Hello again -

again thank you very much for all those informations! I certainly
try to follow as much as I can - and of course the dressing
suggestions. Thank god Im not an american (sorry - here I mean
the usual dressing "code" "they" have :-) ) and
my girlfriend is italian I think I cannot make much errors
in dressing :-)

Thank you John for your technical suggestions - I wont shoot
with flash since the 1Ds II performs superbly even with ISO 3200
but the tripod will be with me of course!

and... no Im not killed and eaten - Ill be a Sultan for a short
time :-)

all the best + thanks again!

Andreas
Concorde-SST
www.suchert.com
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Frere Jacques
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2005, 06:50:30 AM »
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All-

I am heading this way myself in June. Istanbul for a few days, a wedding in Ankara & then an open itinerary. Has anyone made it as far as Van in the south east? I am intrigued...

Also, I am still shooting film -- does anyone know of a pro supply store in Istanbul or Ankara?

Thank you in advance!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2005, 11:59:07 AM »
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In Istanbul it is really worthwhile spending time just wandering through the alleys and shops in the covered bazaar (the largest in the world apparently). You can take photos inside at low shutter speed and wide aperture (or high ISO) without a tripod. But the stuff and people in there are fascinating, and the shopping is fun.

No-one has mentioned yet going up the Galata Tower. This gives a great over-view of the city. Well worth it.

The "Topkapi" restaurant (not in the Topkapi palace and not even near it) was also excellent and reasonable.

At the time I was Istanbul some years ago there was an excellent guide named Cengiz Alatli phone number 0090 212 247 2777. He is an elderly gentlemen with a firm grounding in the political, religious, arcehological and architectural history of the city.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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