Turkey is a photographer’s dream.
Situated at the crossroads of the Middle East and Europe, with interesting geography, architecture and people, there are many beautiful and unique things to photograph. Although we saw the most famous places – Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephesus – I am left wanting more. I want to return to the eastern half of this Texas-sized country and see places off the beaten path. I am sure I will go back soon.
Below are my 10 favorite photos from our recent trip and a poll where you can vote for your favorite. Voting for your favorite is like comparing apples and oranges, or landscapes, people and mosques, to me more specific. Obviously #10 is the clearly the best, but please don’t everyone vote for it.
After voting, let me know which photo is your favorite and why in the comments section. Comments make me happy.
1. Galata Bridge Fisherman
Galata Bridge was my favorite place in Istanbul. The double-decker bridge has cafes, bars and restaurants down below and is full of pedestrians, cars and combat fishing on top.
After four dreary, rainy days, the sun finally came out and we were rewarded with this stunning sunset. I feel like everything came together for this shot: the fisherman to the left turned to face the camera, the ferries are in the right place in the water and of course the sun and clouds cooperated.
2. Blue Mosque Interior
I really like mosques. The architecture, the minarets and colorful details are purely exotic, and the Blue Mosque was one of the coolest I’ve visited. The interior walls are covered in intricate designs; the entire structure is art.
3. Turkish Girls in a Park
I like how the the two girls have such genuine, pretty smiles and how along with their mother, are amused by something off screen. It vaguely reminds me of the famous Spanish painting “Two Women at a Window” (see footnote). I also like how iPhones transcend culture as the young girl is fixated by her phone, oblivious to what is going on around her.
4. Mt. Erciyes
The rugged, whimsical landscapes of hoodoos, caves, ravines and arches that make up Cappadocia are a result of ancient lava flows from Mt. Erciyes.
5. Galata Bridge Sunset
The classic Istanbul sunset from the Galata Bridge.
6. Hoodoos in Cappadocia
Hiking among the otherworldly
penis rocks hoodoos, pillars and spires in Cappadocia, I was able to get many excellent photos. It isn’t difficult: raise camera, press button. I like this one because it provides a little different perspective than normal.
7. Hot Air Balloons over Cappadocia
Sometimes in life, it is worth waking up an hour before sunrise and hiking up a steep hill in the freezing cold. At one time I counted about 70 balloons in the sky over Cappadocia. I would have loved to have taken a ride, but I would have fallen out of the balloon to certain death. That is a fact.
8. Hot Air Balloon
The more skilled hot air balloon pilots can maneuver between the hoodoos, canyons and cliffs. This balloon dropped down into a canyon and rose up right next to me. I thought about doing some James Bond move and hopping on for a free ride.
9. Aya Sofya and Fountain at Night
The Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque are only a few hundred meters apart from each other, separated by a park and fountain. The park was crowded with tourists by day, but surprisingly empty at night with spitting rain and freezing wind.
10. Pamukalle Bride
Pamukalle is a land of strange landscapes and even stranger tourists. I really don’t know what to say about this photo. It renders me speechless.
Note: I got the idea for the this post and the poll from krahnpix.com, an entertaining wildlife photography blog that you should be reading.
Footnote: Of all the famous paintings in the world, I am most familiar with “Two Women at a Window.” I have examined this photo an estimated 5,000 times. Why, you might ask? A copy was mounted over the urinal at a golf course where I worked and played for many years.