How do you decide on how to go about shooting Istanbul in only three days? How do you stay mobile and not carrying tons of equipment with you? What should your focus be with such reduced possibilities? These are the questions I had when I had the chance to travel to Istanbul since seemingly forever. Social media was one of the reasons to take a closer look at street photography again. Inspired by the works of Monaris and Billy Dinh, I made the decision to try this in Istanbul. But how and especially where to start?
I let my gut decide and walked the streets day and night to find the perfect combination of light and composition. My focus was not really on those random situations that make you laugh when people hit the right spot at the right moment to create something funny or whatever. That was not really what I was looking for. I love movies, I love cinematography as well as diving into a narrative. That mindset was always with me when I was walking the streets and observed people, I gave them stories and made them the stars in my own little movie moment. Meaning I put them in the perfect light.
My options were limited so I chose one camera and one lens. It turned out to be not the 35mm focal length and rather listening to my gut and using the 135mm f1.8 and trying something new. Also, knowing that most people would go with the 35mm option. I think it wasn’t a bad decision after all. The only thing I have to criticize is, that I didn’t have more time to take in this beautiful city. I got to take some inspiring shots but I know that it was just the tip of the iceberg what this city has to offer in terms of photos but also in terms of people and their stories.
135mm of Istanbul, the title of this series, is not only referring to the lens I used but also the feeling of just scratching the surface of all the incredible possibilities. You just can’t explore every detail of such a big and diverse city in just a few days. But still this adventure was such a feel good time that I wish I could come again soon. Inspiration is everything, to quote Billy Dinh: “Stills from this movie we call life” was my motto during these days.