Red Istanbul

I decided to stay in Istanbul for a couple of months, on the way from Egypt to Moscow. Before that, I looked at more than a thousand photos that have ever been taken in this city by the Magnum Agency. I was most impressed by Alex Webb’s book «The city of a hundred names”. I decided why not to shoot exactly the same places that Alex Webb had shot. So to say to appropriate places, rethinking them or even make it better. Unfortunately, it turned out that most of these locations no longer exist. Then I focused on the Kadikoy district, where I lived and where you can watch the most stunning sunsets.

I must say  I hate street photography. There is very little sense wondering without any plan and only to hope for a chance, but in Istanbul I caught the thought that here, perhaps, I can walk down the streets as much as I like with a completely empty head. I would go out after the when the shadows became twice as long, and ended my search when the sun goes down behind the Blue Mosque. I tried to make a very colorful story, but I happened be in Istanbul in August  the kingdom of red. Every day, a fiery sunset invariably painted everything in the same color of the Turkish flag.

I used to return to some places again and again, and every time I couldn’t recognize them, because every day the sun was moving for a few minutes and I couldn’t guess when it would reflect off one of the glass building and this solar flare would fall where I had been planning to catch it. The realization that I did not control anything just pissed me off. I spent at one traffic light for a total of 10 hours. I came there again and again until I left for Moscow. I almost cried before leaving that this was the last time I would try to catch the flare odds were not good again and I knew that would no longer have the opportunity to come the next day.

I left Istanbul absolutely in love with this city and I was inexpressibly sad, I was terribly attached to this traffic light and to these pedestrians  each time apologizing for ruining my picture. I decided that if I ever take a street photo again, it would happen only here again, in Istanbul, at my favorite traffic light, and if I am lucky, I’ll take the picture, where everything is perfect.

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