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Istanbul — Part 5, Spice Market

On our third day in Istanbul, we moved from the apartment to the Golden Horn Hotel, where we would join our tour group later in the day. We took the opportunity to visit the Spice Market that is located in EminonĂ¼, close to the waterfront and hotel. Although smaller, we found this to be much more interesting than the Grand Bazaar. There are several aisles in the market, where vendors sell all kinds of foods and other merchandise.


Crowds In the Spice Market, Istanbul

Here we found one vendor selling dried fruits, nuts and candies.


Dried Fruit And Nut Vendor, Spice Market, Istanbul

Here is a close up of the colorful crystallized candies from the front of the displayed goods.


Colorful Dried Fruit Candy, Spice Market, Istanbul

At another booth, we found some Turkish Delight (containing pistachio nuts) and other candies. Here is an attractive display with a pyramid of candy.


Turkish Delights And Candy, Spice Market, Istanbul

At another vendor, we found some dried nuts and fruits.


Dried Nuts And Fruits, Spice Market, Istanbul

We found another vendor that was selling colorful bowls and other pottery pieces.


Bowls And Pottery, Spice Market, Istanbul

This is a spice market, so of course we found heaps of spices at one of the spice vendors.


Spices, Spice Market, Istanbul

Finally, after leaving the Spice Market, we headed towards the waterfront. Here I found this flag salesman selling Turkish flags.


Turkish Flag Salesman, Spice Market, Istanbul

I just keep on finding more interesting images — Enjoy.


Istanbul — Part 4

After arriving in Istanbul, we stayed at a small apartment that we reserved with AirBnB. The apartment was located in the Beyoglu area of Istanbul. Beyoglu is situated on one of the seven hills that comprise Istanbul. This image was made looking down the street on the morning after we arrived.


Kumberaci Yokusu Street, Beyoglu, Istanbul

After visiting the Grand Bazaar, we headed down the street, towards the sea. This is an image looking backu up the busy street.


Street Scene Near Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Here is another from the same street. I included the person on the right side of the image, that improves the image.


Street Scene Near Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, No 2

There are several colorful building in Istanbul. I could not resist the pastel pink hues in this image of the window boxes in the pink wall.


Window Box And Pink Wall, Istanbul

Walking back to the area near the Blue Mosque, we met Yunus and friends.


Yunus And Friends, Istanbul

Here is another image of the three of us.


Yunus And Us, Istanbul

Here is Angela in another street scene.


Street Scene In Beyoglu, Istanbul

Here is another scene outside our apartment in Beyoglu.


Street Scene In Beyoglu, Istanbul, No 2

On our third day, we met Paula. I last met Paula after completing university, about 40 years ago. This was a great reunion after all these years. Here is an image of Paula made while chatting to Angela.


Paula D, Istanbul

The following day we started our tour of Turkey. Watch this space!



Istanbul — Part 3

Following the visit to the Topkapi Palace, we made our way to the Blue Mosque. It was a Friday that we were there, so we had to wait until the afternoon prayers had completed before visitors were allowed back inside. The Blue Mosque is also known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. This mosque is unique in that it has six minarets, instead of the four minarets that were originally requested. Apparently the architect had misheard the number.


Minaret, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

When we arrived in the courtyard, several visitors were waiting for the doors to reopen.


Visitors, Courtyard, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Here is another image of the ablution fountain in the courtyard. Note the selfie stick in the background!


Visitors Near Ablution Fountain, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Once we had donned appropriate clothing clothing and footwear (or lack thereof), we entered the mosque. The dome of the mosque has exquisite detail, as can be seen in the following image.


Dome Detail, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The south eastern wall of the mosque has magnificent stained glass windows, that can be seen in this image with some of the dome and pillars. At the bottom of this image is lighting that is suspended about 10 feet above the floor.

1798-0115-Stained-Glass-And Lights-Blue-Mosque

Stained Glass And Lights, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

In the following image, we can see one of the four main pillars that support the main dome.


Pillar In The Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The interior of the mosque is covered with a huge carpet with a tulip design. The tulip is the national flower of Turkey.


Carpet, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Here is another image where the pillar meets the dome, again showing the tile and mosaic detail.


Dome And Pillar Detail, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

After leaving the mosque, I made this image of some of the courtyard and minaret.


Courtyard And Minaret, Blue Mosque, Istanbul

We headed out towards the outer courtyard, located between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofya. Here is the Blue Mosque in the late afternoon with five of the six minarets.


Blue Mosque And Clouds, Istanbul

This image shows the main dome, accompanied by three smaller domes in the foreground.


Main Dome, Blue Mosque

In this final image, I have included the mosque with four minarets.


Blue Mosque And Four Minarets, Istanbul

If one looks carefully, cables can be seen suspended between the minarets. These are part of the sound system that is used to broadcast the call to prayer during the day.



Istanbul — Part 2

For our second full day in Istanbul, we headed to the Topkapi Palace. This palace was the residence of emperors during the Ottoman period; this empire collapsed about the time of World War 1. After entering the main entrance to the palace grounds, we entered the Second Court. Here is Angela checking out an audio guided tour.


Angela Outside The Topkapi Palace

The palace buildings have been decorated with tiled walls and elaborate highly-detailed ceilings, as can bee seen in the following image.


Wall And Ceiling Detail, Topkapi Palace

Here is another example of the gold-leaf that adorns some of the walls.


Ablution, With Gold Leaf, Topkapi Palace

The palace had several rooms that served as libraries during imperial times. Here is another example of the geometrical design of the tiles on the outer walls of one of the libraries.


Tiled Walls Outside A Library

One of the rooms of the palace is designated a Circumcision Room, that was used for Ottoman Princes. Outside this room is a pool. Here is view from the far side of the pool towards this room.


Pool Outside The Circumcision Room

There were several children visiting the palace during the day. Here are a couple of sisters playing Peekaboo along one of the palace walls.


Peekaboo, Topkapi Palace

The interior of the library rooms are just as decorated as the outside. Here is an example of tiled walls and magnificent stained-glass windows


Couch Inside One Of The Libraries

On the outside, the windows of this library have grates with an interesting hexagon pattern. In this image, I focused on the reflections of the people in the window glass.


Grating Outside Library Window, Topkapi Palace

Here is an example of the mosaic tiled ceilings in one of the palace rooms.


Tiled Ceiling, Topkapi Palace

Istanbul was full of visitors, mainly from Middle Eastern countries, and also local Turks. Of course, with smartphones, people love taking selfies. Istanbul, and the rest of Turkey, had a crazy amount of selfie sticks!


Selfie Sticks Were Everywhere

Here is another view of the palace buildings.


Library, Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace also had over 300 rooms in the Harem! After exiting the Harem, we passed through the Imperial Hall, shown below.


Imperial Hall, Topkapi Palace

I remember the Palace from a movie “Topkapi” that was made in the 1960’s. The plot was about a heist to steal a jewel encrusted dagger from one of the rooms in the palace. Later, after completing our tour through Turkey, we got to watch the movie.



Istanbul — Part 1

This year, Angela and I celebrated our 40th Anniversary, with a trip to Turkey. The first 3 days were spent in Istanbul. During our first day we visited Hagia Sofia, also known as Aya Sofia. Originally it was Byzantine church and basilica, later a Mosque and now is a museum. This history of this building is really interesting as we discovered during the visit and consulting literature about Istanbul.


Hagia Sofia Museum, Istanbul

We paid for our multi-day passes and made our way into the Hagia Sofia. There was restoration work taking place in the building, so one wall was covered with scaffolding. I managed to capture this image that shows some of the magnificent detail in the dome of the building.


Hagia Sofia Dome, With Scaffolding

Here is another view of the interior, showing three of the “medallions”.


Hagia Sofia Interior

Looking out from the second floor gallery, I made this image from one of the windows. In the distance, are the six minarets of the Blue Mosque.


Looking Out Of Hagia Sofia

During the course of the day, we made a trip to the Grand Bazaar and to the Little Aya Sofia. Near sunset, we returned back to the Hagia Sofia. The setting sun also lit the walls of the building to show the coral pink colors. By this time, a lot more people had arrived.


Hagia Sofia Near Sunset

Nearby, at the Sultanahmet, I made this image of the towers catching the setting sun.


Suntanahmet Towers

We met Annan after leaving the Hagia Sofia earlier in the day. In the late afternoon we encountered him again.


Annan, Our Carpet Info/Guide

During our stay in Istanbul, we were approached by many carpet salesmen. The sales pitch starts something like this.

“I am not a guide”. “I just have information”. “Come to my store, I will offer you Apple tea.”

They will encourage you to go. The Turkish people are really hospitable, so it is difficult to turn down their invitation. When you get there, you discovers that the store is selling Turkish carpets. Off course, you now have the Apple tea, while you are shown various carpets and kilims, wool and silk.

We spent a hour or so chatting to Annan. He was really interesting, and we even visited his store. During the evening, Annan also offered to take us into the Blue Mosque. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, it was too late in the day. We did visit, but on another day.

Turkish carpets are really good and expensive. We got to learn a lot about the knots in the carpets, how carpets are made, how to distinguish between real and fake, etc. However, we did not buy any. After a few encounters with other carpet salesmen, we got good at discouraging them by applying the sales pitch back to them!

As the sun was setting, shadows were cast on the coral pink alley walls leading up to the Hagia Sofya that I captured in the following image.


Shadows Along The Alley Wall, Hagia Sofia

Here is another image looking towards the Hagia Sofia. That is Angela walking on the left side of the alley.


Hagia Sofia Sunset Alley

That concludes images made on our first full day.



Hunter’s Moon On The Eastern Plains

Last night, after making photographs of the Cottonwood trees on the Eastern Plains, I noticed the moon rising just after sunset. Pulling off to the roadside, I made made this image just as the moon had cleared the horizon.


Hunter’s Moonrise Yesterday on the Eastern Plains

This is the Hunter’s Moon! Enjoy.


Sunflowers On The Eastern Plains

This is about the time of year when the sunflowers are in bloom on the Eastern Plains. Yesterday, I headed out along 56th Street to make images of the sunflowers.


Sunflowers Along 56th Street, No 1

Now that I have your attention — I started photographing sunflowers at Bennett. Two weeks ago, I stopped here to make images under cloudy skies close to sunset. Yesterday, with few clouds in the sky, I chose to shoot these flowers in infra-red. The best time for shooting infra-red is during the middle of the day. This ensures that the plants send out the maximum amount of infra-red.


Sunflowers In Infrared

I got down low, making sure the sun was right behind this flower head.


Backlit Sunflower Head

Finally, I chose a high viewpoint, to capture the mass of sunflowers disappearing into the distance


Sunflowers In Infrared, Bennett

Later, I made my way to 56th Street.During the course of the late afternoon, some 20 cars had disgorged their passengers. We had to spread out to avoid getting into other photogs images. In the image below, I focused on the sunflower in the foreground. I chose an aperture that would allow the background flowers to render out of focus.


Sunflowers Along 56th Street, No 2

In this image, I positioned myself to capture the three sunflowers in focus, allowing the flowers to go out of focus in the background.


Sunflowers Along 56th Street, No 3

Sunset arrived soon afterwards. After the sun set behind the Rockies, the last rays of sunset left red-ribbons of color in the clouds. In this image, I included the four construction cranes on the horizon with a hint of the sunflowers in the foreground.


Sunset Over The Rockies



Infra Red On The Eastern Plains

Last weekend, I made a trip to the Eastern Plains — well — near DIA. I was on the lookout for sunflowers, but took the opportunity to make some infra-red images. Close to DIA are wheat fields (that have already been harvested) and corn fields (that have ways to go before harvest).


Corn Field, No 1

I chose the corn fields, because the bright green foliage always makes for a great infra-red images. So what color is infra-red. By definition, it does not have color. So it makes sense that the image is rendered as a monochrome black and white image. The green foliage reflects plenty of infra-red wavelengths; this renders as white.


Corn Field, No 2

In contrast, the blue sky radiates very little infra-red, so it renders as black or a very dark gray.


Corn Field, No 3

Heading south-east, the corn fields are left behind as we arrive on the grassy plains. Heading down one of the dirt roads that crosses a creek, I noticed a bank of clouds spreading out over the ridge behind me. I stopped and made this image.


Clouds Over The Plains, No 1

Water flowing through the creeks, provide a source of moisture for cottonwood trees. In this image, the trees are hiding below the ridge.


Clouds Over The Plains, No 2

As sunset approached, I headed back towards Bennett, to make images of sunflowers. More of that later!