A short tourist trip to Istanbul has evoked memories of previous visits when there was more opportunity for photography. This time I managed only a few impromptu shots on my mobile phone but the place is actually a street photographer’s dream with fabulous light, rich colour and the constant bustle of tens of thousands people going about their business in various fascinating neighborhoods. For those interested in exhibitions there is both a photography museum and an institute devoted to the work of Ara Güler so there’s plenty to take in… but it’s the city in front of you that’s the inspiration.

The documentary film Kedi is about the numerous street cats that live in Istanbul and is a must-see for animal lovers. In the film the inhabitants of the city talk about their love of the cats in such philosophical and heart-warming terms that it’s impossible not to see the creatures in a different light (and to appreciate the humanity of the participants). The little ‘kennels’ for the street cats to live in are a feature that I haven’t seen elsewhere.


Street photography with a slow mobile phone is not much fun for me; the shutter release time-lag means that I usually capture a scene taking place about a second after the composition that had inspired me! At the same time when I’m wandering in a neighborhood and there’s interesting things happening it’s difficult to resist the urge to try and capture something worthwhile. The following three phone shots have worked well enough to satisfy me for the time being…..but also to awaken the desire for another photographic visit!