On my recent trip to Istanbul, I spent an afternoon exploring the old khans and oriental bazaars of with local photographer Kemel Nuraydin. It was a really fantastic way to get a different insight into (and fabulous pictures of) everyday life of the artisans who create some of the handicrafts sold in the Grand Bazaar.
Kemel is the director of Istanbul Photo Workshops and offers a tasty menu of full and half-day photo tours. My ever-considerate husband gave me a half-day tour as an anniversary present, thinking it would be a fun way to see something a bit off the beaten bath in Istanbul. The Istanbul Photo Workshop tour selections were so good, it was difficult to pick which one to take, but I ultimately decided to I wanted to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the workshops around the famous and sometimes overwhelming Grand Bazaar Kapalı Çarşı.
Mirror Man: a portrait, reflected
I got to walk briefly into a mosque tucked inside the Grand Bazaar. It has a gorgeous lamp and (of course) great carpet
A cool old abandoned textile machine
Chairs and Old Radio. Not classic postcards of Istanbul, yet really fascinating
Pocket Watches for sale in a vintage jewelry boutique in the Grand Bazaar
I particularly loved the opportunity it provided me to shoot some environmental portraits of artisans doing everything from drinking tea and smelting liquid metal and making Jesus figures and hands of Fatima.
Portrait of a shoe repairman at the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı çarşı)
Simultaneous work and glare from a craftsman
There is always time for tea. Istanbul is very civilized that way.
Portrait of a tea delivery man with a great smile
Antique Shop Owner
A Turkish jeweler wielding his blowtorch a la Flashdance
Environmental Portrait of a worker in a workshop
Inside the Workshop, and that’s me shooting in the dusty mirror in the corner.
Smelting at the Jesus Factory
Metal cooling in the smelting workshop
Keys made in the workshop
Jesus Factory Production
Kemel helped get me over my fear of shooting HDR on both my Canon DSLR and my iPhone. He’s a really interesting guy and a good teacher. He’s also enjoyable company.
Istanbul’s View at the Magic Hour
Rooftop View of Süleymaniye Mosque
Photographers are usually cool and Kemel is no exception. Even my husband, who isn’t a photographer himself found him to be a great guide. We both enjoyed this tour so much we want to take another tour with Kemel the next time we get to Istanbul. Feel free to consider me a future repeat customer of the Istanbul Photo Workshops!