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Friday, December 30, 2011

One friend is enough

The light was not very good for such shot but I liked the idea of these two old friends watching at the sea and their bicycle not far laying against a signpost.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

winter tree

The winter comes late in Izmir, and doesn’t last long. Since mid December we have had some colder nights, especially last week with even one night a zero Celsius! What an indelicacy! The rare deciduous trees lost almost all their leaves by now and seem raising their branches praying for the spring to come.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Pelican Hair

The most awesome male of the pack, he stands apart and doesn't pay attention to other male and female pelicans disputing a tiny fish. he seems indeed to pay attention to not wet his hair and shows his profile proudly. This time it seems pretty opportune to publish the a colour work.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Snowmen get long holiday

Soon the snowman and his countless twins will be warehoused for a year waiting for another Christmas time to make kids and parents smiles happy to share and offer gifts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Carferry (archive)

A passenger hides in the shadow of the carferry deck, the light hits through the window with blurred reflection.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Old Lady

The Bergama ferry is one of our finest and oldest. Commissioned in 1951 she shows a typical silhouette with her wooden captain bridge and rounded stern. Another old lady the ferry "Ihsan Alyanak" sunk recently but fortunately the captain succeeds to bring her back to the pier with all the passengers sound and safe. Every year 15 million passengers take one of our ferries to cross the bay. Come aboard, drink a hot glass of black tea and enjoy the twenty minutes necessary to reach the opposite side.


Pelicans share a habit with cats. Both they wander around fishermen waiting to grab some wasted fish while the men clean and repair their nets. This photograph's hi-lights are overexposed, hope to make a better one one of these days.

Friday, December 16, 2011

After the rain a shy sunlight pierces the clouds and light up the promenade of the gulf shore


The fumes from the coal heated boilers blur the air ... and our lungs. Despite natural gaz is available many houses keep using cheap coal to heat during the not so cold short winter. Unfortunately this give a false romantic atmosphere and an irrespirable air, or the contrary.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


A man went to the seashore with his bicycle and sit on a bench to look at the sunset and the fisherman working in the bey. Fishermen are more like miners than fishermen actually, they dig in the mud in 1 meter of waters to find some sort of edible shells. The stay hours in the cold water with old worn diving suits.

waiting for the ferry

10 minutes left before the ferry leaves for the other side a fulled geared fellow makes some picture of his partner, I am with the crowd already jailed in the pier's narrow building.

Monday, December 12, 2011

After the Rain

We have around 60 days of rain per year, and most of the time it rarely rains for more than a few hours, the sun shines again in the next half a day. But this year so far we can count rain occurrences on one hand, the last was this week, in the evening and I didn't have the opportunity to shot. I do not like the rain especially (this is why I live here) but still I like photographs taken after the rain when the sky is clear with a low winter sun and the ground still wet. Beside my selfish pleasure the dams are damn low and we will face a difficult year if the rain doesn't show. Well, to come back to the topic this is from my archive, a day like the one I miss: after the rain, 15 Celsius and a sweet sun trying to dry out the ground.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The red balloon

The red balloon - I first saw this picture in B&W but the tiny red balloon in the girl's hand make me change my mind. I am at the eastern entrance of the SevgiYolu (love street or love way). The street is in the city center, just below the Hilton. Bordered by palm trees (one of Izmir's marks) The pedestrian street is a place to visit absolutely if you ever get in Izmir. The time there seems to flow even slower, Izmir is already a slow motion city but there time really flow slow. The street shelters small stalls that exhibit second hand books or affordable jewelry. Passers beside enjoying a tea or hot sandwich can find some portrait painters as well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mustafa, the kid of Caratash

Caratash as written in Levantine or Karataş in modern Turkish is an old quarter of Izmir, just 1 1/2 km far from the trade center and 2 km from the port. I will come back to this old and picturesque area later with more pictures. The quarter is populated by upper middle class in its front side and less favoured families in the upper segments, you will better understand the reason why in later posts. 

Sometime I took a photograph to serve as documentary even if I do not see an artistic value, testimony of things that may change or to serve to show some places to people who didn't had the chance to visit. I was taking a picture of an old house twin front doors when a handful of kids ran in the street. Squeezing myself against the opposite wall to try to have the largest coverage with the prime the last of kids stopped just in the middle and started to dance. A second more and he ran again to reach his friends, I just had the time to trigger twice and ask his name, he answered loudly while running : Mustafa.

The house behind is one of the rare old houses still "standing", they are now protected but it costs a hell to renovate so often the land owner keep it empty waiting for better times. More photographs from Caratash to come.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ferry's passengers

A couple sit on the stern deck of this old classic ferry. In 20 minutes ferries link north and south sides of the bay sparring time and proposing fresh orange juice and tea along the way. We get sometime very close to container ships and have to tack between the giant vessels. I will come soon with some more photographs of the bay and these impressive vessels.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ferry's Passengers

Ferries are taking a very important place in Izmir life, thousands of people cross the bay everyday for different purposes. Here is one brief meeting.

Monday, November 28, 2011

the new trees

Something went wrong with our technology! We missed the point at some time in the close past chopping trees and building towers, but this is no news we all know it bloody well. We spend so much time at our screens, 3.5" , 15.4", 21"... at what end? The question is will we ever be able to reverse?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hector, The Warrior

Let me introduce you Hector. Hector wears proudly the name of the mythological eponymous hero. Hector seems not that aggressive but is always ready for a fight, so beware! Hector didn't choose his path but seems loved and looks proud. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

the meeting point

This used to be a watchman and farming workers house when this area was just filled with trees and crops but know that the place has been sacrificed to villas it is a spot where obviously teens spend time together. The names on the window glasses and the light globe are a testimony of whom frequented the place.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

introducing Turkey - Marmaris Selimiye

This is from a past summer, a small village called Selimiye, close to Marmaris. Motor-yachts and sailboats anchored in this natural harbour profit of the clear and sleepy waters. This spot and some other around are perfect for who prefers quietness of a small creek to the noise of overbooked resorts. If you have not yet planned your next holidays think about.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

A light in the dark

The shoreline at night is enlighten through a handful of huge and tall projectors heads. We feel as players in a stadium and the even light, good to chase shadows, is far from creating any romantic spot. Well, no complain; at least this helps to create some comfort for late and lonely runners or dog owners. The powerful projectors far above the ground silhouetting in the black of a moonless night seems as alone as passerby below.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Clock Tower, Izmir

Cities like to have a symbol to represent them. New York, Paris or Geneva have highly famous ones. Izmir has a century old clock tower, not as high but very well made: a 25 meter German imperial gift with non-less imperial Ottoman patterns. I was making some postcard work on this and here is the outcome. A bird and a passer-by try to escape from the frame :) .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The quarter pipe (archives)

Kids plays at dusk in the roller park. While the front kid tries to grab to 2.5 meter pipe's edge his friends look at him from the next slope. Another kid in the back tries the second quarter pipe while a small group in the far profit of the dying sunlight. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This is not Desmond's marketplace, ob-la-di-ba-da, this is ours and it stands every Wednesday covering 12'000 m2. If you look at Google Maps you will see a big white stain where the market (Pazar) lays since the place is fully covered to help keep produce and clients fresh till the evening. Note that the word Bazaar comes from our Pazar while the covered permanent market like the famous one in Istanbul is not a Pazar. Anyway here activity starts at dawn and continues till after the sunset, prices going down as fast as the last rays fade; merchants should empty the stalls since only fresh food will find a buyer. The market is not just about produce, fruit or vegetable. All sort of foodstuff is available beside home-ware and personal-wear. Here is a series from the early hours, there are not yet many clients and stalls owners take a great attention to set their place and expose their goods. Fruits and vegetables shine and clothes are well aligned waiting for the clientele to mix colours and sizes looking for the right one. If you are reading me from northern countries you may have not experienced what food means in the south :) tasty fruits and vegetables as you can't imagine, carrots and tomatoes as sweet as your apples, apples and oranges as sweets as your sugars... seedless raisins as tasty and sweet as ... (self-censured :) ). Anyway if you never visited Turkey you sure have to plan to...

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Tree and the thinker

A shot may have thousands of messages or none at all. Depends for a part from the reader.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My preferred tree

This is not the first post having this tree in a principal or secondary role. Let me explain the reason. In the early 90s this very place was just in the sea, than the council filled new land to allow a 6 lane road to draw traffic from the center and a large promenade for walkers and bikers to enjoy the shoreline in safety. Obviously the few trees there are not very old and I do not know why this one is planted there: only a poor meter or so of soil behind, block of granite and marble (yes we use marble to fill the land) to surround its feet and salty water just a meter beyond. The tree struggle to gain some height but stay far behind his cousins grown on high ground. That's life: one can only do whith the cards we get when the game begin, no mean to complain!

Sunny Days ... again

Here this is Bayram, the second day of the festival and most of us, at least me, are free till Wednesday. The weather is perfect, mild and we can profit plainly of the sun, hot but not burning. Yesterday evening we had  a beautiful sunset but perhaps I have seen so much of these colourful scenes (our shore is oriented north-north east) that this time I would present it in black and white.

et quand viens le soir, pour qu'un ciel flamboye, le rouge et le noir ne s'épousent-ils pas? (Jacques Brel, Ne me quitte pas

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunny days

This is from my archives, the last winter and a sunny day. We have 300 days like this every year in Izmir so it is not exceptional :) . This week we have classic autumnal weather, like a summer time in Brighton ;) . As the climate gets upside down and we see people suffering all around the world from consequences of bad settlement planning that are not able to cope with earthquakes, heavy rains or drought I have a special thought for people of Thailand, Italy and France who have been recently hurts and for our friends from Japan who still struggle to recover. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Introducing Izmir - Bird Paradise (ızmir marshes)

I recently post 3 pics about Izmir marshes ( or, a personal work in B&W. Here is an introduction to the other face of the marshes. On one side the inhospitable salt fields and on the other side thousands of birds feeding and breeding just 500mm away.
For my gear and my experience I do not make wildlife or ornithology. My longest focal length is a 200mm boosted since. I use a APS sized body. Still the fullframe equivalent 300mm is a bit short for this sport. Anyway I tried to bring you a preview of what you may meet if you ever visit the marshes, that we call here “the bird paradise”. Over 200 species and thousands of birds stop by or permanently live here. Cormorants are common in Izmir, we often see them not so far off the coastline drying their wings at the sun. Easy game even for a non-specialist. Pelican often come in small group close to the shore where the water is not deep and fish is abundant, I saw some of them coming ashore for a walk among the table of the teashop. But in the Bird Paradise cormorants are thousands, pelicans hundreds, and we got Flamingos in flock. One can see a few herons but they are shy and fly as soon as a camera is in range. Flamingos make the point. The majestic bird stays away from the road, if too close he flies away as soon as you get in view. This is where a 200mm APS-C is a sort of short. I manage to catch only one of them, not perfect shots but enough to show you the chance we have to host these birds just 30 an hour away from the city.