Moving Mountains, The Gumbet Windmills

I’d been told about this spot many times while visiting my holiday home in Turkey. Eventually during one trip I decided it was time that I grabbed my gear and checked this local landmark out.
It was a beautiful hot evening and the light was just starting to dip behind the mountains. 
I have to be honest after all the hype I was a little disappointed with the location when I arrived.
There were several windmills on the edge of the hillside and due to the shape of the hill I had to be closer to the windmills than I would have preferred.
This meant that the beautiful mountains and bay below were extremely obstructed by some of the windmills and the hillsides contour.
At around this time I was producing lots of video tutorials for a training site I owned. 
I decided I would take the opportunity to use some clever photographic and postproductions techniques to create a more pleasing view and also create a video of how I achieved this for the sites members.
After some careful thought I decided that if I moved the sea and mountains up higher into the scene and did some clean up ( remove a ropy looking windmill )this would produce a panoramic scene I knew would look stunning in the evening light.
So not an image that the purists would enjoy but one that satisfied my experience of the place even if I had to move mountains to achieve it !


Dodging dogs and the sleeping

Shooting at dawn can be extremely rewarding and peaceful but not always without it’s issues.

When shooting on location I invariably choose to head out at dawn. Not only does this mean I can capture beautiful light but it also means I avoid the crowds if I don’t wish to have people in the shots.
One of the downsides to this especially in hot countries is that I have on more than one occasion almost tripped over people sleeping in some unusual places.
Once it was an abandoned fairground near Side in Turkey where I placed my tripod within inches of a fellow asleep on a merry go round without realising until I was packing up.

Abandoned Fair, Side Turkey

Then there was the boat yard shown below also in Turkey which as well as having a guy sleeping outside in the elements also housed a couple of dogs too which thankfully ignored me !

Boat Yard Gumbet Turkey


Asur On The Beach

I’ve mentioned before that for 10 years I was fortunate enough to have a holiday home in Turkey. On one trip shooting at dawn I captured this chap Asur Teber who was a security guard at one of the beachfront hotels in Gumbet.
He was more than willing for me to capture his picture in fact I eventually had to make my excuses to get back for my breakfast !.
He asked for me to send him a print and I always believe if people have given me their time and ask for a copy of the image it’s the very least I can do and always deliver on that.
I’m not sure if I mislaid his details but I decided to deliver the print the following year to the hotel. Unfortunately he apparently lived in northern Turkey and no longer worked at the hotel.
I left the print anyway in the hope it might one day find it’s way to him.


Hedo, Beach Water-sports Salesman Turkey

Having once owned a home in Turkey I was privileged to have visited the country many times over a ten year period.
This as you would expect also meant I got to make friends with some of the locals and those who worked in the area during the busy summer months.
Hedo was someone I always knew would be in the same place on the beach with the same big smile selling tourists water sports.


Unveiling Of Alp Yanki

Today sees the sale of our home in Turkey finalised which to be honest leaves me slightly sad.We bought the property close to Bodrum around 8 years ago as an investment and, as a result, made many friends in the area and my many trips created many happy memories (and images) but it’s simply run its course and it’s time to move on.

 

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Simply Up Close

Most of the images I create tend to be fairly wide vistas with people (life) within them.
Occasionally however I come across someone who demands to be captured very simply up close with minimal fuss as with this gentleman.
It was while in Turkey that I came across this charasmatic chap attending toilets and just had to capture him.
As with all these type of shots I seek out open shade to provide flattering even light and drop everything but the eyes from focus.

Turkey May 2013


Simplicity, Belly Dancing On A Boat

In my opinion what you leave out an image is as important as what you choose to show…the simpler the better.
Some images I create can be quite complex, in some cases consisting many many dozens of individual files to create the final picture. Even when this is the case I’m still always looking for the final image to look simple and uncluttered as possible.
With some images however we are lucky that everything unfolds itself on a plate for you as in this image shot on a boat off the Turkish coast.
This chap (note the facial hair) and a member of the crew decided to dress in a Bellydancing outfit and give everyone an impressive show from the back of the boat.
I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of the headdress and the beautiful diffused light softened by the boats canopy which sheilded the harsh unflattering summer sun and wrapped him in a glow of white.
To simplify things further I chose to drop everything out of focus except his rather striking eyes to create the final image below.

 

Turkey May 2013


Juicing Oranges In The Shade

This wonderful smile belonged to a man I stumbled upon in the intence summer heat of Side (pronounced Ceday) in Turkey.
I was in Side in 2001 for my honeymoon but of course if you are a location photographer then honeymoon or not the camera gear has to come along !
It was mid afternoon and still exremely hot when we went for a walk and I remember seeing a crowd of people ahead on the shaded road.As we approached it soon came apparent that a crowd had gathered to quench their thrist with fresh orange juice this guy was selling from his mobile cart.
I have to say I dont think I have ever seen a man with such striking blue eyes that seemed to compliment his shirt perfectly.Then there was his amazing smile and almost perfect white teeth which in a country where so many men smoke is probably not a common site.
After buying some juice I gestured if I may take his picture and he happily without stopping his work obliged with a smile.

This image would have been a disater if not for the open shade of the trees which although cast a slight green but correctable cast on him softened the harsh summer light enough to avoid distracting contrasy light to take attention away  from his wonderful expression.

This was also the days before digital at least for me so there where no checking histograms or image previews I had to rely on knowing my films characteristics (contrast range,latitude etc) and my experience metering and interpreting the readings…phew what a lot we had to contend with !

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