Getting Scammed Shooting Street Photography in Istanbul
LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE IN TURKEY | Sharon Henry
The devious con-artist clearly had a nose for fresh meat as we fell prey to a scam on our first day out in Turkey, shooting street photography in Istanbul. Maybe we looked like we’d came down with the last shower of rain.
As we strolled along the sidewalk a man passed by and a brush ‘fell’ from his box. Being good citizens we called out to alert this fellow of his mishap. Slapping his forehead in disbelief he shook Darrin’s hand, picked up the object and started to walk off. As if responding to his conscience he thought better of it, set down his box and offered Darrin (quite insistently) a shoe shine as a sign of gratitude. He was a shoe shiner.
For a start Darrin was wearing trainers still wafting that ‘brand new’ smell but being the ‘Saint’ that he is and not wanting to offend, relented and his shoes got a swift wash.
Once done the shoe shiner offered a parting handshake which quickly morphed…into an open hand for payment. We’d been scammed – even after a good night’s sleep we fell into the trap!
Having been out of the travel sphere for a few years we soon realised our ‘streets smarts’ needed re—honing, a key component for what we were doing.
The Life On The Bosphorus
Shooting street photography in Istanbul is a Turkish delight (ahem), the city’s mosques, minarets and labyrinth of busy streets makes an opulent feast for the senses and camera lens. Walking we find is the best way to explore new places.
Of course, we didn’t let the scam spoil our day and continued on to see the Bosphorus up close in all its plankton-induced glory. Which by the way, was so turquoise it would’ve even put Bradley Cooper in the shade.
The Bosphorus strait separates the European and Asian sides of Turkey, there’s so much life around, on top and beneath its waters; ferries, fishermen, mussel divers, food sellers, tour operators, souvenir vendors… we could’ve spent all day there just watching. Gulls shrieked overhead, fishing hooks got cast out, boat wakes slapped ashore and dogs lazed in the shady spots.
Yes, dogs – and cats. It was bizarre seeing stray cats and dogs in the street. All quite placid and indifferent to people milling around, seemingly very much part of the city’s make-up. Our natural instinct was to pet them but unsure of temperaments and wary of showing encouragement we refrained.
Street Photography In Istanbul – A Sensory Overload
Galata Bridge is THE hangout spot for local fishermen, drinking tea, smoking, chatting, baiting tackle. There must be miles of fishing line hanging from the collection of rods suspended from the top of the bridge into the water.
Making his rounds was a ‘simit’ seller balancing a tower of sesame-seeded bagels on top his head stopping every few paces for a sale. Fishing on the bridge did seem more of a social pastime than a productive one!
Back on the streets photo ops presented themselves at every corner; pedestrians dodging trams, shops selling juicy kebabs, woven carpets, silk scarves and rainbows of sweet treats. A sensory overload.
Overhead the patriotic red of giant Turkish flags and the black and white of Besiktas, the city’s beloved football club, rippled in the warm breeze. Flagging a bit ourselves we headed back to the air conditioned sanctuary of our hotel room.
But not before…another brush fell across our path. We didn’t flinch, just chuckled and totally ignored it – fool us once… The guy who dropped it laughed too, his nose was off kilter – our meat wasn’t so fresh anymore!
Hope you enjoyed our collection of street photography in Istanbul.