The Istanbul in Elja’s Head

Picture by ©Elja Daae

Istanbul tea vendor

After two days of a photography workshop with a world-renowned photographer, I have to acknowledge: Art requires expertise.
A photographer like him manages to look at 450 pictures in 20 minutes and in that time determines: 1) which photos need cropping for a better result; 2) your specific signature, style so to speak, and 3) which ones to add to your portfolio.

So after my 20 minutes, Thatcher Cook hits me right in the core of my heart – after selecting and reorganising a series of my photographs – when he described them as “The Istanbul in my head”. He continued: “A rather heavy place, quite gloomy, but beautiful”.

And so it is. I experience Istanbul as a beautiful city, full of the most amazing things. But at the same time it seems a burdened city, a dirty city, a city where life is hard and gloomy at times.  Americans call it grittyness.

Istanbul is full of entrepreneurs, from shopping malls and bazaars to restaurants. And there is the beautiful Bosphorus.
Istanbul breaths history. From museums and old buildings and lively neighborhoods to mosques and bus boats. Istanbul ís history.

But there also is the dirt, the many homeless people, the Syrian refugees who live on the streets, the many buildings without roofs, where only (partial) walls still stand. Or worse, collapsing while people live inside. Plus tens of thousands of stray cats and dogs. And traffic, lots and lots of traffic.
And a lot of people…

Istanbul grabs you by your throat, pierces your heart. She tires you. Surprises you and sometimes demolishes you. Makes you despair while she captivates you.

The Istanbul in Elja’s head was published earlier in Dutch on Elja’s website: Istanboel in Elja’s hoofd
Elja Daae currently lives in Istanbul.

There is a way to San Jose – Istanbul via Thatcher Cook

You know, sometimes its enough. After so many useful and significant words on a day its great to come home to a surprise dinner being ready, sip a glass of wine, have a great chat and go over your pictures before watching a movie together.
So no extra words to share today.

Really an extra ordinary good master-teacher, that Thatcher Hullerman Cook.

Someone who can make me forget to text my son before he is taking of  to London on the other side of this continent, yes… Chapeaux!
And I am in general not that easily pleased where it is concerning Masters.
But yes Thatcher, I learned so much from you and hope to do so in the future!
Só pleased to meet you!

© Carolien geurtsen




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Here are no sufficient words and body and brain are tired after a day of theory and practice on Storytelling and framing moods, and a lot of fun, with Thatcher Hullerman Cook, plus selecting/editing the 380 pictures I made today and downsizing them to a favorite 30+ >

I did not kill my darlings but most certainly put them in the orphanage for now.
So the veil  lifts here, but only a little bit.

Of course later more. First tomorrow, day 2.


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