Catching a plane tomorrow

Time to wrap up the 26 day trip to Turkey. I had decided that this trip would be about rest, family and taking photographs. I also said that I arrived here with a new mind, eye and heart. That was true, but I also leaving anew. I think for the last 26 days I was a photographer, not a son, brother, teacher, department chair or administrator. A photographer. When I’m on assignment I’m a photographer of course but when I finish and complete the assignment, I’m a lot of other things. During the first week of school if asked “What do you do?” I would say “I’m a teacher”. As a matter of fact on every form I have filled out over the last 10 years that asks occupation, I responded a teacher.

Being a Photographer: For 26 days I carried my camera over my shoulder, no case, no lens cap, at the ready ( a few weather days caused the camera of the day to be a bit protected, but it was a very conscience choice to Have A Camera At The Ready).

We were leaving the other day and the young man of the house said to me “you don’t need that” referring to my camera. And I said a photographer that I admire told me a few months ago “ expect something amazing to happen every time you leave the house”, Peter Turnley.

I get it. I’m on vacation in an amazing place, how could you not bring your camera everywhere you go. Maybe that’s the point I didn’t feel compelled to photograph things that I never seem before or that were foreign but in fact things that were familiar. Compositions that revealed themselves to me and screamed “Brian take my picture now!!!!” Kinda like this Fungus shot!


Being A Photographer: I also followed the advice of many and photographed things I care about,


Being A Photographer: I even wanted to be photographed to remind me of this place I am at.


Being A Photographer: I did shoot far less that I expected, but I am extremely happy with a few and I imagine they will stay part of my working portfolio for some time to come. A few from the Old City Monday.

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Being A Photographer: I didn’t make any new years resolutions at the time, and I still don’t want to. I will take away a few things that I will do different once I get home. I will carry my camera with me every day at the ready and expect something amazing to happen at any time and when asked who I am or what do I do I will answer: “I’m a Photographer “.

I know what you’re thinking… I’m thinking to much, shut up and go take pictures! Here’s a few of my fav’s from the trip. Thanks for reading B

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A New Year

With the new day also came the rain, sleet and snow. It just didn’t want to stop. It was a good excess to sleep in and enjoy warm bed and the weight of the comforter.   Another late breakfast followed by a walk completed the activities for the day. The 6+ was the camera of the day once again not only capturing the breakfast feast, but portraits and the Faytons.


The day provided time to reflect and decide once again that no new years resolutions were necessary, just follow my hearts and let the cards fall. I have been reading a lot about and from Photographers during the down time and I have a feeling our profession is on a rebound. No facts just a feeling….. More on this later


We did venture out at midnight to see the fireworks on the mainland, far away but fireworks are fireworks and always put a smile on my face!


We headed back to base camp new years day, and spent it with the family enjoying the holiday.

Friday was the local outside market where they sell just about everything. It was time to stock up on supplies for the weekend, and take advantage of the only day that 0% rain was predicted for the rest of our stay. The Leica took the place of the 6+ as expected, and I assume it will for the rest of the trip weather permitting.


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Island hopping

We arrived at Büyükada after a quick 45-minute ferry ride from Bostancı, a small suberb of Istanbul. The images below from the ferry ride were shot with the 90mm on the Leica M. Feel like I was cheating a bit, but boy I like the focal length.

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Büyükada and the neighboring islands are known as the Prince Islands. Only a few of these islands are public. Büyükada doesn’t allow any gasoline-powered vehicles. There is plenty of transportation; electric scooters of all sorts, bicycles and horse drawn carriages replace the conventional taxis. The carriage operators drive about the same as their city counterparts, I prefer motorized taxi’s, they have breaks!

After a quick down load of our luggage we were off for a scout of the town. The sun was out, and the beautiful afternoon light added to the small street’s interesting and diverse architecture. The clatter of a gallop and smell of fresh fish only added to the experience.

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Monday arrived with the rain that had been forecasted all week. After a late sleep we decided to challenge the weather and take on the day. Armed with slickers and high tech outerwear our adventure began. Even though I was wearing Pantgonia’s best Gortex, I decided the Leica should take the day off given the weather and let the iphone 6+ be the camera of the day. That camera always delivers! It turns out to be extremely water resistant. The rain poured at times and kept out walk short, we did take a carriage ride to the other side of the island, but that was cut short as well. The rest of the day was spent telling stories and enjoying family time.

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The forecast is that same for the rest of the week but that’s not going to scare us away, we will bring in the New Years in Büyükada Turkey! That means many more images to come!

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Best laid plans, Kos wasn’t in the cards

We got up early to catch the ferry to Kos, but discovered there would be room to go over but not to return…. It did cross our minds to stay, but we didn’t come prepared. On a recommendation from a local restaurateur we jumped a bus and headed to Yalikavak. A 45-minute bus ride and we were there.


I was expecting a smaller Bodrum and I was right as we walk to the NE. When we turned and walked the other direction we found not the million $ mile but the Billion $ 2 miles, the Pal Marina,

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I have never seen boats like that before and rows of them. Most bigger then my house! Not only were the boats to the left a sight but the shops to the right. I’m not a fashionista but I did recognize Versace and Armani, I’m sure the rest were equality as exclusive. At this time of the year the place was abandon, but I bet any given summer day would have been a feast for the eye and camera! Maybe my cousin Diana and Marcus will be here for a short stay on their adventure and I can come join them for a few days.

My days here at Bodrum have brought to mind JB’s Beaches Boats Ballads and Bars epic collection of greatest hits. Sevtap said on our arrival “What is it about guys and boats?” at the time I said I don’t know, guessin’ that’s was a fib…….

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A few less footsteps the last few days…

Day three started with a tour of two small wineries, the first very close to Bodrum, Vinbodrum. Erhan and Fusun’s production facility was in their basement producing about 12 thousand bottles a year. We sat down with them and learned about their production techniques and tasted three different wines. From a rose with a snap, a blend that was soft and gentle, and the strong wild berry taste of the Syrah. The tasting was accompanied by home made borek made with wild greens from the local market. We were able to sneak a taste of the Chardonnay even though it wasn’t quite ready but tasted good!

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Our second visit was to Mehmet Vuran and his family’s small vineyard that grew table grapes. Mehmet keeps some grapes aside to make a very limited run of what I think were Zinfandels. We tasted a 2008 and a 2013. What a difference a few years can make. He doesn’t sell his wine, just makes it for himself and friends. We did ask if we could “buy” a bottle but he said he had only a small amount left. Our tasting was just about sharing some good wine and making new friends. Our visit ended with his brother leading us on a walking tour through the vineyards and telling us how he and his father had to be on guard at night during the crop peek to keep the wild boar from eating the grapes.

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I am by no means a wine guy, I know nothing about what make a $$$ bottle of wine vs a $ bottle. What I do know is when I’m in an amazing place with warm beautiful people making new friends, the wine always tastes better.

Winobrian meter 100/100 for all 6

Our day concluded with a visit to two small villages, Camarasi and Kurudere. In both cases we stopped the car and went for a walk. The villagers came out to ask if we were lost or needed help finding our way. Our first answer was “no” but the real answer was “yes”, but that would have taken to much time to explain. And it was better to be in the moment.

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Day four was a rest day. After a late breakfast we made every attempt to get lost in the maze of streets, alleys and passageways linking the residential area neighborhoods of the city. Hard to get lost with the pull of the Mediterranean Sea to the west.

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Our ambling lead us to the Zeki Muren Museum, he was a singer, composer, actor and painter. Loved by the Turkish people much like Elvis Presley was in the US.

A very big voice for both traditional and contemporary music.

L1004013 L1004017I spotted this location on the way home this afternoon then went back out when the lights of the castle were on, might give it another try at sunrise, but then again its getting late tonight, we’ll see.



Tomorrow to Greece, stay tuned…

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