My friends are in Turkey

Evil eyes

My Journey Anatolia photography friends are in Turkey right now. There is one photography trip every year and I’ve been to Turkey with them 3 times in the last 7 years, all on different itineraries.

I’m obviously not there this year and I’m watching enviously as they post their daily phone images on Facebook. I know that the really good stuff will come after the trip when they’ve reviewed their takings and put in some processing time.

These guys changed my photography enormously.  I look back at the images from my first trip when I fancied myself as someone who knew a thing or two. Honestly, the overall quality was poor, terrible even. There were the odd ok images and I’ll post them here next time (as something to learn from!)

~ Spotted Cow

Three is a good number


As you know, I’ve been posting stories and pictures from my Journey Anatolia photography trip to North East Turkey. The trip is for all levels of photography and every evening we submitted an image for the Photo of the Day discussion. I enjoyed these sessions because I could reflect on the day, look at other people’s pictures and think about how I might shoot differently.

One of my takeaways was that whenever an image came up that had three people or objects, the concluding comment post-discussion would always be “… and three is a good number”.

I hadn’t thought about that. But of course, you get the optimal balance and asymmetry with having three objects. Three reasons are better than two when you’re arguing a case in point. Goldilocks and the Two Bears wouldn’t be quite the same, would it? Unlike the Rule of Thirds, it’s not a rule of thumb as such. But if you are fortunate enough to have three things in your picture, the composition looks a little bit more even … in spite of three being an odd number. Go figure.

~ Spotted Cow

Lady in doorwayThree ladies on a pilgrimage

Telling stories

Animated Lady 1

I told you that I went on a Journey Anatolia photography trip to Turkey, up into the remote North-East. The focus is mainly on people photography … and I have to say, the people in this area are remarkably friendly and hospitable. They would offer us cups of tea and tell us stories of their lives.

In one of the Çamlıhemşin villages, we met this lovely smiley lady who was very animated and she chatted away to us with wonderful energy. Our guide translated, although only inadequately, because she kept talking over him!

I too hope that when I’m at a grand old age and dependent on a crutch, that I will sit on my daybed outside my door and regale the occasional passing visitor with my tales. Ha !

~ Spotted Cow

Animated Lady 3Animated Lady & GuideAnimated Lady 4

People Photography. Turkey.

Children from a violin family

I’m off to Turkey soon with my photography friends from Journey Anatolia. I’ve been on the trip twice before – once around Western Turkey and a second time to the South East. This year we’re going to the North East, near Georgia, and I’m excited.

I’m excited about meeting up with my friends Rod & Anne, and Serkan. Rod & Anne are the trip photography mentors, and Serkan is the Turkish-English tour guide, translator and Journey Anatolia proprietor.

The single most important thing they taught me about photographing people is to interact with them. Talk to them, even when you can’t speak the language. Gesticulate, make a joke, laugh, anything. You get a much better photo when people are relaxed, consenting and looking into the camera. It helps that the Turkish people are so warm and wonderfully hospitable.

The second most important thing they told me was not to cut off people’s extremities when taking the photo – feet, hands, top of the head.  I used to do it with singular regularity.

These are some of my pictures from the last trip to the South East. I’m hoping to hone my technique some more.

~ Spotted Cow

Man with green hat Street vendor Man with fans Turkish woman with headscarf