Wednesday, February 20, 2013

prints for sale!

I was 16 when I took this photo, wandering around the dusty streets of Cairo with my old 35mm in my hands. I was lucky that my school had a darkroom, where I learned to develop my own film— remember that? Before the instant gratification of digital cameras, there were rolls of film and chemicals— fumbling around in the dark, watching images appear like magic, on submerged paper. I loved it. Nearly two decades later, I'm still wandering around, but with a Canon G12 and a memory card— and rather than pinning my photos to my bedroom wall, I now post them on this blog, and share them with you.

So my curiosity got the better of me and I set up an account with Society6 to sell prints of my photographs. What is Society6? It's a place for artists and designers to sell high quality prints of their work online— I submit an image, and the lovely people at Society6 handle the rest. My work comes to you at an affordable price.

I've already put a few photos up in my shop, which you can visit by clicking on this link, or by clicking on the thumbnail on the sidebar under "Own some of my work." I'm also open to suggestions— if there is a particular photo you would like to see up in my shop, please leave a comment here with a link to the photograph, and I'll consider it for sale. Sketches will come one day, but for now, it's just photos— have a look and let me know what you think!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

sketching by the galata bridge

While I huddle beneath my yak wool blanket and sip masala chai in an attempt to cure the nasty cough I've acquired, I thought I'd show you the last sketch I drew. Ten days ago, when I felt peachy keen, the sun was making a thrilling appearance. In celebration, I took a stroll down to the Galata Bridge for a fish sandwich and a little drawing. The light shifted between blue and a cool yellow, giving the Golden Horn a metallic sheen. Gulls competed for scraps of food, while silver headed cormorants slipped silently into water in search of fish.

As soon as I put down my pencil, the inevitable happened. A huge splat of green and white landed on my left arm— thankfully nowhere near my sketchbook or çay. I'm not sure why people consider it lucky to be mistaken for an avian feces receptacle, but hey. It's better than getting upset over the nastiness on your sleeve, isn't it? 

beyoğlu on a dry, february day

Saturday, February 16, 2013

a tale of two feasts

The sea is so generous with her seemingly infinite offerings of tasty morsels— something that the Portuguese and the Turks take full advantage of. I recently enjoyed a pleasant lunch with the family at our favourite fish restaurant, where over a dollop of salty tarama, I found myself lolling around in the memory of a feast Pedro and I treated ourselves to while in Portugal over the holidays. We dined on gooseneck barnacles and sea snails, prying soft flesh out of intricately twisted and spired structures— and there was crab. Sweet, tender crab. That alien, orange speckled exoskeleton with threatening thorns that beg the question, who was that first person who decided to crack this thing open for a snack?

While the Portuguese feast relied on the natural flavours of the meats and sea, the Turkish feast pictured below, made use of spices and buttery sauces. Stuffed mussels, tarama, aubergine purée, a sliver of raw lakerda fish as pink as a rose petal...

Cornbread, spicy shrimp, and the most exquisite grilled kalamari. I swear I was a sea bird in a former life.
A Black-browed albatross, perhaps.

Friday, February 15, 2013

grey, grey, grey

To say that winter is bleak in Istanbul, is an understatement. It is downright depressing. The sky is grey, the city is grey, the people are grey. I used to find a poetry in the mournfulness, in the huzun, but currently, I am in a terrible state of unrest. My toes can't seem to warm, there's a rattle in my chest, and the grumpiness of the people on the street is souring my mood. A few days ago, it was nearly spring weather— so warm in fact, that crocuses popped up their heads towards the pale sun. We have since descended back into that wet, bone-chilling gloom, and there is an inexplicable amount of mud.

What else can you do but wait?
Wait, and have another çay.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

on cormorants, and turning thirty-four

So far, thirty-four feels no different than thirty-three. But the cormorants are starting to show their breeding plumage, and flying in giant arrows across the sky.