Saturday, January 13, 2007

Haghia Sophia, Istanbul - Photographer, Gert

Mary Lee Settle captured Haghia Sophia so well that I wanted to record her words here. It was one of my favourite buildings in the beautiful, chaotic, crazy, wonderful city called Istanbul. Haghia Sophia shared its number one spot with the view from Galata Tower.

Gert took this photograph that gives you an idea of its magnificence ... my copyright is only to keep it safe on the web.

Mary Lee describes Haghia Sophia as being more than a museum, too - I have walked many times through its great doors, and I have never heard a voice raised. The first sight of its captured space of golden light and twilight is more than breathtaking. I can only use the overused word: awe, an experience of awe.

She captures it so precisely ... it's the quality of the light, the golden light, and the warmth that seems to have permeated the entire building. No mean feat when you realise that the building covers more than four acres. It is wider than a football field is long, and yet there is not the overpowering sense of diminishment and human frailty that I find in the great dark spaces of the Gothic Cathedrals.

It is like walking into a field that contains the last sunset, under a dome that is a reflection of the sky, in the golden light of an early evening after a sunny day; a dome that rises to the height of a fifteen story building and yet seems to shelter and not to intimidate.

4 comments:

Mathieu said...

I love la grande Sophie, made a huge impact on me during a school trip to Istambul, lo these many years ago.

I like Gert's pictures, by the way. Every time you've posted one, they've been very well done, composition, lighting, etc... :-)

Oh, and by copyright I assume you mean the watermark? An image is copyrighted whether or not it is watermarked, as I'm sure you know. I understand why you want a visible and hard to remove reminder of this on every photo you post... it just seems to me that limiting the resolution you post is enough of a protection for any use but webpage display... and what harm does image stealing for that really do?

Heck, I've had some of my pictures actually used on other websites, with no attribution, and by linking directly to my copy of it! Scummy behaviour, but it's not like an attribution would really create that much extra traffic for me, or like the ab-user would pay me a license fee after being found out...

I dunno, it's not a simple issue. A watermark on my pictures would bother me more than the scummers do, I guess. :-)

woman wandering said...

You have such good taste in ancient buildings ... and la grande Sophie reads so pretty in French.

Gert and I both love photography, and we play well together most of the time, sharing a camera body. We like different lenses and mostly prefer different subject material too but he's good, isn't he :)

Copyright ... lol assume nothing when it comes to what I might know. I have these exquisitely humiliating 'simple' moments. I have whacked my 'watermark' on every photograph lately, thinking it worked as a copyright :)

Anyway, I was like you for a long time, just posting images and not worrying about who used them but as I began posting more and more people shots, I worried about their life out in the world ... I was gently lectured about what might happen to them and eventually bowed to what seemed like commonsense.

I think it's something that so many wrestle with and there's no satisfactory simple solution.

Anonymous said...

All these photos are just stunning, Di. You have such an extraordinary talent for capturing beauty, both profane and ordinary! (and sorry about the much-delayed e-mail - life interfered).

woman wandering said...

Thank you Tara but Gert took these Haghia Sophie images ... he captured it so well that these had to be the ones that I posted. The light is so stunning in there ... I wanted to show it.

The email will come when life calms a little, no worries :)