Tag Archives: Cappadocia

Turkey Photography Odyssey

Post 3 – Underground Cities, Cappadocia

Underground cities in the region were constructed the same way as the cliff and fairy chimney cities, carving out the volcanic tuff. Around the sixth century, the Christian inhabitants began to tunnel as deep as 275′ deep with eight levels.  Thousands of people inhabited this subterranean city for months at a time when threatened by the enemy.

Room in Ozkonak Underground City © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Room in Ozkonak Underground City
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Wine storage, Ozkonak © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Wine storage, Ozkonak
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone door and passageway, Ozkonak © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone door and passageway, Ozkonak
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Although the cities were invisible from the surface, it was possible for the enemy to find ventilation holes.  Stone doors were constructed to close off tunnels as needed.

Stone door, Ozkonak © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone door, Ozkonak
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone door view from a passageway, Ozkonak © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone door view from inside a passageway, Ozkonak
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

The same door from the other side – I must say it was a bit uncomfortable to be in a narrow tunnel facing the door that could cut me off from the group!  So, will the next post be full of big skies?  Ha! Wait until you see the beautiful formations inside the cave we visited.

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Turkey Photography Odyssey

Post 2 – Cappadocia

The region of Cappadocia lies between two volcanoes, the source of volcanic tuff that formed the area. It is in these canyons and strange formations that civilizations of the past chiseled out cities.

Zelve ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Zelve
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Zelve ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Zelve
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone grinding wheel, Zelve ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Stone grinding wheel, Zelve
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Column church, Zelve ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Column church, Zelve
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Pasabagi ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Pasabagi
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Dervent ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Dervent
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Church, Ilhara Valley ©2014 Diane Kelsay

Church, Ilhara Valley
©2014 Diane Kelsay

Just as artwork was created in the past in these amazing structures, art can be done today with our cameras – using shapes, light, and sometimes capturing the feeling of the past.

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Turkey Photography Odyssey

Post 1, Istanbul

Our Turkey adventure begins in Istanbul – a city where civilizations have come and gone, leaving the foundation of the cultual experience it is today.  Photography compositions are found everywhere, almost overwhelming.

Blue Mosque © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Blue Mosque
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Blue Mosque © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Blue Mosque
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Haglia Sophia © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Haglia Sophia
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Color and design woven into compositions capture the art and architecture of the past.

Haglia Sophia © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Haglia Sophia
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Blue Mosque © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Blue Mosque
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Underground Cistern, where the Romans stored water, should the enemy destroy the aqueducts through the city trying to cut off their water supply. © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Underground Cistern, where the Romans stored water to prevent interuption of the water supply (should the enemy destroy the aqueducts).
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Today, merchants gather in the oldest and largest bazaar since the fifteenth century.

Grand Bazaar  © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Grand Bazaar
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Grand Bazaar © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Grand Bazaar
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Next we are off to Cappadocia to photograph dwellings, churches, wineries… carved into cliffs of volcanic tuff.

 

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Turkey Scout Trip

In early November, we traveled to Turkey to explore and celebrate so many opportunities for the photographer – land rich in history, culture, and geology.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul © 2013 Diane Kelsay

Blue Mosque, Istanbul
© 2013 Diane Kelsay

Basilica Cistern © 2013 Diane Kelsay

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul
© 2013 Diane Kelsay

Cappadocia, Turkey is a region rich with remains of ancient civilizations and geology.  For thousands of years, people have come and gone, leaving their presence on the landscape.  For us, it is a time to create art.  And the best tool to do this is light.

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

Alone in a quiet space, we wonder about the people who were here before us and how they lived.  There are so many tunnels and stairs, windows and doorways – we love to capture the way the light bounces around and adds depth.

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

© 2013 Bob Harvey

Management of light can determine the feeling of a place, and dramatic or soft, you can choose how much detail to show.

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

From a sunrise balloon ride, light changes the landscape by the minute. Features come to life as the sun spotlights them.

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

© 2013 Diane Kelsay

We really enjoyed exploring new places and determining what time of day would be the best for each location.  What sites work best in soft light, what sites work best during those dramatic moments, and how to capture the feeling of all that is there is important to creative photography.  The gift of “seeing” as we photographers do, enable us to take so much more in than just being there for a quick look and a history lesson. Interpretation from a good guide also helps us see more imaginatively.

Bob and Diane Zelve, Cappadocia

Bob and Diane
Zelve, Cappadocia

We hope you will join us on one of our Turkey Photography Adventures in the future.  Cappadocia is just a sample of our itinerary, but worthy of several days.

http://www.naturephotographyadventures.com/workshop.photo.turkey.htm

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia – last imagesI know I’ve overdone the Cappadocia blogging – I guess you can tell I am pretty excited about the fun we had composing, dealing with challenging lighting, and accomplishing things that simply were beyond the technical means just a few years back.  But, even more important, is that things you see and learn in Cappadocia inspire you and fill you with awe and respect!

 

Underground City© 2013 Bob Harvey

Underground City
© 2013 Bob Harvey

There was a time, here, when Christians carved huge underground cities where they could retreat and survive.  The entrances to these cities were booby-trapped, much like the gauntlets that Indiana Jones movies feature.  Inside the cities were stores of food, winemaking facilities, wells for water, and sleeping and cooking quarters.

Underground City ventilation shaft© 2013 Bob Harvey

Underground City ventilation shaft
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

In the fairy chimneys and the walls of canyons, along with residences, there were many monasteries.  Elaborate churches, often complete with domes carved into the rock, were carefully constructed and used.

Rock church© 2013 Bob Harvey

Rock church
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The dedication of these people was evident in the archaeological remains!

Rock church© 2013 Bob Harvey

Rock church
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Dome in rock church© 2013 Bob Harvey

Dome in rock church
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Ceiling art© 2013 Bob Harvey

Ceiling art
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

Inspired by those who lived a hard life and put so much energy into their beliefs!  Then, step out into nature, late in the day, and be inspired again!

Cappadocia sunburst© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia sunburst
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

 

Cappadocia Sunburst© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia Sunburst
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

 

Obviously, I could go on and on about this special place.  Cappadocia has captured my imagination!  I’ll be going back next year (hopefully some of you will choose to come along)!  And there will be more blogging to do!  But the next blog from the Turkey adventure will be after Cappadocia.  From this amazing region, we flew to the southern Turquoise Coast to visit Ephesus, touted as the largest city ever excavated.  It played an important role for the Greeks, Romans, Christians, and more!  And the reason it was abandoned will cause you to think hard about our lives today!

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Balloons over Cappadocia

Early morning hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Early morning hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

We’ve seen the fairy chimneys from the ground and from ridges.  We’ve photographed the entrances to the “cave” structures from the inside and out.  We’ve played with the soft light drifting into the cave rooms.  Now it’s time to get a perspective from above!  Up up and away!

Fairy Chimneys and balloons© 2013 Bob Harvey

Fairy Chimneys and balloons
© 2013 Bob Harvey

From above, one can more easily see the tall grace and the pointed capstones of the fairy chimneys!

We went very high sometimes, looking down on other balloons and the erosion patterns.© 2013 Bob Harvey

We went very high sometimes, looking down on other balloons and the erosion patterns.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

One can really get a sense of a deep layer of tuffa, of capstone layers, and of active erosion from the air.

Dancing with fairy chimneys© 2013 Bob Harvey

Dancing with fairy chimneys
© 2013 Bob Harvey

It’s also exciting to come down amongst the chimneys… to feel like you are dancing in and out and can almost reach out and touch the chimneys!

Chimneys and balloon© 2013 Bob Harvey

Chimneys and balloon
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Ballooning is about perspective!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Ballooning is about perspective!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

In retrospect, there was not one angle on the unique formations of Cappadocia that I was disappointed in!  From inside out, and outside in.  From down looking up and up looking down.  This is an amazing natural and cultural combo that is so much fun to design images with – and so interesting to learn about!

 

I’m having too much fun with Cappadocia – the next post will be?  Oh, I need to show you a few more places in this magical region before we move on to the Turquoise Coast!

 

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia Part III

Looking through the doorway© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking through the doorway
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Doorways and windows in the carved dwellings of Cappadocia look out to other structures – and to the fairy chimney formations.  The doorway above, is the same doorway pictured in the final image of the previous blog.

Challenging light© 2013 Bob Harvey

Challenging light
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Today’s photographic technology, with its wider dynamic range (both in camera and post-processing software) has created new opportunities to “see” both the sparsely lit interiors and the bright exteriors.  That opens the door to exciting compositions that simply weren’t possible just a few years ago.  And Cappadocia is an exciting place to compose with these new parameters!

Doorways and windows look across to more of the same.  The brick-like pattern out the door on the right is tuffa blocks used to build a mosque half in and half out of the hillside.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Doorways and windows look across to more of the same. The brick-like pattern out the door on the right is tuffa blocks used to build a mosque half in and half out of the hillside.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The experience of finding a doorway, slipping inside, and then seeing the “solid” leftovers of life in a cave house is amazing.  Looking from the windows and seeing “the neighborhood” is really astounding.  Hopefully the images capture a little of the sense of how this magic place feels.

Doorways and windows everywhere.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Doorways and windows everywhere.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

So many dwellings, each with several photographic possibilities.© 2013 Bob Harvey

So many dwellings, each with several photographic possibilities.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

View into world of fairy chimneys.© 2013 Bob Harvey

View into world of fairy chimneys.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

There was no way that our research prepared us for how special Cappadocia is.  Nor for the amazing photographic possibilities that this magic place has to offer a photographer who takes the time to “work the scene” and use today’s technology!

Next post, Cappadocia by hot air balloon!

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia Part II

Inside tuffa dwelling© 2013 Bob Harvey

Inside tuffa dwelling
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The tuffa-carved dwellings feature quite elaborate designs.  Today’s post focuses on the interiors of these amazing buildings – which have been built by a number of cultures over the past 2,000+ years!

Another interior view© 2013 Bob Harvey

Another interior view
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Alcoves were carved into walls© 2013 Bob Harvey

Alcoves were carved into walls
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Sometimes dwellings had several layers with stairways or stone ladders connecting them.  Some of these are exposed when the outside layers break off with time.

Stone ladder to an upper room© 2013 Bob Harvey

Stone ladder to an upper room
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Photography of these interior rooms is really enhanced by 14 bit capture and current generation processing and noise management© 2013 Bob Harvey

Photography of these interior rooms is really enhanced by 14 bit capture and current generation processing and noise management
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The next post will concentrate on windows and doorways, looking from the interior rooms to the greater scene.

 

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia, Part I

Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The Cappadocia region of Turkey sits between two volcanoes.  Over time, those volcanoes deposited a deep layer of volcanic tuffa in the region – in places up to a mile deep.  This soft rock was easily eroded.  In places a harder capstone slowed erosion, resulting in shapes that sometimes resemble inverted ice cream cones – called fairy chimneys.  Early inhabitants found that the rock was easy to abrade – and were able to carve shelters inside.

Fairy chimney with dwelling© 2013 Bob Harvey

Fairy chimney with dwelling
© 2013 Bob Harvey

In the early days of Christianity, whole valleys were devoted to monasteries.  The inhabitants could hide away in seclusion – and come out of the valley when it was time to interface the world.

Other places whole communities used the soft tuffa for dwellings, flour mills, churches, mosques, and centers of commerce.

Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Collapsed fairy chimney© 2013 Bob Harvey

Collapsed fairy chimney
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The soft rock was easy to carve, but it was also weak.  Sometimes it collapsed or parts of it gave way.

Exposed parts of dwellings carved into tuffa.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Exposed parts of dwellings carved into tuffa.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Next post, we’ll look inside some of the carved dwellings.

 

 

 

 

 

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