Social Media Likes – Redux

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Well, broke my own record, again. I just finished scanning a series of Agfa CT 21 slides taken in Istanbul in January, 1977. They were taken with my lovely Pentax KX, about 6 months after I bought it, and most were shot with the excellent Pentax 55mm F/1.8 lens.

I posted a single image on facebook, across the usual film groups, and this time also in Pentax groups. The original slide was in generally good condition, and the colours were clear to see, although it had developed an overall purplish cast. I followed my normal process of scanning and restoration.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

Thanks again to the two main film groups on facebook, Film Photographers and 35mm Film Photography, this photograph comfortably made my top 20.

As I looked at the images, I could see that I have much better shots of the ‘tourist’ side of Istanbul, a city i have visited many times since. But the street photographs were something else. I opted to post a 5-slide series taken close to Sultanahmet, with this as the ‘lead’ image.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

I was very pleased with the colour reproduction – slightly muted, but then CT 21 (100 ISO) always was versus its slower brother CT 18. With a  little fixing of dynamic range and a tad of sharpening, it proved to be an interesting series.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

You can’t quite read the newspaper in this photograph, but I think this might be my favourite.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

And whilst this might be composed  little better, I think it works. I continue to note how, like most people of the time, I only took single images with no attempt to create a ‘safety’ shot. Slide film of all kinds was unforgiving of blown highlights, and the format forced the photographer to get the framing right at the time of shooting.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

I usually correct the verticals when I restore images, as I have a bit of a thing about upright lines. But I do not crop beyond that.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

The five image series is now running at almost 2500 likes on facebook, beating the previous record of 1770 from a couple of weeks ago.

There were others around Galata that I also particularly like, though I haven’t posted.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

The full series is here. Obviously, some are better than others, But I kept them all as there is a moment in history, here.

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

I was gratified by the many positive comments and questions about the work – some even drawing similarities with Ara Güler’s work (which is more than flattering). I was also asked about black and white rendition, so I did this:

Mick Yates. 1977. Streets of Istanbul.

Personally, I prefer the colour – even though black and white has much charm and perhaps draws the eye more directly to the boy playing in the street. Of course, black and white is also easier to process – no need to fiddle with colour balance – and it covers some of the flaws inherent in old colour materials.

What do you think?
………………..

GÜLER, Ara. 2009. Ara Güler’s Istanbul. London: Thames & Hudson.

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