On the 24th of May, 2017, I knew I had exactly one month before I leave the city of Istanbul for good. Spending my last days saying goodbye to friends and the city itself, I wanted to capture the city highlights, so I can look back and remember the good old days while listening to Yesterday by The Beatles. 

I had only 15 Turkish Lira left in my pocket that day, and I spent it all on film. Being the “best cheap film”, Fuji Superia 200 was my first choice. I used to really like its vibrant colors and saturation compared to the other cheap films. And I had just bought the infamous Olympus Stylus 1 from a second hand camera shop that week so this film was my first roll on the camera.

I started walking around in the historical areas of Istanbul with the Stylus in my pocket and literally thought: “Ok, how do I want to remember this city?” I instantly got into a “street photographer mode” and started shooting everything that’s going on around me, but maybe I should have used black and white, then I would have really become one. 

I walked through the iconic Galata Bridge, taking pictures of the fisher-men. I was supposed to go back home so I took the ferry to cross the other side, from Europe to Asia, which surprisingly doesn’t feel like a special occasion when you do it twice a day. I got so excited that I literally finished the roll before I arrived at home. And went back to Europe (it really isn’t much of a big deal) to get the film developed.

The colors turned out to be really good, it was a sunny and warm day just like in the pictures. I ended up really enjoying the shots, they are not even close to being great but they are special for me. I still look back at them and feel nostalgic.

~ Rana Yalçın


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