Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 4 comments

Istanbul Photo Contest

I am the queen of procrastination. Not only that, I am a horrible succumber to the tyranny of the urgent, leaving those projects that I am truly passionate about until I "have time," which, of course, never happens.

A few months back, I read about a photo contest open only to foreigners. The subject was Istanbul. I thought, "Istanbul and photography - two of my most beloved things. This is for me!" I have thousands and thousands of photos of the city (and am always on a quest for more), so I thought surely I could come up with five photos to enter, and at least one would have a shot at winning. But, as happens, fall was crazy busy, and I kept putting it off.

On the first of November, I was up in Istanbul getting ready to see my mom off after her month here. I was going to have a few spare days in the city after that, and I thought, "Okay, I'll devote some time to this then, and I'll deliver my entry in plenty of time for the November 15th cutoff." That night, I just "happened" to look on the website for the contest, and I realized that all along I'd had the wrong deadline date in my head, and the contest, in fact, finished on November 1st - that day! It was, at this point, after 10 PM - too late to run down to the contest headquarters which was, ironically, just a 10 minute walk from where we were staying. I was kicking myself for being so careless and for procrastinating on something I'd been so excited about.

Still, I thought, if the contest were to close at midnight that night, maybe I could head over there first thing in the morning, CD in hand, smile sweetly and say in perfect Turkish, "It's still October 31st in my home time zone...." I'm pretty adept at talking myself in and out of things in Turkey, so it was worth a shot. So I scrounged my hard drive for five shots I was proud of, burnt them onto a CD (always carry extra blank CDs!) and set my alarm clock.

The next morning, I got up early, got the hotel reception guy to let me print off the entry form, deposited Mom at Starbucks (where we later played a killer last game of Speed Scrabble) and took off running down the road to the contest office. Googlemaps proved to be less helpful than I'd hoped, and it took me lots of wrong turns and parking attendants' shrugged shoulders before I finally located the building tucked away on a little back alley. Breathless, I ran up the stairs....only to find the office locked up tight. Blast.

I decided I'd come this far, I wasn't giving up now. I scribbled a polite note on the CD envelope asking them to please, pretty please forgive me for being "a few hours late" and accept my entry, wedged it under the door and hoped for the best.

For the next couple of weeks, I kept checking back on the site to see if they'd posted the winners, and then eventually just forgot about it. I figured that if I'd won, they would've emailed me. Sigh. But then, just after Christmas, I checked back again, and they'd posted the winning three shots! I was disappointed to see that none of mine were among them, but I figured that's what I get for not entering on time. But then, as I scrolled down a bit, I saw that they had chosen a number of runners up and were going to display their photos in an exhibition....and there was my name on the list! (That's mercy, I'm telling ya!)

I've yet to be able to learn which photos were chosen, but I do know that two of my five are going to be in an exhibition in the Taksim Metro Station (perhaps the busiest transport hub of the city) from March 1-20. I am so excited!!! I'm going to be up there for the opening on the 1st. If you're around, come check it out!

Here are my five entries:

Pigeon Chasers - Yeni Camii, Eminonu

Golden Train Station - Haydarpasa, Kadikoy

Next Door Neighbours - Kuzguncuk

Laundry Day - Beyoglu

Corner House - Balat

Check out the winners here.


I LOVE THE FIRST ONE!!!!! the laundry one is my second favorite though!

Yes, the first one is great! I am a fan of the train station as well!

Wow. I'll be sure to check it out. I've passed several dozen exhibits there, the only one that enticed me to come in was a bunch of robots playing musical instruments.

yes, i would definitely say the first one is my favourite - although they are all fabulous pictures.....