Widely known as the ‘Eye of Istanbul’, Ara Güler may be best known outside his native Turkey for the iconic images featured in Orhan Pamuk’s memoir, Istanbul: Memories and the City, which beautifully illustrate the notion of hüzün (a sort of nostalgic longing, similar to portuguese saudade).
He still takes photographs and always carries a camera with him. “I don’t know how many cameras I have, but it’s above 50. I don’t use an expensive $8,000 camera, but a $600 camera. The result is very beautiful, I like it,” he says. He’s a master of photography, and has nearly two million photographs in his archive, and most of them have still never been shared (he doesn’t want a public museum).
Here are some of those two million photographs, let them captivate you with nostalgia, melancholia, hüzün, saudade…
(this is a photo from Istanbul: Memories and the City that always stayed with me. I remembered it so clearly, although I read the book years ago)
For more of his amazing work, go to the official website.
P.S. When in Istanbul – Ara can still be found every day at Ara Kafe, just below his old house, near Independence Street (Istiklal Caddesi).