Travel Photography – Istanbul

Turkey, Ottoman Empire

This is the only transcontinental city in the world.The Bosphorus Straits splits the city into two, the west side is in Europe while the east wide is in Asia. This is a city with 2600 years of history and was once the capital city of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire. East and West civilization meet here, Christianity and Islam coexist here, tradition and modernity collide here.It has been known for its excellent geographical location, rich historical sites and fascinating fusion cultures since ancient times. Its mosque, museums, churches, palaces, fascinating buildings, small streets and lanes, have so many people falling in love with it and keep coming back; this is Istanbul, a beautiful city created by the fusion and conflict.


This is a photographer’s Paradise. With its rich culture, magnificent ancient buildings and the people. There is definitely no lack of interesting subjects to photograph.Here I will share some photos taken in this wonderful city.


Blue Mosque is without doubt Istanbul’s landmark building. The magnificent, unique and luxurious Mosque was built during the Ottoman Empire. The blue mosque got its name because of blue-glazed tile of the internal walls of the mosque. In fact, its real name should be the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii). It is also the center of old Istanbul. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I, 1609-1616.

Aya Sofya is located opposite the Blue Mosque. Before 1453, it has been the Byzantine Empire’s main church, it was later occupied by the Turks and converted into a mosque. This is a famous historical building in Turkey,it was being built from the year 325 AD. The Aya Sofya building we see today has been through a series of the wars, reconstruction and expansion. It represents part of Byzantine culture and the mosaic of the cathedral mural will tell you the history and let you appreciate the beauty of Byzantine art.

Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn Bay, is the main gateway of Istanbul. Galata Bridge has gone through several reconstructions, the existing Galata Bridge is the fifth in history and was completed in 1994. The length of the Bridge is about 490 meters. The middle section of the bridge can be opened to allow ships to pass through. Since the 19th century, the bridge is often mentioned in Turkish literature and art.

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest Bazaar in the world. It is so large that it has 26 entrances, with at least 58 indoor streets and over 4,000 shops. Built by Sultan Mohammed II from 1455 to 1461, the Grand Bazaar consists of 12 main buildings, with 22 doors, mainly selling jewellery, ceramics, spices, carpets and other items. Many of the stalls are centrally managed, such as leather and gold jewellery. You can find almost everything in Grand Bazaar including scarf, clothes, gold, carpets, blue glasses, apple tea, desserts, coffee and other kinds of Turkish local products. When shopping, be sure to keep your eyes open to watch out for all kinds of temptations and traps. This is a good place to exercise your bargaining skills.

Turkish kebab is very famous. It is a must try when visiting Turkey. Delicious food does not mean you have to go to the restaurant, those kebab and street food are also very yummy.Want to try some light food, you can also easily find grill corn, chestnuts, crispy sesame bagels on the streets.The Turkish ice-cream is also a must try. Not only it is delicious, the ice-cream seller will perform various action to amuse you to delight your day.



Watercolor brushes

Watercolor brushes come in different shapes, sizes and built with different materials. Which brushes meet your needs and budget? Let’s go through this in this article.

Brush material

The hair used to build the brush is the most important. There are many types as listed below:

Natural animal hair

Many watercolor brushes are made from animal hairs including sable, squirrel, pony and ox hairs.

Sable and squirrel brushes are most commonly used among professional artists for their ability to absorb a lot of water, hold and maintain very fine point at the tip and the spring of the hairs. Among these, the kolinsky sable is the finest and most expensive. Kolinsky sable got its name because the hair is obtained from the tail of the kolinsky, a species of weasel (not really sable). The finest is made from male’s hair only but most on the market are mixed of male and female hairs. Squirrel brushes are slightly lower in price but are still quite expensive. Most of the modern high quality large mop type brushes are made from squirrel hairs. Famous watercolor artists like Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet like to use these types of brushes for both large wash and detail work. Brands like Da Vinci, Escoda, Rosemary all make very good watercolor brushes.

Synthetic hair

If you would like to avoid animal hairs, there are also many brushes made with synthetic hairs and which very good quality nowadays. They have different characteristic then the natural hairs but are also widely used. Some synthetic hairs have been made to mimic the characteristic of sable hairs; they do hold a lot of water as well. Da Vinci Cosmostop Spin series, Rosemary, Escoda Synthetic, Loew Cornell synthetic are some good synthetic brushes to be considered.

Brush Shapes

Round brush

Round brushes are the most widely used among watercolor artists for its versatility. They have a round body that holds adequate paint for painting large areas and have a rounded point (especially good quality round brushes) for painting fine lines for detailed work.

For beginners who will be working on medium size painting, round brush size 8 for large stroke and size 4 for more detailed stroke is sufficient.


Mop is mainly for painting large areas like wetting paper or painting skies. They contain large quantity of soft hairs (usually squirrel or goat hairs) to absorb a lot of water and pigments.

Flat brush

Flat brushes have flat shape and straight edge and is usually rectangular in shape. They are mainly used for painting rectangular objects like walls, bricks, etc but it is also possible to use the edge of the flat brushes to paint small details. Besides, large flat brushes can also be used for large area washes as they hold a lot of water and pigments.

Use 1 inch or larger flat brush for large area wash, 1/2 inch for painting.


Riggers have long and pointed hairs that can hold a lot of pigments. They were originally designed to paint the rigging on boats and that is where the name came from. Nowadays, many artists like to use it for fine details and expressive line work including tree branches, leaves, reflection on the water, etc.