Any local will tell you that there is more to Istanbul than the mosques, and yet they are everywhere. Two in particular are "must sees" for tourists: The Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia has an amazing history. It's been a Christian church, a mosque, and now a museum. In person it's an inspiring reminder of what human beings can achieve. Between the years 500 and 600, it was built completely and then rebuilt after a fire in only six years. It's a major spot for tourists so while I took in the gorgeous structure I also took in the tourists. I was a tourist, photographing tourists, photographing what I was photographing. Istanbul Inception!
The Blue Mosque is an active mosque where you may go in—shoes off, ladies' heads covered—and see its beautiful interior. Another inspiring building with a long history.
I really loved getting to be a tourist for a change. In my line of work you wind up seeing a place mostly while working. You're mentally crossing Ts and dotting Is from your shot list, managing equipment while many people around you are truly "in the moment." This trip had more than a few of those moments, and I'm so glad it did.
More Istanbul posts to come!