His photos are beautiful.
Ara’s attentiveness to the inhabitants of Istanbul’s back streets — the fishermen sitting in coffee shops and mending their nets, the unemployed men getting inebriated in taverns, the children patching up car tires in the shadow of the city’s crumbling ancient walls, the construction crews, the railway workers, the boatmen pulling at their oars to ferry city folk from one shore of the Golden Horn to the other, the fruit sellers pushing their handcarts, the people milling about at dawn waiting for the Galata Bridge to open, the early-morning minibus drivers — is evidence of how he always expressed his attachment to the city through the people who live in it.
The crucial, defining characteristic of an Ara Guler photograph is the emotional correlation he draws between cityscapes and individuals.
These two are oddly familiar. The hill, the cobblestones, the houses bearing down, no street lamps. Maybe from a photo I saw as a child.
And this one … What do you see? No refrigeration. Manual labor.
All of the photos tell a story. Perhaps that’s what makes a good photographer.