The taming of Brunhilda on the streets of Istanbul

Time out in Istanbul

This is going to be a long post - please take the time for it to load for all the images.  The title of this post may also sound a little weird for several reasons and its all because my 10 year old daughter decided to name my new Sony A7R II. The name she gave it was "Brunhilda". I'm not quite sure what she meant by giving it the name of Brunhilda, but it has become a bit of a joke around the house (even when I was booking flights). A search of the name results in quite a bit of interesting reading material, though there seems to be some consensus that it is a name that means "armor-clad maiden who rides into battle". To some extent, its just that! It is an amazing little mirrorless camera, which has received many positive and somewhat outstanding reviews. It is also the first camera that has really caught my interest in the camera world for quite some time. Having used the previous version of this camera I was less then impressed, but there has been some major changes since that first release (including some excellent lens announcements).

For most of you that know my shooting style and preferences I tend to use a mixture of Olympus and Panasonic cameras with a little bit of "other" thrown into the mix, depending on what I do. I have been using Sony NEX 5/A6000 cameras, Nikon full frame and even canon cameras (usually with a magic lantern hack), for various jobs or teaching. I believe it is all about choosing the right tool for the task at hand and this is something I teach my students. For video I always had my trusty Panasonic GH4 and Blackmagic Pocket Camera with me and I absolutely loved the innovation that came with the Olympus cameras for still photography - especially that 5 axis image stabilisation (which I still believe is one of the best around). Working with different camera's and lenses teaches you to adapt your shooting styles and to experiment with new ways of doing things, however, moving between systems can be a costly experience, especially when you have a varied shooting style.

With Brunhilda (the Sony A7R II), I suddenly had 42 megapixels to work with, a shallower depth of field (then I'm used to) and a menu which was going to take a lot of learning. Some reviewers have even refereed to using this camera as being close to using a medium format camera (and to some extent I would agree). I couldn't adapt any of my previous shooting styles to this camera and I really needed to learn a lot or as I initially mentioned "tame" her to do what I wanted to achieve. I think I have now partially achieved this through a recent holiday to Fraser Island (worlds largest sand island located in Australia) and a work trip to Istanbul and Tokyo, but I'm still learning. I know I have more to learn but my confidence in using the camera has definitely increased and the best advice I can give for learning about this camera (or most cameras in fact) is to draw on your knowledge of photography basics and put these into place as you shoot and learn. The camera is not perfect but then again, I don't think I have ever found that perfect camera. For me I would love to see a number of changes (including a touch screen - yes I know many disagree, but lets have it as an option), but I also appreciate the many wonderful things this camera brings - especially that auto-tracking eye focus which is phenomenally good. The images below are all taken with the Sony A7R II and mainly with the  Loxia 35mm lens (a beautiful manual focus lens). A small sample of these can also be found in my gallery under Istanbul - if you are finding this page too long to load or just want to see a selection.  They are in no particular order as I attempted to capture the essence of what I saw through my lens in Istanbul. These photos are also seriously not full quality either.  If you really need the raw photo then please contact me as they are too large to link from here.

Only for woman (iso 1000, f/8, 1/250th sec) 

This is one of the few photos I took in portrait.  A very large majority were taken in landscape as per my usual shooting style.  The settings I used for this photo were not optimal but I recall having just taken another photo where I wanted f/8 and a minimum shutter speed of 1/250th sec. 

National soccer moves (iso 400, f/5.6, 1/250th sec)

Forms of bodies (iso 400, f/4, 1/250th sec)

Where the locals shop! (is0 100, f/5.6, 1/125th sec)

The myth of cats (iso 640, f/5.6, 1/250th sec)

A bus with people (iso 500, f/8, 1/250th sec)

The intensity of blue eyes (iso 2500, f/8, 1/60th sec) - need to learn to control the iso here.  There was no need for such a high iso.

Market girls! (iso 1600, f/8, 1/200th sec)

Thats not a smile! (iso 400, f/8, 1/125th sec)

Eye popping strawberries (iso 800, f/4.5, 1/60th sec)


Just fish!

All body types on display

Each half has a story

How many stories in a picture?

So close to a mattress!

Time for a chat

Rain protection

Street Fashion

Hanging with friends

Thats a smile!

On the streets!

At work pose

This is my place

Portrait of a musician

Multiple reflections

Sun, food and a phone call

Its a job!

A friendly smile

Poster boy


Think more

Yellow and green

Market shopping

These olives!


Time out in Istanbul (iso 160, f/8, 1/250th sec)

Game time (Iso 1250, F/8, 1/250th sec)

In his sights (iso 800, f/8, 1/60th sec)

Balloon popping (iso 100, f/8 1/250th sec)

Stair stares (iso 1600, f/8, 1/250th sec)

Istanbul stars (iso 500, f/8, 1/60th sec)

Divided (iso 200. f/8, 250th sec)

For the slightly Deranged Collector (iso 500, f/8, 1/250th sec)

Only a matter of time (iso 1000, f/5.6, 1/250th sec)

My business (iso 800, f/6.3, 1/40th sec)

Telefon protection (iso 400, f/8, 1/60th sec)

Hello Istanbul! (iso 3200, f/7.1, 1/60th sec)

Sadly, its raining! (iso 640, f/8, 1/60th sec)

The clarity of age (iso 320, f/4, 1/400th sec)

An Intense moment (iso 125, f/2, 1/125 sec)

Its off to work!

A comfortable chat

Sweet corn

High voltage dining

The red shoes

Uncomfortable poses


The blue suitcase

This way!

The lawn mowers

This is the way

Tea time!

Staying dry

Rays of light

The market boys

Fish and seasoning

Solid foundations

The haul home

The juice hand

The background to fishing

Where umbrella's count

Hands up

Now and then

Time out

A market on every street

The busy streets by night


Sunrise in Istanbul

Another day on the streets

Paving the streets

Working with shadows

Paint colours

National pride

The girls

Sunset over Istanbul

The many lights of Istanbul

Awaiting the juice extraction process



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