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Yerebatan Cistern in Istanbul

Yerebatan Cistern in Istanbul
Photo Information
Copyright: John van Aarle (JohnTulip) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3349 W: 798 N: 8612] (35303)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-18
Categories: Architecture
Camera: Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF-S 17-85 mm f: 4-5,6 IS USM, Compact Flash 2-2gb
Exposure: f/5.0, 1 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): 90-99 points, brettf1 favs3, Vandana's Favorites I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-07-04 14:54
Viewed: 3648
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 134
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Things to See and Do in Istanbul.

Treklens: If you have just visited the Agia Sofia, your next destination should be the Yerebatan Cistern.

This cistern is thought to have been built after the Nika revolt in 532 AD.

It was known as the Basilica Cistern during the Roman period, as there was a Stoa Basilica above the pre-existing one at the time.

After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten of and nobody knew that it existed. Re-discovered in 1545, it was used to water the gardens of Topkapi Palace.

Visitors to the cistern today descend underground via stairway and use walkways over the remaining water to explore the mysterious cavern.
This huge underground cistern, which measures 70 meters by 140 meters, once held over 80,000 cubic meters of water.

The special brick roof is supported by 336 columns, each over 30 feet tall, and water was pumped through over 40 miles of aqueducts from a reservoir near the Black Sea.
Although the extra water was needed by the city during long sieges, Justinian originally built it to correct water shortages at his nearby Great Palace.

It is very interesting, and well worth a short visit. It is also cool inside and is a welcome respite from the heat outside if you are visiting Istanbul in the summer.

To be honest, this was one of my most impressive encounters.

Tech talk:
* Its quite dark there when you enter underground..
Lamps placed there and I used diffrent settings for light (and honest: this was the automatic setting :-)
*Tripod yes/no I used the balustrade ....shutter speed 1 second .. F 5.0 Iso 1250 (no flash)
*Sharpness? Not100%! I did my best under harsh conditions:
No real tripod and later I rememberd am old hint here in TL, Block the mirror up and put selftimer on. Hope you will forgive me here.

There was by chance a friendly Gentleman , Turkish .. and had a Canon 20D, wich is the predecessor of my 30D
We could not realy talk .. but showed each other our ideas in settings.. so we tried a few times the same..

I made about ?? 30 shots there and this Golden glow came very close. I love the glow.

Bottom line:
James Bond - *From Russia with Love* had a scene in this cistern!!

More about this topic, or/and Istanbul in a general sense,
Click here

Thanks and bye Folks :Çok teşekkürler, Selamlar.

John T

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Colin Powell

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Josine: John, more in DutchJosine 1 07-04 15:27
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Critiques [Translate]

Very much the nice photograph, colours straight out are disarming, such a look at this place, congratulations of the idea and the realization appeal to me yeah and of course trips...

  • Great 
  • mansua Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 613 W: 31 N: 23] (2117)
  • [2007-07-04 15:00]

Excellent photography, very good light control.
Well done.
Congratulations, Greet

Good evening Mr T

Oustanding capture here, well worth all the work. Beautiful colour and well balanced image.Amazing notes as ever :-)

TFS regards Helen

Oh John this is realy something! I first checked that linke you presented and man oh man this Istanbul is realy something.
People always ' staren zich blind op stranden / only think of beach life ' but reading the cheap flight prices Istanbul is absolute a place to write in the agenda, next to rome or Barcelona-London. I love your excellent note , would not have known this has been in existence! Than the photo, super. What a nice reflection to. Perfect light catch here. Groots!!Doei
en groet aan Yolan,

Ben in mei in Istanbul geweest, maar heb dit gemist.
Is weer iets voor de volgende keer.
Knappe foto met een uitstekende belichting.

Wonderful places!I was there!Great shot dear friend!

  • Great 
  • limba3 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1035 W: 476 N: 576] (16751)
  • [2007-07-04 15:40]

Hi John
Good taking for you worked. Who tripod is carrying it has results.

Very well done..Beautiful shot..Bravo..

Sevde V.

Hi John,
I've been to Istanbul 15 years ago, but didn't visit this building. Well ..... I have to go again ..... ;-)
This photo is worth a enlargement or print-on-linnen ! Great colors and sufficient sharpness! ..... was it allowed to take photo's? (This is not always allowed in Istanbul)
Very good job done !

hi john,
I also love there,both for photography and for cooling purposes:-)
and u should also see there when it's art biennale there,very different.
I liked your colors and POV here.

what a beautiful place!and you did it well by your POV so that it isn t symetrical.

Hello John :o)
Fantastic golden wiew ! It seems to me being there ... shot is so excellent. So well balanced image and great note ;o) TFS

great shop my friend.. great reflection and light.. colors are full and intense.. and comunicate the full atmosfere Basilica Cistern..
well done

This is just beautiful, John! Wonderful pov, pillars that look like gold, reflections with the stilness and accuracy of a mirror and lighting to accentuate every pillar.
Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Merhaba John:)
Very well done..Very Beautiful shot and light Tesekkurler:)
Best Wishes,

WOW! Amazing that it lastes so long. Get some engineers now to do something like that and it might (I said might) last 25 years.
Wonderful shot.


This is marvellous shots... the reflections are great, the architectural style are fantastic and your composition are outstandings

Amri HMS

Hi John,
WOW, impressive building!! Fantastic! I love the repeating columns and arches, the lighting is lovely, and the reflections are superb! Well done, great notes too! TFS
Cheers Tina :-)

Hello John :)

One Word: Amazing shot !

Well done, TFS

Kinds regards, Josée

  • Great 
  • Tomek Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1264 W: 44 N: 3160] (18766)
  • [2007-07-04 23:06]

Hi John:)
Again great shot and this place is so unreal but beautiful and you know it how to show that along with perfect exposure... well if you try that 30 times it means that was hard to do it.
TFS and Best Wishes - Tom

  • Great 
  • pozaru Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3627 W: 881 N: 2607] (21386)
  • [2007-07-05 3:46]

What a wonderful light play !!!


John I am in aww.
What a special contribution for Istanbul's beauty.
No flash, a balustrade as tripod, what's next: Hanging upside down on the sealing? Beautiful as usual. Superb detail and colours. This is a great shot my friend.


Hoi John,
Without any doubt and not because "you scratch my back, so I do yours"! But this is an outstanding photo. The colous are so warm the reflection intrigue. An outstanding picture with and interesting note; hence a superb posting my friend!

:) Later...

Hello John,

This is really wonderful photo from you. The golden glow looks fantastic, and beautiful composition and ambience here. KUDOS!

Smiles from Bloomington


Hello John.
Excellent reflections in the floor of this wonderful place.

  • Great 
  • Jens Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 555 W: 53 N: 1139] (4663)
  • [2007-07-05 6:26]

Hey John
Isent it easy, find a good motiv, shout it, present it, enjoi it, what can be more easy, amasing, how do you do, I meen, where do you find it. (I cant se a woman in this shot)

Hi John,

It's a superb image. I love the picture utilizing ambient light. You did great capturing it.

Terima kasih,

  • Great 
  • AJ786 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 743 W: 57 N: 1045] (6681)
  • [2007-07-05 7:30]

Hi John,

Superb shot and outstanding composition, lighting and clarity.

Simply marvellous.



Zonde dat hij niet helemaal scherp is, maar het is ondanks dat een prachtige foto.
Dit moet een heel indrukwekkend gebouw zijn.
Prachtig licht en mooie reflecties!


Hi Bro, gorgeous light, reflections and tone!

Superb work! Great symetry!

Take care, sis :)

A great tour in the underground. This is an excellent shot! Sharp, correct exposure, beautiful composition.

Beautiful comp & light. Wonderful image.

  • Great 
  • jentt Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 180 W: 71 N: 433] (4022)
  • [2007-07-05 8:41]

Hello John
it's a fantastic view with amazing golden tones.
Good sharpness and details. Wondeful.Very well done

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2572 W: 237 N: 6132] (24044)
  • [2007-07-05 10:28]

Stunning work, JOhn! I do love the glow on this one -- it was worth the effort

Merhaba John.
beautiful light and shot. very nice composition and color tones. Thanks for sharing.
Çok teşekkürler arkadaşım.

  • Great 
  • Beger Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3311 W: 1066 N: 5188] (23042)
  • [2007-07-05 11:57]

Hi John,
I am back after a long and busy week with the "Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée"! OUF!
Congratulations for this one, my friend! It is a masterpiece! An exceptionnal site very well captured with the sumptuous and rich colors. Excellent composition too, using the lighting and reflections as a mirror to multiply the beauty of the place. Bravo! Annie

Fabulous study in perspective John! Love the reflections in the water! Really nice nightime shot, you controlled the light well!

wie heeft hier geboend heel knap gedaan wat een weerspiegeling,en wat een lichtspel!ben nog nooit in istanbul geweest maar doe het zeker nog evenals praag, boedapest,rome, barcelona en nog een paar steden op m'n verlanglijstje!

greets en kiss vergeet ook je lieve buren niet!

  • Great 
  • jawa Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1273 W: 0 N: 1] (12005)
  • [2007-07-05 13:58]

Hallo John
Mooie reflectie, mooi licht mooie kleur.
Maar niet helemaal scherp maar dat zijn peanuts.
Gr Jos

  • Great 
  • twin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 350 W: 105 N: 198] (7374)
  • [2007-07-05 14:20]

I have been there a week ago :)
very nice...

  • Great 
  • onkar Silver Star Critiquer [C: 11 W: 0 N: 1] (134)
  • [2007-07-05 15:16]

Hi John

Very nice composition and sharpness. Excellent use of light. Worth appreciation.


Hello John,

Excellent composed and captured photo excelent details very crisp I really like this POV alot with great details very well done and thought out,

TFS Kyle

Hallo John, en ik maar denken dat je met gouden filters had gewerkt - heel erg mooi beeld en een fantastisch stuk geschiedenis.
If you see the atmosphere here in this picture you can imagine that the location scouts for the James Bond Movie, thought it would be worth while shooting some scenes in here!
:)volgen over enkele dagen - beetje achterstand..

  • Great 
  • ttreen Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1317 W: 129 N: 3792] (15759)
  • [2007-07-06 9:21]

Hello John

I did not really understand what we where looking at until I read your detailed notes..
I think you did a wonderful job I would think it would be hard to get a good photo.. but from what I see you did just that! :) I love the gold tones... Also I think its so wonderful that even if you could not understand a fellow photographer you where able to share you information! :)


  • Great 
  • nova Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2441 W: 250 N: 873] (8693)
  • [2007-07-06 9:33]

Very interesting and moody picture.The water is so still that it looks like a mirror.Very spectacular! Nice perspective and composition.Great notes.

Hola JOHN, una granfoto, excelente perspectiva y colorido. TFS


Merhaba(Hi) John;
First; let me thank you very much to visit Istanbul which I live.
I congrats you for your excellent photo of Yerebatan Sarayı. Which captured difficult conditions I know.
Best regards...

  • Great 
  • Mitra Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1153 W: 70 N: 1116] (16)
  • [2007-07-06 15:46]

Excellent shot, great golden colors & light. Well done.

Hi John, considering the circumstances a remarkable result. Lovely golden tones and pure reflections. The water probably still is cleaner than that which comes out of my tap. TFS,

Many thanks for your comment on ‘Foggy Days IV’ and the birthday greetings. I have wandered up that way near those houses, a profusion of powerlines and tangled trees.

  • Great 
  • kbeall Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 513 W: 108 N: 902] (3598)
  • [2007-07-06 23:22]

Hello John,
A beautiful result from your thirty tries! I love the texture as well as the gilded glow on the columns.
There is a remote chance that I may be able to visit Istanbul next year; but I don't dare start hoping yet.

A real mirror effect! They knew how to give a rich texture increased a lot with the spots at the feet of the columns!
Look like a legend of fire will start.

John my wife showed me this one the day you posted, a great photo!! I love it & would be a sight to see! Take care & have a great week-end! :} Don

Hello John:
Perhaps I will never be able to go visit such places, but you have brought this world to be so alive to me...
The history is so facinating and you have again captured this with an amazing warmth to this capture...it is 'alive' and well!!!

A good job indeed, John. Good sharpness for taken without tripot. Good depth too. I like it my friend.

Groetjes n prettig wekend,


  • Great 
  • Ivan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 365 W: 110 N: 268] (3865)
  • [2007-07-07 10:46]

Salut John,
Wow, what composition ! Fantastic reflections and a very well captured special luminosity. Excellent ! TFS.

  • Great 
  • eBirdy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 184 W: 1 N: 60] (1528)
  • [2007-07-07 11:40]

Almost a dream! I must go there! Marta

  • Great 
  • c_rapp Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 933 W: 14 N: 1331] (7535)
  • [2007-07-07 21:42]

Beautifully photographed love the warm lighting! Greta pic TFS

Hi John,
This is a wonderful picture, the colors, light, the composition, everything very well presented,

....could use the cooling-off effect right now: it's hot where we live.
Amazing, not even a ripple - you would think with tourists around, someone would throw something in.....

Selam John,
Excellent Yerebatan Cistern photo my friend.
I like your exposure,lighting,colors,contrast,reflections,sharpness and frame.TFS

Bonsoir John,
An architectural splendour admirably seized by a photographic splendour. I failed the louper, I am slower immediately, but not, it was not to escape from my glance, it's too beautiful, these colours, the reflexion, a jewel.
Kiss my friend. Sorry for my delay.

Spectacular!. The effects in this image are amazing and you captured them well. Good composition, using the lines and shapes to advantage. Nice job:)

Hi John.
Mystic mood on this picture amazed me. Shadows, colors and lights are excellent.
Congratulation and have a nice weekend.
Best Regards

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 482 W: 69 N: 18] (72)
  • [2007-07-21 10:15]

hello my friend
wonderful nocturnal working of this great architecture from our country
composition, point of view, lighting, colours, reflections and framing are great
thanks for sharing

Hi John,
dramatic lighting results here :-)
Sweet mood - The reflections provide a very welcome symmetrical touch.

Well done.
Best regards, Daniel

I love this picture. It's ashame you couldn't capture it without the onlookers or the lights.

  • Great 
  • cycle Gold Star Critiquer [C: 190 W: 0 N: 3] (1873)
  • [2007-08-24 23:56]

Excellent photo.
great perspective and atmosphere.

Hello John! Wonderful point of view. Wonderful architecture. Amaizng perspective, amazing reflection. Good colors. Perfect capture. Good luck!

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