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Turkey - Brand New Day over The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) in Istanbul | by © Lucie Debelkova /
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Turkey - Brand New Day over The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) in Istanbul

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The cascading domes and six slender minarets of the Sultanahmet Mosque (better known as the "Blue Mosque") dominate the skyline of Istanbul. In the 17th century, Sultan Ahmet I wished to build an Islamic place of worship that would be even better than the Hagia Sophia, and the mosque named for him is the result. The two great architectural achievements now stand next to each other in Istanbul's main square, and it is up to visitors to decide which is more impressive.


One of the most notable features of the Blue Mosque is visible from far away: its six minarets. This is very unique, as most mosques have four, two, or just one minaret. According to one account, the Sultan directed his architect to make gold (altin) minarets, which was misunderstood as six (alti) minarets. Whatever the origins of the unique feature, the six minarets caused quite a scandal, as the Haram Mosque in Mecca (the holiest in the world) also had six minarets. In the end, the sultan solved the problem by sending his architect to Mecca to add a seventh minaret. The other striking feature of the exterior is the beautifully-arranged cascade of domes that seem to spill down from the great central dome. The arcades running beneath each dome add further visual rhythm. None of the exterior is blue - the name "Blue Mosque" comes from the blue tiles inside.


As for this shot, it is all about location !! When choosing hotel in Istanbul I made sure that at least one blue hour (particularly the morning one) could be taken from a place as close to the hotel as possible. At the end this shot was taken from the hotel's top terrace, therefore I only had to go 2 floors up. I only wish all morning blue hour shoots would be so easy, plus that delicious breakfast with such a view after I finished with the photography was just an added bonus.


Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Lens: EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Photo Focal length: 70.00 mm, Aperture: 13, Exposure time: 13.0 s, ISO: 100


All rights reserved - Copyright © Lucie Debelkova


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Taken on November 7, 2009