Photographer Yener Torun is a connoisseur of color.
The Istanbul-based architect-turned-artist captures photos that
show modern, vibrant neighborhoods and buildings throughout
cities in Turkey. He’s hoping they’ll show a different side of
the country, which is typically known for having historic,
ornate, Ottoman-style architecture.
“These kinds of buildings aren’t the first things that come to
mind when you think about Turkey,” Torun told Insider.
His unique style of photography has captured the hearts – and
social media feeds – of people around the world.
Keep reading to see some of his most eye-catching photos.
Photographer Yener Torun captures eye-catching shots of multicolored buildings around cities in Turkey.
When Torun shared his first photo on Instagram in
2014, he was focused on taking black-and-white photos of building
exteriors. Later, he experimented with adding pops of color to
parts of his photos, like windowsills and pipes featured in the
facades he captured.
He said he gradually developed his unique style of photography,
capturing architecture with sharp, geometric shapes and dazzling
“I started studying building facades and street views more
closely, and in time, I started to conceptualize more. I took a
more artistic path,” he said. “Ultimately, I wanted to do
something real and new and fresh.”
He’s inspired by geometric buildings that differ from Turkey’s traditional, ornate architecture.
“Instead of focusing on overused, popular themes and locations, I
chose to explore some lesser-known and developing parts of the
city to create something new and fresh. These kinds of buildings
aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think about
Turkey, which is more known for its history. [Its architecture]
is known for being more decorative.”
With his camera in tow, Torun scours industrial districts, hotels, schools, and shopping malls — which he said often feature colorful exteriors.
Torun said location-scouting is one of the most enjoyable aspects
of his photography.
“It’s a really big challenge because you have to search every
corner, but when I find something after a big effort, it’s like
finding a treasure,” he said.
His architectural background helps him spot striking exteriors.
“As an architect for eight years, I’m able to locate these kinds
of buildings a lot easier than it would be if I weren’t an
architect. But it’s still a challenge. In any major city, not
just in Istanbul or around Turkey, there are few buildings with
these vibrant colors,” he said.
He is constantly on the hunt for “hidden treasures,” or captivating, colorful buildings.
“I’m usually also looking in newer parts of cities and areas that
are newer developments. I also ask people because they recommend
places I can visit,” he said.
But stumbling upon a photo-worthy building is only half the battle.
Torun appropriately named this photograph of an apartment
building in Istanbul “Rainbow Popsicle.”
Once he finds a colorful exterior, he returns to the location at different hours to inspect the lighting.
“Light conditions change every time, so I visit the same place at
different hours to see what things change and to utilize the
[best] conditions,” he said.
Despite the instantaneous nature of Instagram, where he shares his colorful finds, Torun said the key to his photography is patience.
“I’m quite patient when it comes to photography because I visit
the same places several times to get the exact thing that I
want,” he said.
Sometimes capturing the perfect shot means returning to the spot over the course of months or a year.
“I sometimes go to a city for a week to explore, so maybe I won’t
be able to visit it for a year. I have to utilize where I’m at,
so I take my time, I’m really patient, and sometimes that means I
wait a few months or a year to get the optimal conditions,” Torun
The photographer said he lives for the hunt of finding an eye-catching location.
“When I’m looking for a certain place, I may stumble upon another
building that wasn’t even in my mind – so sometimes it’s luck,
sometimes I get some information from other people, and sometimes
I’m just walking and wandering,” he said.
He added that the magical moment of capturing a striking photo at the right time is something that will never get old for him.
“It’s rewarding when you find something fascinating and use or
transport it into some sort of art,” he said. “It’s really a
rewarding process for me.”
His advice for budding photographers is to return to a location more than once.
“Revisit the places. It might look different with a second visit.
Your view of it might change,” Torun said.
“It has always been unbelievable that you can do something from a little corner of the world, and some people follow you for your posts on the internet,” Torun said.
The photographer has nearly 160,000 followers on Instagram and
has had his work featured in art shows and galleries around the
“[Having my photos showcased] like this wouldn’t have been
possible 20 years ago. I’m really grateful to my followers and to
Instagram because it provides people like me a platform to make
their voices heard,” he said.
Torun mainly photographs locations in Turkey, but he’ll be snapping away in other cities around the world for upcoming projects.
Find more of the vibrant photos on Torun’s website and Instagram.
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