Alex Webb · Istabul subjectivity

Istanbul by Webb

Istambul is renowned as a bustling and large city with many dimension to it. It has been described as the city with ‘a hundred names’.


Istanbul, Turkey. 1998. © Alex Webb | Magnum Photos [1]
Webb provides a interesting street base style photo project in Istanbul that looks through the subjective lens of self expression at the city. This stance, according to Sekula, is what can be spoken of as documentary art, a process, we imagine to be in the vein of documentary but not attempting to present an objective picture of the situation. I sometimes wonder what the distinction between objective and subjective would look like. It appears here that Webb has participated in the use of the surreal leaning photo, and in a sense it is difficult to distinguish his style of the surreal as opposed to there photographers that use colour and surrealist expression.

However, I like Webb’s project. Wether or not it expresses his subjective sense of the city or not I cannot entirely decide.

‘I love the feel of the winding streets of Istanbul, that sense that, as a photographer, one steps out the door and every decision made that day—whether turning to the left or to the right, whether going uphill or downhill—leads to a different set of experiences, and hence, a different set of images.’ (Webb, not date)


  1. Webb, A. Instambul, Turkey (1998) [online] [accessed, April 2020]
  2. Webb, A. The city of a hundred names (1998-2005) [accessed, April 2020]

Published by Truevisionphotography

I'm a student photographer studying through the OCA a UK based arts university. I'm in the foundation year of my studies and enjoying it immensely. I'm also a yoga teacher and co-founder of Bodhiyoga a buddhism based yoga teacher training program that runs in the UK and Spain each year. As a photographer I'm interested in all forms of fine art. I find the arts really important in my life. I love nature and aim to be in the outdoors as much as I can. Generally I think that all the different strands of my life are flowing to towards self development in the greatest sense of the term. The arts, buddhist practice yoga and meditation are all tools to that end. I feel committed to communication the these values in the world both through the visual arts as well as teaching.

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