The Russian Revolution of 1917 is said to have received its impetus from an earlier uprising that took place in June of 1905, when the crew of Battleship Potemkin revolted against the Tsarist forces in Odessa. The incident, dramatized in the 1925 film, Battleship Potemkin, is now recognized as one of the most important films in the history of the cinema. Indeed, the silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein, was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels Worlds Fair in 1958.
A memorable scene in the film has the Tsarist soldiers firing into the innocent crowd, and in the bedlam that ensues, a baby carriage that has gotten away from the childs mother, is seen rolling down the endless steps. In order to see an 83 year old photo of these steps, please click on Odessa Steps.
I had visited Odessa and seen these remarkable steps twice before. The first time was in May of 1975 on a cruise of the Royal Viking Sea, when the Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union; then again in 1998 when the Silver Wind, belonging to the Italian Silver Seas Line visited, and Ukraine had gained its independence. Finally, less than two weeks ago I was giving lectures on the Crystal Serenity, and visited Odessa again. This is a simple photograph shot in the late afternoon, shortly before the Serenity sailed out from Odessa for the Romanian Port of Constanta. Earlier in the day, the steps were far more crowded, but many of the people ascending or descending, reported the full count as 192 steps.
After a sojourn of one full month, it is good to be back at Trekearth. Just before leaving Washington, DC on July 29, I met with Dan Kohanski (Wandering_Dan). Then in Europe, specifically in Barcelona I spent a day with José Pires (stego); and in Istanbul, Izzet Keribar (keribar), Ahmet Gedikli (ahmetgedikli), Setenay Süzer (setenay), Burak Erek (berek), Zeynep Erek (zeynepe), Mesut Ilgim (mesutilgim), Mine Kasaboglu (mineelci), Salvator Barki (salvator).
Nikon D200, 28-200 mm, camera steadied on a wall. Shot in RAW.
ChrisJ, phwall, RGatward, maltese, xavshot, carper, PaulVDV, rushfan2112, ahmetgedikli, dareco, TGULUMSER, jhm, Henryk_Bilor, Wandering_Dan, bostankorkulugu, stego, vixchris, salvator, ChrysK, zeca, TopGeo, MLINES, polpo56, stelli, JCG, WepWaWet, zmey, delic, avene, belido, patshoo, pticaruh, Docarmo, isabela_sor, jaywalker, edcone, gezimania has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
ChrisJ (114043) 2008-08-30 19:29
Superb backlighting and a marvellous pov. Good sharpness, with the people adding scale & context. Tfs!
RGatward (20086) 2008-08-30 20:47
Yes, what else could you call this! Fine shot of the iconic scene, and added to my theme.
BWJ (3094) 2008-08-30 21:03
This photo with 192 steps is impressive. Your POV and the inclusion of people portray a strong feeling of the distance to the top of the stairs. Long shadows created by the late afternoon sunlight give nice texture. Also your note is very interesting and informative
Welcome back to TrekEarth after a long time away!
emka (97633) 2008-08-30 22:47
Splendid view of the famous steps. Nice colours and amazing sharpness. It is wonderful to have you in TE again.
maltese (22875) 2008-08-30 22:59
il est des lieux qui sont passé dans l'histoire et que le cinéma a permis d'immortaliser à jamais...comme ici.
Une belle idée de saisir cet endroit maintenant rempli de touristes mais qui restera toujours comme un lieu de lutte!!
Du bon travail, amicalement
Morac (27723) 2008-08-30 23:17
Superb backlighting and a marvellous.
Splendid view of the famous steps.
Nice colours and amazing sharpness.
xavshot (69835) 2008-08-30 23:18
belle perspective sur ces escaliers; j'aime bien le grapisme que cela donne. Tu as bénéficié d'un belle lumière qui permet de faire ressortir les marches.
carper (96) 2008-08-30 23:35
very nice to see you back dear Bulent,
yes with a little fantasie iyou can see here the tower of a battleship. you had not luck with the light here but even that I like the idea for the shot, good photojob, nice to have you back Bulent. Have a nice day.
setenay (7706) 2008-08-31 0:45
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Gezinizin fotoğraflarını merakla bekliyorduk.Çok çarpıcı bir konu ile başlamışsınız,gelmiş geçmiş en ünlü ve etkileyici film olan Potemkin Zırhlısının çekildiği merdivenleri sizin mükemmel sunumunuzla tanımış olduk.Harika perspektif ve simetri ile merdivenlerin görkemini çok güzel göstermişsiniz etrafındakı ağaçlarla nefis kompozisyon oluşmuş. Rusların binaları caddeleri gibi merdivenleride devasa yapıda .Limandan yorgun dönenler 192 basamağı nasıl çıkarlar anlamak zor ,hiç bana göre değilmiş.Bizde eşimle Bayramda bir haftalık Kuzey Kafkasya gezisi için vize başvurusu yaptık çıkmasını bekilyoruz, umarım alabilriz.
Sinema tarihine damgasını vurmuş bu ilginç yapıyı sayenizde görmüş olduk,elinize sağlık,tebrik ediyorum.Selam,saygı ve sevgilerimle
PS.Geziniz sırasında tanıştığınız TE.yelerinin arasında adımın olmasından onur duydum,benim için ne büyük mutluluk.İki yıl önce TE.e rastladığım ve bu vesile ile sizlerin dostluğunu kazandığım için kendimi bir kez daha kutladım
phwall (6785) 2008-08-31 0:54
A timely reminder of the atrocities of the past. Compelling to view such a peaceful scene that was once the location for so much unnecessary bloodshed.
The afternoon light serves you well, wonderful definition on the stairs.
rushfan2112 (2965) 2008-08-31 0:56
Excellent photo. It works on many levels - historically to aesthetically. It would have been easy to crop in closer but the huge expanse is the story itself.
Maybe a darker (more silhouetted) B&W or sepia version? I might have a go at a WS if that's okay. See what you think.
Kind regards, Paul.
zeynepe (0) 2008-08-31 1:02
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
This is a masterpiece of history ...According to your fantastic note & splendid compo, it looks as Odessa is remarkable, exciting, marvelous ...In the image, the combination of the awesome graphical effects of the steps and the shadows of the models is Spectacular!
I really wonder your other photos of this location.
I was so glad to meet you and your wife & sister.I only wish we had more time together to chat with your family :D
Please send my greetings to Carol and Gulseren Hn.
Have a nice Sunday,
ahmetgedikli (25605) 2008-08-31 1:22
Hocam yine nefis bir konuyla döndünüz. Mekan ilginç, konu ilginç, o kadar merdiven nasıl çıkılır? Allah'a sığınıp devam etmekten başka çare yok!
dareco (17134) 2008-08-31 2:00
Haven't seen you for awhile :) A very pretty picture today with excellent detail and pov. Also a very interesting and informative note. TFS and have a happy day!
PaulVDV (29019) 2008-08-31 2:13
Thanks for the historical note. The light on the steps is very good. Sun and shade make these remarkable steps stand out better. Thanks to the many people on the picture we have a better feeling how endless these steps are.
Best regards, Paul
tetixxx (2383) 2008-08-31 4:43
güzel bir açı yakalamışsınız...merdiven üzerindeki insanlarla çok güzel bir fotoğraf olmuş.emeğinize sağlık
TGULUMSER (13252) 2008-08-31 4:47
Hello Bulent Bey,
Welcome back to TE again. Hope you had a great time during that period and in Turkey visit. Your POV here and the depth of the photo are very nice. A magnificant composition enriched with informative notes.
Wish you a nice sunday, best regards,
anokutan (15097) 2008-08-31 7:45
Bülent bey merhaba,
Nefis bir ışık kullanımı.harika bir derinlik.Grafiksel etkisi de olan çok güzel bir kare.Selam ve sevgiler.
Kielia (24077) 2008-08-31 8:44
you are right, the film directed by Eisenstein and the music written by Shostakovitch performed at Odense by the Odense Symphonyorchestra is unforgettable for me. I still recall the very strong impressions I felt when I look at your photo. For me this photo is the occasion to offer my deepest sympathy with all the people living in that region.
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2008-08-31 8:45
A lot of stair :). Nice capture, good that with these people and their shadows. Good light and perspective.
P.S. I`m glad about the translation, although I prefer to read it in original language, especially this one book with the dedication ;).
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2008-08-31 9:04
Merhaba. Bulent, and welcome back! We had a great time meeting you and Carol Jean, and it was gracious of you to take time out from your busy packing for this trip.
A nice first shot from your trip, too. I like the head-on POV, which creates a great sense of perspective, and shows the scattered figures to good advantage. (You've got a bit of light leakage at the top, though.) The sepia workshop is also interesting, especially given the scene's connection to the 1925 movie.
Good to see you back!
bostankorkulugu (42430) 2008-08-31 13:14
bana da okuduğum bir kitabı hatırlattı bu merdivenler... sizinle görüşemediğimiz için çok üzgünüm sevgili profesör... umarım en kısa zamanda tekrar gelirsiniz...
pitzimba (382) 2008-08-31 13:38
wonderful point of view of this steps and thanks for your photo of the film.
I 'm sure that you have got a good trip in a wonderful places.
I read that you have meet some peoples of TE. I hope that you come another day in Italy, in Genoa. I promise you the famous "pesto" (a sauce with basilico)!
vixchris (284) 2008-08-31 15:18
Thank you Bulent for a very interesting note and for portraying these steps in this magnificent way, depicting how imposing they are. Glad to hear you are back from your cruise. Waiting to see more pics from your journeys,
yedirenk (11244) 2008-08-31 16:44
Merhaba Bülent hocam,
harika bir ışık kullanımı ve enfes grafiksellik.bakış açınız ve derinlikte çok etkileyici.elinize sağlık.selamlar
hyasar (7773) 2008-08-31 19:15
perspektif, simetri, derinlik, golgeler, insanlar, basamaklar nefis olmus. ellerinize saglik.
jhm (152938) 2008-09-01 2:10
Hello friend Bulent,
You found the big stair in Russia, more definite in Ukraine.
Not easy for take with the backlight, this gives the long shadow of people, but difficult for nice sharpness.
I can not see your ISO, and exposure this is very important, generally show you us a nice perspective and depth image.
Very well done, TFS.
salvator (19110) 2008-09-01 2:48
Hello Bulent Bey,
Wonderfully seen and composed with a superb pov. The thinning our steps and crowd, the sharpness and details look absolutely wondeful. Backed by superb notes.
I wish you an excellent week. Best personal regards.
PS. O seref bana ait. It was indeed very nice to have met you.
stego (24132) 2008-09-01 9:12
Hello my friend,
I recognised this staircase as soon as I read the title and saw the thumbnail. Although I am not much of a "cinephile" (I don't know if the word exists in English, it's a synonym for cinema enthusiast and connoisseur), this is the second time I rest very happy with myself by recognising a scene inspired on that memorable film. The other occasion was when I saw Brian de Palma's "The Untouchables", which has a scene in the staircase of a big train station in which a baby carriage slips of the mother's hands when there is a shooting and Andy Garcia's character(?) manages to grab it while keep shooting. Only after I had seen the film I have read about the many allegories to famous films that the director used, that scene being one of them.
However, the photo is attractive enough to be interesting even without any references. As usual, the compo is flawless and pleasant, with the help of a great POV. The light could hardly be more adverse, but you cope with it very well, neither the haze or the burnt sky manages to do real harm. In a way I am glad that the ambiance shown has nothing to do with the drama of Eisenstein's scene. At contrary, it is pleasant to see all those people enjoying the sun. Interestingly, it seems to be at least one seaman and he is part of one of the interesting 'stories' told by the photo, as he is posing to his female companion.
PS: Did you received the photos of Barcelona I have sent you?
zeca (19762) 2008-09-01 9:45
Very nice point of view, with almost perfect symmetry. I like the different lights and the shadows from the steps and from the people. Well taken!
gunbud (34066) 2008-09-01 19:32
Love the depth and striking detail of this stairway to ths sky but most of all the very interesting historical note of this world event.
MLINES (12516) 2008-09-02 0:21
Hi Bulent, Welcome back. I look forward to some marine photos very soon. Here the wide angle shows the seriously well constructed steps in Odessa. The people show the huge scale. It is a big job to make steps lok this good. Our 4 we constructed in the garden were tough work! TFS. Murray.
TopGeo (38216) 2008-09-02 0:57
Hi Bulent!Remembers your programs and your passage from Greece but was impossible our meeting! I wish something in the future! I saw your picture and certain elements of film. They are histories that the populations should not live again other untie itself peacefully! I thank for the presentation Good day
Greg1949 (9011) 2008-09-02 5:11
Bulent, you always have such interesting subject matter and you tie it to your photos in great ways, the ws with the frame from the film is a great touch. Great capture, fine presentation and a very worthwhile and notable capture.
amazon (12112) 2008-09-02 7:04
maalesef istanbul'a gelisinizden cok gec haberdar oldum cok da uzuldum,biliyorsunuz ince belli bardakta cay sozum vardi size bogazda...artik bir daha ki sefere ,umarim...
eski sovyetler'in pek cok yapisinda,binasinda hatta yollarinda bile bu devasalik hep var,sanki buyuklugu karsisinda adeta insanin kendisinde caresizmis ya da ne bileyim ufacikmis hissini kuvvetlendiren bir anlayis bu,
iste bu duyguyu cok iyi yansitmissiniz,
polpo56 (15136) 2008-09-02 15:35
Fantastic POV and great management of exposure in this your shot in backlight. Great composition and very interesting note.
P.S.: thank you for your apprecement to my end shot. J am always happy to riceve your visite.
Cretense (68703) 2008-09-03 1:46
Hello dear Bulent!
Very impressive and interesting note, for this excellent photo. Great POV, composition and framing, amazing perspective and depth of field, great WS, too! And what a movie it was the one with the same title! Congratulations!
stelli (2993) 2008-09-03 2:24
Wonderful POV and depth in the picture! Thank you for sharing! Regards Stella
JCG (35129) 2008-09-03 11:41
Famous the 100 steps of the castle of Versailles are beaten here!!! This historical staircase is without end seems it Tragic place in the past which today is very attended. Thank you for the memory and thank you also for the interesting note as usual. I also read that the holidays were the occasion of many meetings.
With all my friendships and with soon,
WepWaWet (3798) 2008-09-04 1:48
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
Bakis acısı ve derinligi mukemmel bir fotograf. Isık ve golgeler ise muhtesem. Sinema tarihi acisindan da oldukca onemli olan bu yeri harika bir sekilde yansitmissiniz. Elinize saglik.
zmey (7335) 2008-09-04 11:19
oh, the famous odessa stairs. almost like in the unforgettable eisenstein's film. thanks for bringing back those memories and the excellent note!
delic (6735) 2008-09-04 12:00
Interesting view with wide steps and sidelight. Strong image thanks to the vantage point. I'm sorry I couldn't make it on Friday. Back-to-back meetings kept me from leaving BU all day. I called Gulseren Hanim but you had already departed. I guess I will have to make up for this by visiting you again since you don't get to come to Istanbul as often. Best wishes,
avene (12675) 2008-09-04 20:16
I think the point of view you have chosen is the best for illustrating how big and dramatic these stairs are. the people certainy help to appreciate the scale, and I also like the perspective that seems to suggest that these stairs go on forever. I'd try playing with levels and curves to boost the saturations, but it seems you had a fairly harsh light and there's only so much you can do about that in postprocessing. but I also think that the context of the photo together with the very good note makes it a valuable addition to the TE gallery.
with best regards,
belido (19934) 2008-09-05 4:33
very interesting perspective of the stairway. I like to see the people filling it and the play between the highligh and shadow which brings details of each step. Great shot and note. I'll check Battleship Potemkin film. Well done!
patshoo (952) 2008-09-05 11:22
Impressive scenery,Strong and greatness expression POV with simple but effective composition of super repetitive of stair step,Well sharpness and light too.Good work,TFS.
Cormac (26565) 2008-09-11 7:58
Nice shot of these famous steps! Of course anyone who has seen the film wants to see the steps, and this shot shows they they really are quite impressive. I hope that one day I will make it there!
Angshu (56758) 2008-09-15 21:02
Hello Professor "A"
It would have been great to have met up with so many illustrious Trekkers. The Odessa steps had indeed been made famous by Eisenstein's great film (perhaps you would also know that this famous last scene was recreated in the film Untouchables, but the setting was in NYC). Nice picture from this iconic place with strong graphic impact of the steps & the shadows of the people across them.
With Warmest Regards
Docarmo (9639) 2008-09-17 21:25
Strong effect of depth! Excellent sharpness in this beautiful backlight view - I like this visual effect, seems mystical.
Thanks for sharing,
cak (4923) 2008-09-22 13:36
ama ne merdiven .sessiz sinemanın insanların yuvarlanıp gittiğine tanıklık ettiği sahnesi olmalı.
giorgimer (34941) 2008-09-22 14:55
superb shot! The scale is really impressive! Good details.
jaywalker (16101) 2008-10-09 14:44
Hi Bulent, A great shot up these stairs & I like the slight off set symmetry, the light creates some super long shadows, very well composed & TFS, kind regards Wilson.
paprika-jancsi (2349) 2008-11-06 14:23
marvellous, enduring image in interesting backlighting. Lucky circumstance. T>Y> janos
serp2000 (44203) 2011-05-02 17:49
I remember this famouse b&w and mute movie from my childhood. And these stairs too. Good graphism, fine point of view and very useful note!
Greetings from Russia!
Didi (60588) 2012-05-12 0:36
Hi dear friend
Very good description of the battle area.
Interesting backlight composition in spite of the hight difference of lights
gezimania (6166) 2012-06-21 0:28
Muhteşem bir mekan burası, merdiven ve tünel gördüğümde neden bu kadar seviniyorum, neden böyle yerlerde defalarca fotoğraf çekmekten kendimi alamıyorum, bu dürtüyü çözemedim bir türlü.. Herhalde burada bir gün geçirebilirim ve Odessa ziyaretim bu merdivenle sınırlı kalırdı :D İyi ki de paylaşmışsınız, iyi ki de göstermişsiniz bu mekanı bizlere, gönlünüze, deklanşörünüze sağlık
Selamlarımı gönderiyorum Türkiye'den..
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (38821)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-08-19
- Categories: Event
- Camera: Nikon D200, 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED AF Zoom Nikkor
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Film locations, Memorable Staircases [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-08-30 18:26