While we were in Istanbul, we had the chance to watch a whirling dervishes ceremony, at the Galata Mevlevi Temple. This is not a show, but a religious ceremony of the Mevlana sect of Sufi Muslims. It takes place only every 2 Sundays, and we were incredibly lucky to be there on one of those Sundays. It was without a doubt the most beautiful, and most moving, religious ceremony I’ve ever watched. The whole ceremony is filled with symbolism, most of it having to do with the abandonment of ego, and the surrender to a state of pure love and peace. The dervishes wear white dresses symbolizing the ego’s death shroud (coloured for women), a special hat symbolizing the tombstone and a black cape the grave. While they are whirling they lean their heads, as if they were severed, so their egos are not present. The palm of one of the hands points to the sky and the other one to the ground, so as to say “We receive from God and give to the humanity. We keep nothing for ourselves.” The whirling works as a type of meditation and the dervishes enter a state of abandonment and peace. I thought I was going to see a bizarre and visually interesting religious cult. Nothing prepared me for the incredible beauty and intensity of the ceremony.
We were not allowed to use flash while taking photos, which worked for the best: the long exposure gives a sensation of movement that would be gone had I used a flash, and the photos turned out a lot nicer this way.
Critiques | Translate
devimeuxbe (58557) 2005-09-07 3:43
Very beautifull scene. I really like the colors, the movement, the frame. All is really well done.
Thanks for your note too.
LeanneMarie (197) 2005-09-07 4:20
A brilliant photo. I can see them moving and twirling around, and the colors and framing are great! A really beautiful capture!!
sarpedon (352) 2005-09-08 12:01
Very nice sceen with a bit of motion and saturated colours. Well done.
sengir (4956) 2005-10-27 7:56
yes, this is indeed incredible. Those people really fascinate me, as this is one of not numerous mystical elements in islam.
Your picture is really good, with use of long exposure you've captured the "magic" of the moment, and also it doesn't stick out so much that it's the ceremony open for tourists
quillo (11856) 2005-10-31 16:26
Hola Ricardo, preciosa ceremonia de luz, color y movimiento, ciertamente fuisteis afortunados por poder disfrutar de ese acto.
Felicidades y un saludo.............. Paco
keribar (43841) 2005-12-02 0:22
Hello again Ricardo,
Just found this one: I think I know how difficult is to get a really good one in this place. This one is really exceptional, you may see some similar ones in my website if you like. www.keribar.com
jbweasle (9395) 2005-12-10 7:07
Hello Ricardo, you have captured the motion superbly well here. Especially with the moving dancers set against the motionless audience. I'm glad you weren't allowed to use a flash! Nice colours too.
xavshot (69835) 2005-12-19 15:23
Bonsoir Ricardo, je ne connaissais pas celle-ci... c'est une photo magnifique avec de superbes couleurs et un beau mouvement d'ensemble; j'aime beaucoup les coloris qui ressortent sur le plancher marron
Clairedelune (4923) 2005-12-23 11:09
I decided to comment on this one too since I find it very beautiful. I think I prefer this one since I think your composition is better. Very rich, warm colors. Nice also to see people around that are looking the whirling dervishes. I think you well managed the setting, just the right timing. Not too much blur, just the right amount. A perfect one!
sarju (5324) 2006-01-06 0:00
You are right about the photos from this place, all of them seem to so different from each other, as if having a different character of their own ... it would have been hard to pick just one photo. But I do like the fact that the feet of the person in blue are visible in this photo ... so this is a complete photo I would say.
thanks for postig the whole series
cheers man .... Sarju
PS: this photo reminded me that i have to send you some music ... oh well I will do it sometime ... it is just that I
berek (50506) 2006-01-16 7:54
very active picture. good framing.
have a nice week.
Framing :9**Colors:8**POV :9**idea :10
Galmeida (12559) 2006-01-28 16:58
Voltando ao primeiro Post desta sua Serie excelente e que encerrou ultimamente. Captura de grande qualidade com movimento e dança. Boa qualidade num cenario fechado com uma captura de luz e contraste. A composição é maravilhosa e o "Blur" do movimento também é por si movimento e artwork.
A dança e a captura!
Um abraço por esta Serie de grande qualidade, criatividade e assinatura.
Um bom fim de semana e por hoje encerro as minhas criticas.
Tue (40858) 2006-05-19 16:23
I had missed one of these! The blur here is great again and I like the very attractive colours as well. Really well captured and thanks a lot for sharing!
ryno (6865) 2006-11-15 10:49
I have to agree with your note, Ricardo. I saw them in Konya for the first time and was somewhat cynical beforehand, but I found it to be a truly moving experience. This is a wonderful shot - one can sense the energy and devotion in their flying robes. Great colour too! Your mevlana photos are some of the best that I've seen of them.
Stepan (27210) 2007-06-28 17:20
Impressive realization, in a cool and soft light... The scene is stunning and the ernegy of the danse is there, captured. Excellent.
DonGusti (942) 2014-10-16 1:46
great shot for Turkish Sufis, would love to see some closeups...
- Copyright: Ricardo Lopes (riclopes) (35577)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-08-14
- Categories: Ceremony
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/8 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Gul791's Favourit, Kasia's Favourites 7 [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-09-07 3:38
- Favorites: 4 [view]