I had a long weekend with my wife in Istanbul, the weekend before Christmas, to indulge in a travel photo shoot. The weather was pretty poor (with rain for most of the time), but this didn't detract from such a fabulous city. It provided everything that you could wish for: friendly, open people; spectacular scenery and architecture; an absorbing and eclectic history; and (always my favourite for capturing social interaction) two outstanding bazaars. This time of year was great to travel as there were few tourists (so cheap hotels and no crowds or queues - barring the locals doing their Christmas shopping, which was wonderful to get involved in). The best thing of all (from a photographer's perspective) were the willingness of the Turkish people to allow me to photograph what I wanted (including them), without asking for money and being obstructive (of course I was always courteous and polite, and they rewarded this by being extremely helpful, open and honest - as well as having a wonderful sense of humour). It was a real pleasure to wander around and to be left (relatively) alone to absorb the sights, sounds and smells and capture the beauty of the place on camera. I will certainly be travelling throughout Turkey again in the near future.