Ara Guler, world renowned Armenian photographer, died on Wednesday October 17 in the city of Istanbul he so lovingly chronicled. He was 90. He had graduated from Getronagan Armenian High School and then attended colleges.
Mr. Guler’s pictures reflected the shadows and sparkle of Istanbul, a city he once described in an interview as a sort of “Madwoman of Chaillot” who had grown old but never neglectful of how she looked: Touch her, he said, “and a jewel will appear.”
His Istanbul, before it was erased by fast-paced modernization, was a place of boats gliding down the Bosphorus, minarets poking up in the distance behind a horse drawn cart, an elderly head-scarved woman smoking a cigarette, children flinging their arms out in joy.
Mr. Guler described his photographs, often taken with a Leica, as “a little bit romantic.”"I don’t take pictures in normal light,” he said, “only just before or after sunset, or early in the morning.”
Mr. Guler viewed himself as a citizen of the world. His assignments had him circling it as he documented the well-known faces of the 20th century, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope, and Winston Churchill, as well as more obscure subjects like the head hunters of Borneo. Other settings for his work included China, New Guinea, Kazakhstan, and Kenya.