These Black and White Images Reveal a Vienna Most Travelers Don’t See

Photographer Carl Yurttas captures the city’s many moods

I | IV Last Saturday (#20151003) thousands were on the #streets in #Vienna, #Austria, to #demonstrate support for the #refugees from #Syria and other war-stricken countries. One of their slogans was: "Say It Loud – Say It Clear – Refugees are Welcome Here!" The #demonstration was followed by the #solidarity #concert #VoicesForRefugees at the #Heldenplatz, featuring around 15 Austrian and international artists, including #DieTotenHosen, #ConchitaWurst, #Bilderbuch, #Zucchero, #KonstantinWecker and a speech by Austrian President #HeinzFischer. The concert was attended by over 100,000 people. #refugeeswelcome, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw

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Turkish-born Carl Yurttas (@carl.yurttas) discovered a passion for photography when, at age 13, he began to take pictures with his father’s old Russian Zenit camera. These days, he uses a cellphone camera and posts his photos on Instagram. They are not your typical picture-postcard images of opera houses and grand avenues. Shot mostly in the district where he lives near the Brunnenmarkt, Vienna’s largest street market, in one of the city’s most multiethnic neighborhoods, they reveal a Vienna most travelers don’t see. 

Speaking from his apartment in the Ottakring district, he describes why the Danube doesn’t feature much in his pictures, how Vienna has become an important transit route for refugees, and some of the ways he chooses his subject matter. 

Vienna and the Danube are almost synonymous. But you don’t seem very interested in the river. 

[Laughs] The Danube does not flow through the center of the city, like Budapest. So, although the river plays an important role for Austria, it is not really part of daily life. It’s in the suburbs, some way out of the city. I only really go there when I have visitors or during summertime with my children. 

You use a cellphone and post your photographs to Instagram. Why do you like that way of working?

I  have a small digital camera that I also use for making photos of my children and family. The advantage of a cellphone camera is that you have it with you all the time and it’s unobtrusive. Some of the images on my Instagram feed are also scanned black-and-white film.

A #Viennese man # reading his #book in the #tram 41 heading to #Schottentor. #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #monochrome, #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #vienna, #austria

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In America many people read on screens. Is your picture of the man reading a book a nostalgic statement? 

Normally, when I take a photo, something catches my eye, but I don’t think too much about why. I just want to share a moment from daily life. You see many people in Vienna reading books and newspapers. Maybe I made this photo because I like reading myself.  

What was the occasion for the shot of the demonstration? 

Austria has become a very important route for migrants fleeing wars. The aim was to show support for immigrants and tell them that they are welcome here in Austria. I went there with my young daughter and was very happy to see so many people attending the event.

This article is a selection from our Smithsonian Journeys Travel Quarterly Danube Issue

Travel the Danube from the Black Forest of Germany to the green, teardrop-shaped island of St. Margaret in Budapest

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Waiting for #46A at the #busstop #Sandleitengasse, #Ottakring, #Vienna, #Austria. #everydayeverywhere, #everydayaustria, #everydayvienna, #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #jesuschrist

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The old man and the #water #nymph, #Schönbrunn #Palace, #Hietzing, #Vienna, #Austria, photo taken on #20150530. #everydayeverywhere, #everydayaustria, #everydayvienna, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #urban, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, bw

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I | II A #rainy day in #Vienna, #Austria. #rain, #tram, #everydayeverywhere, #everydayaustria, #everydayvienna, #reflections, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street

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Little girl buying #flowers for her mother, #Brunnenmarkt, #Yppenplatz, #Ottakring, #Vienna, #Austria. Taken on #35mm #kodak #film with a #canonfd lens in September 2012. #everdayeverywhere, #everydayaustria, #everydayvienna, #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #filmphotography, #analogphotography, #marketplace, #farmersmarket

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#Children playing with #soapbubbles, #Mariahilferstrasse, #Neubau, #Vienna, #Austria. #everdayeverywhere, #everydayaustria, #everydayvienna, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #urban, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #bubbles

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#Passengers waiting for the #train to #Vienna, #WienerNeudorf, #Austria. #everydayeverywhere, #everydayaustria, #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw

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#FatherAndChild posing next to #StreetMusicians for a photo being taken by the mother (#20150517) #Prater, #Leopoldstadt, #Vienna, #Austria. #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street. #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw. #music, #horses.

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2/2 | Young men #skateboarding on the campus of the WU (Vienna #University of Economics and Business), #Leopoldstadt, #Vienna, #Austria (#20150516). #urban, #streetphotography, #streetlife, #street, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #wuwien, #wuvienna

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Carl Yurttas

Head to his Instagram for more visual journals.

#selfportrait, taken on #35mm #kodak #film with a #canonfd lens in December 2004. #doubleexposure, #monochrome, #blackandwhitephotography, #blackandwhite, #bnw, #bw, #filmphotography, #analogphotography, #portrait

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