He walked over to the window and knelt. The light fell on him and he looked so extraordinary sitting there that I knew I had my shot….
It was late afternoon and the Bayezid II mosque in Istanbul was the last that I would explore on this day. My guide and I were about to leave when I saw the man in this image enter the mosque and look at us standing next to the line of stanchions that kept travelers at a safe distance from the worshipers. I nodded a respectful hello, he responded in kind and then walked up to me with an inquisitive look on his face.
He raised both his hands, palms toward the ceiling as if he was carrying a platter. He smiled and looked up, his eyes taking in the beauty of the mosque, and with his gesture inviting me to join him.
I smiled broadly and nodded enthusiastically—probably looking a bit dopey in the process— so that he would know how much I appreciated the room.
I asked my guide to ask the man if he would mind if I took pictures while he prayed. He looked at me intensely, perhaps sizing me up, and then with a thoughtful smile he nodded once and walked on.
I watch him as he took his place in front of the window, knelt, and placed his hands on his thighs….
One. Two. Three. I held my breath….
One shot was enough.
It was time to leave this kind man to his prayers.