gyula sopronyi – turkish bath


Turkish style bath party in Budapest, Hungary…

photographer Gyula Sopronyi writes:

It’s a taking place in a bath from Turkish-ages, call Rudas-
thermal bath, and the name of event is Cinetrip. The most important feature of
this happening is the following: young people occupy historical territories for
themselves, lots of dj-s mix transcendent-music during the night, while the
mass is dancing in swimming dresses, under colorful, lightened arches. Those
who get slow in the stream are fascinated by Turkish music and dancers. Taking
photos of faces and figures getting long in lights of Cinetrip – which is
mentioned as a hungaricum in partyculture nowdays – a special, local
subculture, an underground community gathering together strictly for one night.
The twilight ashes together all externals – conquering, and making similar to space
remaining from past…..Date: 2008

35 Responses to “gyula sopronyi – turkish bath”

  • reminds me of our american version of BURNing man…
    but, we need more NUDITY, nakedness….. please

  • well, must be a damn nice event! surely a timeless photo ;)

  • What a beautiful photo. The hovering figures in the background are wonderful!!

  • I do like the texture of the photo very much, the light, the grain, the shadows… Those all together give an intimate mood difficult to gain with a plain shot. The texture here gives the mood, yes…


  • What a beautiful photograph, a very strong atmosphere and a beautiful grainy texture. It reminds me Mickael Ackerman working with a Tri X… Congrats

  • Thank you guys!
    I’m very happy for that.
    Gerald: I worked with fuji 400

  • So I only read about Burn a few days ago, after hearing about it evolving from Mr. Harveys’ blog. But wow, just wow. So far, everything that has been here is just incredible—truly top notch. Gyula, really great use of film; the aesthetic values of it (including the light play) really add a lot to this picture—very smart photography.

    If this is the results that can be had from Fuji, I might just give up HP-5 for b+w…

  • dreamy…in more ways than one.

  • Looks like I missed something when I visited Istanbul last July…. ;-)

    BTW, the buzz has started (plenty of google links already):

  • hmmm… exactly the awkward venom that made me leave that group:

    from the linked thread above, from Bryan Formhals:

    “I don’t man, I just don’t share the same taste and sensibility as DAH and Burn. Kudos for what they’re doing and building but I’m fairly certain it’ll be an automatic delete when it pops up in my RSS feeds.”

    Hours later from Bryan Formhals in the Welcome to Burn Thread, a message to David Allan Harvey:

    “Congratulations on the launch of Burn. Got the feed in my reader and am looking forward to viewing content that rolls in…”

    I wouldn’t raise this post, but Bryan always signs his posts with a link to “La Pura Vida Gallery“; which is a collective of very very talented photographers, some of whom i know personally, and all who have strong opinions, but none of whom have the audacity or lack of integrity to say these two things on the internet, let alone so close together.

    Please don’t paint all the LPV photographers or all the members of HCSP with the same brush you might paint Bryan based on Bryan’s bridge-building strategies.

  • JOE…

    thanks for this…i cannot and do not expect to “satisfy” everyone….my taste is my taste and that is that….however, i think anyone should wait a bit to find out exactly what my overall sensibility really is…i think you and others will find that my appreciation for many different styles will soon be apparent…i just cannot publish everything that i might want to publish in the first four days!! i am very interested to check out the La Pura Vida Gallery and if i were not rushing to the airport (which i have been doing for the last two days), i would do it right now….

    again,Joe, please come to visit me in New York when you can….your feedback and thoughts always most welcomed…

    please enjoy your holiday…

    cheers, david

  • Thanks David,… an over-kind offer, but one i’ll hold you too ;-) … safe travels and happy holidays.

  • JOE…

    as my friends will tell you , i do not make idle offers..see you soonest…

    cheers, david

  • HERVE: yes, blog entries a bit everywhere (I’m waiting for pdn to say something)

    JOE: oh my, and I’m a regular to the three cited communities :o) (I have been critical of the essay but the more concrete stuff I emailed it to Anton and the global stuff I wrote it as a comment… I think that John Vink’s essay was a great comparison.)

  • Joni, of course you always have a healthy influence on the places you visit, i wouldn’t have pulled an all-nighter in the dark room printing your canvases verses my contact sheets (on a work night no less) if i didn’t think so, and i surely wouldn’t have spent that much time in traffic to pick you up in St. Andrews.

    but this place, like all places, may need to explore ways to ‘keep it real’ but still stay human and kind as well..

    it’s such an easy equation, if you wouldn’t express something to someone in person, in their living room, then don’t say it here. This isn’t a bus terminal, it seems much more intimate than that, but with intimacy and kindness, sometimes comes over-politeness and in this case we’re all cheating ourselves of some legitimate suffering..

    i hope Burn can strike that healthy balance of keeping it ‘kind’ and keeping it ‘sincere’, but keeping it real with regards to feeling that not all the feedback is going to be good, if it was it wouldn’t be real..

    and all of the places you cite are great places, ‘places’ don’t make places bad, I hope some of the talent from those places comes over to this platform as individuals, verses some viral enterprise, you don’t have to be a born again Christian to suddenly be kind, but you do have to check the attitude at the door or it’s just never going to work.

    As far as being so harsh about Bryan above, well i must admit seeing that thread felt just like walking back into the schoolyard with ruthless playground rules… my comment is more like pillow speak in the context of that place!

    By the way, I urge everyone to put your favorite Ibiza tune on and check out the essay Here the image above is just a taster for the full body of work! Fantastic essay Gyula!!

  • Joe: yes, it is just that when we had an argument while eating a steak, over here you might end up eating the steak without having the argument!

  • Dear Mr Harvey, you give me a wonderful Christmas.

    Dan C. – You should not give up the HP5 because the neopan is looks better this picture. I think no matter what film is use in the Turkish bath where more than 40 degrees, heavy humidity and steam are. I pushed the neopan 400 for 800 that is why the nice grainy texture.

    Joe – Thank you for appreciation!

  • Like Joe said: check out Gyula’s full essay – and please all of the other ones too …

  • Interesting photo.. but the font of the passage under “photographer Gyula Sopronyi writes:” is hard to read for me!

  • neil–

    the text was hard for me to read too. i had to go to
    ‘view–>page style–>no style’ in order to read it.

  • Just took a look to Gyula’s site and really enjoyed it. Incredible series of photographs there! So many feelings came to me through those pictures…. Well done, Gyula!

  • Gyula, I’ve just looked at every one of the essays on your web site and am in awe. Please submit an essay to be published here on Burn. More people need to see your work!


  • Thanks for pointing out my hypocrisy Joe! Wouldn’t it also be fair to notate the time between those two comments? I ended up having a few private conversations with Joni and few others that made me realize I was probably too quick to judge. Conversations on the web move quickly and in my experience most intelligent people will reevaluate their opinions when they receive new information.

    For someone who wants to elevate the online dialogue toward more civility, it seems odd that you would make these type of comments, especially when you were a very active and vocal member of HCSP.


  • intelligent people will reevaluate their opinions when they receive new information. -Bryan Formhals

    I find that intelligent people resist the urge to lodge such strong brash opinions when they have so few facts.

    this sums up exactly my personal wish for this platform,… for this society,… for Burn,… seek first to be curious and ask questions and always condemn last, if ever at all.

    this curious over condemn philosophy seems exactly the opposite to the spirit of the linked hcsp discussion.

    and most would agree my vocal nature while moderating hcsp was to kill trolls and promote curiosity, so i hope it seems anything other than odd that i still feel this way..

    so Bryan, let’s bury the hatchet and the attitudes and unleash our thinking on photographic topics, it seems like the most healthy way to go.


    do not assume that your conversation is not important,
    to the rest of us here… keep asking , feeding our heads
    with ideas, questions, suggestions, etc… you are both
    very “valuable” brains….
    please keep on contributing…

  • Joe – No worries man. I’m not interested in poisoning this forum with pointless negativity. I’m curious about the future essays and will certainly check them out and contribute to the dialogue if I have anything productive to add….



  • Patricia

    Thanks, your uplift words!
    I love the photography and it many ways. But some important ways are not too close to my habit. Unfortunately, I’m not a good “PR manager” that is why I have not published these essays yet.
    But how knows, maybe this was the first step ;)

  • i like the photo for the simple reason that it stands alone in style.. the aesthetic is good whether you’re a fan of grain or not and it carries some potency in illustrating the shenanigans.
    it’s a good and informed caption as well, which adds to the photo greatly.
    nice one.
    over-all i like the essay as well, whoever i might think i am to rate my comments.. it’s fits pretty much the brief in terms of what a magazine might want, although the quality used is perhaps more suited to a one off or personal project than the formulaic and clean images magazines seek.

    on the flickr thing…
    i mean..
    you know..
    opinions are only that, whereas organic evolution is as much as that.
    let em talk.. who’s gives a monkeys? this is just a site run by and offered to photographers..
    whitter away..
    whitter away..

  • over-all i like the essay as well, whoever i might think i am to rate my comments.. it’s fits pretty much the brief in terms of what a magazine might want, although the quality used is perhaps more suited to a one off or personal project than the formulaic and clean images magazines seek…-David Bowen

    it is truly early days in Burn to take this thing, this thing ‘that we do not say out loud’ out of the closet… isn’t in David?

    What the magazines seek? I love the way you worded that.. ‘want’ vs ‘seek’..

    which magazines David?… photographic ‘art’ magazines?.. magazines like Aperture?… FOAM?… Hotshoe?… Portfolio?… Lunatic Mag?…. Burn? …

    …OR instead are we talking about magazines where the photographs are not the product, they are only devices to another product…… magazines for… fashion?… entertainment journals?… or pure news?… or more polarised… web-based news?

    of course i’m taunting you David, but i hope you rise to it. i’m certain this topic will raise the Kraken that is b.f… as this incites his demons as well.. look no further than his flickr buddy icon for a clue to his personality..

    but lets talk marketing for a second,…. lets talk statistics,… lets talk about the photographic taste of the population…

    a chart of normally distributed photographic taste will look pretty much like a bell curve, slightly stretched at the ends….. if we carve that curve with vertical lines into four equal sections (standard deviations) we know that most of the population will be represented in the second and third quartiles of that chart (68.3% to be exact).

    basically there’s a heavy and tight grouping of average people with average taste and relatively few people have totally rubbish taste (first quartile) and just as few people have fine art photography taste (the fourth quartile).

    so if we care about commercial photography… cost/benefit photography…. why would we strive to please the hardest to please people?….. When it’s so hard to create photographs for that discriminating audience (mostly made up of photographers), why even try unless we’re a glutton for punishment?

    actually it gets worse… fine art photography actually is ‘mutually exclusive’ to average photography. for example, if you start with the consumers of rubbish photography and you offer them below average photography, they will like it,.. if you offer them even average photography, they will like it, (reminds me of the Mikey advert.. he’ll eat it… )

    i’d be so bold to say that for the first three quartiles, the consumer appetite moves pretty freely between those tastes, but show them the photographs that many of the people in this community would drool over, show them the image from Gyula above, and now… let’s say it out loud… many won’t get it.

    it’s as futile as trying to explain monty python for the first time to an american, and as equally soul destroying for them to try to get it while you cry from the humour that they don’t see, or more specifically about photography, about images like this, when you gawk about the ‘meditative values’ of grain and they start thinking of the emperors new clothes.

    as matter of fact, if you show them Gyula’s image above they won’t just ‘not’ understand it the way the extreme consumers do,…. they will wonder why you ruined your opportunity to collect these images by using an antiquated technique like film photography when they could show you that the colours look so much more ‘wicked’ on their i-phone.

    this average demographic of people are the product of the camera-test generation, they have been re-taught what an image should look like… these are exactly the opposite of the people that think ‘sharpness’ is a bourgeois concept, these are actually the consumers of clean formulaic images that you speak about David.

    so why dabble in fine-art photography unless you’re an enthusiast?,… or simply ‘loaded with cash’… and can gamble forever hoping to finally create an iconic image for the fine art crowd and win the lottery of that margin? well for some that alone makes it worthwhile, but i would argue it’s not as simple as that and Gyula’s essay holds a clue to this.

    fine art photography is like couture fashion, it may seem like it’s only there for itself and its consumers, but it has a much more commercial benefit…i think it also allows designers to leak all those daring ideas down from the runway into Gap, into Next, into Walmart…. it’s were the invention and innovation happen so that the average person can get a numbed down version of the variety.

    look again at Gyula’s essay with regard to mood and composition and topic. is it so impossible to see with models and a larger format capture that this could be a Gianni Versace ad?… replicate this essay on a glossy poster, put it in a college bookstore and 68.3% of college freshmen will have this hanging on their dorm room wall simply because they are seduced by this topic and this essay takes that topic past fantasy into possibility…and this is coming from a seasoned ibiza clubber.

    as for me, i don’t want to see Gyula’s images cleaned up for a fashion advert and i don’t want to see them sterilised for mass commerce, i personally would like to steal these negs into a dark room and print them on low contrast paper to bring out more shadow detail, maybe flash the paper to soften the highlights… And then i would drool over all those shades of grey that can only come from the dark room….

    and i’m certain i will look silly looking at them so hard to the Clean Image Generation because, in my opinion, they are condemned all too often to viewing images as measured between 0 and 255, and all too often too much 0 and too much 255 for my taste.

  • hey hey joe.. i see you my friend :o)

    which magazines? i mean the kind of base and formulaic magazines which provided me with an outlet for shooting parties over the years.. commercial yet commissioning all the time.. weekly work type magazines.. rather than those who may take a story on spec or on one off commission..

    i really love gyulas work and will take more time to read and respond to your post above later on tonight.. always appreciate a little ribbing from you.. laters..

  • when i think of fine art photography i think of pretentious photographers to be frank…
    since all the people i know producing photography simply refer to themselves as photographers.. whatever they are producing.. and so you’re right to pin the perception on the public.

    the clean image generation has and is always here.. from the painting world and the photographic one – it’s a personal choice.. i certainly prefer to see clean images from difficult circumstances simply because they are more difficult to produce.

    what interests me from the folio linked above is that the work is different from what is in the magazines promoting youth culture and music.. i like the work although i have to admit that as a rule i like clean photography more.. knowing as i do the great difficulty which a clean and well balanced photo takes in this kind of environment.
    for me photography is a craft as well joe.. i am only now toying with the idea of digital and would still rather shoot film for my own reasons.. and as a craft i look at photographs not only for feeling and vibe.. aesthetic and intent, but i also look for something which makes me respect the technique..
    that is to say i think the high grain, blur, out of focus, steamed up lens work i see from nightclubs and gigs is just too easy to capture.. in fact it is the root point from which i begin shooting and look to overcome.. in these days where slapping a photoshop filter over a poor snap can be seen as ‘great’ i find myself turning even more towards cleaner work.

    i love to see work which challenges normal boundaries within a subject and that’s why i really like the work above.. however i cannot help but see it from my perspective as someone who has photoed subjects like this around the world for a too long.. and as a result i have very specific tastes.. very clear idea’s of what is difficult and what is fresh.. and very distinct idea’s about whether a piece of work is ‘genuine’ and successful to me..
    as i say – i really like the work posted here, as i think it challenges that.. it is crafted and imperfect to my eye.. and that’s great since for me this work is the exception to my general rule..

  • Very hot and humid atmosphere…Nice composition…
    I searched your all website…many nice works.

    Thank you, Guyla.
    Kyunghee Lee

  • i somehow missed this back when you posted it. good stuff David, good thinking stuff for public life photography, btw, that ‘shapes’ paradigm you gave me is already produced some keepers for my project.. so simple, so helpful! Cheers brother.

  • ‘Ravishing’ and ‘black & white’ so rarely come together like they did here, Gyula. Just stunning.

    It’s pure Danny Lyon.

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