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I mentioned last night I'm heading for China ... I take off in a few hours. From there, in about a month, I'll go to Europe, but that's about all I know for sure so far. I'm going to see where the photo opportunities lead me.  

Here is a photo from a trip earlier this year -- I stopped in Turkey on the way to Italy and got to see the Hagia Sophia in person. The Hagia Sophia is on some of the 7 Wonders of the World lists (there are many lists). It is truly stunning.  They do not allow tripods inside, so I had to improvise to get this shot. I don't believe I violated any religious doctrine with my method.  Throughout history this basilica has been used as both a Catholic church and a Mosque. It's near 1700 years old, so it's seen a lot of changes over the years! 

I've actually spent the last two days de-packing for this trip. Usually I go somewhere for a week or two. This time I'm thinking more like 2 months. Instead of bringing a huge suitcase, I've got one carry-on and one backpack. I've got more camera gear than clothes. I even removed everything from my wallet except a credit card and ID because I didn't want extra junk weighing me down... Don't need my library card if it doesn't work outside the US :-)  I actually spent more time getting my computer ready (updating software, moving files around, etc.) than I did packing. I will update from the road... hopefully with wonderful photos to share :-) 
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Insane view. I really love the colors in this shot.
 
That's such a good photo that it appears CG. Great opportunity to see the things you do and immerse yourself in the world :)
 
Wow have an exciting adventure...
 
Excellent. Was there 8 years a go, but now want to go back with a more modern camera.
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I miss Istanbul. I left a part of my heart in that gorgeous city! Thanks for the pic. 
 
+Emily Santome I wonder when "digital" public libraries will exist in full force... will the publishing world allow more than 1 or 2 copies per location to be "lent" to someone's tablet?
 
Sounds like an awesome journey. Very jelly... Where's the first stop in China?
 
I've always wanted to cruise the Amazon, from mouth of the river to the Andie's mountains, you're trips though are much more appealing than snakes mosquito's and headhunters lol :)
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If you have a library card it allows download of audio and electronic books! Which is fantastic when you are abroad.. Have a fantastic trip..
 
Wow yeah, there are great wonders but great dangers as well, I also had a friend come close to death doing that though he tried in reverse, from Andies to Amazon, lost 50 pounds.
 
الله ماجمله ومااجمل اسماء خلفاء رسول الله وهي تزين جدرانه
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have a good trip!  look forward to the photos..
 
 nice picture seems like a old creature .
 
Agia Sofia is a symbol.. Its art and style have been unique for the time it was built and it has been recorded that the Emperor who had it built (Justinian), said when he saw it completed "Thank God who allowed me to complete such a work. I have beaten you Solomon", implying that the Church looked better even from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. It has been an emblem for the Byzantine empire, from 537 AD until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Besides its usage either as a Roman Catholic church for about 57 years and as Muslim mosque from 1453 until 1934 it still remains a symbol for Christian Orthodox, and symbol of immense spiritual value.

Your photo is magnificent well done.. It gives a very realistic view of the inside... 
 
Look forward to seeing your pictures of China. Safe travels.
 
thanks +RC Concepcion I processed this on a tiny macbook air screen and I forgot about it... lol !
 
Looking good man.. cant wait to see what else you get... !
 
So +Tom Anderson, are you gonna do a pic of the gear you're packing for the trip?  Sounds like an interesting challenge to go with just one carry-on plus camera gear.  
 
Nice shot.  I did similar packing for a month long trip around Europe back in July.  22 pounds of camera gear and about 30 pounds of other stuff.  Weeding the gear down that far was painful.  Had to leave a lot of my favorite toys behind.  Have a great trip!
 
Ok +Tom Anderson but it's a magnificent photo. I don't know what camera you use or photo editing software, but it surely takes out great photos.
 
+Mad Marv It's all packed away... I might have overstated it a bit. But I carry a Nikon D800e, a Nikon D4 and an Olympus Tough TG-1. I've got 3 lenses - 18-24mm, a 24-300mm and a 50mm prime. I'm using a RRS Tripod and Head. Then I've got your normal stuff: memory cards, 2 card readers, strap, intervalometer, wrenches, etc.  My friend just cleaned my tripod in a way that I've not been able too.. it feels so smooth and makes no noise. I promise to never take it into the ocean again haha!
 
wow! wish to go there! very nice please!!
 
Hey Tom, Can you suggest me which camera is good for photography. I wanna be a freelance photographer and I am interested in nature and wildlife photography.
 
Thanks +Marc Burgess I processed this long ago... I'm guessing it's Photomatix HDR with some ColorEfex Pro.. but I can never remember what I did even a day or so after I do it... until now I finally learned about non-destructive editing in Photoshop two nights ago!
 
China is #1 on my travel list so jealous :). Look forward to seeing China through your eyes for inspiration. Happy travels !
 
Gosh, you could just ship your stuff to China, that's what I would do.
Cu Lu
 
Wow :)
胡睿
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Have you been to China?How are you feeling?
 
I am in China, feeling good but not the best.
 
<delurk>

Really, really gorgeous shot of a great wonder of the world. I'm sure you've mentioned at some point, but what sort of camera (make, model) are you using? This is a fantastic shot.
 
welcome to china...
strongly recommend u to schedule the golden week(national days' holiday10.1-10.7) in beijing, then! u will be shocked by how many people are surging into the city! LOL~~
 
hey +Joseph Gosselin On any G+ image you can click on it then look to the right where the comments are.. There's a section that says  photo info, and it'll show you. That said, this image could have easily been taken by D7000 (about $1,300 or a D4 about $6,000) ... The camera doesn't really make that much difference in a shot like this and viewed at this size online 
 
+Baorong Zhang I think I'm actually going to head to Malaysia during those days to avoid the chaos :) haha
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I have been there many times... I've found plenty of safe food water and medicine :-) lol
 
+Tom Anderson nice, Macau and HK are a ton of fun. You might already know, but in Macau be sure to try the Pork Chop Bun (http://epicurious.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/battle-of-the-macau-pork-chop-buns/) from Tai Lei Loi Kei (last shop in the list). And also check out Monte Forte; I think you'll love the photo ops up there with the almost 360 view of Macau (https://plus.google.com/photos/106598356750830804810/albums/5792725803791110145?authkey=COTKs-2v_eHdJw).

In HK i'm sure you already know about Victoria Peak. As for food you could try the wonton noodle shop +Anthony Bourdain went to that's run by body builder brothers (http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=1904). Be sure to try the spicy beef brisket. Interesting experience, haha.
 
+Tom Anderson They gave it back but I almost forgot to ask it back on the way out. They were using Xray machines to detect it... I was trying to get a permission even pay for it, but it was too complicated had to go through the Ministry of Culture and we were short on time. To get this information even took quite some time as they were not really helpful trying to pretend there is nobody who speaks foreign languages fluently. I had to push really hard to get an answer at all apart from "stand not OK" It was a few weeks ago ...
 
Love it. I wish I could be there?
Ya ALLAH
Ya Mohummed (s.a.w.w)
Ya Siddique
Ya Umar
Ya Uthman
Ya Ali
 
, when you will be here in Hong Kong???
 
I have always hoped to stand one day in Justinian's great church.  What a thrill that would be for me.  I hope you enjoyed it as well.  I know that the restorers discovered one of the original angel faces in one of the pendantives of the central dome.  I am hoping the Turkish government allowed it to remain uncovered.

Glorious picture.
 
It 's a good photo shot. I like the interior view and color balance.
 
i've been there before :) i miss istanbul
 
wowwww it is really a wonder
 
I JUST GOT ON GOOGLE+ AND TOM FROM MYSPACE IS HERE??? WHEN WILL I ESCAPE YOUUUUUU
Pete R.
 
I'll have to see this with my own eyes! Someday. :)
 
Kpodokya ve tarihi Göreme Peri bacalar müzesini ziyareti bekliyorum
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+Tom Anderson I've never seen you on G+... I guess you got board on MySpace... It's ok, we all do
 
very stunning photo!! good quality and nice shot!
Ling OY
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Awesome picture.
Welcome to China.
 
Have a good time & don't forget to take absolutely loads of awesome pics tom... :)
 
Tom what the hell you do for living damn it how you afford it !! 
 
you doing good job and my best wishes with you friend
 
Damn cost to much to go any where these damn days how you do it damn it what your job 
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BEAUTIFUL. Salute to the creator and appreciate Turkish people who kept it intact, not like in India where Invaders destroyed major religious monuments in Norther part.
 
How u r able to take those many tours ? It is by profession?
 
very nice..... i try to visit in this place
 
So lovely!  Your photos are lovely.  Near London Christmastime?  Come visit me and Fam. there if your travels take you there...be safe and keep in touch my friend.
 
It's so nice; I have been there before in 1998... It was my first trip to Turkey
 
Oh nice +Tom Anderson Well I am an amateur photographer, so if there is a family event my mum asks me to take out photos using her Kodak Digital camera. I use Corel PaintShop to edit the photos.
 
Wow! Thanks, now I know I want to go to Turkey
 
I wanna visit this place .. :) luv turkey..
 
yet another place i've wanted to visit since playing assassin's creed
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ope dat one day l will also visit the Hagia Sophia
 
Aya Sofia on of the most amazing museums across the world ;)
 been there so many times and will go there again!
Mani V
 
very nice
 
Going to spend another month in Turkey in May 2013. I never tire of the Hagia Sophia.
 
a wonderful building from two famous religion in the world
 
hello fgrnd. survivors met & greetings. indeet, the imagea character.
Nice
 
if u dont visit there and just by looking photos u cant feel that there is so mystical place 
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On the balcony check for Viking Runes...
 
Actually originally it was an Orthodox Cathedral. Great shot
 
no, it did not serve as Catholic church in any point, but was former Orthodox patriarchal basilica and served Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years :)
 
Most of the time it was an orthodox church ;)
Happy traveling around the world ^^
 
Grand picture--connecting the past with present.
 
This is amazing Tom so wish I could be with you ! 
 
Well,should prepare for the bad air of peiking
 
ITZ  ALI WRITTEN ON THE WALLS....ITZ BEAUTIFUL..!!!!
 
Amazing photo ... Well done..

+Tom Anderson, I was wondering when you'll be free to visit us in Iraq and take some photos?? We have so many raw materials, ready to be shown by some expert like you...

Have a nice and calm trip....
 
Well, actually me I wasn't allowed to take images inside. Great athmosphere caught up in this image...

Btw Fernando: we use to avoid the "byzantine" expression. Historically it's a obvious vilification by the Vatikan to keep the distance with the 'loosers' called East Roman Empire, which falled 1453.

We prefer to say "East-Roman Culture" in Istanbul to reestablish ists reputation - because it was the East-Roman Empire.

Atatürk converted Hagia Sophia into a museum, that's why especially this government isn't very motivated for a quick restauration.

If the government would convert the building back to a mosque again (the AKP has plans to do that), the restauration would be likely finished within a year...
 
this photo is of which place.. japan? but so nice!!!!!!
 
Wish I could go to China (again... -_-)
 
shame it wasent a mosque to begin with. But history and religion is a powerfull weapon.
 
VERY VER........Y BEAUTIFUL.!!!!!
 
Wow!! Can't wait to visit this place coming nov-:)
 
hi komal,, add me
 
זה מקום נחמד אני ראיתי ... מקווה שאני יכול לעשות את מחקר כאן ..
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My beutiful country is always open for people like you man.I'm from Malaysia.keepin' travelin' for love of humanity.
 
it awesome country man.. a lot of culture ..horrible food..you are welcome!!!
 
wow you are blessed good to be man.
 
supperub yar kya najara he what a nice building
 
For more than a 1000 years it served as a Greek Orthodox basilica, yet only 60 years as a Catholic church. Your claims are incorrect and incomplete. 
 
its beautiful picture and a nice place
 
yeah tom! long time not see you at facebook....
 
It have been certainly magnificent, but we can see without slave islam can not avoid that turn into sagging place
 
china is a great place exept for their government system
 
Visited this awesome place last year - truly remarkable.
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Good luck adding all of them on MySpace xD
 
Great Man How u will get this type of Pics?????
 
I saw it first on the assassins's creed revelations.Great to see from inside.
 
Mr. Anderson I live in Pakistan n i know lots of ppl hate Pakistan whenever i post or give a comment they reply me slang words but its totally ok. I just want 2 say in Pakistan lots of places r undiscovered even in my village Balochstan v found a part of bone which is sure not a humans or animals or birds. I just want to share it by professional like u. Hope u guys guide me. Love Google+ family
 
wooow how beautiful it is and i like the idea of evolution from a Church to Mosque that place has been place for soul from the 1st moment it existed 
 
I love to Hzrat Ali. It is a very good photo. 
 
Very beautiful! Have a good holiday, I'm so jealous.... :))
 
Very beautifull Tom... Turkey is the oldest islamic legacy in europe
 
That's amazing trip...I've been in hongkong,there's nothing much in there..In Macau i guess yes...enjoy and have a safe trip
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It is so beautiful, I been there many years ago. Thanks for this pictures is really wojderful
 
Just came back from Istanbul myself. Your picture of the Hagia Sophia is much better than mine :)
 
Wow...........Thats sooo nice....and photography was so Excellent in that
 
I have been there just a few months ago and i already missed
 
Amazing shot! Love it! Gotta get myself over there! Great pic man! Kudos!
 
thats awesome place. hope you enjoy the journey. May God bless you.
 
Very beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Istanbul is a place I'd love to visit. Never realised there were 6 plaques on the walls
 
wow hagia sophia looks absolutely outta this world like omg!
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Just to get the record straight Tom --these are the facts on Aghia Sofia.Hagia Sophia (/hɑːɨə soʊfiːə/; from the Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.[1]
 
beautiful.I wish I was like you even for a day
 
Wow!!! I wish my house can look like this! It's b e a utifull!!!!
 
That's gorgeous!!!! Mash a Allah!!
 
The photograph explains the architectural transition in itself, Beautiful... And good luck.
 
Hi Tom, you popping down to Tianjin, China?!
 
Awesome shot!
Mind if I can have the full size as wall paper?
 
Wonders of the world indeed. Great shot...
 
Looks like this needs a good rub down and a repaint :-)
 
wonderful desigen this buld
 
بسم الله ما شاء الله :-) 
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most mosques in Istanbul are awesome like this one 
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Wow what a wonderful view ! I'm proud to be a Muslim 
 
this is a false name wyatt smith... so ppl cant find me..
 
Hey, Its Tom, you were my friend on Myspace!
 
Can I have some of your $60million please? Just a cheeky 1 mil?
 
That would bë quite a trip .jealous of u. ;-) All the best. Cheers!
 
you are one of those lucky persons who visit the great and historical place of Hagia Sophia. great place for visitors
 
Tom Αγια Σοφια was a Greek orthodox church not catholic. It was built during the byzantine empire by Emperor Constantine
I had the chance to visit last year and it is truly remarkeable 
 
Ur so laki..always wantd to go to italy..beautiful pix..safe travels..
 
Fun fact Hagia Sophia was burned down 2 times by riot and was rebuild.
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I have never seen anything like it, its beautiful
 
it is beautifully shot. appreciate it
 
No worries about violating any religious codes. It is now considered a museum.
 
Cool I've been there to but I went for the Olympiad in turkey to dance its very beautiful good luck on your trip :)
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aha I know that one!  Here's my take on it (4 shots) +Tom Anderson  https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118217903064255489244/albums/5670860743019275361/5670860760497650018
 
did you shoot that hand held +Tom Anderson ?  They took my tripod away at the gate there and at the palace so I had to go handheld
 
Definitely on my Bucket List... Thank you so much for sharing.  Any Suggestions for where to stay, +Tom Anderson 
 
Fantastic beautiful photos.  Would like to see pictures again of the sunsets in Tucson, AZ and surrounding desert in late summer, if you ever get down that way.
 
actually, this was and is the crown jewel of Orthodoxy.  Not Catholics  Otherwise, beautiful. . 
Marta A
 
QUE BELLO PRECIOSO NO ME CANSO DE ENTRAR AESTA PAJINA, ES LINDA. MARTA.
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