Warped photos turn Istanbul into stomach-churning roller coaster ride

Story highlights

  • Photographer uses drones to create fantastically curved worlds
  • Istanbul's ancient buildings are brilliantly bended in futuristic series

'The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future' travels east to west along this ancient trade route, exploring how traditional culture, arts, and trade have developed in the 21st century. Here, we explore Turkey.

(CNN)Hold on tight. This is Turkey as you've never seen it.

Photographer Aydin Buyuktas' dizzying images of Istanbul were taken with a drone -- that is, when the weather and local wildlife permitted.
    "So many times I had to turn back without a picture because of bad weather, technical problems, or birds attacking the drone," explained Buyuktas, whose background is in visual effects, animation, and video.
    The result is a fantastically curved world, where roads and bridges dip away from the viewer much like roller coaster tracks.
    First though, Buyuktas had to learn to fly a drone.
    "I trained for one month in an empty field," said the 43-year-old, originally from Ankara.
    "I'm not flying around like video guys. I'm just taking photos, so the drone has to stand in the air in the exact position I planned."
    Buyuktas then used Photoshop to morph together his vertigo-inducing collages -- similar to the mind-bending worlds depicted in Leonardo DiCaprio's 2010 film "Inception."
    Cities fold in on themselves, in "Inception."
    The photography series -- called "Flatland" -- was inspired by Edwin Abbat's 19th century mathematical novel "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions."
    "We live in places that most of the time don't draw our attention," explained Buyuktas.
    "But these works aim to leave the viewer with a surprising ironic visual -- a multidimensional romantic point of view."