How did you get involved into street photography?
I have been interested in photography without any specific focus or category for over 40 years. I never really focused on one particular style or category as I just enjoy taking what attracts my eye. I think that since moving to Istanbul over 15 years ago, I just seemed to fall into that category as most of my shots seem to comprise of, well, the street life of Istanbul. So, I decided that I was more compelled to shoot street scenes to capture the constant flux of this city. I actually enjoy photographing everything. Unfortunately, It seems that photographers have to pick and choose a category, so I choose to focus on Street Photography.
Can you talk about the relation between the city of Istanbul and its people?
The city of Istanbul is an amazing city of contrasts and contradictions. Istanbul is constantly changing - for better and for worse, and this creates a continuous element - almost overwhelming at times - of intrigue. I find many opportunities to capture the ironies of these contradictions and intricate layers. Istanbul is a mass in motion in a sense. Waves of people trying to get to their destination move, while others already at their destination remain to watch the flow.
Can you feel a change of daily life in Istanbul after latest bomb attacks?
I was actually surprised that there was a noticeable change, since I have always thought of the Turks as resilient. This country has seen so much and they will get through this as they have always done. I was here during the devastating earthquake in 1999 and the Gezi Park protests in 2013, and have witnessed this resilience, but this time it feels a bit unnerving at seeing a frightened people. I know that people want to return to normalcy soon.
Where do you find your best subjects?
The majority of my images are from meanderings in many different areas of Istanbul, where I try to capture the many layers of overlapping complexities. I return to the same areas of the city often to find that places no longer exist or are morphing into something completely different. This myriad of activity compels me to try and capture the process in its entirety. The best subjects are everywhere here.
Most of your photographs are in B&W. Why?
I shoot in both color and black and white, but the textures of the city often have more feeling in black and white. I feel it captures the grittiness and urban mystique of the city and its people better.
Do you shoot daily?
I try to shoot daily. I see so much on my way to and from work so I usually can't help but shoot daily! I sometimes like to give myself 'photo assignments' or tasks to keep my eyes alert. It's very easy to find photographic subjects in Istanbul so I like to be prepared to capture the moments - which are often very fleeting moments.
What advice would you give to someone who starts with street photography?
Shoot lots and don't hold back. Look for lines and angles and textures - or details- that most people would walk right past. Be ready for anything and just have fun with it.
If you had the chance to go on a photowalk with a famous photographer. Who would it be and why?
I just love the boldness of Vivian Maier. It's sad that her wok wasn't discovered when she was alive and wasn't able to see a lot of what she had shot. I connect a lot with her work. She would've had a great time in the digital world. Well, at least she would've been able to see more of her images.
What and who inspires you?
In terms of photography, walking around in cities inspires me most. I like trying to find the hidden gems. Other photographers inspire me and help me learn more about my own style and images.