About the Photographer

photo credit: Hatice Kafadar

about this website

published photos & articles

current equipment & technical proficiency

Born in 1968, Ankara, now I'm a photographer working since 2000 in affiliation with Atlas, a leading geographic magazine published in Turkey. For many years, I have been a serious amateur, having travelled long distances on muddy roads, hiked on silent mountain paths, wandered in deep forests and canyons, for the search of better images.

First meeting with photography was some experiments with my father's Agfa Isola, as he taught me the basics of usage when I was 7 years old, then followed by Exacta. At 16, I stepped into my own photographic world, buying a Lomo Smena, a lightweight rangefinder with little value if lost or damaged, yet providing unexpected image quality and the basic controls for creativity. That year, with a modest budget, I survived a 2-month journey all around the country, while it was unimaginable for the age. I had to overcome the lack of light meter by memorizing and calculating values. The successful images were appreciated by my high school, and that led to an exhibition sponsored by state.

In the university years, I owned a Minolta system and used for more than a decade. Its prime lenses could provide high standard images, if proper technique applied. In the library, I preferred to spend long hours looking at the National Geographic collection, instead of studying lessons. It's not hard to guess the rest. Mechanical engineering was not for me, despite of a tendency towards technology and science. Then I studied tourism, and worked as the manager of a travel agency, before realizing I should be in the photography industry. After a detailed research for a high definition MF camera, I've recently decided for a Mamiya 7 system. For certain needs, the advantages outweigh its disadvantages. Since I barely managed to afford the camera plus 3 lenses; any digital camera today, better than top 35mm film+scan quality would be out of my financial reach, sharing the same situation together with many semi-pros.

My Philosophy in Photography: I may never find the exact answer what especially drives into landscape photography. I always see strong relation between landscapes and polyphonic music, as well as maths. Though it's no secret as success depends being at the right place at the right time, also I try to combine emotion with technique, in effort to maintain precise balance between art and reality. My photographs vary from grand vistas to tranquil scenes, or intimate abstracts sometimes induced by fractal geometry. Generally, landscape related photography is a complex branch, and needs a thorough understanding of light, color, composition and harmony of the instruments provided by nature and mankind. I believe most landscape photographers are under the strong motive seeking perfection and also "the heaven on earth", although not often admitted.

Turgut Tarhan - 2004