Eggs are interesting subjects, especially if they are large ostrich eggs and an almost black emu egg. One day in Ayvalik I played with them to study their shape, form, texture and the effect of light on them. The resulting photographs are my “eggsperiments” (the pun was irresistible.) The inclusion of a copper plate in different photographs provided another element to use in their composition. A part of the study was the “frame” which can, and does, contain all the elements neatly or abruptly cut them with different impact. The imaginary creations that use the emu egg as the main elements are inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey; and the “monolith” in the titles refer to the same in the movie. This study has been educational and fun for me, I hope you enjoy viewing the photographs.
You can view the portfolios with individual photographs presented in galleries. They present some of my work in one place, just as visiting an exhibit. Some of these photographs are published in a folio, printed in a magazine format, appeared in a publication, or exhibited, and thus gain commonality. If you are interested in purchasing, please contact me for pricing and size availability.
On the hills that connect the town of Ayvalik to Bergama, ancient Pergamon, the Kozak Plateau raises the graceful Pinus Pinea, Umbrella Pine. These trees yield pine nuts that provide the main source of income to the people of this area. The environment in which these trees grow are almost “plant hostile” as the ground it covered mostly with stones and rocks and some trees grew in the cracks of large boulders. This might be the reason for another name given to these trees, Stone Pine.This collection of photographs, which have been issued as a limited edition folio, present these gorgeous trees in their element. The shapes are graceful; the space created by the trees and boulders, very dynamic.
Contents of the Folio
Ayvalik is a town on the Aegean coast of Turkey with a visible mixture of Turkish-Greek heritage. It faces the island of Lesvos and a stone-throw away from several significant historical sites. Assos and Troy, Pergamon, and Mount Ida are mostly easy drives from Ayvalik. The road to Assos used to be, and it may still be, extremely narrow, with sharp curves, on a very steep side of the mountain. Near Ayvalik are many small islands, inlets, peninsulas, giving the shoreline a dynamic interest. On the mainland side are modest mountains on which Pinus Pinea or Umbrella Pine provides the economic engine. Pine nuts obtained from these pine trees support several small towns like Kozak and Kinik. On Thursdays, a big market supported by many area villages provides a rich variety of items to the locals. Markets are very colorful places not only with the wares they offer but also by the people who tend to the stands. The buyers, interacting with the merchandise add another layer of interest to these dynamic gatherings once a week. In the surrounding area are many olive groves which produce one of the main product of Ayvalik, olive oil. Visits to these groves present great photographic opportunities with “ancient” olive trees. Finding trees several centuries old is relatively easy, yet with a little search, one can find trees estimated to be 800 plus years old. You will see one such tree in this gallery.The photographs in this gallery, in their totality, should give a sense of place to the viewer.
The Texture of the Town
These are the photographs from the exhibit Faces and Places from Turkey that was housed in the Mathewson Street United Methodist Church in Providence. The exhibit statement is below, and here is a brief catalog with a description of each photograph.
This collection of photographs presents a continuation of an earlier exhibit. Faces & Places From Turkey, II is a richer collection of images showing faces and places that a visitor will not likely encounter during their visit to Turkey. These photographs differ from the iconic photographs of Turkey which feature the familiar skylines, familiar faces, and stereotypical lifestyles.
I am interested in photography that shares scenes as I perceive them at the time of taking the picture. “Seeing” and “photographing” are two related but very different activities. Whereas seeing is mostly mental, photographing is mostly mechanical. Although I “photograph” what I “see,” the actual experience of either differ from one another in significant ways.
In that line of thinking, I hope that what you “see” will come close to what I intended to show, rather than remaining at the level of what the camera recorded, and that you will choose to see rather than to look.
July 6, 2008
The Faces and Places from Turkey exhibit took place in the exhibit space of Lifespan between the two major hospitals in Rhode Island. The following explanatory text accompanied the photographs.
I have selected these photographs for an exhibit in Rhode Island. They show faces and places from Turkey that tourists may not experience. I organized them in groups of three to reflect the character of a few locations, Adana, Cappadocia, Istanbul, Ayvalik, Tire, Sirince, and Safranbolu.
Adana is a city in southern Turkey famous for growing cotton and citrus and textile manufacturing.
Cappadocia lies north of the Taurus Mountains. It attracts many tourists who are treated to a magical vista with many shapes of rock formations known as “fairy chimneys.”
Istanbul is the best-known city in Turkey with its rich history, art, and architecture. The photographs I chose from Istanbul are purposely not the typical, iconic images of the city with minarets.
Ayvalik is a small town on the Aegean coast of Turkey famous for its olive oil groves and high-quality olive oil produced from them.
A little to the south of Ayvalik, about a four-hour drive, is the town of Tire. The villages around Tire gather for a very large market every Tuesday where one can find both the expected and unexpected things for sale.
On the way to Tire, a small detour brings the visitors to a hidden gem, Sirince, which roughly means “charming” and it lives up to its name.
Safranbolu is in the Black Sea region of Turkey and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It displays the architecture of the Ottoman period like a well preserved time capsule.
These photographs were on exhibit in 2004 with the title On Seeing and the following artist’s statement: Photography brings the camera and the subject intimately close, the photographer becoming the tool and voyeur of this intimate relationship. What I see is not what the camera records. While the camera is a tool for me, I am a tool for the camera. The result of this symbiotic relationship is my photography.
I photograph my environment. By looking at these photographs, you will see what the camera recorded and what I saw. In that sense, photography becomes a mirror to my past. Through this, I want to tell you the stories of the faces and places I have seen.
All this will work based On Seeing, mine, the camera’s, and yours.
January 2004, Providence