EREN ÖĞRÜL
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Photography At Its Worst, But It's Mine!

May 22, 2020

The first time I was interested in photography was when I was creating themes for GNU/Linux. These themes were mainly GTK, Fluxbox, Openbox, GDM, and a bunch of window managers. As a devoted artist and punk (this is another story I will tell later.) I was sharing these themes on DeviantArt. I started to follow some great artists and their amazing photos, and I decided to get a camera so that I could take photos like them. The whole story of getting my very first camera was an excruciating process and brings lots of emotions even now. I will not go into too many details about it. In the end, I got my camera, which was Kodak Easyshare C875. It was one of the best alternatives within the price range that I could afford.

I

After all the pain getting my camera, the photos I took were nowhere near to the ones I saw on the DeviantArt. I was putting 10px thick black borders around my photos. There was no ratio. There was no proper angle. There was no reason for someone to show an interest. Weird water canals, trees, overpassess, the same building every day at the same time for a month, etc. No human beings, no animals. In fact, after seeing piles of concrete, someone could think I must be a building contractor. It did frustrate me to some extent, and I was very harsh on myself about the photos I was taking. Further thinking to give up until one day, I got a comment from an art student who studied in the same university as me. The word he made was, “When I saw your photos, it brought up so many emotions to me. I was in those exact locations in your photos, either drinking, or having fun with my friends, or being alone with my self, or hunting frogs on the canal after final exams. I am grateful you shared these.“ That comment was one of the turning points for me in my turbulent photography journey.

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Especially when you hear such a thing from a very talented artist, it did sparkle something inside me and kept me going until today. And I am really grateful for that. My technique or any “10 photography mistakes newbies can do” mistakes or if I followed a golden ratio or anything were unimportant. Still, some people who would feel something or would have a context when they saw my aestetically weird photos. Basically, that was enough for me. After that point, I never cared about anything, and I kept taking photos.

III

I didn't care about the rules back then, and I don't care about them now. At least some certain things are settled inside my head, and even the rest remains, thankfully I am not putting 10px thick black borders around the photos anymore. After moving to the Netherlands, I left my good old companion in Turkey and bought myself another camera (Fujifilm X-T20) to continue my journey. Since I deleted my social media accounts, I would like to share photography in here at its worst, but it's mine! I hope these photos would make any of you feel something deep down inside or would give you a context that is only unique to you when you look at them.