“The most precious inspiration for me is Istanbul, way too much more than anyone else. Istanbul is such a beautiful city that since I’m not talented enough to write poems worthy of the beauty of Istanbul, I’m trying to define Istanbul with my photographs.” – Ömer Yeşilırmak
Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Istanbul. I graduated from Mimar Sinan Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Traditional Turkish Art.
How did your story of photography begin?
I began photography just as a hobby with the camI had borrowed from a friend of mine in 2009. And in the meantime, parallel to my interest in visual arts, my interest in photography also increased incrementally. Finally, this hobby turned out to be my job.
Anyone passionate for something is also inspired by some things and/or some people. Would you mind telling us about what had first gave you the passion for photography; the people, the incidents, the photos which had inflamed you at times when you felt down etc..?
I have to indicate first that, the most precious inspiration for me is Istanbul, way too much more than anyone else. I’ve been trying to reflect my never ending interest in Istanbul’s history and the historical places and buildings way back from the Ottoman Empire to present. İstanbul is such a beautiful city that since I’m not talented enough to write poems worthy of the beauty of Istanbul, I’m trying to define Istanbul with my photographs.
Nowadays the way you present something is the most crucial part of the work you do. For instance, food photos are the display window of the food & beverage business. Do you believe that the display window and the content shall coincide? Or else do you think capturing good shots is the only thing important?
The display you’ll be showing people is definitely important. But just in order to stick to a concept, putting the photos which you do not feel content with, is a big mistake. Personally, I feel the anxiety in sharing photos suitable for the texture of Istanbul. I’m trying to create an album for people who has once been to Istanbul and could never come back again or for people who have always dreamt of seeing Istanbul one day. It’s indeed very crucial to catch a harmony in the tones you use.
How does “the moment” happen to be the moment to be photographed? What do you absorb from that moment and pass it onto people?
For me, capturing that special moment definitely depends on destiny. Especially for the last 3 years, every step I take with my cam has become a habit of looking for “that moment” you’re saying. Sometimes you catch it, but sometimes you return home with nothing. And when I meet with “that monent” I have to capture, I try not to avoid some very crucial points for me. For instance, when I see a cat sleeping in an upside down umbrella, I try to use this scene within a composition rather that immediately taking that shot. I’m not sure as to how successful I’m in doing this but still I prefer 2nd and/or 3rd elements into the photo in order to enrich the content of the photograph.
Is there a philosophic background of photography? If so, what is it? What I mean is, do you ever think or wish others think on anything specific when examining your photos other than its artistic taste?
I mostly try to rely my photographs on compositions I build upon classical Turkish arts. And since I perform these arts in Istanbul, it’s extremely important for me of the photos I take sticking to our traditional Turkish art compositions. In other words, I seemy photos not only as photos; but rather as miniature or tiles board.
In what ways have you trained yourself in order to come up with better works? Do you have any inculcations which you still repeat to yourself?
I primarily tried to learn the basics of phptpgraphy. I took many many photos at the point of fixing my own style. I never stay indifferent or distant to the criticisims of my friends whom I trust the eyes and philosphies of since I never feel content with myself and still keep improving.
There are so many photography fans who are under piles of technical equipments. Some people believe that the best cam takes the best shot, whereas there are so many others who are doing a great job with their smart phones in the last 1-2 years. What are your opinions about these equipments and thr usage of them?
Which brand is your cam? This is the question I, myself hear at least 3 times every day. Many people do really think that good shots can only be taken only via expensive cams. I have so many others around me, doing great jobs with only their mobile phones whereas some others do poor jobs eventhough they have all the chances and expensive cams. What I believe is, if you’re doing this only asa hobby, you can go on with your smart phone or at least a beginner cam and yet take great shots. Of course we cannot avoid the significance of the quality of a cam, but the important thing is not the device, but having a style of your own.
‘Good photography is when you connect your eyes, your mind and your heart on one single line,” says Henri Cartier Bresson. What is a “good photograph” for you?
For me, a “good photograph” is the sincere and unique one.
Where are you recently, what are you doing, do you have any new projects? How can people reach you in order to follow your works closely?
I’m in Istanbul recently and I’m working on project-based jobs mostly. I’m in close touch with my followers in Instagram where I’m actively sharing my works. For the ones who want to follow, they can reach through @omeryesilirmak_ in Instagram or via my e-mail address, email@example.com .