by Carla DLM
Yucel Basoglu is an active member of the 1X community. He is widely known for his black and white seascape photography. His art has been recognized with several international awards. Regarding his work, he says: “The unique memories, moods and feelings of the day are ingrained in my photos”. It was a great pleasure for me to interview him and get to know him better, both as a person and a photographer. Thank you Yucel!
Briefly tell us about yourself
I was born in Switzerland in 1967. I am actually Turkish and currently live in Istanbul. It may feel a little cliché but I have been interested in photography since my childhood. My first camera was an analog Minolta bought by my father. I also had a semi-automatic camera. In those early days, I primarily focused on portraits. My photographic technique and perspective have certainly evolved since then.
Why are you interested in Seascape Photography?
I love nature. I am particularly passionate about seascape photography. The beautiful interplay between waves and rocks synthesize the power of nature in a unique way. The ocean is also unpredictable. One moment it can be serene and gentle and it can suddenly become wild and threatening. I jump on every opportunity to travel to the coast, especially in windy and cloudy weather. Being at the shore fills me with peace. Some people feel that my photos are dark. On the contrary, I delight in that gloomy weather.
Could you describe your work process? Please add examples.
I become impatient when a few days pass without taking a photo. I am constantly checking weather reports, waiting for the perfect occasion for shooting my photographs. Whenever favorable conditions (wind, cloudy or stormy weather) approach, I get my equipment ready. I clean my camera and prepare my memory cards, batteries and filters. I carefully prepare my trip using satellite photos. I prefer to discover original views that differ from the usual ones taken by local residents or that appear in social media. I typically start my trips in the early morning. The rocky shores I normally visit can be treacherous. Safety is a top priority. It is crucial to use appropriate clothes and pack extra food. Being stuck in a remote spot is always a possibility. Fortunately, I managed to escape danger on many occasions. This will not deter me from shooting seascapes. The ocean is my passion.
Do your images have a story behind? They have a special meaning to you or do you look for the technical perfection?
I never hit the road with the sole purpose of taking photos or trying new techniques. The unique memories, moods and feelings of the day are ingrained in my photos. This is one of the reasons why I do not name my pictures. Summarizing a special moment in a couple of words is impossible.
I believe you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph, if that is the case, can you describe the steps you follow to pursue your objectives?
Even when I establish the location for my pictures well in advance, I sometimes spend plenty of time after arrival trying to identify the ideal points for shooting. On some occasions, I even have to return on a different day. In general I improvise, shooting from several different angles. The amount of long exposure I use is determined by a combination of factors, including weather conditions, shapes of waves and location of rocks. My ultimate goal is to capture the majesty of nature and the sea.
What goes through your mind during a shoot. Do you have any inspiration?
My mood of the moment controls my shooting style. After spending an entire day taking photos, I can postpone editing them until I recreate the same mood. I want my photos to reflect my life experiences.
What is your favorite work of you and why?
Every photograph is unique and occupies a special place in my heart. I never view them merely as technical challenges. I can tell a full story for each of them. My works are more than photos to me; they are an integral part of myself.
Do you have any favorite equipment/gear/software to achieve your final result?
I use a Canon 5D Mark III camera and I am very pleased with it. I always use a 17-40 f/4L lens. I edit my pictures with Photoshop CC.
Is there any future project that you working on now and you want to tell us about?
I have a preliminary thought, rather than a project. I am extremely excited about it and have made preparations for a long time. Turkey is a country with a millenary tradition and we have many precious historical artifacts. I want to photograph them in black and white using long exposure. Of course this project will reflect my style.
Do you have any photographer(s) that you admire? If that is the case, explain please.
There are several photographic artists I admire. I got inspiration from the techniques of some photographers when I started working on long exposure. Most of them are minimalist artists. If I mentioned some names, I would definitely be unfair to many.
Did you have any exhibitions of your work, if you did, tell us about them? If you have future exhibitions, please also tell us about them.
I haven’t held a personal exhibition in my country yet, but I have participated in several combined exhibitions and photograph festivals as a guest. I am looking forward to having an individual exhibition in Istanbul in the near future.
1x has become an excellent source for people looking for high quality images on the Internet. It has become a reference for quality for me. I would like to thank dear Carla and all 1X curators for this interview.
Check out Yucel Basoglu's website