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Dr. Süleyman Çam Photography

19 February 2008 INTERVIEW; RUNNING AFTER THE LIGHT … News

DR.SÜLEYMAN ÇAM PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS
Dr. Süleyman Çam Photography

WHY PHOTOGRAPHY ?
I was born in a beautiful village on the East-Black sea coast. Until age of 17 I lived in this village. Since the day I know myself, I always wake up before sunrise. The nature and the natural environment I lived in had a great influence on me in those years. I used to watch sun, rising above the sea and observe it leaving marks of its light on sea and on landscape with great admiration.
I have always wanted to take photos of these views and marks of sunlight. I was a junior student and this great wish of mine became true when my father awarded my success in scholl with a Lubitel 2 , my first camera.
I tried to take my first photos of nature , black and white of course , with this old camera.

WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES IN PHOTOGRAPHY ?
After my graduation from High-School of Trabzon I went to Paris on behalf of MEB’s (The Ministry of Education) scholarship of ‘’Special Student’’ for my university education. I studied French Literature for a year in the University of Sorbonne. My goal was to become a Medical Doctor and I entered Faculty of Science of Medicine in the same city.
Living in Paris and in different cities of Europe, in other words; ‘’Living the Western Civilization’’, taking education of Literature and Medical Science developed and changed my point of view to the Art of Photography. But Istanbul with its historical layout and its mornings have been had a great influence on me.
The thing I follow was taking photos of the marks of light that filled me with admiration. For this reason I’m trying to have time on my own and running after photograpy.

‘’ EVERY PHOTO HAS ITS OWN STORY ‘’ DO YOU AGREE ?
For sure I agree. Every photo has a story;
A couple of months ago, I decided to take photos of Maiden Tower with my first digital camera.
It was a Sunday morning that I thought it was the best time and conditions for this photo. I took may bag and set off on my journey.
The weather was very cold, almost freezing ! Every breath I took was following a path starting from my nose and going into my lungs, filling very small empty spaces of them.
Screams of sea gulls accompanied me as I walked to my car.
When I pressed the starter of my car the shadows of the cats that took shelter under the car got smaller and dissappeared in front of the headlights.
Everybody was in sleep in the early hours of the morning and I was living the pleasure of driving on the empty streets of Istanbul.
After a 35 minutes drive I found myself in front of Maiden Tower. I paced back and forth for a few minutes on the dirty sidewalk. I choose an appropriate place , I set my tripod and placed my camera on it with utmost care.
After 3-4 exposure trials I realized that my calculations were wrong. So I took a cup of tea from my thermos and started to think again. I made some automatic exposures then I choosed the manual mode. I arranged the posing time to 5 seconds and the diaphragm speed to 6. When I pressed the shutter it was 04:48 in the morning.
My fingers were about to freeze so I grabed my tea cup in order to warm my hands.
I continued making new exposure trials while I was wathching the beautiful historical layout.
All of my photos have different stories. The photo of Maiden Tower and its story is among my nice and unforgettable memories. I was very impressed with its historical layout.
As every photo has its own story they also have different impressions and memories too.

DO YOU HAVE A PHOTO IN YOUR MIND AND IN YOUR DREAMS WHICH YOU WISH TO TAKE VERY MUCH ?
Yes, of course .
A young man of 17 years old was the son of a half-migrant family and they had to migrate from their mountain pasture that is placed on Zigana mountain to their village on the Black-Sea coast. This young man had to walk for one and a half days with his mother and their cows in order to reach their home in the village.
After staying two weeks at home he would make his first long trip to Paris and he would find himself in one of the most historical amphitheaters of University of Sorbonne.
I would desire very much to take the photo of this young man sitting in the middle of the enormous amphitheater . I can’t forget that moment ! Until age of 17 I had never gone out of Trabzon and I even didin’t know many places of the city I was living in.
Under those circumstances and in that mood I had felt very timid of leaving my country and my high school desk. Going to a very famous and historical university like Sorbonne (1253) had made me very anxious.
I was very impressed, almost paralized because of being in this historical, cultural and civilized atmosphere when I took a seat on the amphitheater.
I would wish very much to take my own picture of that moment which I felt very lonely and as small as a drop of water in a big ocean.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU GAIN BY TAKING PHOTOS ?
As I learned many things by sequence of events I lived, I also learned a lot by looking through a camera. Before all else, I realized the first and important spots that I must see at a glance.
My profession played a great role at this point. One can make a general evaluation about the patient at first sight. Your glance at the patient then the data, the synthesis and finally your goal.
You go through the similar way when you want to take a photo. You must be very patient in order to run after a photo and catch what you want.
Beside these, you must investigate the place that you’ll take photos and must wait for the best conditions for a good photo. This investigation teaches you the necessity of learning more about nature.
The most important thing is; I know Istanbul much better every other day. When I go for Istanbul photos early in the morning, I feel like the whole city is mine with its history. I can reach every single corner of it very easily. My camera and me know Istanbul and making the moments last forever.

WHAT IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINT YOU ARE AT THE MOMENT AND THE ONE YOU IMAGINE TO BE ?
All the people dream the things they want to do first, then they make the necessery plans for reaching them and then they start to run after their goals. Once they achive they realize that there are new dreams to go after and new goals to reach. You can’t satisfy with what you got and you aim for the new goals with the power of your experiences and this goes on …..
At the point you stop dreaming and going after your goals that’s the time you stop living.

WHILE MAKING YOUR DECISIONS WHAT ENFORCES YOU THE MOST ? AND HOW CAN YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF IN ONLY ONE SENTENCE ?
I’m constantly in fight with my emotions. My senses are always in a conflict with my logic but both my senses and my logic have a great impact on my decisions.
If I express myself in one sentence;
I always try my best to do what is required from a decent human.