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Dr. Süleyman Çam Photography

7 March 2008 INTERVIEW; ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY … News

DR.SÜLEYMAN ÇAM PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS
Dr. Süleyman Çam Photography

WE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE STARTED TAKING PHOTOS WHEN YOUR FATHER MADE A PRESENT OF A CAMERA. DID YOU TAKE ANY EDUCATION ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY ?
I have known very well the photographer Uncle Nedim who sold the camera to my father. He had a photograph shop which had two parts; On the front side, there was the shopwindow and his table next to it. On the back side, there was his studio and the darkroom.
I took my first education about photography form the photographer Nedim. We used to make the bath of the black and white photos with him when I was 13 years old. We used to discuss the frame of my photos and he was explaining the diaphragm and the light to me.
I can never forget that in the year of 1977, the handcrafts made by the young ladies were exhibited on the corridors of the elementary school and Uncle Nedim had congratulated me when he saw the photos I took of this exhibition without using the flash.
I was working very hard to do my best and take these congradulations oftenly.
I bought a Zenit 122 when I was a student in high school but I didn’t take any courses about the photography techniques.
After mu graduation from high school I went to Paris for my University education. Because of financial difficulties and hard education conditions I neither had a chance to own a new camera nor the time for photography courses.
Of course there were things which directed my point of view about photography in those years. I observed and examined the people making paintings on the streets as well as the tourists who were taking photos.
Being a student in Paris had given me the chance of Free Visiting the museums and the exhibitions of paintings and photographs of world famous artists.
When I returned to Turkey, because of some struggles and obligations I couldn’t deal with photography for a lond period of time until I started to work as a Group Doctor of Doðan Media in 1998.
At first, I bought a Nikon D 100 SLR. I showed the photos I took to photograph experts and editors so I benefited from their ideas. I’m continuing to do the same at the moment. My passion of taking photos reappeared and I started going after photograph again.

THE KEEN FEATURES OF YOUR PORTRAIT PHOTOS ATTRACTED OUR ATTENTION. IS THERE ANY SPECIAL REASON FOR THIS ?
Before all else, I was affected by the portraits of Atatürk on the walls of the classes of elementary and high school. This marvelous man always filled me with admiration with the deep and determined look in his eyes. The portrait photos of the world famous artists and the very important Kings of French History had also determined and effective impresions.
Today, my point of view about portrait photos is looking for those impressions.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU PRESS THE SHUTTER ?
It’s just like a Volcanic Explosion .
The earth continues its dynamism and motion inside even we don’t perceive it. If we go down to the deepest part(center) we find a thousands of degrees hot layer, Magma.
It won’t be wrong to define earth as a ‘’ Boiling Sphere’’ under our feet. The crust of the earth covers the whole mystery by detaining this big energy. This high pressure and the high degree solution found in the deep layersof the earth forces the crust on every occasion and it wants to empty the compressed energy inside by sprewing out Lava.
The human body is very similar . It carries out many methods in order to empty the locked energy inside. One of these methods is to be interested in hobbies at leisure.
And one of my methods of emptying my energy is taking photos. My ‘’Volcanic Explosion’’ is the moment I press the shutter.

WHAT KIND OF CAMERA ARE YOU USING AT THE MOMENT ?
I met th World of Photography when I was 13 with a Lubitel 2. Later I used Zenit 122 and this camera prepared the background of my photograph hobby.
After a long interval I started to use Nikon series;
First, Analog Nikon F70 then Digital Nikon D100 and Nikon D200.
From the begining of 2008 I’m using Nikon D300.

CAN YOU GIVE NAMES OF ANY PHOTOGRAPHER, AUTHOR, POET OR PAINTER WHO HAS AN INFLUENCE ON YOUR POINT OF VIEW ABOUT ART ?
I have a great respect to all the artists and their works. I’m trying to learn everything necessary and important. Besides this, I’m striving to understand the things they want to express by thier works of Art.
In the first months of my stay in Paris, when I had awareded myself by visiting the Louvre Museum, the art works I’ve seen there almost paralized me ! I watched them in wondering admiration.
Until that day the only art works I saw were the photos of my ancestors on the walls of our house in the village and portraits of Atatürk on the walls of the classes of my school.
As a young man who has never seen any other art work before that day, I can’t describe my feelings when I was standing in the middle of the Louvre Museum.
I was very impressed and I visited the same place and I investigated the art works very carefully trying to understand their story.
I haven’t been influenced by especially just one artist.
Although every artist has his own way of expressing himself they all want to give and tell beautiful things about art so I try to get my share out of these.
I used to watch the artists’ activities very curiously on the streets and in the metro stations of the European cities I had visited.
Especially the portraits drawn very rapidly had caught my attention.
The paintings on the walls and ceilings of the churchs, cathedrals and monasteries had always drawn my attention. Though every artist’s point of view about art can affect you in a different way.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO CONSTITUDE ‘’THE MARK OF LIGHT’’ ?
Since the day my photograph hobby has started I’m always following the light. I didin’t spare a special time period for my exhibition named ‘’The Mark of Light’’.
It’s an exhibition formed by gathering my reverse light photos together.
Last year I held an exhibition named ‘’ The Story of the Newspaper by Photos’’.
These serial photos were telling the story of printing a newspaper from the first step to the end.
The exhibition was held in Hürriyet building. DPC (Dogan Printing Center) web-site Istanbul Printing Systems is being presented.
DPC İstanbul Photo Gallery
I’m striving for my new exhibition ‘’Mark of Life’’ which will be hold in the exhibition hall of the Bahçeþehir University in a couple of years.
I wake up before sunrise almost every morning in order to see the mark of sunlight and I try to catch the first beams of light of the new day.
This means waking up with the sun and it gives a great pleasure.
Of course I didn’t quit following the sunlight after realization of my exhibition ‘’Mark of Light’’.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ‘’EDITING’’ DIGITAL PHOTOS ?
The image that you get from a digital camera is made by a digital processor. Because of digital cameras cannot take images in dia-positive or like human eye –see, many programmes released to occur that.
The main purpose at this point is; making digital photos look mor real. When you take your photos in ‘’RAW’’ format you need some editing but you musn’t exaggerate it.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOS WITH DIFFERENT AND SPECIAL MEANINGS FOR YOU WHICH YOU KEEP IN YOUR DRAWER ?
I’m still keeping the photos I took withe my Lubitel 2 with utmost care. I take out and look at them time to time and I go back to my memories again by this way.
These photos are very important and valuable for two reasons ;
The first reason is that It has made me very excited to take these photos when I was a young guy and I even didn’t know the word ‘’shutter’’ in those days.
The second reason is that they were the first photos which I printed with my ‘’master photographer’’ Nedim in his darkroom.
Of course I added the photos I took afterwardsto my archieves but the first ones have a different value for me.

WHICH IDEAS OF YOU HAVE CHANGED BY LOOKING AT THE ENVIRONMENT FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER’S POINT OF VIEW ?
My profession and photography taught me to look at the world from a different point of view.
In fact this is just like the story of an Indian who hears the voice of a cicada and heads towards it in a very crowded and noisy atmosphere.
An Indian who was trying to adapt to city life and his work-mates were returning to their office after they had their lunch.
During their walk and chatting the Indian said that he hears a cicada’s noise and he decided to find it. But his friends were surprised and told him that it’s impossible to hear a bug’s voice in such a crowded and noisy place and they kept on walking.
One of them, although not believing in finding it, decided to look for the cicada with the Indian. So they walked to the opposite side of the road. As they went forward the noise coming from a treebetween the apartments became stronger. When they looked carefully they saw a cicada holding tightly on the branch of a tree.
‘’You must have Superhuman abilities ! How could you hear this this noise ? ‘’ asked his friend to the Indian.
And the Indian said that, in order to hear this noiseone doesn’t need to have ‘’Superhuman abilities’’ and told his friend to follow him.
They passed to the sidewalk and the Indian took out the coins from his pocket and threw them to the sidewalk. Many people looked to the direction , towards the sound of the coins and checked their pockets to understand if they dropped them. At that moment, the Indian turned to his friend and said ‘’ The important point is the things you appreciate and the things you consider ‘important’.
You hear, see and feel everything according to this. ‘’
Life is like this for me also; The things I appreciate changed in time and they became a united whole with nature and natural life.
My profession, the photos I’m running after and looking at the area that I want to fix through a camera ; They all provided this point of view to me.

DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT GIVING A CAMERA TO A CHILD AS A GIFT AS YOUR FATHER DID TO YOU ?
There have always been one of my old cameras in my children’s toys. My son and my daughter took all my photos with their own cameras or with mine.
Since there are some cameras at home I didn’t think to award my children with a camera for their success in school. I also didn’t make a present of a camera to my cousins and to the chlidren in my neighborhood.
The reason is that they all own a mobile phone with a camera and they can share the photos they have taken by PC very easily.