Interview with Mehmet Ozgur
#1 Please introduce yourself
I’m a landscape photographer/ applied artist/ engineer residing in USA.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I’ve been always visually inclined. That is pretty much all it takes to start.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
Engineering skills and knowledge can be taught. Like many engineers, I had a deep, technical understanding optics, sensors, digital processing, computers and computer algorithms. However, it is difficult to claim the same for art education. Art requires things that could not be written, formulated, depicted or shown.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
Eulsmann, G. Rowell, H. Kutzler and landscape painters such as T. Moran, Biertsadt, and Church.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
I believe that preparation/planning is necessary for all photo shoots but they are not sufficient for successful results. When shooting landscape, there are a number of factors, we don’t have any control over, such as weather conditions. The last time I was in Alaska, one week wasn’t long enough to see the summit of Denali cleared. In the trip before that I had fallen ill for a week and I couldn’t hike. I try my best within time, physical and economical constraints. Nevertheless, I have a lot more freedom when I’m back home. I work far longer to make my compositions. In my view “shooting” a scene is akin to engineering. All physical parameters can be measured/calculated; therefore, the image capture is relatively straightforward process. On the other hand, “making” a composition from the collected data is a different issue altogether. That is why I like the term “applied art”, which I feel that describes my work the best.
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
A good composition does not need much. Yet, original compositions are very difficult to come by. One would need to be in unique, unusual places, in order to open new windows into our imagination, reach a new level of understanding, and learn new ways to see/think. Discovery is exciting and fascinating.
#7 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
I had used analog process flow over 15 years. Last 10 years, it has been all digital. The transition to digital is not over yet. In fact, there have been quite dramatic changes last few years, I’m afraid, I may even stop printing altogether. It seems that photographs will likely lose all their physical manifestations, and will permanently stay in the ethereal world. They meant to be.
#8 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
Work on your concepts and executions diligently. Don’t be fooled with initial excitement of a new work. I believe resisting that temptation is really part of personal development. I keep coming back to “completed” compositions after several months to see if they are really completed. Not surprisingly I find myself editing again and again.
#9 What do you do in your life besides photography?
I have a full time engineering job. I work with novel devices, processes to improve the ways we interact with physical world. Comparatively, photography is a very personal endeavor with a different set of challenges.
#10 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I have an ongoing “SmokeWorks” collection which I really would like to finish in next five years. There are number of landscape projects lined up as well. I’m also looking for new ways of taking landscape images. With tons of luck, I hope to have a prototype device in next ten years.
Mehmet Ozgur Official Website: