Infrared Istanbul

Photograph Exhibition
5 June - 3 July2010 
Fototrek, Beyoğlu

The major element of photography is light. Light is made up of electromagnetic waves that move in space. The magnitude of these waves can range from 6.000 kilometers to 0.00005 nanometer (1nm is 1 millionth of a milimeter).  The human eye can see only the portion between 400nm (purple) and 700nm (red). However, when we pass beyond 700nm (infrared) we begin to see some details that a naked eye normally cannot see.

All the photographs in this project were taken by a camera custom manufacturedto capture infrared wavelengths. All pictures were taken as direct photography, meaning that there is no photoshop manipulation in any image. I only made some adjustments in the photographs to be viewed by the naked eye in normal wavelengths (visible light)

I did this project because I wanted to point out some landscapes at the frontiers of Istanbul which we do not normally pay attention to or we cannot “see”, even if we were born and lived in Istanbul for many years,. By the same token, I wanted to exhibit some apparent scenes of Istanbul in the way they are reflected to my soul though my infrared camera.The photographs you see in the exhibition are “true”. There is no fiction to them.  However, for me (both in photographic expression and in life) truth is “the footsteps in the snow”. It gives information about what it could be, but the rest is just an impression of the correlation among time-existence-object-nature in the given place and time.  Indeed, what I am trying to trace are these footsteps so that I “feel the truth” in them, just like the effect of “Impressionism” in painting. Actually, the reason infrared photography became such a source of inspiration for me is because I am able to express those “impressions” - which I admire in painting – through my view finder.

The “hunting” instinct that enabled humanity to survive since the emergence of the first human being, is the strongest instinct that showed itself in photography which is the youngest but the most dynamic “child” of the fine arts. Here I exhibit you the synthesis of my art and craft, using this basic instinct and combining it with the highest technology available.

I would like to express my thanks to Fototrek Gallery for hosting this exhibition during the 2010 European Capital of Culture; to Mr. Gültekin Çizgen, who is not only the driving force behind photography projects in Fototrek, but also for photography in Turkey; to my wife, Gözdem Kulaksız, who always followed me wherever I traveled and never left me alone, motivating me and supporting me in all matters; and to my father, A. Halim Kulaksız, who has always emphasized the philosophy that “we have to get the photograph hung on the walls in Turkey”, and who is the major mentor and advisor not only of this project but also of my long journey in the art of photography.