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Savas Onur Sen
Savas Onur Sen
Savas Onur Sen

Savas Onur Sen

Country: Turkey
Birth: 1978

Savaş Onur Şen is a Turkish photographer based in Van. He has graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Communication, Department of Journalism. He has taken his master's degree in photography and a Ph.D. degree in photojournalism. Now he is working at Van Yuzuncu Yil University as an Assistant Professor. Savaş Onur Şen is trying to use photography to tell stories. These days he focused on the stories of the animals who live in the urban lifestyle.

Precarious
If certain lives do not qualify as lives or are,
from the start, not conceivable as lives within
certain epistemological frames,
then these lives are never lived nor lost
in the full sense.

Judith Butler

Current laws and regulations do not adequately protect the animals in Turkey. Violence, especially against stray animals, is increasing due to the lack of an animal rights law demanded by animal lovers and sensible groups. It is possible to see the traces of the rising vio-lence in mainstream and social media. Almost every day, we come across news of rape, torture, violence, and abuse, especially against stray animals. This situation also causes conflicts between people who are sensitive to the issue and are against feeding stray animals.

It is said that there are over 20 thousand stray dogs in the city where I live. Although I don't have the chance to reach all of them, I have been feeding several stray dogs for many years and trying to find solutions to their problems. While doing this, I have also been taking photos of them for the last two years.

"Precarious" is the first significant part of my work on stray dogs. This work aims to present an epistemological framework for the lives of stray dogs.
 

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Karl Struss
United States
1886 | † 1921
Karl Struss, was a notable figure in American visual arts, renowned for his contributions as both a photographer and a cinematographer spanning from the early 1900s to the 1950s. Notably, he played a significant role in the advancement of 3-D filmmaking techniques during his career. His portfolio boasts a diverse range of projects, including iconic films like F.W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator and Limelight. Beyond his cinematic endeavors, Struss also lent his expertise to television productions, notably serving as a cinematographer for the series Broken Arrow and capturing the essence of 19 episodes of My Friend Flicka through his lens. Born in New York City in 1886, Karl Struss's early life took an unexpected turn when an illness sidelined him from high school. His father, Henry, made the decision to withdraw him from formal education, placing him as a labor operator at Seybel & Struss bonnet wire factory. However, this diversion ignited a passion within Karl for photography. He delved into the craft, experimenting with an 8x10 camera and immersing himself in the art through Clarence H. White's evening photography course at Teachers College, Columbia University, starting in 1908 and concluding in 1912. During his formative years of study, Struss's fascination with camera lenses led him to invent the Struss Pictorial Lens in 1909, which he aimed to patent as a soft-focus lens. This innovation garnered attention and popularity among pictorial photographers of the era, ultimately becoming the first soft-focus lens embraced by the motion picture industry in 1916. Struss's breakthrough in the world of photography came when Alfred Stieglitz selected 12 of his pictorial works for the Albright Art Gallery International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography in 1910, marking the culmination of the Photo-Secession movement. His reputation continued to flourish, as evidenced by his inclusion in the prestigious exhibition "What the Camera Does in the Hand of the Artist" at the Newark Art Museum in April 1911. This success led to an invitation from Teacher's College for Struss to curate a solo exhibition showcasing his depictions of New York City and to temporarily assume teaching responsibilities for White's course during the summer of 1912. Further recognition came when Stieglitz invited Struss to join the Photo-Secession in 1912, facilitating the publication of his work in the group's magazine, Camera Work. In 1913, Struss collaborated with Edward Dickson, Clarence White, Alvin Langdon Coburn, and Paul Anderson to establish Platinum Print, a publication aimed at promoting photographic artistry. By 1914, Struss fully embraced his identity as a professional photographer, resigning from the family business and taking over Clarence White's former studio space, marking a pivotal moment in his career trajectory. At the suggestion of Coburn, Struss took the initiative to submit prints to the American Invitational Section of the Royal Photographic Society's annual exhibition in London, marking the beginning of a recurring practice that would extend well into the 1920s. Alongside this, he actively participated in various exhibitions organized by photography clubs and associations, such as the Pittsburgh Salon of National Photographic Art and the annual photography showcase hosted by the Philadelphia department store Wanamaker's. While engaging in these exhibitions and handling specialized commissions, Struss concurrently pursued commercial photography for esteemed magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar. It's noteworthy that he maintained a distinction, adamantly asserting that his work didn't fall under the category of fashion photography. However, the trajectory of his photographic career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. In 1917, he fulfilled his patriotic duty by registering for the draft and subsequently enlisting with the intention of serving his country through photography. Initially trained for aerial photography instruction, Struss encountered complications when his German connections came under scrutiny by the Military Intelligence Department. This led to his demotion from sergeant to private and a period of confinement in Ithaca, New York, where he was originally stationed to teach at the School of Military Aeronautics. Eventually, he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, where his duties shifted to serving as a prison guard and later as a file clerk. In this latter role, he reignited his passion for photography, documenting the lives of the prisoners. Towards the end of the war, in a bid to dispel any lingering suspicions of anti-American sentiment, Struss sought to clear his name by applying and being accepted into Officer's Training Camp, attaining the rank of corporal. Despite receiving an honorable discharge eventually, the fallout from the military investigation likely left him hesitant to resume his previous endeavors in New York, as many of his professional relationships had been strained or fractured as a result. In 1919, following his military discharge, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he secured a position as a cameraman under Cecil B. DeMille's direction. His first assignment was on the set of the film For Better, For Worse, featuring Gloria Swanson, which paved the way for subsequent collaborations on projects like Male and Female. This successful partnership led to a lucrative two-year contract with the studio. Early in 1921, Struss tied the knot with Ethel Wall, whose support enabled him to pursue independent photographic ventures alongside his studio obligations, notably capturing scenic views across California. Throughout the 1920s, his cinematic expertise graced notable productions including Ben-Hur and F.W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. By 1927, he transitioned to United Artists, collaborating with luminaries such as D.W. Griffith on projects like Drums of Love and pioneering Mary Pickford's inaugural sound film, Coquette. Continuously innovative, Struss delved into experimental camera technology, inventing the "Lupe Light" and devising a novel bracket system for the Bell & Howell camera. From 1931 to 1945, Struss contributed his talents as a cameraman to Paramount, engaging in diverse projects featuring prominent figures like Mae West, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour. He also made significant contributions to the field through his written work, exemplified by his 1934 article "Photographic Modernism and the Cinematographer" published in American Cinematographer. Recognized for his expertise, he gained membership in esteemed organizations such as the American Society of Cinematographers and played a pivotal role as a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts. In 1949, while working independently, Struss embarked on pioneering endeavors in stereo cinematography, positioning himself as a trailblazer in this emerging art form. Regrettably, most of his 3-D film ventures took place overseas in Italy, with none of his productions receiving 3-D releases in the United States. In addition to his illustrious career in photography and cinematography, Struss pursued a passion for philately, particularly focusing on the inaugural transpacific airmail flights. He meticulously crafted commemorative covers for significant events such as the first San Francisco to Honolulu flight in November 1935, showcasing his dedication to this specialized hobby. His personal collection, including exhibition prints, film stills, negatives, and papers, is housed at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas.
John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
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Exclusive Interview with George Byrne
George Byrne is an acclaimed Australian photographer known for his striking use of color and composition. Byrne's work often captures urban landscapes with a minimalist and abstract aesthetic, transforming ordinary cityscapes into vivid, painterly images. His distinctive style highlights the beauty in everyday scenes, emphasizing geometry, light, and shadow to create visually captivating pieces. Byrne has gained international recognition for his unique approach to photography, blending elements of fine art and documentary to offer a fresh perspective on the urban environment.
Barbara Cole and Wet Collodion Photographs
Cole is best known for her underwater photography, but her other studio practice during the cold months in Toronto is an ongoing series of wet collodion photographs. This heavily analog process from the 19th Century is a years-long endeavor of revitalization and experimentation, offering modern day viewers an understanding of what it took to develop photographs in the early days of its invention. Cole has added her own unique take on the process by adding a layer of color in contrast to the usual sepia tones associated with the genre. The resulting wet plate photographs are tactile and dimensional dances between light and shadow, past and present, depicting women in timeless dreamscapes. We asked her a few questions about this specific project
Exclusive Interview with Michael Joseph
I discovered Michael Joseph's work in 2016, thanks to Ann Jastrab. I was immediately captivated by the power of his beautiful black and white photographs from his series 'Lost and Found.' His haunting portraits of young Travelers have stayed with me ever since.
Exclusive Interview with Debe Arlook
Debe Arlook is an award-winning American artist working in photography. Through color and diverse photographic processes, Arlook’s conceptual work is a response to her surroundings and the larger environment, as she attempts to understand the inner and outer worlds of human relationships. Degrees in filmmaking and psychology inform these views.
Orchestrating Light: Seth Dickerman Talks About his Passion for Photographic Printmaking
Seth Dickerman is a master manipulator of the wide spectrum of light densities that reflect off the surface of a photographic print and enter into our field of vision. His singular intent in making prints is to bring out the best an image has to offer, which means giving an image the ability to hold our attention, to engage us, and to allow us to discover something about an image that is meaningful and significant.
Exclusive Interview with Michel Haddi
Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Exclusive Interview with Debra Achen
Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
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Solo Exhibition July 2024
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