Photography : "Live and Uncut" - Episode 43 with Elif Suyabatmaz

A Tiny perspective on a Grand scale.

I like it when plans come together.  Elif and I have been trying to set up a schedule to make this show happen for quite a few months and finally we got a date set and the show went out. And it was well worth the wait. What an inspiration for photographers.

Elif Suyabatmaz has lived in Istanbul for the last 20 years. Elif's Mother and Father had a little darkroom where they printed their own work on Hungarian photo paper. She remembers as a little girl joining them in the darkroom to do some printing. She went on to study Graphic Design in America but turned to the Nikon film camera to use as the basis of her projects. 

Her first recollection of a camera was her fathers Minolta, but she wasn't allowed to touch it never alone use it! It was her Uncle who gave her, her first 'real camera' a Nikon FE and a couple of lens, which later was unfortunately stolen, when she travelled in Mexico. This camera started her interest in photography especially when using her favourite 3200 ISO black and white film. 'To be honest' as time has gone by, she said 'with the pace of regular updates to digital cameras I just couldn't keep up'. That's one of the reasons why she switched to using her iPhone, for her photography, using the Hipstamatic App. She just loved what it produced, the wonderful images that are so reminiscent of the images from her old film camera.

Using this App you have to be aware of how the images can change from the different 'randomness' of the combinations. It does take time to learn with so many options of lenses and film types. Editing the images, Elif only makes one major change and that is to remove some of the borders which the app creates. The rest she leaves to the camera. The combinations that Elif likes to use are the John S lens with AO DLX film, she sometimes switches to Blackeys film with the John S lens. But as Elif says there are so many combinations you have to decide what end results you want.

It's worth noting that even though she had a digital Nikon, the D70, for a while. But, Elif didn't really get that involved with her photography then, as she has done now with her iPhone. It was her love for film photography that she really missed created by the 3200 ISO film. She quit photography for a while when she was at work, but It was when her children arrived that prompted her to start taking images with her iPhone and then Hipstamatic came along with their apps that she found a way to produce the images she liked. She says that the iPhone brought democracy to photography and I think she makes a very good point. Photography has never been so popular with so many people now ready to make images of every conceivable type and style that they wish to and share them.

Whilst going to screen share I lost the link to Elif but she waited patiently, whilst I got back on line... Looking at her images on her favourite social site Instagram you cannot help but admire her vision and composition of her street photography and observations, taken with just an iPhone. The images are just not snap shots. They're skilfully composed showing life as she sees it. I found it interesting that for her exhibitions Elf displays her work printed on Hahnemuhle paper to about 40cm square in size. When considering the sensor size of the iPhone its incredible to think such a sized image can be created. Many of her prints are sold from exhibitions!

Elif is a member of The Tiny Collective a group of photographers that create their work using just the iPhone. Some of the photographers are artists and use the iPhone not only to take the image but to do their editing as well. She gets invited to make presentations of her photography which is largely due to her involvement in social sharing of her photographs.

Her favourite photographer and inspiration is the American photographer Ray Metzker who died recently. She would love to be able to take photographers like him. She modestly says!

So an interview that was a longtime in the planning, came to an end. But, it was so well worth the wait!

Thanks Elif.

Until next time "Leave your camera bag at home"...


The all important links.

Photography Live and Uncut with Elif Suyabatmaz


You can find Elif Suyabatmaz from these links...

Elif on Instagram

Elif on Flickr

Elif on Facebook

Elif on Twitter

Elif on Google+

Elif on The Tiny Collective