Uur Oral

O δημοσιογράφος-συγγραφέας Ουούρ Οράλ γεννήθηκε στη Σμύρνη. Μεταξύ άλλων σπουδαίων διακρίσεων στη χώρα του, το 2001 βραβεύετε ως ''ο πιο επιτυχημένος αρθρογργάφος στη Σμύρνη και το 2003 o πιο επιτυχημένος Διευθυντής Οργάνωσης Τύπου της τελευταίας 10ετίας. Μαζί με τις εργασίες του στον χώρο της δημοσιογραφίας, δημοσιεύτηκε το βιογραφικό του στην εγκυκλοπέδια Ποιός είναι ποιός στην Τουρκία. Ο Ουούρ Οράλ ασχολήθηκε από μικρός με τη φωτογραφία, και ως σήμερα έχει οργανώσει 13 εκθέσεις με το φωτογραφικό υλικό του. Μεγάλη απήχηση είχε η εργασία του όσον αφορά το συνδυασμό Φιλοσοφίας και Φωτογραφίας. Ο Ουούρ Οράλ απευθύνεται στο Τουρκικό και στο Ελληνικό κοινό, με προσπάθειες για την ανάπτυξη και αναζωογόνηση της Ελληνοτουρκικής φιλίας.

When was the time that you realise that photography is a nice and creative way to express yourself?

Maybe you will find interesting, but frankly speaking, I was five years old when I discovered my interest in photography. I was a little boy, naturally, it was my father who was taking our families photos at those years. He was using a Lubitel camera; ı remember very well, like all children, I was insisting to take a photo also. Usually parents don’t allow their kids to play with camera, they say “You can break it” or “You can use it when you will be a bit older” etc…But I was a lucky kid to have a very opened minded and tolerant father. When he saw my big interest for the photography, instead of keeping me away from the camera, he wanted to teach me how to take a photo. I got my first lessons in photography from my father. Today, in our family photos albums, there are some photos that ı took when ı was 5-6 years old. My interest in the photography, grew up with me in the following years and finally my hobby has become my profession. I started to work as reporter in a newspaper and at the same time ı was taking the photos of the interviews that ı was performing. I was 18 years old when first time one of the photos that ı took has been published in the newspaper and seen by thousands of people. İt was an amazing and unforgettable feeling for me as you can appreciate and estimate.. When I was working as a reporter, of course my camera was always with me, just like my best friend. During those years hundreds, maybe thousands photos of mine have been published in the newspapers. While continuing my journalism career as the administrator of press companies, ı continued to take photos but this time for myself, for relaxing. And I felt that photography has turned into a passion than a hobby for me. I started to make some trips that ı called “photo-safari”. At each photo safari ı was taking 300-400 photos. I was keeping the best ones among these photos form myself, means for using at my exhibitions; and with the rest ı was preparing Powerpoint shows that ı was sharing on social media. The interest and and the comments of the people who watched my presentations, motivated me to open my first exhibition. And with this motivation ı performed 13 personal photography exhibitions untill now.

Regarding to my exhibitions, I'd like to give a detail; ı make all my exhibitions for charity. The aim of 13 exhibitions that ı performed untill now was “charity”. This is my first condition. If any galery invites me for an exhibition ı directly want them to organise a charity activity that ı will support with the income of my photos. Photography is for me a way to serve humanity.

What is your inspiration?

Due to the aim of my exhibitions, ı may call myself “pragmatist photographer”. Let me explain what ı mean. At the beginning, ı was taking photos that the authorities are calling and finding “artistic” … For exemple very old evil eye bead master while working, portraits full of face wrinkles etc… Also sometimes abstract photos… I was using this kind of photos at my first exhibitions too. The visitors were falling in love, they were celebrating me and saying “Here is the real art”...But, no one was buying them!... They were admiring but were not buying! Such a paradoxical situation. After 1-2 exhibitions, ı fully changed my vision, my inspiration. Since longtime ı prefere to take photos candidate to be sold. Each exhibition of mine taught me more about the common pleasures of people who have the the habit of buying photos at the exhibitions. When ı install my eye on the viewfinder of my camera ı directly ask to myself “May your lawyer friend hung this photo at his office’s wall” or “does your family friend hang it on the wall of his house’s salon?” If ı say “yes” ı take that photo. My experiences taught me which photo can be sold… İnteresting ı know but yes, ı feel it before taking a photo. Each exhibition made me learn to make empathy so ı am able to see the photo from the potantial buyer’s eye. Form e, my exhibition’s success criteria is the number of photos sold. As ı told you earlier, ı don’t wait for a money from my photos, the support that ı gave to the humanity with their income is a biggest treasure according to me. My goal is to sell my photos and help the humanity with their income. On average, 25-30 photos of mine at each exhibit are sold. I'm very proud of this result. With income of my photos ıf ı am able put a little smile on the sad faces; this is the biggest honor and success for me. And this honor is enough to me. Honestly, ı dont like to listen to compliments about my photos; ıf someone likes my photos he buys… Discourse is good but the action is more important…

Regarding to your question, the moments and the objects that reminds me serenity and freedom attract me so much while taking photos. Sunsets, sunrises, lakes, waves, seagulls excite me deeply. Especially the sea. I am someone romantic and ı project my personality to my photos too. Sometimes the difficulties and the routin of daily life can make people blind. They are watching but they cannot see. And me, ı remind them these beauties with my camera. According to me a photographer is like hunter. I am hunting beauties with my camera. I am catching the moments, ı am fixing them and finally ı am sharing them with others. Once upon a time ı took a trees’s photo. This tree was at the way of coming home of a very good friend of mine. “I am passing every day in front of this tree but I never notice this tree” he said. Here is the difference of photographer’s vision. People watches, photographer see...

Let us know some of your favourites photographers

You may be surprised but there are not any photographers that ı can call “my favourite” I dont follow especially any photographer’s works. Otherwise I can stay under his influence, and I can lose my originality. I am journalist firstly, photography is my hobby. Since I don't wait for a money from my hobby I love to be completely independent. I don't want my photos to look smilar with anyone's photos. That’s why I don't have any idols. If you will ask which kind of photos ı don’t like; I don't like photos that cannot be understood…There is some groups who loves not to be understood in the art, in the photography too. Of course ı respect their mentalities but I love photos that everyone can enjoy. Photo must talk itself. İt must give it’s message at first look…Remember of the photo of Kevin Carter that brang to him Pulitzer Prize. İt’s message it very clear right? Carter, does he need to explain which message he wanted to give? No..Here is what ı mean…

On the other hand, ı dont like the deep effect of photoshop on the photos. According to me, to play with tons of colors or with shadows can be acceptable and tolorated. But we have to know the borders… For exemple imagine a tulip fields photo… All of the tulips are black and one tulip among them is red… Yes this image can seem esthetic but here we cannot talk about the photography, it’s a production or animation or something else; but definetly it’s not photography… We cannot call it “photo”

Finally, as an answer to your question, I can maybe tell “Ara Güler”… According to me he is the father of photography in Turkey. Especially his photos that talks about human, and life are very touching according to me…

Give us your favourite quote about photography

Ara Güler says “If the best camera could take the best photo the best typewriter could write the best novel” I agree %100 with this quote. We take photo with our eyes, with our soul; our camera is sometimes just a detail. Usually my friends are asking my opinions they say “My son wanted me to buy this camera” When I learn the brands and models demanded ı feel very surprised. I directly refuse the idea of paying a fortune for a camera. I advice them to buy a simple camera firstly to check the interest of their kids in photography. If he really will continue yes you can buy a better camera but why buying a camera fully professional for a beginner? Unfortunately people think that using latest model of cameras will help them to be great photographer. I don’t think so…

Let me share a memory of mine with you..Long years ago, just to prove this quote of Ara Güler ı made a special exposition. I used 66 photos in that exhibition and all of them were taken with a very simple cheap compact camera… 18 photos have been sold. Next to the photos ı added another frame where ı’ve put the camera that ı used while taking those photos…

One day, I  read a message at the memory notebook of the exhibition. One woman visitor wrote it. She was saying at her note “ I lost my husband and ı lived big trauma due to my lost. I was forced to concentrate on something different to forget my big pain, and ı decided to be photographer. But my economic conditions were not so good and I was using very simple camera. My friends who were seeing my camera started to tease me “how can you be photographer with this camera?” they said…And ı left photography…..Today I visited your exhibition…I saw your photos and also the camera that you used for taking these photos…. I'm going back to photography sir…

This memory was unforgettable for me. I feel myself honored to motivate someone to take photos plus, I proved that the photography starts in the soul first. Sometimes a friend of mine complains about his camera. He says that his camera is insufficient to take good photos. I say “Okey, give it to me for a couple of days” I take photos with his camera and ı show the results to him. He says “But how this camera can take these photos, ı cannot believe…” And I reply “The Driver is most important than the car”

Nowadays, due to economical crisis, South Europe in particular, things are pretty difficult, that means that the photographers, also, are facing enormous problems to make their livings. What is the current situation in your country?

I want to see the full side of the glass... Once upon a time, photography was very expensive hobby. We had to buy films, we had to print our photo on the paper. We did not have the oportunity to delete bad taken photos from the memory etc... At those years photography was rich people’s hobby due to this reasons…But today, with digital cameras everything has been very easy. İt’s possible to make good shots with even mobile phones. In recent years, photography has become a hobby very economical. Plus, thanks to the internet we can easly share our photos. We can perform even exhibitions on net. And the cameras are not so expensive today than the past.

But on the other hand, people’s problems to make their living forced them to lose their interest on art. A latin proverb says “Primum vivere de inde philosophari” Means, “First survive then after make philosophy. “ İt’s the same for an art too. We can interprete this approach with 2 ways….If people is forced to give all his day to work when and how they will think of art? And ıf an artist cannot take money how he can survive? We live the same problem in Turkey too. Professional photographers try to open different doors in front of them. Currently in my country we see wedding photographers or birth photographers etc. They are seeking a way out so… Once upon a time, ı was installing my photos into the glassed frames at the exhibition, and it was increasing the budget requiered. Today, due to the economical reasons ı prefere to exhibit them naked like all of the other photographers are doing recently.

Do you spend more time in your computer to fix an image than to capture it?

No; I can honestly say that I don’t know how to use photoshop. I cannot use other effect programs eiher. I am able to use only and only photomatix as program for photography… I love photomatix because it doesn't affect the spirit of the photo, it doesn't change it. İt allows you to add just a little touches in colors and shadows. According to me these little touchs are innocent. And ı use photomatix only while using my exhibition photos only. Results of photomatix are good ıf you will print photo large size. But ıf you will use your photo in small size it can cause a blurry image.

Restrained and beautiful makeup makes beautiful “more beautiful”… But if you exaggerate it, you can ruin the existing beauty too!

At this point ı suggest my friends to watch their photos at classic monitors. Today people usually preferes laptop but laptop’s monitor can cheat us. Even cell phone’s screen can play games to our eyes. I fell into this error while selecting photos for an exhibition once, and I took my lesson. Therefore at printing houses they always use old style monitors…. Before printing any photo it’s better to check it on the old, classical monitors.

Have you ever been in Greece? What is your first impression or rather what is your first image that comes to your mind on hearing the word "Greece"

I have been 12 times in Greece. I already performed 4 personal photography exhibitions in Greece. I gave a lot of lectures in Athens. I performed a series of interviews about current Greece, about it’s problems etc. that have been published in a very famous Turkish newspaper. I had great friendships in Greece.

My 3 personal exhibitions in Greece have been performed in Athens, at Booze Cooperativa. All of these 3 exhibitions of mine were for supporting Amimoni. (The Greek Foundation of Parents and Friends, People with Visual and Additional Disabilities.) I payed everything, all of the financial obligations. All income of these exhibitions were donated to Amimoni. I wanted nothing; except, to put one little smile at the AMİMONİ’s children…The children are the futur of their country…These children are Greece’s futur….I made these exhibitions for helping to the Greece’s futur…

My last exhibition has been performed in Thessaloniki. That exhibition was organised to help Aelia which fights for breast cancer.

The word Greece reminds me the expression “joy of living” According to met he word “Greece” is “The art of living”. Greece’s culture is a very nice exemple of mediteraneen life style that shows the meaning of the philosophy carpe diem.

All of my friends are in big love with Greek islands. They prefere to spend their holidays at Chios, Rhodes, Santorini etc…But on the contrary ı love main land. The cultural and historic atmosphere that ı find for exemple in Athens excites me deeply…

When ı made my 1st exhibition my collection’s theme was the places where Greek people lived before in İzmir and at his background. I saw some visitors crying in front of some photos. I know very well the importance of İzmir in the memories of some Greek families who lived there. And ı appreciate them because my family rootes are from Thessaloniki. My grand parents born and lived in Thess untill 1923. I respect this innocent yearning this sensitive nostalgia.

When ı went back to İzmir ı performed an exhibition with a Greek photographer Thanos Stasinopoulos. Our concept was interesting: “Greek from Turkish photographer’s eye and Turkey from Greek photographer’s eye. Thanos has exhibited his collection with Turkey photos and me ı showed my photos that ı took in Greece. I've done photography work in Athens, Piraeus, Chios and Rhodes. Lately ı made a personal exhitibions with Greece photo titled “Kalimerhaba” (Combination of the wordb Kalimera and it’s Turkish version “Merhaba”) This exhibition was made for developping Turkish Greek friendship that’s why it was different than my other exhibitions where ı am selling photos..

Finally last April my book Στιγμές και Στοχασμοί has been published in Greece. İt was a philosophy book ornated ornated with my photos. Even in my book ı wanted to support Turkish Greek friendship and ı made a mixe of my collection from Turkey and Greece. I united beauties from Greece and Turkey at the my book’s pages..

Is it possible to send a message to our IFocus readers who, in their majority, are photographers?

There are 2 kind of fishes… Fish of the sea and culture fish. Yes they look very similar but a real master can separete easily the difference of taste between the two…Taking photo looks like that according to me. .. To take photo with camera is like eating a real sea fish but taking photo with cell phone is like eating culture fish. Unfortunately due to the technologie entered even in our pockets, today everybody is accepting himself as photographer. İt’s not fair… And this situation ruin the value of a real photographers.We have to remind the real meaning of real photography to the people. I think that the mission of IFocus is very important at this point…

We are all sharing our photos at social media… Unfortunately several times I saw a few of my photos were stolen. Thats why ı suggest to all my friends to put their signature on their photos before posting them.

Sometimes my friends ask to me what they should do to learn photography. For this purpose some of them who go on to the course, they pay for learning photography. These courses can teach you only some basic mechanic applications. According to me the best way to learn taking photo is a trial and error method. Forget the numerical values given to you at the websites, find them yourself. Once upon a time there were some rules that says for sunny day you will use 125/11 for shadows you will use 60/5,6 etc… I am smiling when ı remember those days because it was someting learned by heart, without understanding the logic. Today the automatic settings of the cameras are the same. When they ask me how they can take full moon’s photo for exemple ı advice them to try all the degrees possible untill they will find the best result. So, they must discover the magic of the photography while trying to reach to the best shot.

Finally and consequently, ı am thanking from the bottom of my heart to IFocus for this interview. I’ve been glad to be your guest thanks to this reportage. I am sending through IFocus my heartfelt greetings to Greek photography lovers. I will like to stay in contact with them, they can find me on facebook or they can texte me to my email Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.

Uğur ORAL

(Ουούρ Οράλ)

O δημοσιογράφος-συγγραφέας Ουούρ Οράλ γεννήθηκε στη Σμύρνη(Τουρκία).

Τελείωσε το σχολείο στο γαλλικό κολλέγιο Saint Joseph στη Σμύρνη. Μαζί με τις σπουδές του σε Γαλλική Φιλολογία ολοκλήρωσε το μεταπτυχιακό του στις πολιτικές επιστήμες. Συνεχίζει το διαδικτορικό του στο ίδιο θέμα.

Μιλά αγγλικά και γαλλικά, και ξεκίνησε την καριέρα του στο χώρο της δημοσιογραφίας το 1987 στην εφημερίδα Yeni Asır Gazetesi.Κατά τη διαρκεία της σταδιοδρομίας του έχει εκτελέσει αρθρογράφος,συντάκτης, γενικός διευθυντής και αρχισυντάκτης. Έχει βραβευτεί πολλές φορές για την εργασία του.

Το 1993, έγινε μέλος της Διεθνής Ένωσης Γαλλικού Τύπου και δημοσιογραφίας (Union İnternationale De La Presse Francophone )στο Παρίσι.Κείμενα του έχουν δημοσιευτεί σε Γαλλία, Ελβετία και Αυστρία.

Έχει δώσει διαλέξεις με θέμα τη δημοσιογραφία και την πολιτική.

Το 1995 εκδίδετε το πρώτο του βιβλίο με θέμα την πολιτική.

Το 2001 βραβεύετε ως ''ο πιο επιτυχημένος αρθρογργάφος” στη Σμύρνη και το 2003 “o πιό επιτυχημένος Διευθυντής Οργάνωσης Τύπου της τελευταίας 10ετίας”. Μαζί με τις εργασίες του στο χώρο της δημοσιογραφίας, δημοσιεύτηκε το βιογραφικό του στην εγκυκλοπέδια “ Ποιός είναι ποιός στην Τουρκία”.

Ο Ουούρ Οράλ ασχολήθηκε από μικρός με τη φωτογραφία, και ως σήμερα έχει οργανώσει 13 εκθέσεις με το φωτογραφικό υλικό του. Μεγάλη απήχηση είχε η εργασία του όσον αφορά στο συνδυασμό Φιλοσοφίας και Φωτογραφίας.

Όλες οι εκθέσεις του είχαν φιλανθρωπικό χαρακτήρα, και στην Αθήνα οργάνωσε τρεις εκθέσεις με τις φωτογραφίες του, σε στήριξη στην Αμυμώνη(Πανελλήνιος Σύλλογος Γονέων, Κηδεμόνων και Φίλων Ατόμων με Προβλήματα Όρασης και Πρόσθετες Αναπηρίες)

Σήμερα, συνεργάζεται με Τουρκικά και ξένα πρακτορεία Τύπου, ενώ ταυτόχρονα συνεργάζεται με πολλές οργανώσεις σε Τουρκία και εξωτερικό όπου και συμμετέχει σε διασκέψεις.

Ο Ουούρ Οράλ απευθύνεται στο Τουρκικό και στο Ελληνικό κοινό, με προσπάθειες για την ανάπτυξη και αναζωο&

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