Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Ahmet Ertug: Istanbul

Although Ahmet Ertug is not a travel nor an editorial photographer, his photographic art is such that it's a privilege to post of him here on TTP. Email exchanges with Di Mackey, a fellow photographer and blogger (whose delightful blog Woman Wandering is on my notable blog links on the right hand side) who lived in Istanbul, rekindled my interest in this magnificent city and reminded me of my paltry efforts some ten years ago to photograph its superb Ottoman mosques. I was particularly delighted to see that Ahmet Ertug published a book on Sinan, the genius architect, who built the extraordinary Suleyman mosque in Istanbul.

A Turkish national, Ahmet Ertug studied and practiced architecture in London. He also practiced his chosen profession in Iran and Turkey, and was also deeply involved in photography as a side interest during these formative years. His serious commitment to photography started when he was awarded the Japan Foundation Fellowship to do research on the traditional architecture of Japan in 1979. He traveled extensively in Japan and photographed ancient temples, Zen gardens and festivals.

He returned to Istanbul and became involved in the conservation planning of the historical city, and through this involvement developed his knowledge of the historical city and its monuments. He started photographing the Ottoman and Byzantine monuments in Istanbul using large format cameras, and his resulting exhibitions were shown in Paris, Madrid, Toronto under the auspices of UNESCO.

He uses a 20x25 cm / 8x10 inch large-format camera in his photography of architecture and sculpture. A permanent exhibition of Ahmet Ertug's Hagia Sophia photographs is on display in the upper gallery of Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul.

So visit Ahmet's website and immerse yourself in his imposing architectural photographs. He also has photographs of Asian statues that should'nt be missed.