I Put my Brain Aside When I Shoot

© Anders Petersen

My photography is simple. It comes from my heart. I put my brain aside when I shoot. I don’t believe in objectivity in photography. Pictures are not good or bad in themselves; they are either more or less persuasive. A bad picture can be extremely persuasive. Our task as photographers is not only to record what is in front of the camera – our photographs have to show the traits of our personalities and temperaments. That is what makes a photograph more persuasive.

It is as if when you look at that tiny window of the camera, you also look back and watch yourself. A strong photograph is a product of a dialogue between the photographer and what is being photographed. This does not mean busying your mind with yourself; this means to lose yourself in the

situation. This is both the strong and the weak side of my photography; occasionally I lose myself more than necessary. The trick is in trying to keep one foot inside the situation and one outside. Most of the time, I fail in doing this.

My platform is back to basic and primitive; We are members of a great family, with different cultures and traditions, with many different believes and religions. It’s up to me as a photographer (and as a man) to pay respect to that fact and try to understand the differences between people. But much more important, is to understand that we are brothers and sisters; that we are relatives to each other. I don’t look for the differences in people. I look for things we are sharing, which brings us together.

A photographer is a photographer together with his friends. During my short stay in Istanbul my friends reminded me of this fact several times. Without the help of people like Silva Bingaz, who generously invited us to hospitals, weddings and a home for old people, Halil Koyutürk, Erhan Akbulut, Yusuf Sevinçli, Gökşin Varan, Serkan Taycan, Burcu Göknar, Aylin Ünal, Süren Bingaz and my most talented and patient photographer-guide Mühenna Kahveci and the photo editor on Zaman  Selahattin Sevi, I wouldn’t be able to shoot the picture of time in Istanbul.