LomoAmigo Burcu Böcekler and Her Panoramas


We had a chat with Burcu Böcekler, whose panoramic photo series called Panoramic Traces of Byzantine and Roman architecture of Istanbul are currently on exhibition in Lomography Embassy Store Istanbul. Here, she shares her experience with the Sprocket Rocket camera, panoramic photography and her use of cyanotype technique.

Hi Burcu, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am from Izmir. I work as a research assistant at Yıldız Technical University Photography and Video Department. I completed my undergraduate education at the Department of Art History at Ege University, but decided to take photo training due to my interest in photography. I graduated from Dokuz Eylül University, Department of Photography. The person who deepened my gaze on photography was DEU GSF Head of Photography Department, my dear teacher Prof. Dr. Simber Atay. I had a brand-new field in front of me with the photography history and photography theory courses I had taken from him and decided to pursue my academic studies on photography history and photography theory.

I participated in various mixed exhibitions, conferences in Turkey and abroad. In 2014 and 2016, I gave a conference presentation at Helsinki Photomedia, one of the world's most important photography theory conferences. I had a chance to meet with photo theorists like Geoffrey Batchen and Liz Wells.

I perform my recent studies on gum bichromat and cyanotype techniques, which are among the solar printing techniques. On the other hand, I am producing new projects using the Sprocket Rocket camera.

My exhibition named Panoramic Traces is a combination of my doctorate thesis on Urban Panoramas and my interest in Roman and Byzantine architecture.

How did your interest in photography begin? Do you remember the first camera you used?

My interest in photography started thanks to my dad. My father was interested in photography as an amateur. Looking at the photographs he took and the albums he created with these photographs was one of my favorite activities. I even remember that I showed these albums to the guests who came home, so today I think that one of the things that I value most at home is these albums, and when I look at the albums my vernacular qualities affect me a lot and I can read differently. I still think that my favorite photo is my father's photograph in the 1980's at the Fair (İzmir International Fair) in the zoo garden where İzmir's famous elephant Pak Bahadur and me together. But I cannot share this photo with you... Let's not forget the picture of Roland Barthes and the Winter Garden! As you know, Roland Barthes writes the book Camera Lucida with her photo courtesy of Winter Garden (1898), where her mother was a 5-year-old little girl. He explains that he cannot share this photo with the following sentences:

It exists only for me. For you, it would be nothing but an indifferent picture, one of the thousand manifestations of the "ordinary"…
(Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, Altıkırkbeş Yayınları, İstanbul 2000, sf 92)

My first camera was Agfa Color Agnar, with which my father documented of all my childhood. At the age of 14, I told my dad that I wanted to take a picture of my friends at school and he thought me how to set the aperture, the shutter speed and how to put the film on the Agfa Color Agnar. He entrusted the camera to me for the first time. After I made the first shoot, the results were bad. All the photographs came out because I shook the camera when I hit the shutter. However, in my next shoots, I started to understand from the language of the camera and used it until I finished university. The first analog SLR camera I bought was the Cosina C1s. Throughout my entire university life, I made all my shoots with Agfa Color Agnar and Cosina.

You are interested in panoramic photography, what attracts you in panoramic photography?

The panoramic photo presents the landscape in a wide or uninterrupted manner, and the freedom that this feature offers is the basic thing that directed me to panoramic photography. Another thing is that when I was researching the historical development of panoramic photography during my doctoral dissertation, the different types of panoramic cameras and different experiences of the photographers impressed me.

Before the panorama was used in panoramic photography, it was invented that painter Robert Barker would wanted to continuously paint the look of the city that surrounds him all the while walking at Calton Hill in Edinburgh. In 1785 Barker made a picture of Edinburgh with a 360-degree view. Robert Barker's invention has led to the creation of various panoramic applications with the invention of photography, and the panorama as an inspiration for photographers. In the early years of photography, photographers developed various methods to obtain panoramic images. Many cameras were invented. In 1845 Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of the Calotype, made his first consecutive panoramic picture by combining two frames of art at the Abbey of Lacock. On the other hand, many panoramic photographs were taken in Galata Tower and Beyazıt Tower in Istanbul in the 19th century. These panoramic photographs of photographers such as Abdullah Biraderler and James Robertson have remained unmatched examples.

You used the Sprocket Rocket for your photos. How did it feel to shoot with this panoramic model of Lomography?

It was so easy to shoot with the Sprocket Rocket camera. The position of the aperture and shutter speed on the lens are very well adjusted and very practical to use. In terms of focusing, I also get the result I wanted in both macro and endless shooting. The Sprocket Rocket, on the other hand, is very successful for those who are passionate about this technique, even when overexposed. I chose the expose the film sprockets for the photos I took for this exhibition. That is why I think that we have given a different perspective to the Byzantine structures in Istanbul. The feeling I got with black and white film made me happier than in color film. Sprocket Rocket's distortion and irritation in the two sides added a special feature and mystery to the photos.

Do you have a favorite photo from this series? Can you share with us the store behind it?

Among the photographs I took, the one I love most is the photo of the Obelisk and the Snake Column. For this photograph I used the Sprocket Rocket vertically and was inspired by French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804-1892). Prangey also came to Istanbul in 1843 when he was on his way out and took Istanbul's daguerreotypes. One of the daguerreotypes taken by Prangey, who works on Islamic architecture, is a vertical panoramic photo taken by the minaret of the Obelisk and Sultanahmet Mosque. He has done this with his specially designed machine and daguerreotype plates. Daguerreotype has created a panoramic effect on the photographs by cutting the plates and using it as a horizontal or vertical rectangle. When I learned about the idea of this genius, I admired him and this daguerreotype. The first place I made my Sprocket Rocket was the Horse Square (Hippodrome) of course. I, like him, helped me meet Sprocket Rocket in two different columns.

The photographs in this series consist of works reflecting the Byzantine architecture in Istanbul. What are your favorite works of Byzantine architecture?

All the works belonging to Byzantine architecture are very influential to me, just like the Ottoman works that Istanbul has, it has a very important place in the history of Istanbul. All of these works make Istanbul a very deep and multi-layered city. This is a very important thing for photographers.

Speaking for this exhibition, I was most impressed and grieved when I was taking pictures of Bukoleon Palace remains. On the other hand, you will never get tired of photographs of Istanbul land walls from Byzantine works. The long walks and shots I made during the walls were the moments I enjoyed most.

You used the Cyanotype method to print some of the photos for this exhibition. Can you tell us how this process works?

In short, Cyanotype (Blueprint) was invented by Sir John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871), in 1842. A method with iron salts, not silver salts. Equal amounts of iron ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide are mixed and applied to any surface (paper, fabric, wood). A negative or object is placed on the surface, exposed to the sun or ultraviolet light, then washed with water. Like all iron-based printing techniques, it has low sensitivity to light and requires a long exposure time (such as 5 minutes or more). A very convenient technique for contact printing and photograms. The great admiration of Cyanotype is provided by Anna Atkins (1799-1871), who deals with botanical science. Atkins learns this method from family friend Herschel, using the cyanotype method to obtain typological record in botanical science. She is doing photograms of water plants and sea moss. This work, which was carried out between 1843 and 1853, is published under the title of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. This work has been an inspiration for many artists as well as day-to-day, and continues to happen.

My method in this exhibition was to enlarge my negatives after taking my photos with Sprocket Rocket and to print these negatives with cyanotype technique on a picture paper. Sprocket Rocket's perforations, panoramic angles and Cyanotype method combined with the endless blueness produced these photographs.

Any tips for people who haven’t used the Sprocket Rocket or are new to it?

They should just start shooting, without thinking too much, they are missing so much! Sprocket Rocket is both practical to use and is very sturdy. On the other hand, the ability to easily take panoramic photographs in this way, as well as the ability to do multi-exposures, is unique.

written by nural on 2017-03-15 #culture #people #people #panorama #exhibition #lomoamigo #sprocket-rocket

Mentioned Product

Lomography Sprocket Rocket

Lomography Sprocket Rocket

A camera dedicated to those preciously analogue sprocket holes, the Sprocket Rocket features a super-wide lens that flawlessly exposes the whole width of the 35mm film. Flaunt those sprocket holes in every shot! Enjoy a super panoramic view of the world with our series of Sprocket Rocket cameras and accessories.

One Comment

  1. nural
    nural ·

    Thanks again @burcubocekler for sharing your work with us <3

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