Mustafa Dedeo?lu was born in Istanbul, in 1978. After having completed primary and secondary schools in Turkey, he left for Cyprus for university studies. Having graduated from Eastern Mediterranean University with diploma in industrial engineering, he returned to his home city of Istanbul, where he now lives and continues creating his photography essays. To Mustafa Dedeo?lu style in photography is first of all reflection of the artist’s personality and philosophy in each and every photo he takes, rather than series of similar photos taken with same technique. Mustafa Dedeo?lu has been displaying his art in Russia, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, America, Tehran and France.
Hi Mustafa! Who or what led you to photography?
The love to Istanbul that I opened my eyes to the world is the most important factor to start photography.
My photography adventure start with a question “why do I not get recorded what I saw?” while walking the back streets, historic places of Istanbul.
You live in Istanbul, a place where several cultures live together, the bridge between the east and the west of the world. What inspires you the most of this city?
I do not know where to start to answer this question. Istanbul holds so much history and very interesting city so words may be inadequate. What impressed me most in this city is you may get caught up in the emotion of time traveling while traveling the streets. After a certain point, the concept of time is going to be wiped out.
Your city, the main subject of your work, is a colorful place but your photos are mostly in black and white; why this choice?
This is exactly right, Istanbul is colorful city.
Each photographer – perhaps every human being – has a different perception of the world.
That’s my perception of Istanbul. I believe black and white is the most effective narrative methods of the true spirit of Istanbul, it’s character and timelessness situation that a mention before.
” Each photographer has a different perception of the world.”
Speaking of your work on Istanbul, you recently published a book “Timeless City Istanbul & Faces”; tell us something about it…
My biggest dream since the beginning of my photo journey was to collect Istanbul photographs within a book.
the project named “Timeless City Istanbul & Faces” is consists of Istanbul photographs and the portraits of the hosts of city. I really exert great effort to release of the book.
What are the key elements of this project? What did you focus on?
The key element of the project is focusing on emotional value of the images, keeping the sense of time apart. Rather than presenting modern looks of Istanbul, this series of photos focuses on back streets of the city, its historical quartersand melancholic trait, paying tribute to its inhabitants as well, with their portraits.
Is there an event that you remember during this 7 years with this project?
Actually each picture contains its own story.
Therefore, I have a lot of memories while working on this project. Seeing a recently photographed historic mansion to turn into a completely different construction site, or years after encountering with a children that photographed while he/she was playing in the street, witnessing the grows, these are the impressive moments as a photographer.
” I believe black and white is the most effective narrative methods of the true spirit of Istanbul”
Is there another city in the world that you would like to photograph as much as Istanbul?
Yes, absolutely! St. Petersburg is my favorite city. It is not possible for me to focusing there as much as Istanbul to perform a long term project but I go there intermittently.
I also have another project related to the subject.
I am viewing (photographing) the countries and cities that I exhibit my Istanbul photographs, with a certain discipline.
I am planning to open an exhibition in Istanbul with the photos of the cities that I exhibit before.
This idea actually excites me.
What’s your favorite photographer? Have her/his photos an effect on your work?
Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ara Güler. Both masters has an influence that are difficult to explain in their work so my biggest wish is capturing a piece of that influence in my photographs.