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History of Gelibolu revealed in photos

ÇANAKKALE - Anatolia News Agency | 10/26/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The historical and natural beauty of Gelibolu, located in the northwestern province of Çanakkale, is shown in photos by local photographer İsmail Aktaş. Speaking about the advantages of digital technology, Aktaş says the technology brought photographers out of the darkness and into the daylight

Photographer İsmail Aktaş, who lives in the northwestern city of Çanakkale’s Gelibolu district, reveals the history of the historical and natural beauty of Gelibolu in thousands of photos that he has gathered over 70 years, shining a light on the lives of many people from grandfathers to grandchildren.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Aktaş said he started taking photos in 1960 as an apprentice to his father in his spare time while attending school. He said he had the chance to use the world’s best cameras 30 years ago thanks to his father. “In my father’s studio I learned about darkroom, bath, printing and photography techniques. I enjoyed working in the studio and learning a new thing everyday.”

Aktaş said he closely followed famous photographers in the period. “I went to Istanbul at 17 and got a chance to work in the studio of famous Turkish photographer Yaşar Atankazanır in Aksaray. Later on, I continued working in famous studios. Then I decided to return to Gelibolu and work there. I have trained many people and improved them in the photography business.”

Aktaş said photography was the best way to express events. “I have taken photos of the weddings of people of my age. I still continue to do so. We keep most of these photos in the archives. It takes time to find them, but we try to get them for those who ask.”

He said he had gathered old photos of Gelibolu and created an archive. “Among these photos, there are old sailing boats, sails, the customs house, port and many other things that make up Gelibolu’s cultural heritage. These things do not exist today, but we keep them alive in photos. I have processed these photos over many years and made necessary arrangements for them. Now many places in Gelibolu are decorated with these photos. I plan to prepare a catalogue in the future.”

[HH] Digital technology rescued us

Aktaş said they used to work with darkroom techniques in the past, but they were very troublesome processes. “Today, the process is very easy thanks to digital technology. We are working in daylight. This technology brought us from darkness to daylight.”

He said digital technology marked an era in history. “The old masters tried to discredit this technology in the past, but we had to adapt ourselves to new technology. It was a new era in the field of photography and I became successful. There were also old photography masters who were curious about the new technology and came to see it.”

Speaking about his experience in business, Aktaş said: “I took photos of a groom and bride before their wedding ceremony. While working on them, the film fell from the table and burned. I was shocked. I did not know what to say to the bride and groom. We did not have a chance to reach and call them back. When they came to the studio to pick up the photos, I expressed to them my embarrassment and offered a solution. I asked them to wear their wedding clothes and go to the hairdresser again. I paid all the costs and took their photos again.”

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