In 1970, I took my first photograph using the camera I borrowed from a friend. I was able to earn money by selling these photographs. In addition to earning money, I continued to take pictures and showed them to my art teacher. He asked me why I was not opening my own photography exhibition and and then introduced me to a friend who manages a library. After, I opened my first exhibition while a high school student in 1973.
42 years later, I decided it is time to prepare a cultural photo book of Anatolia. This photo book will include my photographs taken in Anatolia between 1973 and 2015. This book will be a A4 size hard cover book about 200 pages. I am planning to complete this cultural photo album with your support.
After graduating from high school in 1973, I traveled around Anatolia with money I had saved. This was the first encounter with the people of Anatolia, and culture. I opened a photo exhibition with my first travel photographs when I returned.
I studied political sciences at Ankara University Faculty of Political Science between 1974 and 1978. Both my earliest training as well as the turbulent era of economic and social events influenced the way in which we see the today’s photos.
I have witnessed many historical events during this period, and photographed them. In the Labor Day celebration in May 1977 while taking pictures, 37 people were killed. I saw and experienced their pain.
I continued to travel and photograph Anatolia. I shared peoples’ lives many times. I accepted the colors of different cultural traditions of the riches of Anatolia. These colors are to be photographed and documented. My photos were published in different publications. Some of them were published as a photo book. Photo television program was made about me and my works.
Conception of my photography is to be the witness of the period, by focusing on its individuals. I carry them to the future through the effect of the light. My portfolio includes the lifes of the people at different places, in different time periods.
Some of the projects I have produced are Turkish Gypsies, Turkish Armenians, Masters of Covered Bazaar, Orthodox People of Antioch, Diary of a Village Doctor, Nomads of Aegean and Three May 01 Celebrations in Turkey.
In 1975, I won my first photo prize with an Anatolian family portrait in a national photo competition. This image remains as one of my best photographs. On December 2013, I won my last award in an international photo competition organized by Thessaloniki Photo Museum (Greece) and Europe Union with my project called “Diary of a village doctor”. Subject was health problems of elderly people living in montain villages at Western Anatolia.
My two portfolios were awarded by UNESCO in two different categories of Humanity Photo Awards in China in 2014.
My two portfolios were chosen for The Other Hundred project and its photo book in Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014.
I have received several awards in photography contests. Between 1975 and 2014 I have won awards in several photography contests.
Comments about my work:
Photographing Turkey’s Cultural Heritage: Aydin Cetinbostanoglu by Liana Aghajanian
“Born in 1954 in Izmir Turkey, photographer Aydin Cetinbostanoglu has been documenting Turkey’s Gypsy, Alevi, Jewish, Christian Arab and Armenian communities for years, forming relationships, building trust and as a result gaining exclusive access to cultural intricacies that have for the most part remained allusive to outsiders. Hoping to break down cultural barriers, Cetinbostanoglu concentrated on documenting these various cultures for the last four decades, using photography as his tool to educate and expose Turkey to its cultural treasures.” http://www.ianyanmag.com/photographing-turkey-aydin-cetinbostanoglu/
Good News from the HPA 2013 Award-Winning Photographers by World Folklore Photographers Association
“The special attention should be given to Aydin Cetinbostanoglu, a professional photographer from Turkey. He has taken photos for nearly 50 years. Most of his works are about humanity, culture, life and common people. His award-winning work of HPA2013 is Ramadan Meal, which recorded the whole process of preparation by villagers in Izmir, Turkey for the Ramadan meal. Through his work, we can see that he is very good at telling real and common stories and expressing natural emotions and feelings through simple photographic techniques. In September he brought his works back to the village where he shot pictures and held a small but unique and meaningful exhibition there. A slide show was also made by him to introduce his experience in attending the HPA2013 Award Ceremony. He said that he has won many awards during the past years but HPA is a special one. What moves him most is that HPA promotes cultural record and inheritance and focuses on collection of folk cultures. He shares the objectives and concept of HPA. Therefore, he is very excited about being recognized by this contest though he didn’t receive any prize money. We also want to thank Aydin for doing such an amazing job! He tells us, by his own action, what quality a qualified and great documentary photographer should have and what a photographer could do to make others’ life as well as his own work meaningful.” http://www.worldfpa.org/?p=7073
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