Kagan Bastimar is a 30-year-old passionate street photographer from Turkey, currently living in the UK. For Kagan, Street photography is very special because it is something that made him more aware. He loves to shoot streets with his iPhone and he is very comfortable with that. All of his photos are taken during doing something else in his daily life.
Thanks, Kagan for accepting our invite. Please read on…
Hi Kagan, thank you for joining us here today! First of all, Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi. Thanks for having me here. It is a great pleasure for me. This is Kagan Bastimar. 30 years old mechanical engineer who is the father of a lovely baby son and beloved wife. I’m a wannabe Street photographer based in Turkey currently living in the UK.
Please share some of your childhood memories towards the art?
To be honest, I cannot recall anything related to art from my childhood. It was a hard childhood in a relatively poor family that in the struggle of living, art was far away from our daily life.
When did you start shooting and how did this love for photography happen?
When I was at the beginning of my twenties, I met with my love of life, Özge. She was very interested in photography and taking some courses back on these days. She made me seriously aware about photography and I took my first shots thanks to her. As time goes by, my brother, Serkan, started an Instagram account in which he shares his daily life captures taken with a mobile phone. I thought, I could do this as well. That’s how I started photographing things. This has happened nearly one year ago. I really liked when people reacted in a good way to my first shots, I started to love photography more and started taking it more seriously. When 1415bestoftheweek and 1415mobilephotographers gifted me a photobook as their weekly contest winner, the story became enjoyable for me and turned to love for photography.
What makes street photography so special for you?
Street photography is special for me because it is something that made me more aware. In the past going to a market has no meaning, but I took some of my favorite shots on the way to buy water or bread from the market. In short, Street photography added more value to my daily life. What makes it more special, I think, is that it is something everybody can do. Regardless of your age, the place you live, the gear you use, you can do it everywhere easily. Compared to other disciplines of photography, it is more about your eye than the equipment you have. That’s why street photography is special.
You are shooting on the iPhone, why you choose to shoot street pictures on mobile?
Simple answer; it is always with me. My wife has Nikon D90 which I think Ok for streets as well; however, I never could take it and go shooting. Maybe it is because I do not go out just to shoot streets. All of my shots are taken during doing something else in my daily life.
Few words about Shadows and colors on your photos?
In our daily lives, I think nobody pays attention to shadows. You can see people admiring nature, landscapes, buildings, people with different looks/styles, etc. however no one is interested in shadows. That’s one thing for me to be interested in shadows. Moreover, İlker Karaman is one of the first street photographers who got in contact with me on Instagram. At that time I was shooting silhouettes only in black and white.
Some of my favorite photographs are from İlker’s series “in pursuit of myself” in which he included his shadow as a subject in the frame. I was impressed by the idea. During our conversations, thanks to his directions and guidance, I become more familiar with Street photography. The more I see the work of famous Street photographers, the more I like colour photography. That is the one part of the story behind my shadow and colour work. Let me thank İlker once again here. By the way, I’m so much in love with shadows, on my Instagram account, I named myself as a shadow player, and this is what I want to be known in the future.
What is that you have adhered and learned through photography over the years?
I can only answer this for one year 🙂 Hope to see I spend years in Street photography. The most important thing I learned thanks to photography is that we miss lots of beautiful scenes around us. If we really look around, the world itself is an art. An amazing scene can happen anywhere, anytime even in the least expected time in a least expected place.
What is a good photograph for you?
I’m always in favour of visually pleasing scenes. It should have an eye-catching composition this is for sure. It can have a great story or it can have touching emotions, however, if it is not composed in a way that audience feel comfortable, I cannot say it is a good photograph. To cut it short, a good photograph must have graphical beauty in it.
Could you please share one or two photographs from your portfolio and the story behind it?
I was always impressed by the shots inside Tate modern. I wanted to go there and shoot even when I was back in Turkey. I’ve visited London a few times but never had a chance to visit Tate. Last week I was again in London and touring the city with my family. We had a guest from Turkey and wanted her to see London’s touristic places. After spending a few hours around the tower bridge, We preferred to get lost and walk by the river. All of a sudden I found myself in front of the Tate Modern. I was very surprised and thought that it is the time to shoot 🙂 I personally think that vast majority of people go there and take same/similar shots, What could make a difference there is a story with and a different angle, I thought. Therefore I waited there till the correct time comes and shoot this. I named this shot “who is the liar?”
What do you do to keep motivated, and not lose your passion for photography?
At first, to keep my motivation, I was watching photographs on Instagram to see what other people shoot and share. That was my motivation at the beginning. However, now, this has become a demotivation for me because I got stuck seeing the same things over and over again. it seems everybody is doing the same thing (sometimes including myself). So I get myself out from the Instagram world these days and watch documentaries, videos about Street photography. But regardless of what others do, I’m more motived as I shoot and share. As long as I go out and have a few shots taken, I’m motivated.
Which photographers have inspired you?
As I said, İlker was the first photographer who inspired me. Other than him, I admire Serkan Tekin’s style. He has a sharp mind, clever juxtapositions. I love Alan Schaller’s visually pleasing and inspiring B&W shots, and Walter Rothwell’s style in which he includes Street animals in his frames.
What camera and lenses do you use the majority of the time?
As an iPhone shooter, I always use my iPhone 8 plus to shoot, therefore I have no choice for the lens 🙂
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I take this question as “achievement in photography.” I’m the winner of the national photography contest in Turkey which is organized by Kocaeli Council in 2018. This is my only real achievement in photography. Being featured by apple once and by Street Photography International nearly ten times can be considered as the greatest achievements on Instagram for me.
What is your favorite motto?
These days “Be original, be yourself!”
Apart from photography, tell me about your hobbies and interests?
I’m in love with football. I nearly became a professional player but without luck. I chose to focus on my education instead. Nowadays, spending time with my 6 months old boy is my best hobby. And I think for the rest of my life, he will be my only interest.
Thanks again for providing 121 Clicks with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
I’m really happy to make this interview. Thanks for the opportunity. It made me think about what I’m doing what I really think/fell about it. One thing I can say to readers is that “do not wait to have a good camera to start taking good photographs. If I’m here saying some words to you, it means you can do it either with your mobile. It is the eye taking photos, the rest is just a tool”
You can find Kagan Bastimar on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Kagan Bastimar. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.