Efe Ersoy (@solinvictus) says that the harmony of colors is the most vital element that he seeks when taking photographs, but it's easy to tell that he has an eye for detail, too. His street shots look thoughtfully composed—it's as if he's patiently observing the scene before clicking the shutter, as opposed to spontaneous, shot-from-the-hip images that are common in street photography. Efe is a psychology major and this most likely influences his visual perspective.
"Psychology and photography have a lot in common, particularly in how they portray the human notion. I adore travelling, therefore collecting different colors; I cherish literature and for that reason, I find or create a story behind each frame and memory; I admire most forms of art, hence I never stop exploring. I see myself as a passenger in this life, constantly but slowly moving, conquering, learning and collecting."
Who or what inspired you to shoot in film?
There was no specific figure nor an inherited old camera that inspired me to shoot film. It's only myself. I was already collecting colors and stories mainly by writing and drawing but at some point, I felt a visual absence in my life that only film photography could have filled. There was something magical about some frames I have seen around and easily differentiated them from digital ones. There were times when I became aware of the existence of analogue photography and started to embrace that.
Your photos are so sharp and vivid. Among the cameras and film in your collection, which ones do you enjoy using the most?
My camera and lens collection is quite humble compared to many lomographers whom I met here, but even a Hasselblad could not substitute for my Rolleiflex SL35—my first love. Therefore, I would say that I equally love and use each single item of gear that I have, which you could find listed in my LomoHome. Nevertheless, one should never underestimate the quality of CZJ and Takumar lenses for sharpness and vividness (also let's not forget about the importance of developing and scanning.) Lastly, a bright and clean viewfinder such as Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SPII or Nikomat EL has also helped me catch details better.
When taking photographs, are there any particular details that you look for?
Color—which I mentioned more than a couple of times! I mainly shoot with color films. The core detail in my frames is the harmony of colors, which surpasses shapes, composition, and other elements. This also explains why I shoot a lot of expired films, because they offer more colors than fresh films do. Contrary to this idea, recently I started to shoot more Black & White, simply because I wanted to challenge myself and see what I could express without the existence of colors.
Among the photos in your LomoHome, which ones are your favorites?
(From left to right) 1. This frame that I took recently at Porto has something different from the others. It's a frame which I am going to gift to my father the next time I see him (after almost a year). During my childhood, I remember him telling me a story about his dreams one day: to become a sailor and travel the world. He ended up becoming a dentist for the rest of his life but I believe that his dreams are still there, maybe just covered in dust. The old man on the frame represents my father, watching the waves, dreaming of the sea and trying to reach that blue universe.
2. A beautiful smile and eyes on this frame remind me of what I am living for: the charm of real joy, the elegance of sincerity, and the power of a smile when they come from the heart. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo F. Buscaglia
3. That is probably a picture which I identify with myself: a feeling of a bright and sunny Sunday morning. The smell of coffee, peaceful atmosphere, a colorful old man performing another colorful art in a colorful environment. Could you hear the melody?
4. This frame is a depiction of life to me under beautiful orange light, which reminds me of a quote again: "Life is a journey up a spiral staircase; as we grow older we cover the ground covered we have covered before, only higher up; as we look down the winding stair below us we measure our progress by the number of places where we were but no longer are. The journey is both repetitious and progressive; we go both round and upward." — William Butler Yeats
5. Last but not least, this magical reflection from a puddle will always remind me of the beauty of details and the fact that we only see them once we give a closer look at our surroundings. Maybe we could call it the analogue way of directing our perspective and finding the hidden gems wherever we go.
Why do you shoot in film? And what does film photography mean to you?
Film photography has been a crucial missing part of the jigsaw puzzle in my life until we finally came together. Day by day my passion is growing even more compared to the first time. On the other hand, I still see myself as a crawling baby and there is a long way to go until I master my very own perspective. Thank you and stay with colors!
To see more photos, visit Efe's LomoHome.