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One of Us #48: Serdar A

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    Posted: 27 March 2012 at 02:43

One of Us #48: Serdar A



Dyxum member Serdar A writes...

Background
I am 41 years old, happily married for 16 years, and have a 3 year old daughter and a 9 year old Pomeranian. I was born and raised in Bursa, one of the largest cities in Turkey. My parents wanted me to attend medical school and I wanted to become a structural engineer and design skyscrapers. At the end, I won and soon I was on my way to one of the colleges in Istanbul to become a civil engineer. A couple of years later, I was on an airplane to the US to attend graduate school. Halfway through my PhD, I took a job in NY in a consulting firm as a structural engineer and was busy designing my first high-rise when the Twin Towers were attacked. I have been busy working on how to make structures safer against blast and impact ever since.

If I had to trace my steps back and find the defining moment when photography started to become a significant part of my life, it has to be the news that the size of my small family, consisting of me, my wife, and our dog Bella (whose portrait was my first ever post at Dyxum), was going to increase by one. I bought the A100 that I found at the clearance bin of Circuit City the next day and replaced the kit lens with a 50mm soon after.

While this life changing event started my journey, the place I live in shaped it. Imagine walking out of your house and getting face to face with a bird of prey, having all sorts of fauna and flora around you. No wonder the second lens I bought was a 180mm macro lens. I guess things would have been a lot different if I was living in a big city.

I came across Dyxum the same way most others did: trying to get more information on a lens I was planning to purchase by reading the reviews on the lens database. I loved the way Themed Views was organized and posted a couple of pictures there, followed by a lot more pictures. Even though I start a couple of Open Views threads now and then, Themed Views is my ideal place in Dyxum: no need to come up with details descriptions, not even a thread title. Just browse those wonderful pictures posted by other members, get some ideas, and then take your shot at it.

Family
Gunes (means "The Sun" in Turkish). My patient and understanding wife who has brightened my life since I first met her in Chicago back in 1993.


The Princess and I. No wonder my hairline is receding. Taken by my wife with A850 and 70400G. Did I mention that photography is a hobby we both share?


Alice. Don't tell her we named her after a lake filled with alligators (Lake Alice) located inside the University of Florida campus.


Bella. She is a working dog and her primary duty is to remind every one at work when it is lunch time.


More Alice. I guess she deserves more credit for me being here...




The anti-rule. Someone needs to tell her about rule of thirds.


The Rest
The neighbor. Taken right behind my house, I have taken pictures of this Red Shouldered Hawk with almost every lens I owned. She is one of the reasons I have invested so much for long lenses. If one lands right in front of your door step, ignore her, otherwise you will go broke.


Darter at Lake Alice. This is a common occurrence in Lake Alice. You just sit and wait and this will eventually happen.


Great Blue Heron at Lake Alice. I guess it was in the mood for some portraits and allowed me to come so close that I had to switch off the focus limiter on the 70400G.


Egret Landing at Lake Wauberg. I was photographing birds in flight and the camera was in manual settings when this one turned and landed right in front of me in the shade. There is no cropping and the details of the bird were razor sharp, however I had to push the exposure (a lot) and had to introduce some heavy handed noise reduction in post-processing.


A Gecko at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. My very first Dyxum open views thread contained flower images from these gardens and on that thread one of the mods (Turerkan) told me to to stick to animals/bugs. I am following his suggestion.


A Dragonfly at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.


Walkway to Paynes Praire. Beautiful place for sunsets (probably sunrises too).


A Chickadee from the Backyard. From one of those sick days when you cannot veer to far away from home, but still want to go out and shoot something.


Dragonfly


Sandhill Cranes. These folks come to Gainesville every December to stay during the winter months and leave in February. Hundreds (thousands during peak) of them land in the cattle fields about 10 mins walking distance from my home.


More Cranes. The landings are early in the day and take-offs are late when light is at premium. Madness sets in and you start to think it is worth paying four times the price for twice the shutter speed. A wife who is an enabler (Haven't you ordered that lens yet?) doesn't help. One of the final crane shots with my old 70400G.


Osprey Dive-thru. From the first outing with the 300/2.8 + 1.4x TC.


Chicago River at Dawn. Chicago holds a special place in my heart because it was the place where I first met Gunes. We were back there in 2010 for our 15th wedding anniversary and I took this one from the Trump Tower. I guess my lens line-up would have been quite different if I lived there...


The Blue Angels at Chicago Air and Water Show. When I learned that the anniversary coincided with the Air and Water Show, I had to add an unusual lens (70400G) to my usual travel package (A850 + 50mm f/1.4).



Edited by Serdar A - 01 November 2013 at 01:00
 



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Octupi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Octupi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 00:53
Thank you Sedar for your great background and wonderful images.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ratboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 01:01
Fantastic images. You should be very proud of the one who is named after a lake full of alligators, the pictures of Alice are truly delightful.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 02:30
I have always admired your shots, so it is great to revisit some of them as well as read about your journey into photography.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WestCoast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 03:34
Good stuff Serdar, some time ago during my global travels I spent about 2 weeks in Turkey and specifically Istanbul.
Very fond memories of the culture and people. On two different occasions I was invited by strangers to their family home for a feast and great conversation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote @Jetsplace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 09:43
Nice story and wonderful pictures Serdar.
A joy to read and look through.
Jet
Without deviation from the norm progress is not possible .. Zappa
I use google translator to help me with my English
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote darosa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 11:45
Great to read a little about your life Serdar, and meet the family through your lovely shots.

I must admit I'm a bit envious of your having hawks landing right in front of your doorstep. OK, we have sparrows and tits and ....
I always enjoy your bird series very much, and admired all your great crane shots. Very nice to see some of them grouped together here.

Thank you too for doing a One of Us, I hope it stimulates others to do so too!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 13:34
Serdar, I always see you as a friend and I believe that many others over here do, because you are friendly and helpful. And as a friend it is a great pleasure to be with you in your journey into photography - I noticed you and your great photos when you started, and saw you improving both your skills and your tools.

It is nice to hear and see your private life story.

Thank you for your great contribution here, and hopefully one day we will eventually get to meet in person (whether in Florida, Boston, Istanbul or Haifa...).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dave2006 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 14:11
Great to know a bit more about you.
Your photographs are alaways a pleasure to view
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dca1213 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 14:24
Great photos and wonderful story as well!
Dennis
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Post Options Post Options   Quote snap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 14:25
Loevely portrait of "The sun" and of course wonderful images of Alice. Thanks for giving such a personal insight view to your life and your images. I really enjoyed reading and watching this.
How is my shooting? Dial 1-800-Flickr and leave a comment
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Serdar A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2012 at 04:02
Thanks everyone for your kind words.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote vinayn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2012 at 05:54
Nice to know more about Serdar. Your photography has been an inspiration
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brian33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 12:10
You know, Serdar, you're a little like Hank Aaron: steadily and without a lot of hubbub you've created an extremely impressive portfolio of images. There's not a single shot in here that's not a "wow" shot, one that's either simply very pleasing to look at, or actually makes you think. All the images have depth to them. I've been to this page a number of times and every time I come back to it, it stays just as solid to me. Great work and it's a pleasure to read the words that go alongside the pictures.
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