With a background in Fine Arts, it is perhaps no surprise that Turkish photographer İlhan Eroğlu’s images look like grand classical paintings. Sweeping vistas, dramatic light and rich colours all help İlhan to transform our world and take us to another place.
For İlhan , it was a combination of his passions that led to him becoming a photographer, and these passions also enable him to capture such stunning images.
His love of adventure and discovering new places has taken İlhan all around the world, enabling him to create a unique set of photographs covering all corners of the globe. From the heat and sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, to the snowcapped mountain peaks of Chile, İlhan captures them in his own unique style.
Of all the places in the world that İlhan has visited however, the one that stands out the most for him is Mount Bromo in Indonesia.
It was like stepping in to another world. Walking up on to the crater, seeing smoke rise up from the mouth of the volcano - it was just magical.
But not all of İlhan’s travels are far from his native Turkey. Many of his most loved images are taken much closer to home in popular tourist spots in Europe, ranging from the canalled streets of Venice, to the magical Mont St. Michel, to the sleepy lavender fields in Provence.
What makes İlhan’s images stand out and give them such a distinct style is his painterly eye for spotting a classical composition and of course, colour and light.
It may be his passion for art that inspired İlhan’s photography, but like all other landscape photographers, he still needs mother nature and a lot of patience to make sure that the light is perfect for the scene.
Weather is very important, but for me, it doesn’t matter if the scene is rainy, or sunny, snowy or cloudy - there is not an advantage or disadvantage to any of these. All of these weather conditions just give you a variety of different ways to capture the perfect photograph, but what’s important is to know exactly how to capture it.
“As a landscape photographer,” he continues, “the light is what makes the difference. I love the power of natural light to completely transform a location. My favourite is in the autumn after a rainy night – the next morning the golden hue at sunrise is unmissable.”
Whilst his photos may not look like more conventional landscape images in terms of light and colour, İlhan’s philosophy about the best time to take images is very much in keeping with others in the field.
I don’t like to take photos in the middle of the day when the sun is high and the light is very hard. I prefer to take photos at sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and full of colour.
Accompanying İlhan on his travels is the Sony α7R III. “For me, the α7R III is the perfect piece of kit for a landscape photographer,” he explains. “Its 42.4 megapixels mean that the resolution is incredible, and gives me exactly what I need to clearly capture the intricate details of the scene in front of me.”
The dynamic range of the α7R III’s sensor also plays a big role in İlhan’s work, enabling him to capture the whole range of light and colour, without compromising the quality of the final image.
“When shooting at sunrise or sunset,” İlhan explains, “I use the camera’s Dynamic Range Optimisation (DRO) settings. These help me to get the most detail from the highlights and shadows. If the light in the sky is particularly bright, I will also use a 0.6 strength graduated neutral density filter to darken it down a little, to blend it with the landscape.”
When it comes to lenses, İlhan largely uses three G Master zoom lenses, the FE 16-35mm f/2.8, the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 and the FE 70-200mm f/2.8. These three lenses provide him with every focal length from 16mm all the way to 200mm, meaning he can capture everything from wide angle images with objects in the foreground, to telephoto lenses that pick out mountains and castles surrounded by the morning fog and mist.
Despite his travels İlhan isn’t done exploring yet, with many exciting journeys and adventures planned, including visiting Japan to witness and photograph the famous cherry blossoms. “It’s not my first time visiting Japan, however I’m excited to discover more about the Japanese culture and nature. In particular, I can’t wait to photograph the breathtaking colours of the Sakura Season.”
"The world is a huge canvas for me. In every country I visit, I paint my own pictures by taking photos"