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#CreatorConversations: See The Highlights From Our AMA With Renan Ozturk

#CreatorConversations is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series hosted by @sonyalpha on Instagram. As part of the series, we were joined by photojournalist and Sony Artisan Renan Ozturk (@renan_ozturk). See some of the highlights below as he shares where his inspiration comes from, ethics in storytelling and more. Visit the Instagram post for the full AMA and make sure you’re following @sonyalpha and #CreatorConversations to stay connected.

“As we each live out this moment of time, I’d encourage you to look for the little things under your nose – even within your own worlds of isolation that can be incredibly important and compelling stories. This is such a great time for creativity.” – Renan Ozturk #CreatorConversations

“Where does your first spark of inspiration come from - do you observe and use your eyes, or generate ideas with your brain?” – @norlareally

Renan: “On the day I think my eye drives the process, but the bigger stories often take a decade to percolate slowly, and those enter more of the brain space.”

“How do you address the ethics of telling someone else’s story, especially when working in marginalized communities?” – @monetizebeth

Renan: “Great question. This is always something that is very carefully vetted and what I’ve learned with @taylorfreesolo (Sony Artisan Taylor Rees) overtime is that this process has to be collaborative even if the end product doesn’t benefit you in your career as much as it would have if you did it in a more extractive way.”

“Can you talk a little bit about what that looks like, and some ways to be collaborative rather than extractive?” – @schulzjoe1

Renan: “It’s a matter of asking the communities what is most helpful for them instead of assuming it. On the last trip for the lithium mining documentary that @taylorfreesolo is making, we did a lot of filming for the communities at events they wanted to document for their archives. Typically we would try to make a single character study to have a strong emotional response from an audience, but instead we shifted to what the community wanted and was actually much more powerful in the end.”

“Is it hard to carry camera equipment when you are climbing?” – @tribecaphotographer

Renan: “I’m not going to lie and say it’s super easy, especially when you’re trying to keep up with world class athletes. But certainly that’s why I’ve been shooting Sony because they are the lightest full frame camera to shoot photo/video. Also really helps to dial in your systems and strip away all the excess.”

“How extensively is a photographer ‘allowed’ to use software for post-processing and editing of photos? When does an edited photo become an unreal photo?” – @freddybubey

Renan: “I think anything is game if you’re having fun and it’s on your own feed. If the assignment is for photojournalism then it should be kept minimal.”

“How do you achieve such sharpness throughout the whole photo in your pictures? I'm not interested in extreme bokeh which many love – I want to include everything in my picture.” – @jeremy.photo

Renan: “As long as you keep your f-stop super, super high and shoot f/12 or even 22, everything will be in focus. Especially with those big landscapes with a figure in it – it’s nice when everything is tack sharp.”

“How do your night timelapses come out so crisp?” – @samuelaustinrich

Renan: “The key things are really triple checking your focus before you start. Most lenses are just tricky to focus at night and the perfect point is often a bit back from infinity, which is a bit counterintuitive when shooting a distant star scape.”

“How do you guide your workflow in general? Do you do a ton of research about the culture or place before you go? Any books to recommend?” – @carlosastrabarros

Renan: “Great question! Most of the deepest stories I’ve been able to be a part of have been a result of a really long investment in a specific place which often begins by an investment in language learning for me. Definitely different for everyone, sometimes books are helpful. Basically expect to do many trips to be able to listen and give back as much as you can before even starting the storytelling most of the time ... hope that helps, best of luck!”

See the full AMA with Renan Ozturk here.


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