Daily Inspiration #1035 by İlker Gökşen

Daily Inspiration #1035

by İlker Gökşen

Hello Steve,

I have been reading your reviews for years and I thought I would share some images with you.
These are images of five guys aging from 16 to 27 and living in Bayraklı District of İzmir, Turkey. They earn their living by pushing a cart and collecting paper from garbage containers around the city to sell for recycling. They earn around 25-50 Liras a day ($7-$15). They are all brothers and cousins and they are living in a one-room shack, which is quite beat up. From their earnings, they even send to their families in Diyarbakır, their hometown in Eastern Turkey. A law that passed in Turkey in 2016 prohibits collection of paper from garbage containers. So they work on a daily basis in danger of getting fined quite hefty amounts, which is something they can’t afford. But this is a reality of Turkey and the people who collect papers from garbage containers exist all over the country, especially in big cities despite all the consequences.
As for the technical part, all images were taken on Kodak Trix 400 using Nikon F100 and Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art. The films were developed in Kodak D76 and scanned using a DIY scanner with a Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f1.8D, a manual extension tube, and a Cactus external flash.
Lastly, here is my portfolio: www.ilkergoksen.com
Thank you,
Greetings from Turkey!
İlker Gökşen


  1. Great photos, those shown here as well as in your portfolio. They have a very great ,atmosphere’, and something that I haven’t seen a long time: they are lively and not digitally sterile. Although scanned. Hope you reach a lot of people with your work.
    Always good light!

  2. Epic. Lovely and smart to use filmcameras with with modern lenses – i do it myself al the time.

  3. Its been a while since I came across an authentic street photographer. I enjoyed your portfolio immensely, you truly capture the emotions and the story line of each photo. Amazing stuff

    • A DIY scanner is basically your DSLR coupled with a macro lens to take photos of the negatives. Since I do not have a macro lens, I just use an extension tube and a 50mm lens instead. I just built a cardboard box and put the flash on one end, on the other end of the box, I have a white plexiglass as a diffuser. Then I align the camera, film strips and the box and just take photos of the frames one by one. Afterwards, I do some post processing on photoshop like turning the image into positive, brightness, contrast, etc. I have been very pleased with the results so far. If you have a macro lens, then the results would be even better. Actually, you can find lots of examples if you google “DIY Dslr scanner”. Cheers!

  4. I love the country of Turkey. Have been there a number of times in various cities. I was also looking at the images over at your site. Your street photography shows real everyday life in this amazing country full of equally amazing people as most tourists don’t ever see it. The natural lighting in Turkey in mostly perfect in my opinion, And the Turkish people are very camera friendly.

    • Thank you for your comments Safiyyah! I am glad you’ve had a positive experience here. I agree, I have taken photos in my different cities in Turkey and people have always been friendly towards cameras.

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