Semiocity
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Understanding the Turkish uprising : three weeks of violence and lies

Istanbul s’est réveillée cette semaine avec la gueule de bois. Après près de trois semaines de manifestations, l’intransigeance du gouvernement, la désinformation à grande échelle et la violence de la répression policière ont eu partiellement raison du mouvement initié fin mai dernier autour d’un projet de renouveau urbain très contesté. (more…)

New gallery: demonstration in Tunis on March 16th to commemorate the assassination of the left-wing leader Chokri Belaid

Istanbulgraffiti.com: launch of my new Istanbul graffiti and street art photography blog

Graffiti, shiny coating, flaking walls… or when the message and the canvas melt in a unique work of art for millions of onlookers to see. The walls of Istanbul are alive with tragedy, humour, graphic audacity and political wit. Human made messages drawn on an ubiquitous urban canvas altered by time, nature or further human traces. Istanbul graffiti are part of my daily walk, my visual companions and landmarks alike and I couldn’t stop photographing them for the last two years. I have collected some of the best of these pictures in a new blog, which I will keep on enriching as the street charms me again and again…

istanbulgraffiti.com

Launch of istanbulcandids.com, my new website dedicated to candid photography in Istanbul

I have unwittingly started this Istanbul street candid project some two-and-a-half years ago, soon after my purchase of the now legendary Panasonic GF-1 + 20mm lens combo. Istiklal Avenue, in the very heart of Istanbul, has always fascinated me. It’s A 3km long, 12-ish m wide pedestrian highway housing cafes, restaurants, bookshops, clothing stores, a mall, a tramway etc. and teeming with people day and night. According to the dedicated Wikipedia entry, “it is visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends”.

The perfect place to commit street photography… ;)

istanbulcandids.com

istanbulcandids

 

New short story online: Necropolis (en Français)

J’ai écrit Necropolis dans ma période gothico-dépressive estudiantine (on ne rigole pas). Je résidais alors à la cité universitaire Paul Sabatier et m’appliquai à transformer tout ce mal-être en matériel littéraire (je caressais alors sérieusement l’ambition de devenir un jour écrivain). Il faut dire qu’a l’époque internet et les téléphones portables n’étaient pas encore à la portée de tous et que – hors les “soirées loose” pendant lesquelles nous consommions entre mâles des quantités peu raisonnables de bière bon marché – mon réduit de dix mètres carré devenait une aire d’écriture spartiate et relativement productive.


Necropolis

Necropolis, by Gregory DziedzicLe vide. Un vide oppressant qui m’étouffe et m’englue dans ses rets poisseux.

[...]

Je suis dans ma chambre. Dix mètres carrés, un peu de lumière. La musique aussi, pour ne pas devenir fou.

L’immeuble comporte une dizaine d’étages. Un rempart de béton surgi du bitume craquelé. Des couloirs étroits et des cloisons fines comme du papier à cigarette.

Qu’a-t-il pu se passer pour que je me retrouve ici ? Pas la moindre idée. Ni le moindre souvenir. Le drame est ici le même pour tous, je crois. Tous des étrangers à nous-mêmes.

Je suis dépressif. Sans doute. C’est du moins la conclusion qui me semble la plus valable. Le corps est sain, mais l’âme est malade. Une maladie récurrente, comme ces fièvres épisodiques qui vous harcèlent avec acharnement.

Allongé sur mon lit, je fixe du regard la lumière crue de l’unique ampoule. Tout ici semble fait pour être incommode et inconfortable. Depuis les douches collectives jusqu’à l’ascétisme spartiate du mobilier.

Ne pas se plaindre, pourtant. Tel est ici le mot d’ordre.

Nous sommes les damnés. Prisonniers de nos remords irréversibles et de nos consciences écornées comme du vieux carton. La fuite est vaine est impossible.

Ce lieu est un enfer très particulier, un enfer intérieur. Ici, la souffrance vient de l’absence de sensations, du vide sentimental et de l’inanité du quotidien.

[...]

J’ai mis longtemps à saisir ce qu’était cet “ ici ”. La plupart l’ignorent encore.

Lire la suite…

New translation into French: “I don’t know, Timmy, being God is a big responsibility”

By Infrared_Bodrum_03206_20040724152254.jpg: Nevit Dilmen derivative work: Nevit Dilmen (Infrared_Bodrum_03206_20040724152254.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsHow time flies. Randal Monroe published “A Bunch of Rocks” on his website xkcd.com in November 2008, as I was turning… ugh… 33? Yep. A real piece of art on infinity, simulated universes and brain in a vat syndrom. In the following xkcd forum discussion thread, someone posted a link to a related story published on another good-humored super-geekish four consonant website (qntm.org): “I don’t know, Timmy, being God is a big responsibility” is a great piece by Sam Hughes, a prolific sci-fi writer whose works are solely published on his website it seems. The kind of story one wants to share and translating it was one way to do so. Please do not hesitate to comment either about the story itself or its translation. Have a good read :)
(Cliquez ici pour lire le post complet incluant la traduction)
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“Réponses Photo” keeps on snobbing micro 4/3: no “Top Buy” award for the E-M5

P1240816

Irréductibles du viseur optique ou fétichistes des capteurs grand format?

Alors que les lecteurs de Dpreview sont en train d’élire l’OM-D E-M5 “Appareil photo de l’année” et que se multiplient les témoignages de photographes remplaçant leurs lourds Nikon D700 ou autres appareils photos plein format par la petite merveille d’Olympus, le mensuel “Réponse photo”, un des meilleurs magazines photo actuellement en vente, s’entête à snober le système micro 4/3 et lui refuse la consécration dans son Guide d’achat 2013. (more…)

Selling Pentax K5 + 18-55WR (€550), Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM (€400), Pentax 31mm f/1.8 Ltd (€750), Pentax 15mm f/4 Ltd (€400) and Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 macro (€400) (Istanbul or Toulouse)

Monday Photography #10: Crossing paths by the Mall

Monday selection #9: Exiting the metro station

 (GREGORY DZIEDZIC)

Exiting the metro station

Hmmm… one of my first pictures with my new Pentax 15mm ltd lens, a few weeks ago before going to Morocco. I was on the way to the publishing house.

New translation in French: “You should date an illiterate girl”

Here is my translation in French of a text by Charles Warnke. This text slightly differs from the current version on the Though Catalog website. The end is, that is. I don’t know at what point and by whom it was amended but I chose to share and translate this amended version because of the twist it brings at the end. Feel free to comment on the text or its translation :)


Choisis celle qui ne lit pas

Photo: Caitlinator/Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinator/3703120672/

“Sors avec une fille qui ne lit pas. Déniche-là dans un rade sordide dans les tréfonds du Midwest, ou bien sur la piste d’une boîte de nuit branchée, éclairée par les projos au sein des vapeurs de clope et de sueur alcoolisée.

Peu importe. Assure toi bien qu’elle sourit, et que ce sourire persiste sur ses lèvres même quand les gens qui lui adressent la parole arrêtent de la regarder. Aborde-là avec des sujets bateaux puis passe à la drague en utilisant quelques accroches bien senties tout en riant sous cape. Emmène-la dehors, dans la nuit accueillante. Ignore le poids de la fatigue et, parce que tu as vu ça dans dans un film, embrasse-là sous la pluie à la faible lueur d’un réverbère. Note bien à quel point cela ne veut rien dire. Emmène-la chez toi. Ne luis fais pas l’amour. Baise-la.

Read more…

Monday selection #7: Objectified Woman

La femme objet (Gregory Dziedzic)

La femme objet (Gregory Dziedzic)

Iggy Pop tribute band Raw Power in concert at Pendor Corner

Saturday evening in Pendor Corner, Beyoglu, Istanbul. Waow, what a concert that was. And the least I can say is that I nearly went there backward. Tired, sleepy, it was like, I’d promised them I’d go and announced on my website I’d take pictures so, oh well, let’s give it a try… So eventually we arrived late, but the gig was late as well. (more…)

Watching the seeds grow while not forgetting to plant new ones (Raw Power tonight)

As I prepare my portfolio for a prospective gallery in Istanbul and start getting ready for my upcoming photography assignment in Casablanca, it is still is a pleasure to see that part of what has been seeded months ago still grows unattended. You will for sure remember (yeah yeah, I’ll just pretend that some people are actually following this blog!) that the tourism office of Elazığ (East of Turkey) organized in June 2012 a photography trip for foreign photographers to which I participated. As it happens, two of my pictures were selected for the final exhibition (reported here in Turkish) and a further 10 are to be featured in the exhibitions that are to be inaugurated this week-end in Brussels and Lausanne, and on December 1st in Vienna. Hopefully more details to come – I actually would be very interested in going to the Vienna event – meanwhile, here are the 12 pictures that were selected for this traveling exhibition.

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Monday selection #6: Kraft – the End

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Gregory Dziedzic)

The end of Kraft (Gregory Dziedzic)

“This is the end…” the song goes.

Kraft as we once knew it has closed down for good, it’s outdoor sign taken down and replaced by a new one. Combined together, the harassment of Istanbul Municipality (the smoking ban first, which was ok, then the ban on outside tables, which was plain daft) and carelessness from the ownership have sealed the fate of one of the best dives in Istanbul, where men, women and cats alike once used to sit their lazy arses, some of them quenching their thirst for beer, some others for company of the opposite gender (or not) while the most furred ones would benefit from the free cat-food generously distributed by a loony loner who still haunts the street, like the rest of us, in search of the spirit of Rock’n Roll, decent beer and mind-numbing drunk talk.

Oh well…

Monday selection #5: Magic Beer

Potion magique (Gregory Dziedzic)

Shot during my last staying in France. I was in my godmother’s home. After a day spent in their swimming pool and a copious evening meal, my cousin, her friend and I we were sitting on the terrace and decided to mix beer with syrup. The syrup happened to contain artificial sweetener which, we found out later, caused some weird kind of polymerization in the beer’s foamy head. A beautiful pint it was anyway. I took out my OM-D EM-5 with 45mm 1.8 lens. My cousin’s friend, who was sitting opposite to me, directed a flashlight toward the beer…

Monday selection #4: suburban purgatory

Suburban Purgatory (Gregory Dziedzic)

View on the E5 motorway from the Cevizlibag footbridge, in Istanbul.

New article: Batch editing Sigma 17-50 2.8 OS HSM Exif Data on Mac with ExifTools and Automator

The Sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM sits full time on my Pentax K-5. Its range and its constant, fast enough, aperture make it a very versatile tool for indoor or outdoor photography, from wide angle to short tele. The only problem of this lens is that it is not recognized by the K-5 and that, in the absence of complete metadata, the barrel distortion it produces on the wide angle side cannot be automatically corrected by Lightroom. This article describes how to batch process the pictures files and correct their Exif data on OS X thanks to ExifTools and Automator.

Read more…

More street candids, or how I roamed Istiqlal with my EM-5 after my shock discovery of Bruce Gilden photography

Wioman on Istiklal Street, Istanbul, Turkey. Street photography. Photo By Gregory DziedzicI was narrating in a former post, in French unfortunately (or not), how the discovery of Bruce Gilden photography thanks to a very good friend of mine has been an eye-opener (!) for me. Finally, here is this grungy rogue not giving a damn about model release forms and assaulting people with his cameras in order to get the best out of them. Reminds me a bit William Burroughs, as described by another William – Gibson this one, the father of Cyberpunk literature: (more…)