People's Choice Award
I am currently pursuing Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. I am also a rescue diver, an entrepreneur, and an amateur astrophotographer. Photography is my favorite means of expression. Taking photographs allows me to express my feelings in that moment and reflect on my experiences. My fascination in photography began as a child when I started to wonder about the stars. I started to use photograph as a way of capturing the amazing wonders of space. Taking photographs of space speaks to me because it captures something that is so far away and almost impossible for the common man to touch or reach. In my journey to photographically capture the wonders I have space; I have come to love the experience of trying to capture the perfect photograph of something so distant. Often times, in order to capture photographs of space, I must go to dark and desolate areas. Once when seeking to photograph the Milky Way in a very dark and abandoned setting, I felt fear, excitement, and insecurity. The journey of capturing these photographs is just as amazing as the final photograph. For this reason, I have fallen in love with the small objects that are responsible for reflecting the light for years. My wonder and amazement with the stars has continued over time. One day I was introduced to the quote, “only when it is dark enough can you see the stars,” from Martin Luther King Jr. This quote resonated with me because it taught me that if I want to capture beauty, I have to get to know myself, my wants, and how to pursue these desires. This quote also resonated with me because it reminded me of the question, what keeps humankind alive? When I take photographs I seek to capture and spread the message that fighting for a purpose and having something would not be possible without first putting in effort. This is all to say that I, Gizem, am an ordinary person who is simply seeking to reveal the mysterious aspects of the ordinary objects we see every day, through her own eyes.