Markus Andersen is back at it again on the streets of Sydney, Australia… but this time he has teamed up with fellow street photographer Elif Suyabatmaz of Istanbul, Turkey. The pair of photographers has just wrapped up a three year long project titled Mirrored where they responded to one another’s images by presenting a similar viewpoint from their respective nations. The final collection echoes the differences and similarities within the Australian and Turkish cultures through the mirrored interpretations each photographer presents.
Andersen explained to me that he and Suyabatmaz became friends through social media and found that they shot in a similar fashion – namely a storytelling approach to imagery with no real post processing: what he calls, “very pure, straight from the camera stuff.” He started the project with Suyabatmaz in 2012 thinking it would produce a body of work that was “poetic, interesting and unique.” They utilized iPhones as their capture devices to show that strong bodies of work were not dependent on expensive or traditional gear.
“In essence, the project is two photographers at opposite sides of the globe recording the daily life, environments and culture of both Sydney and Istanbul in black and white. The images mirror each other in both obvious and subtle ways,” Andersen told me. I wondered if they were shooting in direct response to each other as in a game of HORSE but the two of them didn’t really set a challenge to shoot this or that on a specific day or week. Rather, it was what Markus called, “a very free flowing, organic process.” Andersen and Suyabatmaz didn’t want to stick to a list of shots because they were afraid of missing great moments if they were focused on checking off a particular shot on a list.
We shot randomly when we could, searching for daily life or elements that may tell a little story in a single image. Through an editing process we came up with images that ‘mirrored’ each other in certain ways. The images in the show and book are very strong; however we had to ditch many of the best single images as we could not find a companion image – which was hard to do.
The biggest challenges Andersen told me were keeping focused and not letting the project slip away or lose momentum as well as loving certain images that simply couldn’t be used.
All images used with permission.