ABOUT ME

Interests

1/5

Astronomy

Since my childhood, I enjoy learning, teaching, experiencing and journeying to mysteries of the universe, while carrying the emotions just like Carl Sagan said:  “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”. For me, it’s like diving into Hogwarts and exploring it’s mysteries of it while you were a young Harry Potter fan years ago, but this time in the reality called ‘the universe’.

I own a 8″ reflector telescope on a Go-To mount since 2012. I worked with Turkish National Observatory, taught people about astronomy and astrophotography, led Astronomy Society in the university, and more. See my CV for details.

2/5

Photography

My another passion since childhood is capturing the moments to preserve their essence and relive them again. Usually, I try to express stories through it and it’s not uncommon to spot me on the street, immediately scribbling notes on my smartphone to ensure no detail is forgotten, as each element is an integral part of the final image.

I currently own a Sony A7 II, and generally use it with 55mm f1.8 lens. Over the years, I’ve been actively involved in the Photography Club at my university, gave lessons, served as a jury in photo contests, and more. Some of my photos are in my portfolio page.

3/5

Vintage Camera Collection

Probably most of us are drawn to intricate mechanics of antique objects, maybe from cuckoo clocks to gramophones or pinball machines. Similarly, I find pleasure in collecting and reviving vintage cameras to use in today’s digital age, much like classic car enthusiasts. Some cameras in my collection are from my childhood, some family heirlooms, or acquired through online trading. 

For example, the camera showcased in this image from my collection is a remarkable artifact from 1916. It’s amazing to think that the Ottoman Empire still stood in place and the idea of Republic of Turkey was unknown. Crafted by the skilled hands of factory workers in far away places, it has borne witness to countless memories, laughter, smiles, family dinners, and even survived through times of war. Now, I feel honoured to have it as my guest and treat it with utmost hospitality.

Gece 4'te acıktım. Sims. Hungry at 4 am.
4/5

Audio-Visual Content Creation

Despite obtaining a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, my true passions have always been in the realm of communication, PR, storytelling, and engagement. I strive to incorporate them using multidisciplinary techniques in my projects whenever possible.

To this end, I have honed my skills in photography, attended a film-making workshop, and even recorded a documentary during the Covid pandemic, to be edited at a later time. Through self-teaching, I have also become proficient in related software such as Photoshop and Premiere, as well as earning certification in Graphic Design using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. My thirst for knowledge continues as I delve into the creation of simple, story-based video games. Click here to see some of them in my portfolio.

5/5

Machine - Human Interaction

As a child, I was fascinated by Tamagotchis, a popular virtual pet that created the illusion of a living being. Despite being a non-living machine, it required constant care, compassion, and even elicited emotions such as sadness when it became sick. Decades later, we now have personal assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant, addictive games like Pokemon Go which blend reality and machine virtuality, and the revolutionary ChatGPT, which offers a human-like interaction similar to HAL computer from A Space Odyssey: 2001 movie.

While in the Netherlands, I worked on a project aimed at raising awareness about climate change by creating a smart plant pot, similar to a more technologically advanced Tamagotchi but attached to a plant and turns it into a conversational object. Additionally, we interviewed people to better understand their behaviors towards the environment. I found the project to be deeply inspiring, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making the smart plant pot more interactive and fun. This experience motivated me to delve further into the topics of machine-human interaction. Currently I’m working on a personal project to gamify my website like a Pokemon game. Click here to read about our project from the Netherlands or watch its video.

Lıkes

1/7

Writing

When wandering through ancient ruins in Turkey, the inscribed stones often captivate me, daydream of the writers, the events they depict, and what life was like at the time. It creates an invisible connection through time, making me wonder what people might think of us in the year 4023. I enjoy sharing the inspiration behind such experiences through a traveler’s perspective, taking readers on incredible journeys also through my writing. I’ve previously authored a book on my Latin American journey and currently volunteer at a magazine, while also sharing my photos on social media with accompanying backstories.

2/7

Piano

Prior to starting primary school, I had demonstrated an interest in piano and music composition, which led to an opportunity to study at a conservatory from a young age. Despite choosing to attend primary school instead, my passion for music remained strong, and during my Mechanical Engineering studies, I aspired to specialize in designing musical instruments or acoustics of audio devices. I spent my free time practicing piano and deepening my theoretical knowledge by taking courses in the music faculty. Through this, I was fortunate to meet many valuable friends and professors.

3/7

Hiking & Camping

Getting stuck between the tall buildings that obscure the skyline, the barren concrete that prevents your roots from reaching the soil, the pressure of crowds, and ascending floors via metallic elevators or escalators beneath fluorescent lighting – all conspire to sever my connection to nature when I’m living in the bustling urban environment.

To restore my bond with the natural world, I often seek refuge in hiking or camping, immersing myself in the wonders of the environment. I’ve embarked on long hike & camp excursions in some of the most breathtaking locales, such as Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia and the Lycian Way in Turkey.

4/7

Sending Postcards

Two types of reactions of people always brighten up my day:

1) When people involuntarily make an “AAAAhhhhh!!!…” sound accompanied by a huge smile upon observing the rings of Saturn through a telescope for the first time

2) The replies I got when people find surprise postcards on their office desks and my imagining of their joy.

Having sent and received postcards for many years, I now have a collection of them that serves as a source of inspiration and strength, particularly after reading them whenever I feel down.

5/7

Amateur Radio

After a small earthquake struck Istanbul in 2020, internet and cellphone signals became temporarily unusable. With the world already grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, I recognized the potential for further disruptions and decided to obtain an amateur radio license and transmitter. Despite my limited knowledge, I find joy in continually learning about radio technology and conversing with fellow enthusiasts. I currently use a TYT-UV99 hand radio for local communication and digital apps on my smartphone for longer distances. TA2OCA 73.
6/7

Vinyl Collection

I enjoy the sensation that washes over me when I dive in the captivating sounds of a quality-recorded vintage vinyl, dating back to the analog age. I vividly recall the moment I first played a Paco de Lucia vinyl from the 60s and was stunned by the ability to hear sound details like finger hits on the strings and body of the guitar. I couldn’t contain my excitement and thought to myself, “OMG, I can’t believe I’m hearing these details!” It was as though I had never truly experienced music until that very moment. The uncompressed sound quality of some vinyl records and the exceptional craftsmanship of vintage turntables never fail to captivate me. I have a small vinyl collection that I enjoy expanding whenever I get the chance. My roundtable is Dual 1218 on Dual HS 53 amplifier from 1970s.

7/7

Reading History, Culture, Sci-Fi Books

Some of my fav books are,

– Rememberance of the Earth’s Past trilogy / Cixin Liu

– Zorba the Greek / Nikos Kazancakis

– The Silkroads / Peter Frankopan

– Samarkand / Amin Maalouf

Some Of My Inspirations

Alexander the Great, among the wealthiest and most powerful figures of his time, craving for even greater power, meets Diogenes, who is one of the most penniless individuals in the world, happy with possessing nothing and for whom all possessions are a burden.

Diogenes replied to Alexander, the conqueror of the world, when he asked him if he wanted anything: “Stand a little less between me and the sun.”

A copy of this painting is hanging on the wall of my room. Painter: Gaspar de Crayer (1584-1669).

Bilkent Music Faculty is my favorite place on campus – a sanctuary where I can open a window to Ankara’s starry sky and lose myself in the celestial sounds of musical instruments. This sensory experience evokes a curious parallel between music and astronomy which I realised after listening to music and observing the stars were stimulating the same location of my mind – a connection I shared with my esteemed professor, Prof. Dr. Gökçe Altay Artar. She mentioned me about the book ‘Music of the Spheres’ and I quickly found it in Bilkent Library. This drawing welcomed me when I opened its first page.

Music of the Spheres (Music of Spheres/Musica Universalis): It is an ancient philosophical concept based on the idea that the universe is arranged with numbers that show harmony, which considers the proportions in the movements of celestial bodies as a harmonious form of music that cannot be heard by the human ear.

A short transcript from the video above:

“The latest version of String Theory is called M-Theory, “M” for membrane. So the subatomic particles we see in nature, the quartz, the electrons are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string. What is physics? Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony that you can write on vibrating strings. What is chemistry? Chemistry is nothing but the melodies you can play on interacting vibrating strings. What is the universe? The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings. And then what is the mind of God that Albert Einstein eloquently wrote about for the last 30 years of his life? We now, for the first time in history have a candidate for the mind of God. It is, cosmic music resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. So first of all, we are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes. Obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings.”

Michio Kaku, 21st century A.C.

Hussein Aga was an old Turk, a neighbour of ours. Very old, very poor, no wife, no children, completely alone. At night used to come in to see us, sit in the yard with my grandmother and a few other old women, and knit socks. He was a saintly man. One day he took me on
his knee and placed his hand on my head as though he was giving me his blessing. “Alexis,” he said, “I’m going to tell you a secret. You’re too small to understand now, but you’ll understand when you are bigger. Listen, little one: neither the seven storeys of heaven nor the seven storeys of the earth are enough to contain God; but a man’s
heart can contain him. So be very careful, Alexis – and may my blessing go with you – never to wound a man’s heart!”

Zorba The Greek / Nikos Kazantzakis

Komşumuz ihtiyar bir Türk olan Hüseyin Ağa çok yoksuldu, hanımı, çocukları da yoktu. Akşam eve geldi mi, avluda diğer ihtiyarlarla oturur, çorap örerdi. Ermiş bir adamdı Hüseyin Ağa. Bir gün beni dizlerine aldı; hayır duası eder gibi elini başıma koydu; “Aleksi” dedi, “Bak sana bir şey söyleyeceğim, küçük olduğun için anlamayacaksın, büyüyünce anlarsın. Dinle oğlum, Tanrı’yı yedi kat gökler ve yedi kat yerler almaz; ama insanın kalbi alır, onun için aklını başına topla Aleksi, hiçbir zaman insan yüreğini yaralama.”

Zorba / Nikos Kazancakis

My Book On The GoodReads

Oğulcan Temiz's books on Goodreads