Ali Borovalı was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1958. A very first film inserted in his first camera in junior school years, then a much sought-after Olympus Pen (1968), brought him his first award, photo of the week in a national newspaper, along with a lifelong passion to pursue achievements in photography.


Here's Ali...

He studied economics and finance with a BA degree in Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and an MBA degree in Florida Atlantic University, USA where he also received his education on photography. Following an early career in finance throughout the 1980s, it was natural for him to take off his tie and revert to his childhood dream, the photographic journey. A decade later he was was the subject of Fortune Magazine as Fujifilm Europress photographer of the year, with an aim to ignite a spark in entrepreneurs for pursuing their own dreams.

Ali devotes himself to personal projects ranging anywhere from a few weeks short to several years long, with a commitment to maintain a creative perspective on human life and its environment. His photographs encompass the remote cultures of less revealed geographies, with areas of interest revolving around the colors and identity of local people, surrounding nature and indigenous life.

His works have covered more than 80 countries and have since been published by the leading national and global publications, geographic, travel and fashion magazines. He holds conferences, workshops, and has widely exhibited in Turkey, throughout the Balkans, and in leading international festivals and fairs including Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan, FotoArt, Poland, and Photokina, Cologne. His editorial work is available through Sipa Press, Paris.

Ali’s photography has received much critical acclaim. His work is held in private collections and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the highly prized EuroFuji European Press Photographer, among others. His most recent exhibition “Ice”, a photographic journey about climate change around the world’s foremost glacial areas, is part of the permanent collection of the Photography Museum, Istanbul. Ali has published photography books under various editions in Turkey, Greece and Estonia.

Ali Borovalı lives and works in Istanbul.



Selected Editorial Work

Atlas Magazine

National Geographic Traveler


Discovery Magazine


Marie Claire

Image Magazine

Le Monde 2



Paris, Khalkedon Editions, Tr.

Turkish Photographers' Library, Antartist Ed, Tr.

Trapezouda, Militos Ed, Gr.

Mount Athos 365, Militos Ed, Gr.

Lingering Between Image and Photographic Gaze, Mt Athos Center Ed, Gr.

Agion Oros, Lambrakis Press, Gr.

One Night in the Desert of Mt Athos, Tallinn St. John Foundation, Est.*


*Nominated as one of the 25 best designed Estonian books of 2016


On Ali Borovali's Photography...

When I looked at the photographs of Ali Borovalı, I was impressed by the great match between the artist’s intentions and the final result. As if the pictures are waiting somewhere and the only thing the photographer has to do is simply go there and immortalize them. This reminded me of what the great poet Seferis had written, that the poems are clear, concrete, definite inside ourselves and they are just there waiting to be written. And exactly at this point is found the importance of the artist. Borovalı shows, by a single click of his camera, the exceptional talent to consummate the essence of photography. From the very first moment, he gives the right to the viewer to do an easy first reading of his photos. He offers, in a golden plate, that shining glare of clarity which makes the relationship between the audience and the photos much more fascinating. The viewer gets a sudden feeling that he himself could take a similar photograph, but what a disillusion! Of course, there is nothing easy for you. You are soon left with an urge to go back to that same photograph that you just looked at. This is where the real task just begins, that of reading between the lines, that of going behind the scenes to find their true meaning, or as Borovalı himself would want you to do, to search... for your own exit.

The multitude of arrays that constitute Borovalı’s playground, from nature to local culture, color to black & white, photo essay to documentary narrative, they all converge under that same signature. Quietness surrounds his subjects even in the most crowded of his photographs. Solitude, that dilemma of man, is at the same time the solitude of the viewer. All is done simply and quietly. As a photographer, Borovalı will put his words into images, while as an author, he will not say a word more than he needs in order to consummate the essence of his subjects. Not a loud voice, not a long speech. Just enough words to make his sentence, this constitutes the backbone of Ali Borovalı’s photography.

Umberto Eco once said that great writers give their readers the impression that they could have written the text they are reading. And that I believe is also what exactly characterises a great photographer.
— Vasilis Pappas, Poet and Art Critic, Greece, 2001