Interview with George Turner – an ad-man turned full time wildlife photographer.
George Turner, an ad-man turned full time wildlife photographer, his enthusiasm for the natural world is evident in his style. Having previously worked in the world of advertising, he shoots with the viewer in mind, striving to create a deep connection with his images. ‘In Search of Light’ and his first time hosting an exhibition in Hong Kong, we have spoken to him to learn more about him, and his thoughts behind this exhibition.
As a former ad-man, what triggered you to become a photographer?
The best type of advertising is about producing amazing work to create change in consumers. It’s an exciting industry but I always longed for something more meaningful. By moving into wildlife and landscape photography, I could inspire the viewer to travel, to explore and most importantly of all, care for the environment and everything that lives within it.
Can you explain more how you strive to create deeper connection with the image, perhaps giving an example?
Recently in Tanzania my focus was to return home with images that highlighted the plight of the cheetah. Simple portraits of this beautiful cat are just that: beautiful. They don’t move beyond the immediate scene or tell a deeper story. Whilst on shoot, I managed to capture an image which tells multiple stories within one frame; the heavy rain hinting at despair, with a distant light moving towards hope. This, combined with a few words, tells a whole story in itself.
Tell us more about your photography work, you have been shortlisted and a finalist for number of critical awards. What is the key to take good image?
The best images will make a viewer say “wow”, whether externally or internally. They have to be striking, bold, and immediate.
How about the ‘In Search of Light’ exhibition in Hong Kong? What’s your rationale in curation, design and choosing your images?
Finding light in the harsh conditions of Northern Europe is extremely challenging. While there’s examples of golden light, I also wanted to showcase that sometimes no light is part of ‘the search. The idea is that the viewer moves through the seasons, seeing how the landscapes can change both delicately and abruptly.
What do you hope audience will see from these images?
How, regardless of the conditions, that Northern Europe is a pristine, raw wilderness that we need to fight to protect.
Can you pick two of your favourite works from the exhibition and tell us about them?
Climber on mountain edge, two peaks behind (see image above) – This image is the product of two days of climbing and camping in freezing (-40c windchill) conditions in Fjord Norway. The goal was always to reach the ‘crossing peaks’ and at times, it felt impossible. The experience was so inherently human and I wanted to photograph my friend not only for ‘scale’ but also, to represent my personal experience
The Old Man of Storr – My ancestors lived on the Isle of Skye for hundreds of years as sheep farmers. This shot was taken on my first visit, well before it became the destination that it is today. On this particular day, the weather would switch from heavy rain to snow, blowing winds to calm. I climbed the hill about the famous Old Man of Storr and the light swept across the land. I was the only one there and I’ve never felt closer to my heritage.
You have always promoted shooting with the viewer in mind, striving to create a deep connection with images. When did you start to feel so strongly about this subject?
I’ve felt strongly about this since I started working in advertising, many years ago. Content – whether imagery, copy, and so on – should always provide value to the viewer, to add something to their lives. Photography is no different.
How does your core message and vision of this exhibition match Jacada Travel’s ethics?
It’s pureness in the belief that travel warms the heart and deepens your connection with the world and to create an exhibition which highlights the many facets of Northern Europe; its beauty, rawness, harshness and of course, its openness to visitors.
To see George’s works in person, come to the Grand Opening of The Haven on Thursday 19th October, simply RSVP to [email protected] All attendees will be entered into a lucky draw to spend one night at the Molja Lighthouse in Norway.
Grand Opening Reception:
19 OCT 2017, 6:30pm
RSVP: [email protected]
21st October – 9th December 2017
Monday 4th December: Closed
Tuesday -Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sundays and Public Holiday: Closed
Free entrance, by appointment only.
The Haven by Jacada Travel:
29/F Wyndham Place, 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong+852 2110 0537 / [email protected]