Michael Turek's upcoming project, The Lost Pianos of Siberia, is an exploration of music and abandonment. Taking place in Siberia and the Russian Far East, Turek and author Sophy Roberts track down vintage pianos, all of which tell a story. This project will ultimately end in a photo book, due to be published in 2019. See a preview below!
This collaboration with food stylist Mariana Velasquez and photographer Beth Galton is inspired by reknowned Mexican architect Luis Barragan. Apparently, he requested that his housekeeper only serve him pink meals!
Off and on over the past year, New York-based photographer Michael Turek has been working on a project about some unusual people who live among us — those who wear watches on the inside of their wrists.
“It started one day when I and a friend of mine were getting coffee, and I noticed the barista was wearing her watch that way,” Turek says. “I started asking her all sorts of questions about why she did it. My friend, who’s an industrial designer and is constantly thinking about how people use products, was also interested. So we’re doing the project together. We basically find people on the street in New York. He interviews them about why they wear their watches like that, and I photograph them.”
Turek works on the project between assignments for magazines — his travel and lifestyle photography has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Departures, and Men’s Journal — and jobs for commercial clients, including British Airways and COMO Hotels. He has other sideline series going on at the same time, and, curiously, when he describes them you realize they often seem to focus on people who do things differently. He’s been working on a long-range project, for instance, on the phenomenon of “dark tourism” — pricey guided excursions to places associated with death and disaster.
Through The Window.
What is "New York?" It's a topic that pervades the perpetual conversation about the city. The shifting demographics of its storied neighborhoods make that dialogue mutable. But what I realize, looking out my living room window every day, is that a beautiful inclusiveness and cooperation persist in our little corner of the Lower East Side. Everyone is here together.
For just less than 4 hours on a Tuesday afternoon in May 2016, Richard set up outside, across the street from his apartment window, to capture that unaffected and unspoken alliance that exists between the people walking along Clinton Street. Everyone was welcome to participate, and no one was excluded. Here they all are. This is New York.
Conde Nast Traveler India published an article on our very own Michael Turek!
“After eight years of shooting exclusively [on] digital [cameras], working with film was a revelation. It made me fall in love with the process of making photos. Shooting film heightened the sensation of being focused in the moment, which is at the heart of what photography is about. I also noticed a difference in reactions from the people I was photographing. Subjects had become so used to seeing their photos on the back of my camera. When they were unable to see themselves right away, they seemed more interested and involved. They seemed to have more confidence in themselves as well as me, and I feel my portrait work became stronger.”
“The debate about which looks better, digital or film, is tired and pointless. For me, the reason to shoot film is simple: it is a lot less distracting than digital. I don’t shoot film just to be romantic and I’m not a Luddite. I feel that I can create a better product with film. Photography, in its essence, is about speed and reaction. And working with film actually enabled me to find creative solutions faster than digital. This sounds counterintuitive, but I realised I was spending too much time operating the camera, and then checking the shot on the LCD screen. My eyes were down, distracted, instead of looking at the world, my subjects. Click, review, repeat—that was the cycle I was stuck in. I rediscovered that film allowed me to concentrate on composition. Editing should be left until afterwards. Shoot now, edit later, is my mantra.”
“There are disadvantages to shooting with film. It is bulky to travel with, can be damaged by X-rays at security checks, and rolls are easy to lose. I’ve accidentally exposed a roll of film by opening the back of the camera when I thought the roll was already rewound! Film rolls run out of pictures far quicker than a memory card and they are not cheap to buy and to process either. It takes a few days for my lab to return the processed film, and sometimes clients need the images right away.”
“Conversely, digital has a different set of challenges. Digital storage devices are fragile and are subject to corruption. If a hard-drive or memory card is damaged, corrupted or lost, I can lose thousands of photos, rather than just 20 images on a roll of film. We do not have a long-term solution for storing and archiving digital data. Storage solutions are constantly changing, so there is no guarantee that digital images will be easily readable in 20 years, let alone 100! Analogue photography is a 175-year-old technology, and we know exactly how to store it so that it lasts thousands of years. Digital storage is expensive, and can actually cost the same or more than the processing and storage of film over time.”