“cityLove” by Jiří Turek – an Exhibit + Workshop from Alliance Française

Jiří Turek Photography

So I got another notification from the Alliance Française de Manille about cityLove, in partnership with the Czech Embassy in Manila, which is a photographic exhibition from Jiří Turek, a Czech photographer specializing in reportage, portraiture, and fashion photography. Sufficed to say, I needed to check it out – especially since I’m resurrecting my photography portfolio, and I could use more wisdom from these professionals.

Essentially,… The Exhibition (from the AFM website):

cityLoveBetween the years of 2002-2006, Jiří Turek, a renowned Czech photographer, was based in New York City. Aside from carrying on with his commercial and fashion work, Jiri began experimenting with the “forgotten techniques” of his craft, such as the lith print technology. This new-found passion later gave birth to the cityLOVE project, a series documenting life in the world’s most iconic and vibrant cities (London, New York, Paris, Berlin, St Petersburg…)

The philosophy behind the project is simple – the best photographic studio is the street, the best models being the men and women walking down it. The photographs aim to evoke the idiosyncratic atmospheres of each metropolis and to capture the individual dynamic of each city. The cityLOVE project has been exhibited first in the prestigious Leica Gallery New York in 2006. It was then shown all around the world in places including Prague, Seoul or New Delhi.

The show also had a major citywide exhibition in Prague in the summer of 2012, with large scale versions of the photographs being shown at various historical locations around the city.

So yeah… it’s pretty much in the realm of what I’m trying to accomplish here. My portfolio so far in 500px tends to offer more on the cityscape route, and I’ve figured I needed to get more insight on this niche.

I’ve acquired a few insights in this workshop which I’ll summarise quickly in these three bullets:

  • A flash light is all you need – fill light, back light, etc.
  • Blurred street shots are sometimes okay.
  • Emma Watson’s controversial photoshoot is somewhat normal for these Europeans.

Photography Workshop

Aside from business portraiture and a lot of avant garde nudes, this photographer’s portfolio is cool at best. The only issue I have is having somewhat blurred shots as an aesthetic choice. Perhaps I’m so used to using high DPI and really sharpening the shit out of my photos to get the most strident resolution possible – if it ain’t cutting your vision, I’m doing it wrong.

cityLove Exhibit

In any case, the quick exhibition of using ambient light and a flash light to create a crash course in portrait photography is nice. So much editing with Capture One is required in most of his routine, but he does try to make the appropriate adjustments in the raw file before slamming his images in Photoshop. Overall, a nice portfolio.