Photographer Jiří Turek
Renowned Czech photographer prefers Epson professional printers
He has photographed global music icons of the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Luciano Pavarotti, Lou Reed, Sting and many more. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards and has gained worldwide recognition for his work. We are talking, of course, about Jiří Turek.
Turek’s career began in 1990 when he accompanied the then president Václav Havel on his international trips and worked as a photojournalist during major war conflicts. In 1995, he became editor of the Magazín MF Dnes newspaper supplement and gradually shifted his focus to portrait and fashion photography. He has worked as a freelancer since 1998. In 2002, he left the Czech Republic for New York, where he spent the next five years continuing to work for prominent magazines, focusing on advertising photography and becoming one of the most respected portrait photographers in the business.
His road to success in this highly competitive environment was far from smooth. His first big commission for a major New York gallery was the result of hard work and countless hours spent on photo processing.
“One day the phone rang in my apartment, and when I answered, the person at the other end introduced himself as Jay Deutsch. He told me that he liked my work and asked me to turn up at the gallery at half past eight the next morning to present my photos for displaying in their gallery. To give you an idea: a gallery portfolio is presented as a set of originals in A2 format on high-quality paper only. I spent the whole night preparing for the presentation.”
says Turek, recounting his first meeting with the owner of the renowned Leica Gallery New York. This unique and popular exhibition, featuring a set of emotive reportages from the New York streets and “borderline acts of fashion”, was staged in 2006 and ran for a whole eight weeks.
The photos showcased the special technique of lith printing, characterised by the use of dark shadows combined with soft and bright highlights. Turek has always wanted his work to stand out, and in this case, he sought a combination of a printing solution and art material that perfectly suited his vision so that the photographs evoked artwork done by hand.
Born in Prague in 1965, Jiří Turek studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Institute of Graphic Photography in Opava, Czech Republic. In his own work, he goes back to his original beginnings as a reportage photographer and creates black-and-white photography. He utilises various “forgotten” techniques, and lith printing in particular. He works with record companies EMI, Sony Music and Universal Music on CD booklets and is much sought after as an advertising and commercial photographer. He also teaches and has lectured on portrait and fashion photography at the Silesian University in Opava. He conducts photography workshops and seminars.
SOME OF HIS AWARDS:
Czech Press Photo:
1st place in category
Art and fashion (1998, 1999)
fashion photography award
(2001 T-Mobile Click)
- Linka bezpeči (Czech helpline)
“While in America, I was searching for a printing solution that would give me results of the very highest quality. Initially, I tried a number of photo labs, but later I switched to printers. I chose the Epson because, compared to other printers, it produced photos with natural and lightfast colours: the same colours I saw on the screen,” Jiří Turek explains.
Turek’s very first printer was the Stylus Photo 2200 A3+. This model used a seven-colour set of UltraChrome pigmented inks and produced prints of the highest quality. The printer was suitable not only for graphics and pre-press preparation, but occasionally also for final photographs to be displayed at exhibitions. Since the printer was launched on the US market in 2002, it has become synonymous with one of the best A3+ printing solutions for professional photographers.
The printer met all of Jiří Turek’s requirements in terms of the quality of the final result. In those days, most photos destined for exhibition would be processed in photo labs, but the labs were still not able to produce outputs with the colours photographers sought.The uniqueness of CityLAB
In addition to commercial photography, Jiří Turek also devotes his talent to CityLAB, a project of art-reportage photographs of the world’s metropolises. “This was not a project I planned in any way. The initial idea came to me in New York, where I took photos documenting the architecture and the unique ambience of the city,” Turek explains.
Most of the large-format photographs of the CityLAB project were printed using the Stylus Pro 9880 and Stylus Pro 9900 machines. Both printers are capable of capturing the widest colour gamut, natural and accurate tones, and the finest details, using special pigment-based UltraChrome K3™ and UltraChrome™ HDR ink technologies. "Rival printing solutions simply couldn't deliver the value that Epson's printers did. Thanks to the unique Micro Piezo technology, miniature ink droplets fired onto the paper have a perfectly consistent shape, which results in excellent quality prints,” explains Josef Horázný, who has been in charge of Jiří Turek’s printed production for over 15 years.
In addition to printers, Jiří Turek also uses various art materials from Epson. The wide choice of photo paper, fine art paper and canvasses enables the use of various effects with the guarantee of long-term colour stability. Jiří’s favourite materials include Traditional Photo Paper, Water Color Paper, Premium Satin and Water Resistant Matte Canvas, Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper and Enhanced Matte Paper.