Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

John Terence Turner: Which Way is Up?

Which Way is Up? Which Way is Up?
© John Terence Turner

With much of the country preoccupied with imminent war and a sagging economy, this topsy-turvy image from commercial photographer John Terence Turner seems appropriate for our entry into 2003.

Created for Turner's stock portfolio of motion shots, the photo is a result of trial and error, and more than a little ingenuity. He first tried to get a kinetic image of this Seattle roller coaster by riding in the seat in front of the two models and aiming his camera backward. He soon found that the safety bar was too restricting and the g-forces of the turns were too great to line up the shot he wanted.

That's where the magic of remote control comes in. Using clamps, bungee cords and gaffer's tape, Turner was able to rig the camera and strobe to the car in front of the models. To make sure the Space Needle was visible in the background twilight, he angled the camera sideways to capture the precise moment the Seattle icon would appear during the deeply banked turn.

At the right instant, Turner, standing safely below on the loading platform, triggered the shutter via radio transmitter. "It all worked, and I didn't have to risk losing either the camera or my lunch," he says.

Turner has been based in Seattle for 28 years, specializing in location photography with emphasis on action, drama and athleticism. After receiving a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City, he began his career taking general photography assignments and then did stock photography for about 15 years.

No stranger to the outdoor lifestyle, Turner spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where he shot several photo-essays for Peace Corps recruiting materials. He also had a stint as advertising director for K2 Ski Corp.

Some other major clients include Apple Computer, Boeing, Nike, Jeep, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Sony, Subaru and Westin Hotels. His numerous accolades include the Addy, the Communication Arts Award and the New York Art Directors' Gold and Silver Awards, among others.

Randy Woods
Story Author: Randy Woods

Randy Woods, editor of PhotoMedia, has been in the magazine publishing world for more than 20 years, covering such varied topics as photography, insurance, business startups, environmental issues and newspaper publishing. He is also associate editor for iSixSigma magazine and writes a job—search blog for The Seattle Times called “Hire Ground.”

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