New Orleans: In the words of Photographer Tyrone Turner

A native of New Orleans, Tyrone Turner has shot images of New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou for several National Geographic magazine articles. As a leader of our New Orleans Weekend Photography Workshops, we asked Tyrone to tell what makes New Orleans such a great city to photograph.

Q: What makes New Orleans a great subject for photographers?

A: History drips off of the wrought iron balconies of the French Quarter like bougainvillea. You meet characters on the street that call you ‘sugar’ and ‘baby’—they would be disappointed if you didn’t ask to photograph them. New Orleans is my hometown and I have been photographing the city since my days as a staff photographer with the local newspaper. In recent years, unfortunate events like Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill have brought me back to New Orleans often to shoot on assignment for National Geographic. I am continually discovering something new about the city and the people, and I love sharing that with our workshop participants.

Q: What do you look forward to about the National Geographic Photo Workshop in New Orleans?

A: My favorite part of the workshop is when we come in from a shoot and start looking at and what participants photographed. During these constructive critique sessions, the gems pop out, and they start to learn about their vision and their own process of seeing and making photographs. They also get to see what their fellow participants have been able to create. The magic happens when they take this knowledge and go out and make better pictures the next day.

Q: What is the most important thing that participants should bring to this workshop?

A: A willingness to try some things that they haven’t tried before. If they have been nervous about shooting pictures of people, this is the place to experiment. If they are really trying to see light or shadow better, I can’t think of a better location to try new ideas. If participants come away from the workshop fired up about making pictures, and with a better understanding of how they can achieve that, I would feel very satisfied.

Q: Tell us about a project you worked on in New Orleans.

A: I photographed New Orleans and the Gulf Coast following Katrina for the August 2007 issue of National Geographic magazine. Leading up to the tenth anniversary of Katrina in August 2015, I revisited my hometown to check in on how the people and landscape have healed since the devastation of the infamous storm. Some of my coverage can be found in National Geographic’s online photography journal, Proof.

Learn more about the New Orleans Photo Workshop.

Tyrone Turner