Gallery: Yorkshire Photographer Ryan Lee Turton

cold industrial setting with three young men who smoke a cigarette and look mean and moody

Yorkshire Photographer, Ryan Lee Turton

Hanging out northern style in this vivid collection of portraits of young people…

Tell us about how you started in photography – was it a career, a hobby or something else?
I can’t exactly remember. Drawing was my first love and I carried that into adulthood, then I think I picked up a camera around the age of 18. With drawing/painting I tended to project onto the canvas, creating something previously only imagined. With photography I’d tend to feel-into the world more, capturing something already there. These are tendencies in opposition, so I think it was probably part of my own psychic development towards attaining some sort of equilibrium. I still do both – although I share most of my photographs/films, whereas my drawings/paintings demand privacy and so I keep them mostly a secret.

What appeals to you about the genre?
I just like entwining people with environments; and I like the holism in it.

“I guess they help to rejuvenate my memory”

How do you go about looking for your pictures or planning your shoots – do you do lots of research or are they more spur of the moment?
Usually I just lake out with people and we follow our noses; see where we end up, see what we end up with. I have faith in spontaneity. I like the idea of a spontaneous process and I’m comfortable surrendering myself to it. There are odd occasions where I have something particular in mind that I’m trying to replicate. This generally requires planning and tends to be for more complex projects – like the film I’m working on at the moment.

Tell us about your featured photos – what do you like about this selection of images?
I guess they help to rejuvenate my memory. My memories are soaked into everything I make. I still see a lot of the people in the photos, others not so much.

ryan lee turton morrissey t-shirt photographWhich is your favourite image?
Probably the photo of my brother wearing a Morrissey t-shirt. I feel like it embodies the spirit of a young ‘un growing up in Northern England. Oh, I like this film snap of these three in the snow too. It’s from a few winters ago; we climbed on to the rooftop of an abandoned light bulb factory, near the tracks in Barnsley. It was called C.E.A.G lighting – it’s been demolished now.

“I use whatever I can get my hands on.”

What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
How expensive everything is, and having to look after your gear when you’re out and about. I’m a ragtag at heart and because my shoots double as hang-outs there are times where I wish my gear could just evaporate.

Do you use any special equipment to take your pictures, or use any special software after taking the pictures?
I use whatever I can get my hands on. Most of the time I shoot with a D600 body and opt for a 35mm lens. I process everything on an old worn-out copy of Photoshop – with none of the bells and whistles – and I’m happy with it.

What do you plan to do for your future photography projects – is there a place or thing that you would love to photograph?
Umm, I’m working mainly with video at the moment. On something that I’ll probably split up in to episodes when I finally release it. I’m taking my time with it. I want it to snag eyes, I want it to look ace; ethereal, psychedelic. I’m conscious of the overarching concept too, which decides how I weave the scenes together. Aside from the filming, I’m probably gonna start focusing on fashion editorials; we’ll see.

To see a selection of the work of Ryan Lee Turton, click on the images below

See more of Ryan’s work at
email: [email protected]

All images © Ryan Lee Turton


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