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Adventure Shooter - Behind the Lens with Cinematographer Justin Turkowski

Specializing in action/adventure sports videography and television production, Justin Turkowski is an accomplished producer, cinematographer and editor with an absolute passion for storytelling.

In the early years of his career post-college, Justin did the full gambit of commercial video work including corporate and live events, as well as news and network television.  He soon realized his true passion leaned more toward the wild side.  An avid hunter, fisherman and snowboarder, he branched out with video and production gigs for the Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, ESPN, NBC Sports where he spent most of his time shooting outdoor adventures.

“I like to center my life around my passion for travel, the outdoors and telling fun and creative stories…and video really allows that! It’s all about telling some great stories through video and creating positivity in this world,”

After diving headfirst into the realm of underwater video, Justin discovered yet another outlet. He uprooted from Minnesota and relocated to the North Shore of Oahu where he found a kindred spirit in Kimi Werner, a Hawaiian Island native who is a dedicated freediver and a recognized spearfishing champion. After their first project together called Variables with Kimi Werner, Justin submitted the work to Patagonia, an environmentally conscious clothing and outdoor gear company. The short film was an instant success, as it helped merge the worlds of hunting and conservation.  Since then, Justin has become one of Kimi’s favorite videographers/photographers and works with her on a regular basis.

Just back from a project with Kimi in The Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Justin was asked what he enjoys most about his job.

Justin responded, “I love how I’m always learning.  A few years ago, when shooting in the snow, I would have never thought that I’d be moving to Hawaii and learning to hold my breath and freedive in the ocean to ‘get the shot.’  It’s both humbling and intimidating when you constantly take yourself out of your comfort zone to learn something new. But it’s also invigorating and makes me feel alive.”


By: Kelly Taggart

Photos: Justin Turkowski

Posted in: Lifestyle
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