As photojournalists since the early 1980s, the Turnleys have covered most of the great conflicts of the past fifteen years, and have been published in the best-known newspapers and magazines. Very often, one of their photographs becomes the iconic representation of the event. This is a result of their spending extended periods in the regions they cover, getting to know the people and the way of life.
During the three years David lived in South Africa, he showed apartheid as the prevailing system, its subsequent destruction, and the first elections of the new democratic state. Peter has pursued his interest in documenting the world's fourteen million refugees, and also photographed the fall of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Together they photographed student dissidents in the months leading up to the Tiananmen Square massacre; their photographs of the massacre itself are among their most recognizable. Shining through all the photographs is the strength of individual character and hope against powerful social and political conflict.