VIEW THE PORTFOLIOS

Ten galleries of images representing David's work, both personal and professional, over the last 8 years.

READ THE BOOKS

If you've tried the books about gear and long for something more, David's poured his heart into 20 books and ebooks for you.

COLLECT THE PRINTS

Two carefully curated collections of 24 beautiful fine-art prints and folios for your walls or your personal collection.

Oct 5th

2014

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CategoryPosted in: Study the Masters

Study the Masters: Edward Burtynsky

studythemasters_burtynsky_05Thjorsá River #1Iceland, 2012, copyright Edward Burtynsky

“We took what we needed from the Earth and this is what we left behind. That is the informational layer of my work, but there is also a political layer and an autobiographical one.”

Edward Burtynsky (1955 – present) is still very much alive and working today. One of Canada’s most respected photographers, his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes and man’s impact on the land are stunning. I spent time at an exhibit of his this summer in Vancouver, and was deeply moved by his sweeping views of landscapes altered by industry: hauting images of quarries in Italy, mine tailings in Canada, and shipbreaking in Bangladesh, among others. His work shows an awareness of scale and pattern, and an awesome juxtaposition of beauty and man’s terrible impact. It’s easy to see his early influences, too, like Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston.

Like all of us, Burtynsky is a product of his upbringing, and it’s no surprise that a man who grew up in industrial St. Catharines, Ontario, with a father who worked in automotive manufacturing, also ended up working in both mining and automotive assembly lines, before going to art school. Edward’s father, in daily contact with PCBs, died from cancer at 45, Edward was only 15 at the time. Knowing this gives a depth to Burtynsky’s work and makes it  more human. More than a study in lines and clever use a scale, these are often painful photographs that demand a response from the reader. His large format work shows incredible detail and while I highly recommend you look at his work online and in books, if you have a chance to see Burtynsky exhibited, do so. As someone who loves landscape photography, and has more than a passing interest in photography as a means of expression and social change, Burtynsky is deeply inspiring.

studythemasters_burtynsky_01Nickel Tailings #34Sudbury, Ontario 1996. Copyright Edward Burtynsky

studythemasters_burtynsky_02Rock of Ages #7Active Section, E.L. Smith Quarry, Barre, Vermont, USA, 1991
Copyright Edward Burtynsky

“Residual landscapes tell us something important. We take what we want, then leave the residue of our taking. Once we take what we value, the voids that remain are very revealing.”

There’s a great video here (almost 7 minutes), from the Vancouver Art Gallery, and longer documentaries here:

Manufactured Landscapes, by Jennifer Baichwal

Watermark, co-directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky

Here are two gorgeous books of his work, the first among my favourites – Manufactured Landscapes, (Amazon Link), and Quarries (Amazon link) Highly recommended!

Oct 3rd

2014

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CategoryPosted in: The Big Q

The Next Step

Q: I’m a nature photographer with what I’ve been told is a reasonably solid portfolio, and I blog fairly regularly. I make a little money with my photography, but I think I could do more to increase the income a bit. I’m ready to take the next step toward living my dream. I need to […]

Sep 30th

2014

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CategoryPosted in: Books, Craft & Vision, e-books, Vision Is Better

Vision is Still Better

Several years ago I was asked if I’d consider doing something like a yearbook for my blog – a curated compilation of the best stuff, minus the posts where I introduce a new book or workshop – so that people could access my stuff offline in an easy-to-read kind of way. Vision Is Better, the […]

Sep 30th

2014

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CategoryPosted in: The Big Q, The Craft, Vision Is Better

Bodies of Work

Another question from my recent Q&A on Facebook. Some of the questions needed more time and space to answer, this is one of those: How do develop from taking random images to working on projects? What makes a good project? When is it finished? First, I think it’s important to recognize that there are no […]

Sep 28th

2014

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CategoryPosted in: Creativity and Inspiration

Finding Your Mojo

A friend and I, looking for our mojo on Prince Edward Island yesterday. Sometimes we find it, sometimes we don’t, but the search is our job. Last week I spent some time on Facebook answering questions. It was a lot of fun, and something I’d like to do more often. One question that came up […]