Throughout the years there is one photographer who I have admired, and that is Edward Burtynsky. He’s a landscape photographer like most of us, but he’s a different kind of landscape photographer. He focuses on landscapes that man has changed. His work is stunning. It draws a viewer in, and your eye wants to explore all the details.
Edward is a true photographer because for him taking the photo is one part, but making the print is the second and the most important part. His prints are large, very large. Because of this, he has had to use cameras that would allow him to print big. He’s worked with 8×10 cameras and, as of lately, the Hasselblad H6D 100.
I was fortunate and privileged to spend the day with Edward at his Toronto studio. He was very open, and we had some good conversations about how he got started, the gear he uses, talks about some of his prints, as well as how he makes it all happen. He also is exploring new ways to make prints in 3D, and we’ll show that, too.
This is part one of three. This video focuses on Ed’s history, how he got started, and how he approaches his work today. Ed’s a fascinating guy and quite a nice person. He loves photography and talking about it.
Please check out his website edwardburtynsky.com for more information on many of the things we discuss in this video.
About Edward Burtynsky
Exploring the Residual Landscape
Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries, and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.
These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.