Samuel Burns loves his landscapes. He is a minimalist in shooting style. He is also extremely committed to his work. Burns is based in Sydney Australia and had his first self-purchased camera when he turned 21, and currently uses a large format camera to capture his work. The majority of his scenes are simple and bare, and he dabbles with exceedingly long exposure times in order to give these locations a hazy, surreal look. His work technique proceeds in a very methodical, old school way. He first sets up his gear – a 4×5 camera with film or a Phase One back, mounts it on a tripod, tucks his head under the dark cloak dangling from the back, and then meticulously composes his shot.
‘I hide away behind the camera under a dark cloth to compose each image on a ground glass, seeing the image up-side-down and using old fashioned dials to adjust and refine the composure. It is not unusual for me to spend half an hour setting up a composition, employing large format camera movements such as rise, shift and tilt and then hiding back away under the dark cloth to make sure everything is perfect. It needs to be to make sure the wait is worth it!” says Burns.
The moment he is satisfied with the set-up, he fires the shutter and waits, sometimes up to an excruciating eight hours. On waiting and patience, Burns says a “one hour exposure provides an experience of contemplation and relaxation….anything over three hours becomes a painful waiting game.” His pictures straddle the line between what constitutes a photograph and a painting. Pale hues and very soft, gentle edges create dreamlike images of his landscape shots.
“Throughout my varied photography career one constant that has remained is my love of landscape photography, with a particular focus on experimenting with long exposure techniques and large format cameras,” muses Burns. “I enjoy everything about landscape photography. I enjoy chasing good light… and chasing bad light. I enjoy the travel and with exposure times of up to eight hours, I don’t mind the wait. “
See the creations born out of this commitment for the perfect shot at his website.
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