"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Susan Burnstine Gallery Talk

   Last Saturday I had the awesome opportunity to hear one of my favorite photographers, Susan Burnstine, talk about her work.  I have found her work very inspiring and after hearing her talk I find it even more so.  She spoke about being on a personal journey and how expressing her dreams (the kind you have at night)through photography has been transformational for her.   She has taken the very personal material of dreams and brought them to life in such a way that you can feel her pain, or joy, or sorrow.  I found her to be very genuine and felt like she expressed herself well.
    I had prepared a few questions to ask her but she answered them right away in her talk.  I was curious as to which was her first image in the series and how the series evoloved.  I loved how honest she was about the diffculties in creating authentic photographs of an intimate subject.  Someone had asked her how often she was successful when going out to shoot images.  Her reply was that she shot so much film that she could have bought a house with all the money she spent on film!  I loved that as sometimes I shot roll after roll with no "winners."  I think sometimes I am under the illusion that creating should be easy or that it comes naturally to some and not to me.
   I wish I had taken notes of her talk.  As she was talking I kept saying to myself..."I hope I remember what she said."  And of course now I have forgotten most of what she talked about.  Either way I enjoyed hearing her talk.  I did take some photos of my own on the way down to Portland.  I had the Traveling Toy Camera with me and I was able to spend some time shooting.  I hope my photo of "Crab-zilla" turns out.


  1. Her work is a constant source of inspiration for me. One of the reasons
    why I shoot "low fidelity" images.
    Did she bring any of her handmade cameras with her? And if so, I hope you took notes and can email me the assembly instructions!

  2. The assembly requires alot of gaffers tape. And she pours her own plastic for the lenses. Maybe it's the fumes from the plastic that causes her to have such vivid dreams! No wonder you want the assembly instructions!
    She did bring a notebook with pictures of some of her cameras. They are ugly looking things. Pretty cool that such wonderful images can come from something so ugly.