Susan Burnstine - A Profession of Fine Art with Home Made Camera's


Susan Burnstine is an internationally exhibited and published fine art photographer hailing from the great city of Chicago, now based in Los Angeles. In addition to her photography, she is often found writing for various photography publications, most notably, a monthly column in Black and White Photography Magazine (UK). With over 25 solo exhibits conducted on an international scale, her work is included in many museum and private collections, including The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and The Candela Collection in Richmond. Burnstine’s first monograph, Within Shadows, was published by Charta Editions in September 2011, and was selected for Photo-Eye’s Best of 2011 book list. Her second monograph, Absence of Being, was was published by Damiani Editore in Fall 2016 and earned her Best In Show at the 2017 International PhotoBook Awards.

You would be wise to spend a prolonged period of time examining and enjoying the photographs of Susan Burnstine. An individual would only have to see one before becoming hooked on the lyrical worlds she creates, which she has spent most of her life perfecting. What began as an outlet to help her cope with dreams and night terrors associated with a traumatic event at just four years old, her artistic abilities have developed into both a healing process for herself and as inspiration to other artists for her ability to compose stunning and ethereal images from her experiences. She is a master of taking her subconscious and forging it into an incredible array of conceptual landscapes and unforgettable scenes.

Her choices, intuitions, and experience have made her a sought after workshop instructor in recent years, adding even more to her accomplishments and skill set. Her teachings delve into the inner psyche to reveal reasons and intuitions about oneself in order to manifest the actions necessary to construct a personal narrative. Susan conducts her workshops internationally, though quite often can be found teaching at the Los Angeles Center of Photography, Santa Fe Photo Workshops, or Maine Media Workshops. Her full workshop schedule can be found here.

While her work is visually stunning, for many, it is also her methods that elicit an interested and curious response. Susan has taken the idea of analog methods to new heights by not simply using film to create her artistry, but by building the actual cameras used to shoot that film. We’re not talking pinhole cameras either. Susan uses plastic, vintage camera parts, and random household objects for these constructions. To date, she has build a total of twenty-three different and unique cameras in order to give her photographs the specific look required to illustrate her vision. These cameras capture her images entirely in-camera, with no compositing, filtering or digital manipulation whatsoever. Each one has its very own personality that requires a focused instinct to learn and apply accordingly.

Read our interview with Susan Burnstine Here! 


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