Interview: Edward Burtynsky Finds New Perspectives on the Anthropocene

By Rachel MacFarlane
FORMAT Magazine

The renowned Canadian photographer discusses his latest work, which uses AR, film, and photography to document environmental change.

October has been a busy month for Edward Burtynsky. Most significantly, the Canadian artist released a new series of his photographs, titled Anthropocene, on until November 3 at Toronto’s Nicholas Metivier Gallery. With collaborators Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, he also launched the traveling museum exhibition Anthropocene at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and his latest feature length film Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which is playing at TIFF theaters until October 11th.

Burtynsky is best known for his aerial photography which captures the societal and ecological effect of human systems on the earth, ideas he’s expanded on in previous documentaries Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013).

We got in touch with Burtynsky to learn more about the Anthropocene Project, and how it revisits themes and locations explored in his earlier works.

Read the full interview here.

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Edward Burtynsky – Interview, Part III

By Kevin Raber
The Luminous Landscape

Prints, Studio and Color Lab

Kevin Raber and Edward Burtynsky discuss one of his prints

My interview with Ed Burtynsky continues with this final segment.  This is the part I enjoyed the most as Ed and I talk about his prints and why and how he makes such big prints.  For Ed, it’s all about the print.  As he explains when looking through the viewfinder he is composing for the look.  But, when the print is made the magic comes alive as the most minute details become visible. 
I call it immersive imaging and for me, it is where the viewer looks at a large print from a distance and then finds something of interest and moves closer and closer to the print discovering new things in the print along the way.  Ed calls it the six-inch test.  The bottom line -Ed’s prints need to be viewed large and inspected close up. There are treasures to be seen in his photographs.

All of Pt. III here.

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Edward Burtynsky – Interview, Part II

By Kevin Raber
The Luminous Landscape

Ed's Camera Gear

Continuing my interview with Ed Burtynsky, we talk about every photographer's favorite subject, cameras. Ed shares with us his evolution of camera systems from 4x5 and 8x10 film to the Hasselblad 100 mega-pixel digital camera. Much of Ed’s work is shot from high altitude, and he has a few stories about how that is accomplished. You’ll also hear why during the film days Ed decided to shoot his work with color negative film. He shares his evolution of color printing and how he went from a hybrid color workflow to his eventual full digital workflow.

Ed’s projects are related to man's effect on our world. One of his most noted projects is one about water. I have included links below to clips of the watermark project. These short clips and the film itself will get you thinking. The same as his Landscape Of Oil project.

All of Part II here.

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Edward Burtynsky – Interview, Part I

By Kevin Raber
The Luminous Landscape

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 8x10 cameras and, as of lately, the Hasselblad H6D 100.

All of Part I here.


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The World From Above – An Interview with Edward Burtynsky

By Anna Maria Burgstaller

The Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky became known for documenting the transformation of nature through mankind with his breathtaking large-format photographs of landscapes altered by human hands. His images are metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence exploring the collective impact of humans on the environment. While nature provides us with the necessary materials for consumption, the planet suffers and Edward Burtynsky is documenting the scale of its destruction.

Read the full article here.

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