This week we’re getting to know community member, Dan Burns.

Dan is a native of Washington State. He loves capturing historical aviation, landscapes near and far and the amazing wildlife he encounters as he travels around the Puget Sound and other places.

Dan began his journey with film, well into the digital age, learning darkroom and shooting on an SR-T 101. For years he worked in film and video in the PNW, while doing photography on the side.

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How did you get started in photography?

“Photography and painting have always been part of my family; photography was my dad’s hobby, landscape paintings by my mother and portrait, landscape and headshots by my brother. Chasing images has always been my love, early on in video, later in film and darkroom, now in digital. There are few things as satisfying as when you can find the image you seek or find one you didn’t expect.”

What was your first camera?

“I truly can’t remember what my first camera was other than it being a Nikon pocket camera that used APS film. The camera that actually taught me how an SLR works was the Minolta SR-T 101 with a TTL light meter that was broken, which I used until I bought my Canon 5D Mark II in 2010. I learned a lot from my SR-T’s broken meter.”

Who is one photographer that inspires you and why?

“The one photographer that inspired me was probably Ansel Adams; but for a particular approach to capturing the spirit of a place or image, I would have to say the paintings by Albert Bierstadt in the National Parks. His work in painting depth in the light has always amazed me, which I try to emulate in my photography. Lastly, the endless way others look at the same places and things, yet see differently never fails to inspire my own images.”

What’s the first thing you look for in composing your image?

“Everyone says it’s all about the light, and I agree, light is key. Even a mundane location, seeming to offer little image value, can be utterly transformed when the right light hits it. Also, looking for the extremes of dark and light in close proximity, the way it can look just before a storm, or just after; trying to catch the struggle of light against dark, and the vibrancy of color that manifest during those times … that is what really excites me and leads to an endless hunt to find these photos.”

Join Dan and others in the Photofocus Community!

If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Dan, join the community here. More than that though, it’s a great place to meet other photographers, share images and talk about all things photography.