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David Burdeny’s Photographic Work

March 30, 2010

(1968) Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, David Burdeny has degrees in both Interior design and a Masters in Architecture. At the age of 12, David started to photograph the prairie landscape and make his own black and white prints in a makeshift darkroom that also served as his bedroom closet. Primarily self taught, his architecture and design background greatly influences his penchant for simple exacting photographs of sky, horizon and the marks humankind leaves behind.

Burdeny mentions as influences the work of other photographers such Michael Kenna, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Fay Goodwin, and were surprised to find this article by Mark Lamster, who compares him to British-Mexican photographer Sze Tsung Leong, noting that “some form of transformation of an original work is required to avoid infringement, but just what constitutes an acceptable level of transformation is a matter of interpretation.”

Burdeny’s work goes from poetic landscapes to city shorelines, mostly focusing on the aim to communicate a universality or homogeneity in the disparate locations he chooses: London, El Cairo or Antarctica and Greenland.

About the Shorelines series, he says:

“I’m fascinated with the quality of light and the spatial immensity the ocean possesses. I have an enormous reverence for feeling so small in the presence of something so vast, where perspective, scale, time and distance momentarily become intangible. My photographs contemplate that condition, and through their reductive nature, suggest a formalized landscape we rarely see. The glory lies not in the act of this removal or reduction, but in the experience of what is left – sublime experience located in ordinary space: a slowly moving sky, the sun moving across a boulders surface or sea foam swirling around a pylon.”

These photo-works at time look like paintings, and seem to play with time and scale. The minimalism of his blank atmospheric abstractions is a representation of abstract architectonic objects presented in a symmetric composition. When he received the IPAward 2008, they said:

“David’s images attempt to encapsulate both the otherworldliness, and the vital reality of the sea and frozen oceans. Raised in the prairies, the open vastness and definable horizon is important in and integral to a Burdeny image. Moving beyond the literal, his images have been described as ominous, haunting, beautiful and meditative.”


More info at David Burdeny‘s website. Some reviews at Elevating icebergs to realm of the surreal: David Burdeny creates an Antarctic meditation in his photos and Snapshots in Time: The worlds biggets photography festival brings life to focus

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