Photographer covers the globe

They say a photo is worth a thousand words; Dan Burkholder’s work may be worth even more. 

Burkholder has traveled far and wide to capture different images around the globe, ranging from Cuba to the Ganges River to Paris and beyond. He is also a renowned artist, innovator and teacher.

As a child, Burkholder began drawing in the first grade. In a presentation at Richland on Oct. 20, he showed a number of images that dated back to 1956 side-by-side with more recent images showcasing the different stages of his life.  From crayons to platinum printing of digital negatives, the master photographer has come a long way in a 60 year career.      Burkholder uses several different methods when it comes to printing his work ranging from platinum prints and iPhone photography to use of leaf paint and silver gelatin paper.  In his photos, he showcases beauty, devastation and humor in a variety of ways.  Some of his famous photos depict people using electronics on the streets of Cuba, a dog turning a corner in Paris and a flying turtle in a church, all created through the digital editing.

Burkholder studied photography for many years, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brooks Institute of Photography and became acquainted with the 190-year history of the art of photography.  He told the Richland audience that over the course of time, photography has changed drastically, including changes to the equipment, optics, chemistry, technology, software and hardware. These variables influence the way photographers capture, edit and express images.

“If you don’t like change, consider pottery instead,” Burkholder said. Shortly after, he humorously apologized to any potters in the audience in case any were offended.

Since photography has gone digital in the 21st century, there is an increasing lack of still photography on display. “Still images feel less important now than they did 20 years ago …” said Burkholder. He has a valid point.  With a flood of photography available via social media and cellphones, the images in magazines and newspapers seem less important and less memorable.  

The juried exhibition “FotoTexas: People, Places & Culture” is on display in the Brazos Gallery through Nov. 11. Burkholder was the juror of the collection of 50 photographs chosen from a collection of more than 750. Some of the prints are for sale.