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Featured image for post Dan Burkholder

© Portrait by O. Rufus Lovett


Dan Burkholder is known for looking over photography’s horizon to discover exciting new ways to capture and express the photographic image. In the early 1990’s Dan wrote the groundbreaking book Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing, opening doors for legions of image-makers wishing to combine the precision of digital imaging with the warmth and charm of the handmade print. After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005, Burkholder recorded the chaos of post-Katrina New Orleans in his poignant monograph, The Color of Loss, the first coffee table book photographed entirely with HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques. And in 2012, Burkholder led the mobile photography revolution with his forward-looking book iPhone Artistry. Dan earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. His platinum/palladium and pigmented ink prints are included in private and public collections internationally.


LACP Interviews Dan Burkholder

LACP asks Dan Burkholder ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about photography.

Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?

Dan Burkholder: For me, the definition of creativity is to always be looking for something new. After decades of landscape photography, I now find myself stylizing the landscape in diverse ways; to that end, the iPhone has been an astonishing instrument. Also, for non-iPhone shooting, I’m enjoying street photography, which is a pleasant surprise.

LACP: How long have you been photographing?

DB: Though I did some high school yearbook shooting, my serious image making began in 1971.

LACP: Where did you get your training?

DB: I received both my undergraduate and master’s degrees at Brooks Institute of Photography.

LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

DB: The cathartic moment was in 1976 when I put my fist through a wall, realizing it was either pursue photography or wake up at 85 years of age with damning regrets.

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

DB: Every day and never. Expanding on that, I’ve promised myself that, if I ever stop surprising myself photographically, I’ll stop making photos.

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

DB: My career as a renowned zither artist has been seriously compromised.

LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?

DB: My visual curiosity has been immeasurably enhanced. Most importantly, the medium has been a conduit to an amazing assortment of relationships, including meeting the love of my life, Jill Skupin.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

DB: iPhone Artistry and similar.

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

DB: Nothing melds sharing knowledge with performance art better than teaching.

LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

DB: When choosing mentors, make sure their expertise is complemented by an artistic approach that stirs your soul.