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  • Writer's pictureBob McBurney


As an advertising photographer I specialised in still life and this interest in the particular continues to guide my personal photography. In practical terms I look for ‘equivalence’; for subtle textures and colours, spatial relationships, for patterns, for balance, for those elements which bind all things together. Rather than looking up at the open sky I look down at the roots; possibly into the shadows.

Much of my work is to do with nature in landscape; trees, fruits, flowers as opposed to landscape itself. I paint and I draw. Both disciplines encourage one to think about the substance that lies behind the surface.

Obsession is too strong a word, but in part it describes my fascination with trees. Though I try to avoid anthropomorphism I can’t help but liken smooth bark and limbs to animal form.

Actually, it’s a joy to think that trees and humans have something in common and though I smile at the thought, I do understand people who hug trees. I try to imagine the enormous stresses and weights held in balance by these huge noble plants. I remind myself that they too have life and that they are much more complex than many of us might imagine.

I photograph dying flowers. This may seem strange; but if one takes time to look, the changes which take place in petals and leaves as they decay are fascinating. Colours fade, textures change. The cycle of birth, growth, death and decay leading to rebirth continues. One selects a moment during the cycle. In my case, a moment ‘far from the madding crowd’ but, nevertheless, occasionally uniquely beautiful.

I’m hoping to post photographs on this website every month. My first picture is one that I took recently of a hedge on the coastal path in Heybrook Bay, Devon.

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