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Thursday Challenge Interviews...

Will Burnham

What do you like to do for diversion in addition to photography?

Apart from spending lots of time with my wife, Jenne and our two furry little four year olds, Poe and San, I play a lot of games. Monday nights I play the classic Dungeons and Dragons role playing game with friends in the Baltimore, MD area. Tuesday nights I game master a horror role playing game for friends in northern Virginia. I am also a virtual WWI and WWII combat pilot. In other words I play on-line combat flight sims. (By the way, Poe and San are our cats.)

What is your favorite animal and why?

As house pets I am a cat person 100%. Poe and San are very outgoing, playful and affectionate. They don't care about my politics or religion and they love me - and Jenne too - unconditionally and do not judge.

When it comes to wild animals my favorite is the dolphin. Dolphins have a universal appeal, symbolizing freedom, joy, grace and serenity, uplifting the spirits of many people all around the world. They are intelligent, playful, sexual, wild and free. In 1912 Samuel Butler said, "all animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it." Dolphins really know how to enjoy their lives.

Tell us what you like most about blogging?

I have to admit that there are times when I hate blogging and seriously consider giving it up. Recently on my blog I made two posts that created some really heated debate. It made for some rough personal times. What I do like about blogging is that people come to my site and view my photography - they even comment on it - and read my musings. The nice thing about writing on a blog is that, unlike conversation, no one can interupt my train of thought and cut me off. People pay attention when they read, unlike when they listen to someone and they are mostly concerned about what they want to say next. Blooging gives me a place to exhibit and share my photography with a world wide audience! When you stop and think about that it is pretty incredible!

What is your favorite type of photography? Why? What are its challenges?

I have been making photographs for over twenty years and I honestly do not have a favorite type of photography. I have shot for personal enjoyment, newspapers and school photography companies. I have shot sports, concerts, political events, architecture, landscapes, abstracts, portraits, Civil War reenactments, battlefields, airshows, animals, still life, and done some experimental stuff. I love it all and I photograph anything and everything as long as it is visually interesting and makes for a good image. I do not like restrictions or limits and I don't limit myself to one or even a few types of photography. My skills with a camera can be applied to all subjects. Mostly I make photographs for myself. If other people like them I consider that a bonus.

Tell us about the most interesting or unusual photo that you have taken?

Too hard to pin one down. There was a time where I experimented with photographing subjects from above. I photographed a house painter from the roof of the house looking down on him while he was on a ladder. I photographed a father and son playing basketball from the roof of their garage looking down over the backboard and hop. I photographed a hook and ladder firetruck form way up on the extended ladder, which was swung out at forty five degrees fom the centerline of the truck. I was over fifty feet in the air! Those were fun shoots and I was most pleased with the results.

Is there any historical or contemporary photographers who you admire? Tell us who they are and why you like their work or style?

Believe it or not... no. I look at the work of other photographers from the dawn of photography to the present and I admire and appreciate it, but I do not want to be unduly influenced by them. I never want to hear that my work reminds someone of someone else. I like that I have my own unique style and that people who have appreciated my work for along time can look at a collection of images by me and my peers and pick mine out because they recognize my 'style'.

Will says: The best way to see my work is to go to my web site and under the TOPICS heading on the left click "Photography" and take a look at all of the works I have posted on my blog for almost two years. Also see my photo galleries. I am particularly proud of this image. I really stretched my personal boundaries and pushed my creativity for that self portrait.

To see and read more visit Will Burnham.