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burnessie

Interview with Charlie Burness

Interviews

27 February 2015

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Charlie! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

Formerly an executive assistant from London, I’m currently exploring the sights, sounds and - most importantly - the tastes of South East Asia and beyond. Aside from travelling, I’m fond of prosecco, brunch and prosecco brunches, though I'd like to think I’m not as annoying as all of this makes me sound. Apart from when I insist on instagramming every sunset I see.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AI guess the weirdest situation I find myself in is trying to nail underwater photography whilst scuba diving. It’s pretty difficult to get a good focus, angle and catch the right light when you’re trying to stay at perfect buoyancy whilst paying enough attention to both the environment around you and your dive buddies to ensure your safety tens of metres under the sea. And before all of that it’s very difficult to spot some of the best creatures to shoot underwater, as so many of them are teeny tiny and camouflage themselves incredibly well.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI take a huge amount of photos on my iPhone. A rubbish one - a 4s. How professional is that? I should probably upgrade. One of my biggest first world problems is running out of space on my phone from the sheer number of photos I snap in a day. When I’m feeling less lazy, I shoot on a Canon SX510 HS, which is the perfect size for me whilst I’m backpacking. One day I hope to get all the proper gear with fancy lenses, but until then I’m happy to work with what I have and build on my knowledge and improving my eye for a good shot.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

ALearn how to use the equipment you have. There’s no point having all the gear without understanding what it is capable of and how to use it, be it a point and shoot or a fancy DSLR. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials and books that cover the basics of what you need to know, and accessible to everyone. Learn about editing. Take an interest in the technical side of things and practice. Take your time to get the shot you want.

'Choosing a favourite pic is a difficult question as there are many I’m proud of. I'd have to say Dive Instructors At Sunset because of how content I felt at the time I took it.... Read more

'Choosing a favourite pic is a difficult question as there are many I’m proud of. I'd have to say Dive Instructors At Sunset because of how content I felt at the time I took it. The sun was setting on Koh Tao in Thailand, and some of the dive instructors had dragged chairs into the sea and set up a lilo that served as a table, beers held in each of the wells, a glass of wine in hand each after a day’s diving. I remember thinking how perfect that life was, how they had got it spot on, if only briefly before they headed back to ‘the real world’ in a few months time. It may not be technically impressive or have a particular wow factor for many people, but that’s my favourite photo I’ve ever taken.' Read less

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Charlie Burness

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'This is one of my favourite photos I’ve taken simply because I totally underestimated how popular it would be, and that reminds me to always make the effort to get my camera ou... Read more

'This is one of my favourite photos I’ve taken simply because I totally underestimated how popular it would be, and that reminds me to always make the effort to get my camera out when a subject peaks my interest, even if it makes me late for something. I was with some friends at the New Zealand equivalent of a village fair in Nelson, just waiting for my pals to get a move on so we could go and get another wine tasting, and I saw Superman in his own world walking along the abandoned train tracks. What a guy.' Read less

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'It took me 25 years to get to Paris, which let’s be honest, is far too long. I put my foot down in November 2013 and organised a weekend away with my Mum. It was FREEZING. I to... Read more

'It took me 25 years to get to Paris, which let’s be honest, is far too long. I put my foot down in November 2013 and organised a weekend away with my Mum. It was FREEZING. I took this from the top of the Arc de Triomphe with great artistic hardship as my hands were pretty much numb and the light was making it difficult to capture the depth of the city, but I got there in the end!' Read less

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Charlie Burness

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'Honestly? I took this photo on the Saturday night of Glastonbury two years ago, so it wasn’t exactly the most thought out shot. I’m not the biggest Rolling Stones fan (I’m SORR... Read more

'Honestly? I took this photo on the Saturday night of Glastonbury two years ago, so it wasn’t exactly the most thought out shot. I’m not the biggest Rolling Stones fan (I’m SORRY), so I mainly focused on drinking cider and getting some good shots to make people jealous on Instagram, because I’m awful like that. I took it on my iPhone and I’m not tall, so it required some balance that the cider certainly didn’t aid. To me it evokes the euphoric energy of Glastonbury and all factors considered, I’m thrilled with how it turned out.' Read less

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Charlie Burness

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'They say Melbourne feels European, with its little laneways of cafes and restaurants that spill onto the cobbled pavements, and they’re not far wrong. So it’s only fitting that... Read more

'They say Melbourne feels European, with its little laneways of cafes and restaurants that spill onto the cobbled pavements, and they’re not far wrong. So it’s only fitting that Melbourne have started their own Pont Des Arts, only you’ve got the skyscrapers of the Central Business District in the background rather than the Eiffel Tower.' Read less

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Charlie Burness

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'I was waiting for my boat over to Koh Tao from Koh Samui to meet a friend for a few days of debauchery when I spotted these local children in the shallows, trying to catch fish... Read more

'I was waiting for my boat over to Koh Tao from Koh Samui to meet a friend for a few days of debauchery when I spotted these local children in the shallows, trying to catch fish for dinner. Life in Asia is frenetic, so I love the contrast of that feeling in this photo: the space around them, the absence of bright colours and the calmness the photo evokes in a place that is usually so chaotic.' Read less

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Charlie Burness

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'Everyone at Glastonbury is in the best mood: they leave behind their jobs, from ad executives to nannies, students to stay at home mums, and collate at Worthy Farm over a love ... Read more

'Everyone at Glastonbury is in the best mood: they leave behind their jobs, from ad executives to nannies, students to stay at home mums, and collate at Worthy Farm over a love of music. Glastonbury is best first thing in the morning and at dusk. It had rained on the Thursday but luckily the sun pulled through for the rest of the weekend. This photo takes me straight back to walking around the farm feeling like it's one of the best places I know.' Read less

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Charlie Burness

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