Short profile

Alex Burke left his hometown, a mountain village of 5,000 people, for the big city when he was 18. "It wasn't until I left the mountains that I really learned to appreciate nature and solitude." Today, the self-taught artist lives in Greeley, Colorado. Located on the Great Plains with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, it is the perfect base for the photographer's often week-long road trips. "Colorado's wilderness and magnificent mountain ranges are a place where anyone can fall in love with nature. I venture deep into the wilderness to catch the most vivid sunrises and sunsets from the best possible location. My goal is to bring the entire experience of the trip and the majestic landscape to life in my photographs."

Alex Burke now shares his knowledge of photography in several successful e-books and an educational blog. In the interview, he talks about what inspires him and also reveals some technical tips.

Portrait of Alex Burke.


Can you tell us a little bit about how you became a photographer?

It really started out as a way to connect with nature, to get outside as often as possible. At the age of 18 I moved from a mountain town of 5000 people to a megacity of 5 million. It wasn’t until I left the mountains that an appreciation of nature and solitude really formed. Trying to create new and better images gave me motivation to explore the world and get out of the city any chance I could. From there it grew into the main driving force in my life.

Wall showing Alex Burke´s art.

Photo: Alex Burke

Please share something about your images. What is your special interest? How do you choose the colors, composition, themes etc.?

I have two main interests in my photography: one being remote deep wilderness locations that take extensive physical effort to reach, the other being the minimalism and openness of the prairie. On this latter landscape I introduce manmade elements to my images, using compositions that are rather consistent and very center-heavy. I feel that this really brings these structures to life and shows the stark nature of the high prairie. For this series I’ve chosen to use one of Kodak’s least saturated films (Portra 160) but during the most colorful time of day as the skies are lit up with sunrise and sunset hues. It’s a color palette that I think suits these landscapes well.

Wall showing Alex Burke´s art.

Photo: Alex Burke

Where does this interest come from?

Living on the edge of the Great Plains has created an intimate connection with this landscape that is personal to me. The solitude, the endless horizons, and dramatic skies all mean a lot to me. I was further motivated to capture these images as I saw modern civilization creep in from the cities, leaving these old prairie relics to be torn down or otherwise reduced to rubble. Time is running out to see the plains in this way.

Wall showing Alex Burke´s art.

Photo: Alex Burke

How do you get inspired? And what inspires you the most? Films, books, or magazines? Or what surrounds you? 

My surroundings and travels inspire me the most. These images seem to just create themselves out of the landscapes I visit and explore.

What are your plans for the rest of the day?

I’ll be having my second cup of coffee, followed by some film scanning and bike ride after the weather warms up.

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