Jim Burns Photography
Exhibited March 2011

            Jim Burns became hooked on birding shortly after college while backpacking with his wife, Deva, along the mountain trails of southwestern Colorado.  Wanting to place labels on the trailside birds they were seeing, they purchased their first guidebook and binoculars.  As one thing inevitably leads to another, Jim then evolved from casual birder to hardcore lister, to bird photographer to nature writer/photographer.  He has photographed all the bird species in North America and is now working, sporadically he says, on Costa Rica.
His breathtaking and feather-crisp photos are exhbited in the Visitor Center gallery through the month of March.
           He began photographing after early attempts at painting birds revealed he was totally devoid of any artistic talent.  His articles and photographs have appeared in Birding, Birder's World, Outdoor Photographer, and Valley Nature, and he has written three books illustrated with his photography:  A Beginner's Field Guide to Phoenix Birds published by the Maricopa Audubon Society in 2004; North American Owls:  Journey Through A Shadowed World published by Willow Creek Press in 2004; and Jim Burns' Arizona Birds published by the University of Arizona Press in 2008.
           "Deva and I have spent a lifetime seeking out and exploring the wild places on the North American continent, from Attu Island in the Aleutians to the mangrove swamps of the Florida Keys, always with the excuse of seeing new birds.  The beauty of their plumage and the variety of their physical forms and adaptations is spectacular, but their ability to fly makes them the symbol of all that is wild.  If you can watch a skein of geese fly over, calling, without your skin and your imagination crawling, you're not alive."
            Jim's bird photo exhibit at Boyce Thompson Arboretum represents a portion of his portfolio that he calls "the family jewels."  "My initial interest in photography was to capture a moment in time which defined the essence of a species.  My evolution as a bird photographer began when I realized the essence of a species is better defined with behavior and action than with a simple portrait.  At this point in my evolution I don't even want to see a bird if I can't photograph it, and I have zero interest in video.  I want a freeze frame that will burn into the viewer's mind the behavior or action they see only fleetingly or never experience at all.  I spend most of my time in the field watching, waiting, sitting on the seat of my pants.  The 'family jewels' are the product, the best of the best."
           "I'm especially honored for the opportunity to exhibit at Boyce Thompson because I consider it the best birding site proximal to Phoenix, and I've spent countless hours enjoying its gardens and trails seeking solitude and birds.  My fondest memory is refinding the Northern Saw-whet Owl that was discovered in the Herb Garden in February of 1995.  A large contingent of hard core birders had searched all morning to no avail.  I bent down in the tamarisk near Queen Creek to tie a bootlace, looked up, and the owl was looking down at me, camouflaged in the foliage.  Just one of those 'SHAZAM' moments which keeps all birders going."
            Jim is currently using a Canon EOS Mark IV camera.  His workhorse lens is Canon's 600mm f/4, always on a tripod, occasionally combined with a 1.4 teleconverter.  He prefers to hand hold for flight shots and uses a Canon 400mm f/4 for birds in flight.  He hates flash, but uses it when necessary.  He loves clean backgrounds, but realizes action doesn't take place in a studio.  He rolls his eyeballs whenever he encounters birders or photographers wearing light, bright, or reflective clothing.
           "My 'mission statement' as a nature photographer is to open people's eyes to the beauty and fragility of what's out there, pay it forward to future generations, make us aware of what we're missing and what we'll lose if we don't make informed environmental choices.  I'm hoping I can help people connect the dots from awareness to knowledge to conservation."
            Connect with Jim at http://www.facebook.com/jimburnsphotos
See more of the artist's work and read archives of his excellent birding blog at http://www.jimburnsphotos.com
          All photos displayed will be available for purchase. Framed works range in price from $45 to $125.      Correspond with the artist by email to:hawkowl@aol.com.
     Boyce Thompson Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, a drive of about 45 minutes due East of Mesa. March visitors are admitted from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the Arboretum closes at 5:00 p.m. ( summer month hours are daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) New exhibits begin each month and may be seen daily during business hours; the Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where our gallery is found. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit.

Review other recent gallery shows from...

Kay Cummings
February, 2011

Paul Kinslow January, 2011

Mesa Arts League September, 2010

Rick Cameron April , 2010

Nan Lawrence March, 2010

Barbara Atkinson
February, 2010

Nancy Matus
January, 2010

Barbara Cox
December, 2009

Margaret Whittaker
November, 2009

Artists of the Superstitions
October, 2009

Marilyn Barton
September, 2009

Gila Community College August, 2009

Deborah A. Lee June, 2009

Margie Porter May, 2009

Timm Chapman January, 2009

Paul Kinslow December, 2008

Maggie Leef November 2008

Sharon Sieben October 2008

Nicole Royse September 2008

Judy Bottler Photography May 2008

Bob Estrin Photography April 2008
Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008
Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008
Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008
Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007
Jean Sullivan November, 2007 Sue Cullumber October, 2007
Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007
Pima College print-making students July-August, 2007
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007
Fred Charlton May, 2007
Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007
Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004