Diane Burko's photography practice is an extension of her forty years as a painter. That experience informs her sense of color, texture, atmosphere and space. Her photographs investigate atypical views of the environment, primarily presenting nature as abstract and mysterious. Images derived from the landscape are complicated, ambiguous and detailed, often aerial and sometimes vertiginous. The large scale format (usually 30x30 inches or 40x60 inches) contributes to reviewer opinions that her prints have a painterly quality and a tactile sense.
Edith Newhall, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 16, 2006: "Painter a Natural Photographer: Diane Burko's Lens Informs Her Brush with Scenes Intimate and Visceral"
Like other painters who have realized that their camera work can hold its own, Burko is taking photography more seriously these days. Burko's recent photographs of close up views of forsythia, hemlock, sycamore and magnolia branches in winter and spring seem to be her first photographs shot with the intention of being just that.
Martha Ledger, Broad Street Review, July 16, 2011: "Burko's Photographs at Locks"
Burko doesn't photograph landscapes in a traditional way where the eye looks out on a scene that includes earth and sky. You'll see no skies in her photographs, and common landscape features such as trees are distorted or made unrecognizable.
Diane Burko's process as a landscape painter has been to take her own photographs of monumental sites throughout the world and then use them as reference studies for full-scale paintings. Photography became an end in itself in 2000, when she developed her first series culled from thousands of Kodak slides taken from research excursions. This suite of 9x12 inch Iris prints led to using a Fuji 4 x 5/6 medium format camera and scanning the film to create larger 24x30 inch images. Since 2004, digital SLR's have been her mainstay. She currently uses a Canon EOS 5 Mark II and Mark III, both with a 24-105 lens, as well as a Sony Nex VII.
All prints prior to 2010 were printed on German Etching Hahnemuhle. Since 2010 she uses Canson 100% Rag.
All her archival inkjet prints are produced at Silicon Digital Fine Art Printmaking, in Philadelphia, PA.