Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rest In Peace Harry Burns

Harry was an awesome instructor that taught me at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I studied photography from 1976-1978.  I recently learned of Harry's passing and am sad about loosing a truly great educator.  From Harry's classes I learned a great deal about color theory, composition and color psychology.  Lessons that I still draw from on a daily basis in my career.
My favorite class was every Friday when we brought our assignments in, hung them up on a board, and then class critique would start.  It was brutal.  Sometimes not very nice.  Sometimes a huge lift to the ego.  But it was always honest and fair, and Harry kept it that way.  He knew we would be leaving soon and the real world would be a lot tougher on us than academia.  His "hippy" demeanor and soft spoken words seemed a little dated at the time, but his words were always thought out and mentoring in his own way.  Later in his career he took up travel with a gusto, and traveled all over the world photographing his trips with passion and interest for the world of man.  Harry also was one of the few instructors that I had who really cared about his students after they left school and on numerous occasions he would call me to ask advice, refer an assistant, or to just say "nice job" on something I had been working on.  Photo students have a lost a true friend and educator.

I've posted a foggy picture again today, because that is how I'm feeling...Shooting later today at Federated Investors, so I guess I'd better get "un-fogged" quickly...


Jim Powers said...

Well stated Mark!

Harry Burns will truly be missed.

Jim Powers – AIP, Photography/Multi-Media – ‘79

Addison Geary Photography said...

Hi Mark,

I too was fortunate enough to have studied under Harry Burns. His impact on me was profound. He challenged his students to make their mark on photography's history and made us believe, if we wanted it badly enough, we could. I'm not famous but 30 years later, I'm still making photographs. I would like to think that pleases Harry.

Anonymous said...

Mark, I knew Harry well. We were Art students together back in Ohio at the time of the Vietnam War. None of us wanted to run the hamster wheel of American conformity. Youth dreams of keeping its visions of truth in art alive and somehow changing the world.

Reading your thoughts I am happy to know H.Burns made a