on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Burn – Jane Fulton Alt

Book Review

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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When I first started looking at photos and photo books I vividly remember that visceral thrill of finding a new body of work sparked the imagination and thrilled with the sheer brilliance of seeing and execution. Over time I’ve been encountering this feeling less and less - I still get a thrill from seeing great photography but only a few times a year do I encounter something that reminds me of that original feeling. Jane Fulton Alt’s “The Burn” is one such encounter.


Dav Thomas showed me Jane’s Vimeo video a few months back and I think I was so impressed I managed to order the book before the video had ended.

A bit of background on “The Burn” project. In 2007 whilst Jane

had an artist’s residency at the Ragdale Foundation she encountered a controlled burn. The burns are carried out both to limit the dangerous effect of uncontrolled fires but they are also essential to renew life in the undergrowth. Spotting the creative potential of the burn, Jane asked to come along to future burns in order to photograph them. At the same her sister was diagnosed with cancer and she had a new grandchild. All of these themes were to become fixed within the work she went on to create.

Burn No 33

For me the images are in many ways like Stieglitz’s equivalents - the subject matter can be taken literally or metaphorically or perhaps as a muse to express the artist’s temperament. The result is often beautiful and at times literally sublime. They range from glimpses smoke as backdrop and move through to thick, blinding plumes of smoke, distortions of the heat of the flames and finally the flames themselves charring the landscape.

Burn No. 98

“The Burn” is a 9” by 9” hardback book containing 96 pages and 38 colour plates.

Some of the work has been put together into a handmade fine art book which has an encaustic print at its center. the encaustic is a layering of beeswax over a photograph, adding another veiling layer to what is already an ephemeral work.

Please take the time to look at a video about her work on Vimeo. There is also an interview with Jane at Lens Scratch. You can see more of Jane's work at her website.

Jane’s sister, Peggy Fulton Heller, sadly died in 2012.


You can buy 'The Burn' from Beyond Words.

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