"The camera never lies about the person behind it."
Robert Burns has been seriously involved in photography for over 45 years.
A life-long interest in music and jazz in particular led him to being commissioned in 1969 to document a year in the life of the Scottish National Orchestra for their 21st anniversary publication. In the 1980s he documented the Scottish International Piano Competition.
Throughout the 90s he became a fixture at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival and built up a large archive of images of the visiting musicians which led to three exhibitions in the city.
His reputation as a high quality black and white printer resulted in his being asked to make exhibition prints for other Scottish photographers, notably Pat MacDonald, Scotland's foremost aerial photographer. For leading Scottish photographer David Eustace he printed three projects for Sir Paul McCartney.
In the 1990s he became the printer for Fabrizio Gianni, a leading international fashion photographer from Milan. Robert printed for all the leading fashion magazines in Europe including Italian Elle.
Robert prints from film on traditional fibre photographic paper, toning the prints in selenium, thiocarbamide, or gold chloride and makes gold toned salt prints on handmade watercolour paper, using the original 19th century process. He also makes archival inkjet prints.
A chance meeting with a family from Kiev in 2006 has led to him visiting the Ukraine twice. This project to document the country and its people is one of his major projects at present.
In August 2009, Robert was contacted by Joseph Mulholland, owner of the Margaret Watkins archive with regard to editing and printing hitherto unseen work which she did in Glasgow, Paris, and Russia between 1928 and 1938. This is another ongoing major project.