Ed Burtynsky and I were indulging ourselves in a little genial photo-nostalgia one afternoon a few weeks ago in his majestic corner office at Toronto Image Works, the thriving photo lab and digital-imaging centre he established in downtown Toronto back in 1986. We’d just been looking at a colour photograph of his that was nearly as big as a billboard. “I remember when most serious photographs were 11 by 14 inches,” I tell him. “And a really big photograph was 20 by 24, right?” he adds.
When was that anyhow? Twenty years ago? Twenty-five? “That’s the real reason I began Toronto Image Works,” Burtynsky tells me. “I was able to make prints up to 11 by 14 in my basement darkroom” (Burtynsky has been a darkroom adept since he was 11), “but I couldn’t make them bigger than that. So I founded a lab where I could.” Simple.
So begins our Spring 2003 cover story. To keep reading, view a PDF of the entire article.