A new tomorrow


POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

Star-Bulletin staff photographer Mike Burley is setting his sights on new horizons as a photographer.

Sadly, he's one of the recent casualties of the downturn in the economy, having been among those laid off here at the paper.

Burley's been a shooter for seven years, getting started when he was a student at Ventura College in California. He later transferred to Brooks Institute of Photography, also in California, where he received a B.A. in visual journalism—a field he is passionate about. “;I like the idea of capturing human emotion that otherwise would have been overlooked, and the moment lost,”; he says.

While in school, he also freelanced and assisted Sports Illustrated photographer John W. McDonough.

After graduating, he got his first daily newspaper job at the Topeka Capital-Journal, where he worked for three years.

Eight months ago he moved to Honolulu to fill an opening at the Star-Bulletin. It was a transition that took a little getting used to.

“;The work felt familiar but the location was anything but,”; Burley says.

“;When I was getting names for captions, I had to check the spellings of the names three or four times,”; he says, laughing. “;Often, driving home, I'd pull off on the side of the road, and I'd check again. It was like I developed an obsessive/compulsive disorder because I was so worried about spelling these names I wasn't used to!”;

Place names weren't much easier.

“;I quickly realized that mauka and makai were not options I could enter into my GPS,”; he says, deadpan.

Now with a whole new set of career options ahead, Burley intends to continue with his photography. “;After working in the print journalism world for the past seven years, I've decided to tailor my career more toward commercial portraiture and documentary weddings,”; he says.

And he plans to stick around in Hawaii.

“;In the short time I've spent in Hawaii, I feel tied to the community,”; he says.

More of Burley's work can be seen on his Web site, www.mikeburley.com.