Photographer captures the majesty of the national parks in black and white

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When Mark Burns set out to photograph all 59 national parks for the National Park Service Centennial, he wanted his photos to be timeless. He shot in black and white as a bridge to the early photographers – Ansel Adams, Carlton Watkins, William Henry Jackson – who first captured the beauty of the parks.

His “National Parks Photography Project” is now on exhibit at Houston Museum of Natural Science. The national parks centennial is Aug. 25.

Burns photographed the parks over the course of five years, from 2010 to 2015, chasing weather, moon phases and light. He spent three to five days in each park.

Burns, 58, grew up in Houston. As a student at Eisenhower High School in Aldine Independent School District, he was already interested in photography. He worked as a sports shooter and then a commercial photographer before turning to landscape and fine-art photography. He lived for years in Oak Forest before moving to The Woodlands.

‘The National Parks Photography Project’

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive; 713-639-4629

When: Through Sept. 28

Admission: Included in museum admission. Adults, $25; children and seniors, $15