Working as travel journalist for Lonely Planet in 2007, Lisa Michele Burns found herself on assignment in Marrakech where she discovered her wordsmithing wasn’t enough to capture the magic of that fabled city. [Article courtesy of OM SYSTEM]

Roebuck Bay, WA.

OM SYSTEM Global Ambassador, Lisa Michele Burns has been earning a crust as a photographer since 2007. Back then, she was working as travel journalist for Lonely Planet, but when she found herself in Marrakech on assignment, she discovered her wordsmithing wasn’t enough to capture the magic of that fabled city. As she notes on her website at, ‘Marrakech begged me to take its photo. Then I couldn’t stop!’

And stop, she didn’t. Lisa went on to establish a thriving travel photography business producing imagery for global brands, tourism boards and publications in the travel sector.

Eqi Glacier, Greenland.

When asked how she’d describe herself as a photographer these days, Lisa responds ‘I’d say I’ve grown to be quite relaxed. I love being outdoors with my camera, especially if there’s no one else in sight and I can just wander in silence and assess what I want to photograph slowly. Ten years ago, when travelling, I couldn’t eat until I’d seen the very last glimmer of light disappear for fear of missing a moment, but now, I feel content with just being out in the elements and witnessing whatever crosses in front of my lens each day.

Death Valley, USA.

‘Currently, I always have the OM-1, OM-D E-M1 Mark III bodies in my camera bag, along with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, the M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens, and the M.Zuiko 2x Teleconverter MC-20,’ says Lisa. ‘This is my base kit that comes with me everywhere, regardless of if I’m photographing a desert, city scene, tropical island, or glacier. I used to leave the MC-20 2 x teleconverter at home for some trips, but now it’s essential to my core kit, and has helped in being able to get closer to the patterns within a landscape without adding too much weight. It’s such a cute little compact gadget.

‘For deserts or coastal scenes, I’ll add in the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens because it can be really useful to get low to the sand and see the closer patterns with a wider angle as the lines extend toward the rest of the dune. I don’t use this lens as much in icy conditions as I’m usually a little further away from the details I’m photographing. That’s where the MC-20 2 x teleconverter comes into play – I love pairing this with the 40-150mm f/2.8 lens!’

Red Sand Beach, Roebuck Bay, WA.

Shark Bay patterns, WA.

Lisa’s latest project is a book devoted to the Australian environment. Her aim, she says, was ‘to create a collection of images that showcase the colour palettes visible in Australian landscapes. From the east to the west coast, across deserts, salt lakes, rainforests, dunes, rocky outcrops and along coastlines, it’s fascinating just how many colours and patterns exist within the environment. The book will feature the images I’ve captured alongside information on how the colours came to be due to the geological elements and climate over time.’

Mungo National Park, NSW.

On one memorable occasion while shooting for the book project, she was given rarely-granted permission to photograph the dunes of Mungo National Park. ‘I wanted to capture the lines of the dunes stacking toward the horizon minimally, and on the day I had permission to be in the location, it was gale force winds which were whipping up sand all around me! Having the OM-1 and OM SYSTEM gear with me meant I didn’t have to worry about sand being an issue, and both the cameras and I were completely covered in sand by the time I got the shot.

‘The OM-1 is the most recent addition to my gear, and has been such a game changer in terms of enabling me to capture the type of images I dream of. I added it because I knew based on the OM-D E-M1X and the OM-D E-M1 Mark III that any new features would only be beneficial to my work. I’ve loved using those cameras and find that any new innovative advancements that OM SYSTEM make, are worth using, so I had to add the OM-1.

It’s ideal for the environments I photograph in – it’s compact and rugged, while offering features like the built-in Live ND filter, the best in-body image stabilisation, handheld high-res mode to capture 50MP images, and incredible battery life.’

Vatnajökull, Iceland.

As for where to next, Lisa says, ‘I’ve finished photographing for the book and am now writing it up and it’s due to be published later this year. It’ll be so nice to have those adventures on the page and in print.

‘I’m travelling to Patagonia next to document the glaciers there, then hopefully back to Greenland for summer to host a photo tour, and spend a bit of time afterward, late in the season, to watch the cooler conditions sweep over the Icefjord.

‘In addition to my photography work, I’ve been building a site of creative resources and online courses for travel photographers too. The Wandering Lens has been publishing travel guides focusing on photography locations since 2015, but now the new website, offers resources for anyone keen to pursue a career in photography or improve their composition skills and learn how to work with natural light.’

Lisa’s website

OM SYSTEM website