Benjamin’s imagery evokes an enormous, nurturing calm within me. His peaceful and idyllic landscapes boast a gorgeous array of colours, touched by such delicate light.
I asked him what it was that he believed to be integral to his practice. He told me; “Light. Purists will say you can take a good photo at any time of day. That’s true. But I’d rather shoot in the first hour after sunrise, or the last hour before sunset. That’s where special light can be found and that’s where you’ll find me.”
On the topic of what drives him photographically, he confessed; “I think my motives and influences kind of go back to my very first moments with a digital point-and-shoot camera years and years ago which coincided with my introduction to photography in general, and I was particularly smitten with this idea that I could take one of my own images and within seconds make it the desktop wallpaper on my computer. So that wired my brain to search for clean, arguably sparse, scenes that gave themselves as pleasant backdrops. A kind of minimalism I suppose. All this time later I don’t think I’ve really strayed from that. I’m kind of still just looking for desktop backgrounds.”
Needless to say, I had to find out what drew him to pinhole photography…
“Well, first I’d say I just love the aesthetic of the images.
Second, I’d say the time I spend at the doorstep of some beautiful landscape while I stand next to my pinhole as it takes an eight minute exposure is kind of like a form of meditation. I can’t and don’t want to go anywhere else or do anything else while it does the exposure, so I just sit there and take in the scene much like the camera does. Silently. Just absorbing what’s in front of me. It’s therapeutic. They’re my favourite moments.”
“Lastly, I think it’s all just in the evolution of simplicity for me. I switched from digital to film for the simplicity of it - to eliminate the hours spent post-processing in Photoshop, to eliminate the habit of frantically trying to fill a memory card while I never stop to appreciate what’s in front of me, and to eliminate the senselessly wasteful gadget-centricness of buying and upgrading gear all the time as digital photography wants you to do. When I switched to film I noticed that I started packing multiple film cameras everywhere, and that was arduous and cumbersome, so I kind of challenged myself to just start packing around the pinhole camera and a 35mm film camera to meter with and I just fell in love with it all after that.”
I’m in love with Benjamin’s perspective on light and his choices of how he utilises it within his art. I thoroughly urge you to make your way over to his website, where you’ll be able to give your eyeballs a right good treat.
Dan @ The Pinhole Society