Getting to Know Eric BennettSep 28, 2022
We all start our photographic journey with someone that helps us to break through some barrier in our work, how we see our work, or how we see ourselves. For me Eric Bennett played a big part in my journey. Rewind the clock 5 years and I was flailing wildly in my work, my approach to my work, and quite honestly was producing a massive amount of garbage.
Through working with Eric as part of an image review process I started to discover that some shots were never going to be good as I missed the opportunity for expression, did not have the right light, or was trying to show a scene or situation in a way that was bound to only confuse the viewer, not invite them into my world. These last few years I drifted from being in regular contact with Eric but some of his lessons he worked to bring forth would still ring in my head.
- What is the hero in your image? Ie what is the subject and main focus.
- How are you helping the flow? Are there stops and starts that break the flow through the image.
On Eric's website he has two areas that he writes about. Environment https://www.bennettfilm.com/Environment and Photography https://www.bennettfilm.com/Photography. Both of these sections are loaded with useful articles, different perspectives, and ways to think about our work.
The thing I have been enjoying the most from Eric is his hard cover / coffee table / photography book. In the digital age where things are lost in the ether of the internet I continue to cherish hard printed books and Eric's book is one of my favorites. Chocked full of inspiring words and great wisdom. It put forth another way to think about my portfolio and my experiences. https://www.bennettfilm.com/ConversationsWithNature
But before we start the speaker series with Eric Bennett on Friday the 7th of October. How about you get to know Eric a little bit better as he answered 4 questions I asked leading into next week.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in your photography?
Over the years, I have come to prioritize my experience while in nature over how many photographs I make or whether they are "good" or not. This has caused me to slow down and be more observant as I'm not distracted by feeling pressured to be productive or do anything else other than just enjoying the place I am in. As a result, this has allowed me to build deeper relationships with the places I visit since I spend more time in them and I've learned more about them. Most importantly, this has benefited me by feeling more connected to the natural world. But what I have also noticed, is that this more spontaneous and laid back approach to photography has only resulted in more photographs that I also feel are of better quality than when I used to rush around trying to follow plans and schedules to photograph preconceived scenes in a certain kind of lighting. Being more open minded and spontaneous has also helped me to notice and appreciate all of the different qualities of light that occur throughout the day. No longer do I feel limited to make beautiful photographs only during a couple of short lived moments each day, rather, I find myself seeing and capturing scenes all day long. There is no such thing as bad light, only good or bad uses of light.
What is the most memorable scene you have captured?
Since I only photograph things that genuinely excite me in the moment, nearly every photograph I make is equally meaningful to me. There really aren't any specific images in my portfolio that are more memorable than the rest.
Who inspires you to create?
More than anything, nature inspires me to make photographs. I love spending time in the wilderness more than anywhere else, and it is almost inevitable that I will see something that inspires me enough to want to present it in a photograph. Apart from that, some of the nature photographers who inspire me most are Guy Tal, Hans Strand, Jim Becia, David Thompson, Alex Noriega, Sarah Marino, Ron Coscorrosa, Jimmy Gekas and so many more! You can see a full list on my website: https://www.bennettfilm.com/Inspiration
What is next for you on your photographic journey?
Right now I am working on making photographs and writing essays for my next book which will be released sometime next year. I will continue exploring the places that I love most, mostly in the Southern Utah Desert and Rocky Mountains, and maybe begin forming new relationships with places I have not yet visited. Every day there is less and less pristine wilderness left on this planet, places where we can still experience space, stillness, and silence. I hope to continue to show the value that these places have through my photography and convince the world that the best thing we can do is leave them perfectly intact.
We look forward to hearing more from Eric, you can still register for the Speaker Series or purchase the recording if you missed seeing the event live. https://www.naturephotographyclasses.com/speaker-series
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