June 4, 2013

Rob Benson's interview

" Photography is a passion, capturing 1/250 of a second and having the viewer stop and ponder that instant is magical. I will never grow tired of that feeling." Rob Benson

"Midday sun"
Art Model Rachel

Six times International Photography Awards Competition awarded, Rob Benson at deviantART, Modelcoast, his first feature.

Art Model Kerri-Lee

Dear Rob, tell us how did your passion begin ?

 I began my photographic journey as a student. I saved enough from a summer job to purchase my first SLR and went from there. My initial work was around the sports I loved at the time (and still do).

"Hodderville II"

Did you learn photography in a special school ?

 I'm largely self taught but did the NYIP course several years ago. The real benefit of that was getting on top of the technical side of photography and being able to concentrate on the creative side.

For me conquering the technical aspects has been a great enabler. The challenge now is a new piece of equipment or a new location.

"River bed"
Art Model Chela

Who are your greatest inspirators ?

 A long list, past masters such as Man Ray and Helmut Newton and contemporaries such as Scott James Prebble.
I spend a lot of time enjoying the work of others and soaking up there creativity. It's not uncommon for me to see someone elses work and start visualising a concept of my own. Plagarism or influence ?

Inspiration... And passion. By the way, how long could you be far from your camera ?

Interesting question. I have a busy career in IT that keeps me occupied the majority of the time but I still start to get edgy after a week or so.

I feel the need to create. I would struggle to go more than a few weeks without shooting someone or something. Winter is particularly challenging in that respect.


I understand. You feel particularly inspired by outdoors shootings. Am I right ?

 My favorite locations are in the wilderness. We are blessed with some wonderful scenery in New Zealand and locally around my home city. I love to get away from the hussle and bussle and into the great outdoors. I'm fortunate that many of my favorite places are within 30 minutes of our home.

I also have a liking for derelict sites, the contrast of the fresh model and decay. My city is going through a sustained period of urban renewal at present and such locations are getting harder and harder to find.

"Reach Out"
Art Model Amanda

What are your preferences about light. And B/W or color ?

 My preference is almost exclusive use of natural light.
I shoot digital and post process in Colour, Black and White or Duotones depending on the shot.

I have developed the ability to 'see' in Black and White and that's an integral part of my creative process.

"If you go down to the woods..."
Art Model Rosemary

"To 'see' in Black and White"... I find this so amazing in a world so colourful !...Some words about your art models ?

 I seldom work with professional models, concentrating on 'normal' women.

Most of my models haven't posed nude before and experience a real shift in self confidence as a result of working with me. I'm blessed with a beautiful and tolerant partner who models for me on a regular basis and assists on many shoots. I'm fortunate to have the trust of so many women without whom I would not be able to create. My shoots are a collaboration and I attempt to capture something of the models personality in all my work.

Art Model Rebekah

And you succeed ! Tell us about your way to work, do you improvise a lot ?

 Every shoot starts with a rough concept and some visualisation (I cant draw sadly) but tends to go in random directions from there.

Digital and a large supply of memory cards enables me to take a high volume of images during each shoot. The challenge is then narrowing them down to a manageable set.

Although this random approach produces some unexpected and wonderful results from time to time the amount of work required to processing images is a issue I'm constantly dealing with.

"Yasemin III"
Art Model Yasemin

Do you make many corrections ? Like a writer who must read and read and read again his texts until...

When I'm not shooting I do go back over old shoots and see what I can find. I've found some of my best work amongst my 'rejects'. Initial reaction is so dependent on mood for me that revisiting sometime later (often more than 12 months later) uncovers some surprising images.

That's so true ! Have you a special project you're dreaming about ?

Nothing specific. A number of unfulfilled ideas, locations to seek out that keep me inspired. The process from finding a model, a location a concept and executing the idea keep me passionate.

"Work Smarter"
Art Model Kerri-Lee

Art Model Rachel


Have you scheduled your next exhibition ?

 As I don't have to derive an income from my work I don't actively seek out exhibitions. I've had a few and enjoy the experience but don't feel a great need to pursue more.

Have you published a book ? Is there a new one to come ?

 A book is something I've been thinking about over a long period of time. I have an extensive collection of photography books and high standards.
I've looked at several self publishing options and when I find the quality I want I will go ahead. Meanwhile I'm creating more and more material !

Keep us informed ! And what's for your next future ?

At present I'm working hard on a new business and my time for photography has diminished.

"Wuthering Heights"
Art Model Stephanie

I see my photography as an escape from the day to day pressure of business and probably life in general, a place for me to create and be at peace.

The degree to which that is exposed to the world varies from time to time. No doubt it will be a more prominent part of my life in the future.

"The Bond"
Awarded IPA 2007

A message to send ?

Photography is a passion, capturing 1/250 of a second and having the viewer stop and ponder that instant is magical. I will never grow tired of that feeling.

Thank you Rob ! This space is yours, come back as soon as possible !


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