I’ve been taking photographs since an aunt bought me a Kodak Tourist II for my twelfth birthday. I still have the negatives and prints from those first photographs. Since then, a camera has always been with me. Digital photography moved me away from dark rooms, however, I’ve retained my Olympus OM2n system and I’m tempted to run a few rolls of film through it. I’ve kept a note of the cameras I’ve used over the years, ranging through Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic, Sony and Nikon. I now work with the Nikon Z7 and a Leica Q2
Thus far, I’ve been a generalist photographer interested in natural history, landscape, architecture, and street photography with candid portraits. To take my photography to the next level I need to specialise and work on specific projects. I’m drawn to Landscape, especially intimate landscapes, and to Documentary, series of photographs that tell a story. The Iranian photographer, Attar Abbas, sets the standard for me, “My pictures are always part of a series, an essay. Each picture should be good enough to stand on its own but its value is a part of something larger.”
Becoming a member of the Royal Photographic Society focused and helped to develop my work. In 2018 I was awarded their Licentiateship distinction. I’m a member of the Landscape, Digital Image and Documentary Special Interest Groups which connects me to people with similar interests.
Why do I take photographs? I’ve spend many years teaching philosophy. Philosophy is a quest for meaning and understanding. It occupies us with the concepts and values that determine how we relate to ourselves, to others, to the immediate world and to the universe. This quest can be entirely abstract but for me it is practical and engaged. Through the camera I continue that quest for meaning and understanding. I’ve learned to look in a new way at what I’ve always seen; inevitably, I now see familiar things in a new way. I aim to show and let the image speak for itself. Jean Piaget said, “What we see changes what we know. What we know changes what we see.” My photography is held in this tension of seeing and knowing. It is a distinctive way of making contact with our wonderful but troubled world. It is philosophy in images.
Writing: My books are written under my middle name, Gerald Benedict. All publications are available both on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. Many of the books are available in a wide range of languages.