Al Benas Photography | About
a little philosophy

Ever since I looked at two photos that I took of my fiancé/wife while in college, at the same location, same pose, a year apart - the first taken with a Kodak Brownie camera, and the second with my father’s “pro” 35mm - I have been passionate about photography. Even though I had always had a consumer model camera, I was suddenly struck by the ability to show such detail, in such clarity. This camera was not just a tool for recording life’s passing events, but also a method of passing on one’s view of life and its natural beauty. I find comfort and inspiration in looking at the natural world created by Nature, and modified by the presence of Man. My subjects are mostly florals and natural or urban landscapes.

Flowers are one of the ultimate creations and attractants of Nature. Their construction can be so intricate as to challenge our wildest imagination. I like to capture them in situ, just the way they were intended to be seen. Many times I will also interpret them in black and white, to remove the blinding attraction of their color and to fully describe their delicate structure.

Landscapes have always been in our lexicon of images. Initially they were used to take us to places that we might never visit, or to places that we might want to preserve. But they can also serve to soothe our souls in times of distress; they can show us a new way to view what we have seen a thousand times, but not really seen; they can also show us an instant in time where the light, or the environment, is different, or rare, in such a way that if you weren’t there just then you might never see it in that way, ever. I do not try to document specific locations, but rather my impressions of them.

Urban landscapes show the mark and presence of Man. There are times when the constructs of man can create a landscape that, when viewed through the restrictive eye of a camera, can rival Nature in grandeur. Sometimes the hand of man is not so kind, and that needs to be viewed, also, if only to prevent it from reoccurring.

I photograph to save these views in my mind and to share them with others, both as a reward and as a warning. My current work is done with a digital camera. I process my photographs on a computer, and print them on a pigment-based inkjet printer, using fine art cotton rag papers. I do not work digitally to create falsehoods or fabrications; I work much the same way that I did with film. I work digitally because I am impatient to have the image available to me, to develop it to its best representation of my vision, and to see it in its final form, printed on paper. I also find the inkjet prints to have a visual beauty and tactile feel that I missed in traditional silver gelatin papers.