A selection of photos from Ben Patio
Nice Niche (2009)
Deer Shelter (2010)
You’ve picked out a few of my personal favourites in your selection: Deer Shelter, Castle, and Surplus are all photos that I’m pretty pleased with. Minimal but not too abstract, nice textures, beautiful light, strong lines and pleasing geometrical shapes.
– As a photographer, what do you find interesting about urban environments and architecture? What attracts your visual attention?
I’m an architect and photography is very much a hobby. As an architect I’m interested in form, space, light, materials, textures, character. I think I use photography as a tool to help me refine these interests, maybe even as inspiration. I’m not too interested in photographing shiny new buildings, it doesn’t do much for me. I look for accidental architecture, hidden or forgotten spaces, elements that are very ordinary but take on a different resonance when placed in a photograph. I like boring, mundane or everyday subject matter because I think it forces me and the viewer to focus on lighting, composition, mood. Also odd or slightly surreal juxtapositions, combinations of textures or forms, or combinations of three-dimensional geometry / perspective that make pleasing two-dimensional images. In a wider sense I’m interested in the environment we create, how it interacts with nature, and also in exploring what beauty and ugliness mean. And I like finding moments of calm in the city, a lot of my photos are careful studies or crops that block out the ‘noise’.
– Which other photographic styles do you like besides architectural and urban photography?
I moved out to the countryside with my family a few years ago and was a bit disorientated photography-wise – I couldn’t find a way of creating images I liked. But it just required changing the way I looked at the landscape, and now I find plenty of inspiration when I go for walks, and in fact in some ways it has influenced my urban photography, which has perhaps got simpler, calmer.
– What motivates you to be busy with photography, what is your goal as a photographer?
It’s a way of relaxing, I suppose. A creative release from the pressurised world of my job. I deliberately don’t have any goals for my photography, and I try not to think too hard about it all. My ambitions are focussed on my day job. It’s great to get appreciation, though, via Flickr, and I’m always interested when a photograph I think is really good doesn’t get much feedback on Flickr, or the reverse.
– Do you have a ‘dream location’ where you would like to take photos? Which city would you like to visit for a photo session?
Not really. With my time pretty much completely taken up by job and family, I don’t get that much time for photography. Most of my shots are taken on the way to and from meetings, or out and about with my kids. I don’t really ever plan any photoshoots – I enjoy the serendipity, I like stumbling across stuff. I enjoy visiting new places and especially cities, but I just take photos wherever I happen to be.
– What is your favorite camera?
At the moment I only use a little Canon Ixus. I carry it everywhere, absolutely everywhere. If I didn’t have such a portable camera, I wouldn’t take any photos, so it’s fairly important to me. Sometimes I yearn to get back to using more sophisticated cameras, but I know it wouldn’t work just now. In the future I’d like to do some film again, maybe check out Medium Format.
– Did your photos get published in any photo/art-books or magazines and where do you expose your works on internet (website, blog …)?
No, just my Flickr site. People encourage me to try to get published, exhibit, and it’s nice to be asked, but it’s not something I actively promote. That may change, though, who knows.
– Thank you for letting me present a selection of your works in the gallery and for answering questions of the interview. I wish you a nice future with your photography.