Pinhole Photographs // Timothy Bennett

Timothy Bennett - Broadstairs

Tonight, Timothy is talking at the London Alternative Photography Collective, Pinhole Photography Special. Here’s some information about Tim’s process…

“Due to the slow speed of the film and the bright sun, I was getting exposure times of less than a second.
It was going to be impossible for me to accurately expose the film at those speeds without a mechanical shutter, so I rated the film 2 stops faster to achieve an exposure time of between 4 and 6 seconds depending on the cloud cover.
Initially I was going to pull the film at the processing stage, but decided to run a test sheet at normal as ultimately I knew I was aiming for quite contrasty prints. I was slightly worried that I might clip the shadows and highlights, but as FP4 has a exposure latitude of anywhere between 3-7 stops I didn’t really have anything to worry about!
After processing I had the 5×4′s drum scanned to 250MB and then graded the scans in Photoshop.
Being an old school professional hand printer, my ethos behind my post-production is to not use Photoshop to do anything I couldn’t have done in the darkroom by hand. I even have custom brushes I have made in the shapes I would make with my hands when dodging and burning.
When it came to printing there was no choice for me other than bromide paper. This whole project is about exploring photography in its most basic and primitive form, and being a printer I very much believe in the print being more than just a piece of paper, but rather a beautiful object – or as Kant would have it “purposive without purpose”.
Bromide paper has a long heritage going right back to the early days of photography, and was as close as I was going to get to a fully analogue process within the constraints of my preferred semi-digital workflow.
Granted, I could’ve gone down the route of producing the prints by hand to be strictly analogue; but the other aesthetic approach that runs through all of my work is the demonstration of the digital print process as analogous to the analogue method rather than discrepant.

Ilford 5×4 FP4 125 ASA / f/206 110mm cone

Film rated at 400 ASA for exposure, then processed at normal (equivalent to pushing 2 stops) = 4 stops over-exposed. Machine processed with Fujifilm NegaStar Pro developer 8 mins @ 24°C.

Printed on Ilford Galerie Fibre Based Digital Bromide paper in Ilford 2000RT chemistry.”

Tim has been working at the forefront of London’s Fine Art and Fashion photographic industry for over 15 years as a printer and retoucher. He has worked with many of the world’s major photographers and galleries.
He started out doing an apprenticeship as a c-type hand printer before teaching himself Photoshop as the industry went digital, and moved into retouching and digital c-type printing.
Outside of his day job, Tim is very interested in exploring the relationship between analogue and digital processes and how the combination of both can result in new forms of both photography and printing.


Timothy Bennett - Broadstairs

Timothy Bennett – Start Point

Timothy Bennett - Broadstairs

Timothy Bennett – Burgh Island

Timothy Bennett - Broadstairs

Timothy Bennett – Burgh Island

Timothy Bennett - Broadstairs

Timothy Bennett – Broadstairs


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