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Alister Benn • Hearing the Visual

Alister Benn tells us how music and photography, and the appreciation of both, are inextricably linked and how we can use techniques that apply to both when creating images

The arts, the appreciation of art, the aesthetic and the expressive nature of our articulations are all linked. Our very existence demands expression; we are, therefore we think, and we think, therefore we express. Of all the reasons I know for making photographs, our very primal urge to express has to be near the top. But 2018 is a very different stage to that of 20 years ago, it is a crowded one to start with and the difficulty in being heard has become a labyrinth from which few return. Can you hear me screaming? I thought not.

I therefore look inward rather than out for my inspiration and validation of my work. If I create for me, there is no ambiguity, no place to hide, no reason to blame society or take the easiest road; I set my own bar, become my own judge, jury and executioner, and learn more about who I am and my relationship with the world than I ever knew existed. There is no downside to pleasing yourself.

Consequently, I find myself looking at less and less photography – of course I still see many images on a daily basis; magazines, social media, the occasional artist who sparks my interest, but I make a conscious choice to limit the amount that I expose myself to. Why? In some small way to try and protect my own opinion, allow my own voice to mature and ...

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About Author

Alister Benn

Alister Benn is a full-time landscape photographer, author and guide. Having lived for over a decade in the Himalaya of Tibet and SW China, he now lives and works on the Isle of Skye with his wife Juanli Sun.

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