I use a Canon 5D Mk III but I don’t really play favourites. Any camera will do.
Anything that isn’t fast food or has artificial fruit flavour.
I’ve been to one country outside of the US. It would be a bit ignorant for me to call it a favourite.
I only stay in the penthouse suite of
I recently enjoyed a book about memory, but I seem to have forgotten the name of it.
Ben Zank was born in 1991 in New York City, in the Bronx, where he lives and works today.
Although he pursued studies in journalism, Ben Zank quickly found in photography a much more effective means of expression. The discovery of a Pentax ME Super in his grandmother’s granary ignited his passion for photography. Submitting to the rigorous exercise of creating a photo a day, he often stages himself for reasons of convenience.
Guided by his unconscious, Zank draws on his emotional experiences. While the straight line, oblique or broken, seems to be a recurring element of its work, it is paradoxically used in order to blur our perception of gravity. It sometimes even appears as a crushing Ariadne thread capable of dividing the persona into two. His characters often seem to blend with their environment, effectively erasing any bodily limitation.
In his self-portraits, the Id, the ego and the superego seem to have been metaphorically dilated to extend beyond any physical boundary to the point of encompassing their geographical context into a whole. The latent tension that permeates each of Zank’s photographs perfectly reflects the inner emotional troubles of the latter. “These photographs represent my present and past emotions,” he concedes, “Being master of oneself, feeling impotent, stuck, freeing oneself up again, and so on. This must be seen as a struggle for power.”
-How did you first become interested in photography?
It started with my interest in filming YouTube videos.
-How would you describe your style of photography?
-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?
I don’t know, maybe.
-What is your typical technical setup?
A tripod and a self timer. I use the bare minimum in equipment.
-What inspires you?
Not that much these days, but I guess it’s enabled me to produce work more on an unconscious level rather then creating something based off direct influence from someone.
-What is your post-production workflow like?
It’s a lot of doing as little as possible to achieve the effect I want.
-What is your creative process like? What are your start, middle and end points?
I start with a location and work with the elements of that environment. A lot of my work is more about adapting to rather than forcing/creating an environment.
-What is your general guide when it comes to lighting?
I try not to think about light too much unless I’m under the constraints of a brief from a client. When it’s personal work, I make an effort to shoot in all light, but I definitely favour overcast as it offers a wide range of loopholes when it comes to manipulation in post.
-What is your top technical tip?
My top tip is to find what works for you and not take anyone’s advice too seriously. Just as the saying goes for trash or treasure, you’ll find that another’s methods may not fit into your personal workflow.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?
Back in community college, I took a portrait class. My professor told me back then I was wasting my time majoring in journalism and I should pursue photography more seriously. Looking back, that was some pretty good advice.