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H is for Horne...Ben Horne

The creative art of Ben Horne. YouTuber. Film photographer.

I have followed Ben for many years on YouTube; with over 450 videos that's a lot of enjoyable viewing. I’ve been watching his development and technique grow over the years, as he explores similar venues on a regular basis. This I enjoy very much as it gives me the opportunity to compare one year to a previous year and see whether the changing weather, the changing lights, as well as any equipment and technique that he may have developed in that time, has affected his image capturing capabilities.

His major difficulty with weather given his style of camera kit is, in fact, wind because he has a large 10x8” film camera which acts like a sail. Even a small gust of wind makes it impossible to capture a sharp image, with the slower shutter speeds that film photography generally uses.

He is a very calming and careful photographer, not only in his style and presentation, but also as an individual. He takes care of the landscape around him, often tidying up other peoples’ trash, taking it away and binning it. He does not believe in affecting or damaging the landscape at all. Seeing his love for nature, its shape, colour and texture, be it rocks, rivers, trees, ice, leaves, sand or canyons, is very enjoyable. Plus I get to see places in the world that I would never physically be able to see.

I love the fact that Ben produces a print portfolio box every year that people can buy as a gift for themselves or loved ones, with limited edition print runs of images captured that year. Due to the value of these, unfortunately they are rather beyond my range, but maybe one day … In addition to his print portfolio box, Ben also sells eBooks for those people who enjoy books on a screen.

Another bonus about watching Ben on YouTube is the fact that he doesn't allow any adverts in his videos which is delightful to me, as they can become a bit of a pain at times. Is it just me? But I’m not prepared to pay out for a company to take those ads away, so having his content without ads is wonderful for me personally. I do feel, however, that this is probably very counterproductive for Ben, and the reason for this is quite simple. The advertising gets you into a bigger set of people on the internet and without it he probably does not have as many subscribers. I think a man with his skills and talent surely deserves more than the 53.6 K subscribers at the time of writing this post.

I do look forward particularly to when Ben does his film reviews at the end of any one particular trip that he has made. In there he shows the images and critiques them, whilst also telling the history of the image. Most of them are carefully considered and planned in advance. He reflects on what he might have done differently or maybe what he will do next time.

There is one major thing with Ben. He is not a great one for promoting himself but he’s realistic with his work and the fact that whenever he goes out off on another adventure, getting the first image made is obviously a very hard thing for him to do. He never appears to be quite happy with the first image, but he is always happy to get that first one taken.

I understand fully, even though I do not use a film camera, let alone a large format film camera. Somehow having got one image on my camera’s memory card, this seems to release me to be able to be creative for the rest of the time that I am out and being creative.

I wonder if this is the same for you as a creative person? Is the hardest thing capturing the first image? Or maybe choosing the first paint brush or the first colour that you you might choose to use? Or is it, at the very start, the size of the canvas? Or the paper, pencil, charcoal or watercolour? Who knows all the decisions that you might have to make as a creative person? The limitations are probably purely financial. Unfortunate.

I do not work with a restrictive palette for colours. There is a limit to the amount of equipment that I can and am happy to carry with me nowadays. Not that I think it’s important to lug around all the kit that I used to, at all. I am generally content to be myself and I try to make the best of what I have.

Something always seems greener on the other side of the fence, but actually if you do go over there it might not be true, and after the investment in time, energy and effort, you may possibly find yourself disappointed.

However, Ben does not have this as a problem because he has chosen his two kits very wisely. You can watch him explain why he has chosen his kits. If you are thinking of larger film photography, this is very helpful. It’s not for me personally, however I can and do enjoy the journey.

For more details please visit YouTube and Ben’s site. You will be able to find out all you might need to know in full detail and hear why he has made his choices, from clothes, camping gear, shoes and even what he eats. I am so glad that he takes us creative people on his journey. Plus I always look forward, to quote Ben, to the “Next Time”.

Thanks, Ben.

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