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Introduction from Early Work


This book is, by and large, a meditation on places. In my work as a filmmaker, I continuously return to the thought that I am drawn more to places than to the people that inhabit them. People are molded by nature and the landscapes that surround them, much as the Earth and its elements form a mountain or valley. These photographs reflect on that idea.

Cinematography is paramount in my films. I strive to produce movies that can stand solely on the strength of their visuals, films that an audience could watch without sound and the themes would still be conveyed. I still rely on an amalgam of character and setting to populate the screen, drive the action, and maintain a narrative, but motion picture photography dictates that each image is contextualized by the frames that come before and after, and that the finished piece must be the sum of its parts. This is a limitation of film, whereas still photography allows for each frame to be weighted equally, for the copse in winter to hold the same level of importance as a studio portrait.

I draw this simple distinction to place some distance between the imagery in my films and the photographs within these pages, for were I to remove the people from the movies I have made, this collection is what would remain.

                                                                                                 - J. Benson

Early Work


First Edition, 250 copies

10" x 10" (25.4cm x 25.4cm)

152 pages – 78 color/B&W photographs

Published by Copeland Pictures, ©2021

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