Eileen Benjamin is recognized as one of the most accomplished black and white photographers in the state of Colorado. As a former San Francisco Bay area resident, her focus had been on the man-made beauties of bridges and buildings in the midst of the bustling emergence of technology in Silicon Valley. There she had been a project coordinator at the Lockheed Corporation, where she developed an appreciation for creativity, technical detail and precision performance.
Her move to Telluride, Colorado in 1985 changed her focus to the beauty in God’s creation, with the personal challenge of reflecting the scope and complexity of nature and people in the Southwestern Region of the United States through black and white photography.
Benjamin’s early work was with a 4x5 film camera. She has since migrated to digital formats and color. Benjamin lives for light. She finds its full spectrum within the landscapes and portraits she captures with her camera. By working in black and white, she finds that details within the full range of light have room to come into focus. Every element of the photograph—the subject, the shadows, the subtleties, the nuances, the illusions, the dreams—has time to unfold in both the photographer’s and the viewer’s eye when seen in black and white. Transitioning to color and digital format added a new dimension to her photographic skills never forgetting the integrity of light.
Beside the photographs of Edward Curtis and paintings by Charles Russell, Frederic Remington and Thomas Moran, Benjamin’s photography was part of a collection of Art of the American West, exhibited at the U.S. Embassy in Spain in 1992. Her photographs are included in personal and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad.
Benjamin’s first book, If You Listen: Poems & Photographs of the San Juan Mountains, was done in collaboration with poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. Other publications by Benjamin include a self-published book, Telluride, Landscapes and Dreams, foreword by Jay Dusard, and A Spiritual Connection, Living on the Edge of the American Rockies, foreword by Richard Moe, President of National Trust for Historical Preservation. The fourth book, The Fabric of a Woman, A Celebration, which is a mixed media project utilizing new paper making skills, is complete. She is in the process of finding a publisher for this beautiful book.
During the past ten years, Benjamin has traveled abroad capturing dynamic landscapes and the people who call these incredible places home. Her travels have taken her to Scotland, Ireland, Turkey, Jordan, Bali, Vietnam, Peru, the Galapagos, Guatemala, Nepal, Zambia, Botswana, Myanmar, Patagonia, Altiplano, Namibia, India, Colombia, South Africa and more recently Bhutan. She is developing another project about women, entitled "Enigma", as a result of the foreign travels. Some of the images can be viewed in the "Artistic Interpretations" menu.
Benjamin recently moved to Overland Park, Kansas to be close to family and is looking forward to exploring new photographic possibilities there. She is also planning her next adventure to Bangladesh in late November.