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Monday, September 24, 2018

Ben Robson Hull

Great Ridge Sunrise, Ben Robson Hull. Is it a painting that looks like a photograph, or a photo that looks like a painting?
Rain Man, Ben Robson Hull
It's very likely that the most overused, and misused word in the art world today (or perhaps the entire world) is, in fact, the word "artist." Just try Googling (or Binging) the word sometime and you'll see what I mean. You'll be rewarded with everything from con artists to musicians who can play the violin with their bare feet. In between you'll encounter virtually every profess-sional in the fine arts including, of course, the traditional painters, sculptors, filmmakers, etc. As a writer I'm often guilty of using the "catch-all" term when I should really be more specific. The British landscape "artist," Ben Robson Hull is an excellent case in point. The layman would immediately picture Hull, brush in one hand, palette in the other daubing away at an easel erected in some lovely field, possibly overlook-ing a seashore. There's no question that Hull is an artist, nor that he specializes in landscapes. However, he's probably never painted one in his entire life. Nonetheless, he does have the same mentality and eye for exquisite content, detail, and beauty of any landscape painter who ever cleaned a brush. Ben Robson Hull "paints" with a 36MP Nikon D810 professional camera. The list price for Hull's digital "brush" is around $2,800.

St. Patrick's Well, Ben Robson Hull

Like most landscape painters, Hull captures other genres besides lovely sunrise vistas as in Great Ridge Sunrise (top). His vertigo-inducing St. Patrick's Well (above) or his more elegant Queen's House Tulip Staircase (left) are repre-sentative of Hull's architectural compositions. Hull's black & white Rain Man (above, right) has garnered several awards in various photographic exhibitions. There's no mistaking either of these for a painting.
Queen's House Tulip Staircase,
Ben Robson Hull

Sleepy Hollow, Ben Robson Hull
Ben’s creativity is driven by the natural environment and the seasons, both clearly visible in his work. Many of his images have been produced locally near his home in Sheffield, England, and the Derbyshire Peak District National Park (above). Travel and architecture often feature in his work. Hull has a real passion for exploring the planet, its people, and special places. Some of Ben’s images have been captured in such diverse places as Peru, Barcelona, London, Paris, Italy, Australia, Austria and all over the UK to name just a few. Ben completed work for a Professional Diploma in Photography at the Photography Institute (2012-–2013) while consuming more than sixty books on photography in a self-teaching effort to provide himself with a long overdo education in art.

Images from Hull's Peruvian photo-expedition.

Before that, Hull graduated from Sheffield Hallam University (2000--2003) with a degree in Civil Engineering followed by a career in the sciences. In looking back, Ben feels the first 30 years of his working life he missed out on art entirely, though he has certainly made up for this lost time recently with Memberships and involvement in his local Pho-tographical Society, the Royal Photographical Society, and various organizations or online groups, which have provided him with great oppor-tunities to exhibit, enter competitions, and receive valuable feedback on developing his body of work.
Two careers and
too many interests.
The life cycle--beauty in life and death.
Ben Hull always tries to find places off-the-beaten-path or those not usually frequented by other people. Most days, however, usually end up with a significant amount of time editing on the computer and then proof printing to get the optimum possible print from the raw data. This can be very time consuming. Many artists spend a lot less time producing a detailed painting than Hull does trying to perfect the perfect print! Hull's evenings are often spent on social media and in contacting clients to discuss requirements. Finally, Hull usually tries to find an hour each day to research his next project, always looking to find something unique and different to undertake.

Hull's "take" on two frequent ingredients in England's gastronomical art--
Strawberries and Sardines. Just never serve them both at the same time.
And what would a British photographer be without two or three iconic stock photos of London? Hull is a frequent contributor to Getty Images. Working in central England, light, location, and of course, the damnable English weather, usually conspire against the would-be photographer, meaning he or she has to react and respond to what they find. Typically, a photography session lasts half a day to a full day depending on the type of subject. Hull tries to capture the subject from as many different angles as possible. He finds it amazing how many times a shot the artist(meaning the photographer) thinks is the best ends up being rejected later as there was something distracting in the background that went unseen at the time. By the same token, backup shots sometimes capture a really fortuitous element without the photographer even realizing it. Hull loves it when these things happen. People often call it luck, and sometimes it is, but there's also the research, planning, and hard work, which play a big part in such shots.

The Tower Bridge (upper image), Big Ben (just above), Winchester Palace and Cathedral all remain. Red phone booths like the one above, also remain, but their numbers are dwindling. I saw very few when we were in London this past spring.
Probably the Best Cat in the World,
Ben Robson Hull


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