Ben Hopper's Blog

Interview for Mamiya Leaf

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I’ve had the pleasure talking to Mamiya Leaf, makers of “Credo 80” – an 80 mega pixel wonder camera I used to photograph my recent project “Natural Beauty”.

Ben Hopper: “It’s like she’s saying ‘I’m confident with my body and I don’t care what you think.’”

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London-based Ben Hopper is a consummate fine-art professional performance-focused photographer, with an unstoppable creative energy. End of last year, he started working with the Mamiya Leaf Credo 80 for personal projects. Projects that ‘perhaps wouldn’t usually include the usage of medium format cameras.’

Probably his most-seen work today is the project, “Natural Beauty,” a series of beautiful women shot with arm raised, revealing armpit hair. These images, which were recently published in the Huffington Post, led to so many people trying to access his web site that they literally crashed not only his site, but that of his service provider! The project was grabbed by the biggest publications worldwide bringing millions of views combined.
(original post)

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I’d actually been thinking about and experimenting with this project for a few years — since i started doing photography,” Ben told us. “It actually started as a joke. I was hanging out with friends: artists, musicians, painters, filmmakers, and I said, ‘look at all the work that’s really taken off — that’s focused on repetitive subjects. It’s almost as if someone does something so many times they will begin to get recognition for it.

So I thought, ‘what if I get beautiful women showing armpit hair?’ It’s a really strong subject, because it’s such a contrast. You show this beautiful woman who’s so confident, like she’s saying, ‘I’m confident with my body and I don’t care what you think.’ It’s a contrast between conventional beauty and this truly unconventional look. Some people have criticized it saying the models were too beautiful or too skinny or wear makeup, pluck eyebrows and so on — but that’s what helps create the contrast — cognitive dissonance.

For this project, the Mamiya Leaf Credo 80 was a natural choice, because the files are more flexible, and in case we will exhibit these images, we can really push the printing size.

Cymatics_2322-80cm

What does Ben have to say to someone who wants to be a photographer? Who wants to pursue it as a livelihood or as a life’s work?

Just do what you love. Do what makes you happy and try not to create work you think other people will like. When people do something they love doing and enjoy doing, other people can feel that passion in the work — it’s more genuine.

Everything that I’ve done that is personal, for myself, has worked. Like this latest project Natural Beauty — it was something I’d thought about and wanted to do, and it went viral. So be true to yourself. And you will find you’re getting hired because of your personal work. Do the stuff that will pay the rent, and keep dreaming up new ideas for yourself.

To date, Ben’s other projects have included a developing collaboration based on the principle of Cymatics with beatboxer and artist Reeps One, in which Reeps One’s voice was connected to a speaker and images were shot showing what happens to a thin film of water sitting on the speaker, as it’s being rippled through by the sound frequency. This project was a part of Reeps One’s solo exhibition in March. Read more about this project here.

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Ben is also planning many other projects, from naked masked people in different outdoor locations to unusually posed fully nude physical performers covered in body paint and different powders in his studio — and for that, he believes that the medium format approach makes the most sense, “because we have better details nicer depth of field and more resolution.” Read more about this project here.

It was a very simple decision to choose the Mamiya Leaf Credo. The image quality is so much better than what I can achieve with the 35 mm — it’s not even a question! The resolution, the depth of field — it’s just way more beautiful.

I appreciate the differences that the Credo makes. For example, the Credo is much slower. I’m used to shooting so many more frames with the 35mm DSLR. And the Credo forces me to shoot slower. There are simply less frames per minute. It forces me to concentrate, to slow down. It’s almost a meditative kind of thing.

You can see the original interview here.

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Written by benhopper

May 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Artist Ben Hopper presents: “Natural Beauty”

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Emilia Bostedt. Actress.

Last month I previewed the first ‘official’ image from my long overdue project “Natural Beauty”.
Yesterday, I finally premiered 8 images on The Huffington Post, 6 of them was never published before.
You can see them below or go to the original post on The Huffington Post via link above.

Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement.
Why is that?
For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal.

“Natural Beauty” could be classified as a type of protest.
By creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made.

Currently looking for more females to photograph. Please email me if you’re interested or have any questions: therealbenhopper@gmail.com

Alessandra Kurr. Designer.

Olivia Murphy. Fashion student, model.

Ayan Mohamed. Graduate architecture student.

Ruby Bird. Producer, costumier.

Rakel Lindgren. Actress, model.

Slant Array. Model.

Cassia Tsura. Performer, artist.

This project has been in the works since 2007 but only lately I realised the aesthetics I was happy with.

With this studio setup I can focus on the idea with no distractions. It took me years until I was happy with the aesthetics, it’s quite funny. I preferred to wait until I’m 100% satisfied with it.
Again, the idea is contrast. The images are much more powerful that way. At least in my humble opinion.

Here are few examples of the photos I’ve taken since 2007:

Amanda Palmer. Musician.
“Natural Beauty” research (2010).

Suraya.
“Natural Beauty” research (2011).

Justyna Neryng. Artist.
“Natural Beauty” research (2009).

Julianne Popa.
“Natural Beauty” research (2011).

Maleficent Martini. Singer, ballet dancer, model.
“Natural Beauty” research (2009).

I’d like to thank everyone who have been a part of this project and been very patient with me. Special thanks to Isaac Saul @ HuffPost.
The project is photographed on a Mamiya Leaf Credo 80 camera.
I will post more images from the ‘research’ phase in the near future.

Since the publication of the project on HuffPost on April 7th, the project has been getting press worldwide.
Here’s a list of the ones I’m aware of so far:
Aktuálně.cz (Czech Republic)
Andro (Greece)
AOL
Arco da Velha (Portugal)
aufeminin (France)
Bored Panda
BUST
Bustle
BuzzFeed
BuzzWok
Codigo Nuevo (Spain)
Cosmopolitan (Germany)
Cosmopolitan (UK)
Coyote Chronicle (CA, USA)
Creative Life (Czech Republic)
crushplate
Dagens.dk (Denmark)
DailyMail (UK)
Delbart (Norway)
DesignTAXI
EL TIEMPO (Colombia)
ELLE Serbia
Emol (Chile)
FITFLAIP FB
Glamour Magazine
GQ (Germany)
HLN (Belgium)
HuffPost (Germany)
HuffPost (UK)
HuffPost (USA)
HuffPost FB main
HuffPost Live
HuffPost Women FB
ITV Loose Women
La Repubblica (Italy)
Le Figaro (France)
Life Behavior (Brazil)
Lost at E Minor 
Mako (Israel)
Medical Daily 
Melty Fashion (France)
Metro (Russia)
My Daily 
N24 (Germany)
Noticias Caracol (Colombia)
Panorama(Italy)
PlayGround Magazine
PolicyMic.com
Quil Magazine
refinery29
Reshet (Israel)
RocketNews24 (Japan)
Saloona (Israe)
Schweizer Illustrierte (Switzerland)
Sin Embargo MX (Mexico)
Sin Embargo MX FB (Mexico)
Slashed Beauty
Stern (Germany)
Telegraph (UK)
The Gloss
The Hodgetwins
Visual News
Vivas (Finland)
Women’s Rights News FB
Yahoo Canada Shine
Yahoo Lifestyle

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Written by benhopper

April 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Natural Beauty

Tagged with

Reeps One A.D.O – Debut Solo Exhibition

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I’m happy to announce Harry Yeff’s (aka Reeps One) debut solo exhibition “A.D.O“.

I will have new work I’ve made with Harry on display; both from my collaborative project “The Illustrated” and Harry’s project “Organic Electronics“.

From Press Release:
A collision of theoretical, neurological, anatomical, multimedia visual & sonic artworks.
The exhibition will feature: Paintings, drawings, audio/visual installations, cymatics, photography and live performances / Special live events within the exhibition installation: ‘Circle Of Naked’ & ‘The Room’.
Download the full Press Release from here.

Venue: Londonewcastle Project Space. 28 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DP. View map.
Private view: 20th Mar, 6-10pm (invite only, RSVP: ado@getinvolvedltd.com)
Date: 21st Mar – 27th Mar
Opening times: 12 – 7pm on weekdays, 10am – 6pm at the weekend
Entrance Fee: Free
Facebook event here.

Reeps One ADO flyers

Sophie Crown

For those of you who haven’t seen Harry’s work or our collaborations I encourage you to go and check it out:
Reeps One on YouTube (beatboxing)
Collaborations for “The Illustrated” – captioned with ‘Yeff & Hopper’ (illustrations)

As some of you may know, I’ve been collaborating with Harry for my project “The Illustrated” since 2012. Although this project features different artists, something ‘clicked’ between me and Harry (arty bromance?) and we managed to create so much work that we started a ‘sub-brand’ called “Yeff & Hopper”.

Since then we also started experimenting with “Organic Electronics”, a project Harry created with visual artist Zach Walker and musician/sound engineer Linden Jay, an AV show using the science of cymatics, controlled by his voice.

We are all very excited about this opportunity. With the help from our friends at Peartree RentalMamiya Leaf, theprintspace and with funding from The Arts Council of England - we can bring you the best of what’s around. Sound, projections, drawings and fine art prints like you’ve never seen before.

See you there! :)
Ben x

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Written by benhopper

March 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm

A preview to “Natural Beauty” project

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Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement.
Why is that?
For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal.

“Natural Beauty” could be classified as a type of protest.
By creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made.

Currently looking for more females to photograph. Please email me if you’re interested: therealbenhopper@gmail.com

More pictures & information coming soon.

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Written by benhopper

February 25, 2014 at 12:42 am

Posted in Natural Beauty

Tagged with ,

Synopsis for a blockbuster film

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A big earthquake causes a major leak in a big nuclear power plant leading to the biggest nuclear disaster ever known to man killing billions in the years to come.

Meanwhile turns out this was all a well planned operation; a part of larger top secret depopulation plan ran by a small select families (aka ‘the 1%’) who own and run everything from behind the scenes.

Using advanced weather modification machines to create a geographically focused earthquake they broke the nuclear plant’s reactors leading to several core meltdowns – eventually leaking and poisoning earth’s humankind for decades to come.

We discover that ‘the 1%’ have actually been working with extraterrestrials since the beginning of time, being part-alien themselves – they have the technology to survive the radiation.

Our only hope is New York City Police officer John McClane who was cryogenically frozen (along with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes) and now reawakened by “hacktivist” collective, Anonymous to save us from the reptilians.

kirk-fighting-our-evil-reptilian-overlords

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Written by benhopper

January 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“BIG DEAL NO 5″ group exhibition

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2 pieces from ‘The Illustrated’ series will be exhibited at the “BIG DEAL NO 5″ group exhibition.
Curated by Vanya Balogh & Cedric Christie, it will be held in level -3 at Q-Park car park (Cavendish Square) – yes, a car park.
You WANT to be there.

Left: Marnie Scarlet by Rosco Brittin Graphics tablet
2013, 42 x 59.4 cm (A2), Edition of 8 £285 (+£30 with mounting)

Right: Rachel Bennett by Hicks Graphics tablet, 2013
42 x 58.4 cm, Edition of 8 £285, (+£30 with mounting)

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Facebook event / Private View on Thursday, 17 October 2013, 18:00 – 22:00. Free entry.
Exhibition runs: 18th Friday until 20th October Sunday. Open daily from 11am – 7.30 pm. Free entry.
Q-Park Oxford Street, Level -3. Cavendish Square London, Greater London W1G 0PN

More info about the exhibition:

In Association with Geoffrey Leong
_________________________________________________________

Curated by Vanya Balogh & Cedric Christie
_________________________________________________________

” Supporting Arts is an important way of bringing incredible works to be evaluated and engaged with by the public, giving them the opportunity to review art in a different way. This multi media feast is curated by two renowned international artists Vanya Balogh & Cedric Christie through their continuous presence in various studios. In this case expect the unexpected, from organised chaos to uniform structure and much more. I believe this is both original and inspiring show which brings an element of fun to those who view it. There really is nothing like this in the world of arts that we see today, the engaging of artists and the public in perfect harmony.”

Geoffrey Leong
London 2013

BIG DEAL No5 > ARTISTS ARE PRESENT
Press Preview 4 – 6pm

RICHARD NIMAN > NICOLA HICKS > PAUL SAKOILSKY
TIZIANA MANDOLESI > MICHAEL SANDLE > RAY GANGE
RAUL PINA > PETULA GIRNDT > STEVE SMITH > FRANKO B
TWINKLE THROUGHTON > STEPHEN HALL > LIZ SHERIDAN
SIAN-KATE MOONEY > CALUM F. KERR > REBECCA SCOTT
BEN HOPPER > GERRY DOHERTY > FORGE & CUTTER
MARK O ROURKE > DANIELLE HODSON > CEDRIC CHRISTIE
OLIVER PERKINS > MIYUKI KASAHARA > HEDLEY ROBERTS
GENERAL HARM > IHTGW CONTINENT > JOHN STEPHENS
SLOBODAN TRAJKOVIC > DANNY POCKETS > FITZY
DEAN TODD > LILI REN > SOPHIE ASHTON > PAUL FREUD
TOMAZ KRAMBERGER > MARIA TERESA GAVAZZI
MICHAEL PETRY > VALERIE DRISCOLL > MARK WOODS
MARISA POLIN > ROBERT BARTA > SARAH DOYLE
GZILLION ARTIST > NADIA BALLAN > MARTIN SEXTON
LEE CAVALIERE > PETER ROSTON > REKHA SAMEER
ROMAN TAHER > MARK JOHNS > ALY HELYER
JOE BARRELL > TRACEY MOBERLY > ROBERTO EKHOLM
ALDO GIANNOTTI > LEE MAELZER > JAMES ALEC HARDY
TASLEEM MULHALL > VANYA BALOGH > SOOZ BELNAVIS
PETER GRAVELLE > MARY-LOUISE JONES > ART HATE
AGNETHA SJOGREN > RICARD DUCKER > JIM BOND
LOUISE RILEY > PATRICK DODDS > KAROLIN SCHWAB
GORDON FAULDS > NEGIN VAZIRI > PIERS JAMSON
ANNA NIMAN > PATRICK MORRISEY > SARAH SPARKES
CLIVE HANZ HANCOCK > JUDE COWAN MONTAGUE
LORENZO BELENGUER > EVA RABOSO GARCIA
MARK MAXWELL > AMY SHARROCKS > STIMULUS LTD
JESSICA VOORSANGER > MINEO KATO > AYA FUKAMI
CRITICAL DECOR > NADER BARHUMI > LOUKAS MORLEY
MICHAEL GRIEVE > CHRISTINA MITRENTSE
JONATHAN RAVEN > IBBY DOHERTY & CHARLIE WHEATLEY
SUSAN STOCKWELL > ERNESTO ROMANO > JAKE MODERN
ELISA CANTARELLI > RUSSELL HERRON > TINSEL EDWARDS
ANDREW STANNEY > MARIA JOSE ARCEO > TIM BURNS
RITVA RAITSALO > THORBOJRN S. ANDERSEN > MONA K
ALEX NOBLE > THOMAS DRASCHAN > IGOR KUDUZ
PASCAL ROUSSON > SUSANA SANROMAN > PAUL TUCKER
DANIEL PASTEINER > SOPHIE DICKENS > MICHAEL PENNIE
CATHY DE MONCHAUX & RICHARD SMITH
REBECCA QUIRK > PERRY ROBERTS > FIONA HAINES
SIMON LIDDIMENT > KJERSTI CROSSLY > EDWARD CLARK
JEANNE SUSPLUGAS > ROBERT PHILLIPS > SOPHIE DICKENS
UNA d ARAGONA > STUART SEMPLE > JULIE YOUNG
PAUL GILDEA > REBECCA MEANLEY > MITRA TABRIZIAN
LUCINDA BURGESS > TOM DURNFORD > SARA MARK
ROGER CLARKE > JOSE CARLOS TEXEIRA > URBAN XXX
MOMOKO FUKUHARA > DRAGAN ALEKSIC
RACHEL MEGAWHAT > BRAD PITTS & DOWNEY JUNIORS
DEMELZA MOREAU > KASH

BIG DEAL No5 Film Reel
curated by Daniel Buckley

With kind support from Q PARK, HI SUSHI Events, Peony, Leongs Legends, Blue Gras, De Beauvoir, UEL & Bath SPA University

www.deal-big.bi

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Written by benhopper

September 29, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Posted in Exhibitions

Tagged with ,

‘Giving Something Back’ Exhibition & Kickstarter campaign

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Giving Something Back - Stour Space 700

I’m excited about my new solo exhibition this September.
A photo-exhibition of mainly collaborative work; exposing other creatives, illustrators and dancers.
Rather than just exhibiting my own work, I have decided to show all of the collaborative work I have been doing lately.
The exhibition will be called ‘Giving Something Back’ and will consist of 3 main projects:
‘Dancers on Rooftops’, ‘The Illustrated’ and ‘Hackney Wick Portraits’

Facebook Event | Download Press Release

Private View Thursday 5th September 2013, 6:00pm-11:00pm. Free entry
Opening Times 6th-30th September 2013, 9:00am-5:00pm daily. Free entry

Stour Space. 7 Roach Road, E3 2PA London, United Kingdom.

I’ve made a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the production of the exhibition. You can check it here and watch the video below:

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Akt Now: Interview for art-magazin.de

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art-magazin.de have just published a new interview on their website as a part of their  ‘Akt Now!’ features.
It’s all in German so I’m posting an English version below in case anyone’s interested, gut?:

What excites you about the subject of the nude?
I find it attractive. It turns me on. Actually, would be more precise to say that when it is women, I find it attractive, mostly. With men, I find it fascinating.
I am looking for physical uniqueness. Performance muscles (contemporary circus, dance) are a big interest to me. Years ago when I just started photographing circus, I was talking to my brother who’s a circus performer (acrobat & juggler) himself about how some aerial circus girls have such big shoulders you can mistake them for a man if you look at their backs. My brother explained: “The muscles are not for show-off, these girls want to be able to do a certain move or trick with their body. They need these muscles to be there for it, that’s all”. Through the years I have learned to love what seemed a bit weird to me in the beginning.

How far would you go? Are there any taboos?
I don’t think I would make a good photojournalist. I think I can’t photograph people’s suffering, it feels too private. I can’t do it. At least not directly, perhaps in a paraphrase. But to photograph someone in possibly one of their weakest moments gives me the shivers and almost makes me sick.
I don’t like to show sex too. Sometimes there’s so much going on, you can just show a crop of something – it’s much more effective. It also leaves room for others to interpret.
I’m not really sure how far I would go. It keeps changing. Every year I dig deeper and deeper, it seems like I keep pushing myself but at the same time I like to close down and show less.
Perhaps you could say that the goal sanctifies the means – so all I really need to do if find subjects I can relate to and believe in. As the years go by, I am more and more sick of consumerism and most fashion trends. A lot of cultural habbits seems silly to me as well. I guess if I need to photograph a family naked with all their members; mother, father and children – to protest against Apple’s censorship of nudity on their App Store, I will.

When is a nude picture considered a piece of art?
I think it’s not just about nude. If a picture is good enough to be timeless, it doesn’t matter if it’s nude or not.
This could be a very philosophical discussion about art, nudity and personal taste. Perhaps we can do a whole interview just about that.

Who or what inspires you? Are there any photographers or artists that inspires your work?
Everything inspires me. In specific it will be kindness, intellect, technology, powerful women; both sexually and mentally, doers, thinkers, nature, animals and good food. People who are nice to me inspire me. There’s also money that motivates me more than inspiring. It’s weird – but when I don’t have money I don’t feel like doing anything. When I have money – I am super productive.
The artists I like more nowadays are the ones who do what I do – mixing beauty and vulgar. Creating a contrast, a contradiction.
Maybe I do what they do, I’m defiantly not the first in this category.
Anyway, from the top of my head; Manuel Vason, Sara Sitkin, Lloyd Newson and lately I discovered Daniel Arsham. I like his aesthetics.
It’s mostly people who do stuff that’ll make me go “ooh why didn’t I think of that!”

Was there any mortifying moment while you were photographing?
There was one time when I photographed a female model in a shower and we wrapped her head and face with bondage rope. The water made the rope shrink and at some point she couldn’t breathe. There was a tiny moment of panic because we had to untie all the rope, FAST. It was ok at the end. I know, it’s not that bad. This is the most mortifying moment or close to it. Although some of the pictures I take may look dangerous, we take as much precaution before.
I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt while I’m taking a photo. Unless they’re into it.

How important is staging and coincidence for your pictures?
The staging is just a way to make it my own. I create a situation and let reality happen, or at least I try.
It’s like jazz, you know you have 8 bars to improvise. Within these 8 bars you can play whatever you want – but they are 8 bars in a song. Someone wrote that song. My bars are my frames. I tell the subject “This is your frame, you have from here to here, now play.”

What projects or dreams would you like to fulfil in your artistic practice?
I have a plan to spend 1 year in the USA in 2014 and work on some of my existing projects as well as new ones I haven’t started.
This will actually be a sabbatical so I could take things more easily.
“Naked Girls with Masks” and “Dancers on Rooftops” are obvious projects I can work on there. I also want to photograph some of my personal heroes. People like Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Noam Chomsky, Bob Dylan and so on. People who realistically I don’t have many years left to photograph, or meet. I really want to meet them.

Ben Hopper
Age: 31
Education: no
Next exhibition: Solo exhibition – 6 Sept – 1 Oct. Location: Stour Space, London (www.stourspace.co.uk) / Title: TBC

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Written by benhopper

July 15, 2013 at 12:57 am

Posted in Interviews

Tagged with

New juggling video “Toss up and Sides again #2″ is (finally) available online

with one comment

This film was shot over a period of 3 days using a Canon 5D Mark II during the 19th Israeli Juggling Convention.
Gan HaShlosha, Israel. April 2012.

It was directed and shot by yours truly and remarkably edited by Ori Roth who’s a top juggler himself (helps with the editing as well).

Performance by:
Tony Pezzo
Eric Bates
Luis Sartori
Etienne Chauzy
Paul Ponce
Petter Wadsten
Marianna De Sanctis
Fabrizio Rosseli
Luca Chiarva
Riccardo Tanca
Caro Ryser
Darwin Pimentel
Ayal Benin
Guy Kaplan

Music by Moog Cookbook:
Hotel California
25 Or 6 To 4

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Written by benhopper

March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Posted in News

Tagged with , , ,

I shoot faster than I edit. I’m sorry.

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Since mid-2007 I’ve been using my camera to capture a lot of things. Mostly people. Mostly people who to me, are nothing less than pure amazing. Mostly people who never got a payment for their part of posing for my camera.
Some of these photos were published in magazines or books. Some appeared in exhibitions around the world.
Some of them brought in some money that allowed me to pay whoever it was that I photographed.
A lot of these pictures, however, never seen the light of day – or more precisely – still await to be selected and edited on my hard drive.
The fact that most of these people never got a payment, leaves me obliged to basically give them the photos ASAP. They did their part, I need to do mine.
With digital photography comes the tiring editing part. I learned that the way I shoot, is a very impulsive-improvised sort of process; I don’t plan shoots to small details. I say “I want to shoot you, wearing this, standing in this room” and I will shoot 600 pictures moving around, moving the person around, changing the light, changing the lens …eventually without even remembering some of the photos I took, I will select the ones I like on my editing software. During the shoot, I try to let the pictures take themselves. I end up in weird positions, weird compositions – but I try to let it go and flow. The composition is created in 2 parts. It’s not really the photoshoot. It’s the photoshoot + editing or shall I say the selection.
From the (at least) hundreds of thousands of photos I took, I’ve never taken a single photo just to keep it for myself. Everything I do is aimed at being published, exhibited, put in a book one day and so on.
BUT I have realized long time ago that I have a problem with my work flow. That problem is simply the fact that I can shoot faster than I edit.
Being a freelance photographer who is not making his living by selling fine art prints (just yet) – I have to do a lot of other jobs. Some are super interesting and the photos I produce end up in my portfolio, publications and exhibitions. Some are done purely for the money and will never appear on any of my sites and none of you will ever know I’ve taken them.
This puts me in a situation where I HAVE to prioritize my work flow to deal with the paid work first and all personal work is being put aside, postponed until I’m free with the energy to sift through it all.
When I’m doing about 2 paid jobs and 2-3 personal shoots a week, each job / shoot containing 200-1500 images, about 1-2 hours to go through each shoot, mark all ‘worthwhile’ images and delete all the crappy ones, another 2-3 hours to narrow the images to the best 5-20 images and then edit them … I end up getting A LOT of personal work left behind.
I have shoots I’ve done in 2007 (this is 2013 now) I haven’t even looked at yet.
The people I photograph often ask me what’s going on with the pictures. I get some people ending up sort of hating me, they stop talking to me. I get it. I wish things would be different. I wish I could edit everything faster.
Perhaps in the future my career as a fine art photographer will flourish and I will be able to just concentrate on these shoots instead of having other obligations (various commissions) I need to handle first.

I should emphasize again that ALL the pictures I take, as a part of my personal work especially, are pictures I take because I am passionate about them in one way or another. I intend to publish them in whatever platform I can. Even if it was 5 or 6 years ago, I plan to publish them at some point.

I don’t even know why I take pictures. It just feels right. I’m very intuitive, I don’t ask questions – when my gut feeling tells me “YOU MUST PHOTOGRAPH THIS PERSON” – I obey.
It’s an obsession. A disease. It’s my fetish and I’m addicted to it. But I don’t ask questions. I do it. I find a way to get that person’s trust and pose for my camera. I just know it’s right. The picture has to be made, and one day, it will justify its existence, somehow.

I guess I’m not the only photographer with this problem, but I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time.
This post is written for anyone I’ve photographed before and yet to see the photos; I’d like to say I’m sorry. I REALLY am sorry.
I hope you understand.
Ben.

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Written by benhopper

March 10, 2013 at 2:48 am

Posted in News

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Ben Hopper’s Self Assigned; Exhibition Private View BHOSPUE#2

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What: BHOSPUE#2 = Ben Hopper Open Studio Pop Up Exhibition #2
This is the first event of perhaps a new tradition of open studio pop-up exhibitions I’ll be doing every now and then.
“Self Assigned” is a selection of recent personal photography work.
When: Thursday, 6 December 2012. 17:00 until 23:30
Where: Ben Hopper Studio. 92 White Post Ln, E9 5EN London, United Kingdom.

Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/346460672115303/

Update:
From now until exhibition night (22/11/2012) I’m offering SPECIAL 50% DISCOUNT on FINE ART LIMITED EDITION PRINTS on four sizes:

A3 (297x420mm) £50 (instead £95)
A2 (420x594mm) £90 (instead £180)
A1 (594x841mm) £170 (instead £345)
A0 (841x1189mm) £270 (instead £545)

Limited edition of 15, signed and numbered.
All C-type prints, printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Matt paper.

- Prior to exhibition you can order anything you find on my tumblr / fb / flickr or http://therealbenhopper.com/ (payments can be made by bank, PayPal, credit or debit cards)
If you order by this weekend your print will wait for you at the exhibition.
Anything ordered after this weekend can be picked up from my studio or sent by post.
– On exhibition night you can also buy the prints on display (lots of new, never published work) and pay with cash or debit/credit cards
– international shipping IS AVAILABLE

To purchase please email me at therealbenhopper@gmail.com

Do it, I’m tired of cleaning flats and washing old ladies feet for money

What you need to know:
- This is an open studio event, in my own studio. I’m pretty much letting you in my house. Please be respectful to me and to the other residents my building.
- I am the curator and the ‘gallery owner’ so I can do whatever the fuck I want to. Meaning; expect new unseen experimental non-commercial work.
- It’ll be both Private View and Exhibition so total duration is one evening.
- Everything must go on the night. I’m paying for this out of my own pocket and I’m doing it for 2 reasons – 1: It helps me to sort my latest work. 2: I want share it with YOU. Please help to make this an ongoing thing by buying prints! There’ll be various paper types and sizes starting from £5 – £25 – £50 …and above (if you’re brave enough).
- I’m checking the possibility of having live performances. TBC.
- If YOU have any ideas or questions please leave a comment below or email me: therealbenhopper@gmail.com

Previous BHOSPUEs:
#1 – 23 September 2012 during Hackney WickED Open Studios weekend

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Written by benhopper

October 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

The 10 commandments of Best and Worst Times to Share on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr

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I ran into this blog post on bit.ly which sums up ‘The Best and Worst Times to Share on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr’.
Being a social media geek, I narrowed it down to the following list (pls feel free to copy / print / paste on the wall next to your computer for future reference):

Twitter
YES 1-3pm Monday-Thursday
Peak 9am-3pm, Monday-Thursday
NO after 8pm
NO after 3pm on a Friday
NO weekends

Facebook
YES 1-4pm.
Peak Wednesday 3pm / mid-week, 1-3pm
(Traffic around 9am, wait until 11am)
Traffic fades after 4pm
NO after 8pm / before 8am
NO weekends

Tumblr
YES After 4pm
Peak Friday evening / between 7-10pm on Monday & Tuesday, with similar traffic on Sunday

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Written by benhopper

October 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Posted in News

Ben Hopper Studio @ Hackney WickED Open Studios. Special sale! Sunday only!

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<Event on Facebook>

As part of ‘Hackney WickED Open Studios’, for 4 hours ONLY (12-4pm) on Sunday, 23rd of September 2012, I will be opening my studio in Hackney Wick to the general public!

I’ll be displaying a large collection of exhibition left-overs ALL FOR SALE at bargain ‘everything-must-go’ prices! First-come, first-served basis.

A0 (120x85cm) black & white paper prints for £5-20, 30×20″ photo paper colour prints from only £20 and Fine Art limited edition prints (framed as well).
You HAVE to come! Only 4 hours!

My studio is on:
92 White Post Lane, E9 5EN
Building 3, 2nd floor, Unit J

Come! Bring pets, grannies, cash!

I will also have 4 prints displayed at The Stour Space in Hackney Wick as a part of their group exhibition ‘From The Shadows’ (http://stourspace.co.uk/)

Check out this wonderful event which is also happening on Fri & Sat!

(from Hackney WickED’s website):
Hackney Wick’s mystical buildings will once again throw open their doors for Hackney WickED Open Studios 2012.

Co-ordinating the Open Studios enables Hackney WickED to take people on a tour through this industrial labyrinth, revealing a veiled but thriving artistic community. A rare chance to see an enormous range of practice and to meet some of London’s leading contemporary artists. This event will highlight the intense diversity and sheer concentration of artists working in our square mile.

More info on:
HackneyWicked.co.uk
Hackney WickED Facebook Event

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Written by benhopper

September 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

TG Nightlife Preview at TORTURE GARDEN EXPOSED Exhibition

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Julien. Clubber during Halloween Ball at SE1 on October 30, 2010. #NTG J C 0006

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Written by benhopper

September 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

Introducing “Dancers on Rooftops”

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Introducing my new project “Dancers on Rooftops”.

Lucy Ridley. Hackney Wick. London, UK. August 2012.

This is a picture from my first photoshoot earlier this week with Lucy Ridley @ The People Pile.
(Hackney Wick. London, UK. August 2012)

I’ve started a photo gallery for the series on facebook. Please visit it here.

I am currently looking for more dancers (classical & contemporary) in London (UK) as well as rooftops we can access.
Please contact me if you know of either: therealbenhopper@gmail.com.
THANK YOU! Ben :)

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Written by benhopper

August 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm