about photographer

Bennett Dewan

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It all started in May of 1937...

My Great Aunt Opal had left her farmhouse in rural North Dakota for the most extended trip she would ever take, an excursion through New York. Every block that she traveled through contained more people than her small town. In her excitement, she purchased a six-shot disposable Brownie Box camera. Her cousin foolishly wasted the first four exposures of their only roll of film trying to figure out how to work the first camera either one had ever owned. Inheriting only two images, from a camera she could barely afford after her trip expenses, Opal was able to capture the Hindenburg disaster and aftermath. I grew up looking at those images that were contained in a binder in my childhood home. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to take create an image that made me feel the way those pictures made me feel.

Every time I pick up a camera, I think about one thing, "if I only could only take two images, would I be able to produce something that would honor this photographic legacy?"

That chase makes me better. That pursuit means I will do everything in my power to produce the most memorable photographs possible, so that maybe, someday, I will make something worth striving for 80-years from now.

                                           ⏤  Bennett

 
 
 
Photo Jun 06, 6 33 48 PM.jpg

Photo 1

Just two frames. Each one taken while looking down at the viewfinder at a reversed image presented. Steadying her hand through the screams of "oh the humanity," she pressed the shutter the first time, and headed into the field.

 
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pHOTO 2

The crowd shifts and surges back and forth as the dirigible falls to the Earth, burning. The most educated recreation of the event estimates the crash took a total of just under 17 seconds from the beginning of the fire, to the crash landing. In the photo, some can be seen rushing towards the flames, while others away from it. The second and final image this camera would be the final photograph Opal ever took. A testament to the power of two simple motions, a push of a button, and a moment frozen forever.