53mm Featured by Iain Palmer

Benjamin Nwaneampeh is a freelance photographer from London in the UK.

Ben has shared some of the best street portraits posts I have seen on our _53mm_ Instagram feed. He has a great photographic gift of presenting to us the knowledgable yet intimate relationship he sparks with his subjects. Celebrating them, extolling them. One gets the impression that, like all great portrait photographers, much in the way of conversation and mutual respect is achieved way before his shutter button is depressed, subsequently releasing a relaxed atmosphere establishing the perfect conditions to capture the very best moment enveloping them both. 

His love for people is so evident in his fabulous Instagram catalogue, as is his pictorial manifestations of his dictum, 'Tell stories, make art' where each visual recording is eager to make the viewer aware of a unique narrative about each and every subject. Ben's extensive and adept skill in this genre of photography is infectious and one is easily roused by his passion and those sharing his love of this ilk would be well advised to train their eye and practise through an attentive and devoted scrutiny of his many inspirational shots.

Not only does Ben use the 53mm FOV well and have a great understanding of it to compose and frame his shots superbly, but the other visual elements that make his photographs so note-worthy are equally well represented and mastered too.

Colours are vibrant and so promotional of the palettes that adorn the streets of London in their many fashionable guises. 

Contrast celebrates the skin tones of the various ethnicities he likes to photograph, containing all of the visual nuances differentiating one from the other. This is particularly true of his monochrome images, where each bestows adequate textural information to intensify the look and feel of each shot.

Available light is used to it's fullest to carve the artistry Ben employs to galvanise the potent aesthetics in his photography. A beautiful mix of shadow and brightness exists in a manner that bares a signature to his work, making his instantly recognisable from all others.

My favourite shot of Ben's carries a stunning example of the final attributes I associate to his work, that of character and charm.

The essence of the XF35mm f/2 lens, that Ben uses with his flagship X-Pro2, helps to celebrate the attractiveness, the appeal and the spell cast by this environmental portrait. Compositionally, it is truely inspired and the application of the monochromatic palette, outstanding. It oozes style and grace and each and every element works for the magnetism that its character and charm affords it; from the beautifully, bokehed background canvas to the foreground, with the elegant twist of the subjects head and captivating features teasing into view from under that gorgeous hat.

But these qualities are true of all his photographs.

I couldn't be happier to introduce Ben as our 53mm Featured photographer this month and when asked to comment on his work with the 53mm FOV, this is what he said:

I'm a portrait, lifestyle and documentary photographer. I started photography with Nikon and then moved to Fujifilm because of size. I currently shoot with the XPro2 and the XT-1 with a good variety of Fuji lenses i.e. 16mm f/1.4, 23mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2 and the 56mm f/1.2.
This year, my photography has mainly been focused on people (portraits, lifestyle and fashion). I tend to shoot with natural/available light and I believe the Fujifilm cameras and lenses have been more than sufficient.
My 35mm f/2 is most of the time glued to my XPro2. The fact that the lens is small, quiet and focuses quickly enables me to be more creative with my shots. I love the 50mm focal length, the size makes it a no-brainer when I just want to carry one lens.
My other favourite focal length is 35mm. I've heard that the new 23mm f/2 is quite similar to the 35mm f/2 in terms of focus and size. I'll definitely have to try it out.
I tend to focus on two main things in my photography, telling stories and making art (#tellstoriesmakeart). This has become my photography tagline.