Allen C. Benson, Writer, Photographer, Librarian




Pittsburgh Staccato

Trained extensively in music, I have drawn many parallels between music and photography. For example, there are similarities between musical counterpoint and the relationships between elements in pictures; there are similarities between instrumentation and the defining characteristics of cameras. As a musician, I became accustomed to the rigors of practice and developing technique. Practice and technique are as fundamental to photography as they are to musical performance.

I began my studies in camera obscura while studying traditional black & white photography under Dylan Vitone at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. I experimented extensively with camera focal lengths, film planes, angles of view, and the pinholes themselves--aspects of photography that are as pervasive and variable as tonality and timbre in music.

Like a musician who composes a simple motif, then shapes it into a phrase, and finally a movement, I began with the architecture of Pittsburgh, exploring various interpretations, creating associations between light, shadow, proximity, and point of view. Over the next two years I developed a composite of related images, all made from subjects found in and around Pittsburgh. These pictures evolved into the series Pittsburgh Staccato.

--Allen C. Benson 

© 2008 Allen C. Benson. All Rights Reserved