Lake Reflection

Lake Reflection (Kodak Instamatic 100)

"Double Exposure" - Midlde Cathedral Rock

"Double Exposure" (Rollei B35)

Pavilion Dome

Pavilion Dome (Rollei B35)

Running The 4 Mile Trail

Running The 4 Mile Trail (Nikon FM)

Ben, Italy Pass Trail

Waiting for the Weather (Mamiya 7II)

Ben, Death Valley

Death Valley (Canham 5x7)

Ben DewellBen Dewell is a native and lifelong Californian whose formative years were forged and artistic sensibilities honed within the magnificent escarpments of the incomparable Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.  Exploring its farthest reaches by boot, rope, ski, and kayak, he has attained an appreciation and intimate knowledge of the power and breadth of natural light and form, second to none.  Self-taught as a classical landscape photographer, Ben is a master silver printer without peer – uniquely qualified to interpret the wildest places and to reveal the most transcendent moments of the untouched American West.

Ben began photography, Kodak Instamatic 100 camera in hand, as an eight year old wide-eyed incipient member of local Sierra Club outings.  Back then, savoring the scenery meant conserving precious limited frames of film and choosing a single best image to document the day’s various vertiginous exploits.  Since then, time and experience have concentrated Ben’s talents into a more studied approach upon the quieter, more serene aspects of light, best captured and interpreted with medium and large format film cameras.  It is no mere coincidence that Ben’s prints exhibit an undeniable atmospheric quality, as he holds an advanced degree in meteorology from the University of California, as well as a baccalaureate in biology from the California State University system.

Ben delights in the full tonal exploitation of the silver monochrome media, and the “simple dignity” of the glossy print, through which guile and subterfuge are impossible.  Only in this way can both the power and serenity of the landscape be artistically and faithfully interpreted in its purest illuminations.  Indeed, Ben’s commercial presence, Range of Light Photography, pays homage both to John Muir’s Sierra Nevada, and to the ultimate tonal scale of light expressed in Ben’s gelatin silver prints.

Ben maintains his own darkroom, a sacred space through which the hand of the artist interprets the indelible negative into the evanescence of what was seen and felt, “seeing plus” as Edward Weston has said, combining metollic alchemy, light and shadow to incise sentient form into the lasting permanence of the luminescent silver print.

In 2000 Ben began a more focused and contemplative study of his favorite places in the Sierra Nevada, ever seeking the finest light to commit to the permanent monochrome media.  This ongoing pursuit has led Ben to the production of a major show, “A Walk Through the Range of Light” consisting of over 60 gelatin silver prints ranging from intimate 11”X14” nonpareils to extravagant 30”X40” murals.  Ben’s current project, tentatively titled “Unbreached”, will focus his talents upon Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the only federal lands originally conceived and maintained as roadless wilderness.

The website is the digital calling card and image catalog where Ben keeps a worldwide presence since 2005.  Additionally, in 2010, Ben will inaugurate a photo blog (News) devoted to the silver image and the wilderness adventures (Further Adventures) through which they are derived.



















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