Beautiful Billericay and Brentwood with Ben Hawkins

Essex is a treasure trove for photographers who know where to look, capturing everything from the busy lives to picturesque beaches that surrounds us. One local photographer, Ben Hawkins, has delved into the world of photography that our local area has to offer, and further afield, and we caught up with the talented individual to find out more about his work, his passion for photography and any advice he would pass on to budding photographers.

 

Originally from Cornwall, Ben Hawkins, who was short listed for Landscape Photographer of the Year award 2022, has always been creative, being very much into music and creating his own material before photography even came along. Ben moved down to Brentwood roughly a year ago for career purposes and hasn’t looked back since.

 

On his passion for photography, Ben explained how it all started seven years ago saying: “It all started because every time I travelled with a buddy, that lives here in Brentwood and is also from Cornwall, I would shoot from a mobile or a basic camera just for fun and that progressed from a friend I lived with in Bristol who was a portrait photographer and pointed out I had a good eye for it and should start to take it serious and learn, and upgrade my gear as I go along.

“I’m completely self-taught by watching tutorials on YouTube but I have to say, and this has always been my strongest point to say to others looking at getting into photography, do not concern yourself with the technicality of the camera at first. Get “outside” and shoot until your arm falls off and review every picture on a home computer to develop what creates a pleasing composition.

“You have to get out there, shoot on auto if you have to, the tech comes as you go along, the eye for what looks good and how to plan where you are going to shoot is paramount.

“Some of my best images had little or no processing power behind it, single exposure, no stacking, no dodge and burn, no blending. I’m not saying technicality is not a big part of it and post processing is going to advance you so much, but the hardest part of photography, by far, is pulling your ass out of bed at 4am to drive three hours to catch a sunrise over a well-planned location.”

 

 

Ben is open to all types of genres of photography, all helping hone his craft, but has a particular affinity to landscapes and that’s where his skill set and knowledge lay, developing his own style over time.

 

What makes Billericay and Brentwood such pleasant communities to be a part of in your own words?

“I’ve now spent a lot of time in Billericay and Brentwood, and work in Witham, and there is a good community spirit in all of their towns very much like my home town Lostwithiel in Cornwall. I very much like the idea Brentwood is going into new development ideas with the mall and the high street is always buzzing on the weekend.

“Since I’ve been here I’ve seen a few new businesses pop up from small coffee shops to bars. I think the open food markets in Brentwood on the weekend are fantastic and I’ve started to explore the towns outside this area, and it’s got a very quiet country life living atmosphere and everyone seems to be friendly and welcome you.”

 

To see more of Ben Hawkins’ work, visit his Facebook @benhawkinsphotography.

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