Four Fires : Joshua Tree

One of my main goals for this year is to put more meaning and more of myself into my work. I’ve spent the last year or so in a rut (on and off) and feeling uninspired by my work. I’ve been looking toward the visual side of things and trying to figure out what I needed to change to start creating work I was proud of again but when I started to think about what inspired me, I realized that it wasn’t the surface level that needed to change. When I find inspiration in music, it isn’t the sound that inspires me, it’s the depth and meaning in the lyrics. When a movie inspires me, it’s not the visuals that get to me, it’s the ideas behind it.

The reason I’ve felt stuck in a rut for the past year is because I’ve been imagining myself as a boat that could only steer left or right. Well it turns out that neither direction made a difference because I was still on the surface, I just needed to go deeper instead. Well here’s something I’m proud of. Visually similar but with more thought behind it.

Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso

For those of you interested (judging by the questions I usually get, a lot of you are),  I shot all of these with the 5D III + 50L in all natural light (no reflectors or diffusers). During the day time shots I had Jenna in the shade of large boulders with the sun behind her and the boulders (creating that soft, even light). During the night shots at the end I had her out in the open facing the sunset (the sun was already below the horizon), to give some luminous light on her face (allowing me to keep some of the color in the sky behind her). Yay, easy lighting!

There also a few bokeh panoramas mixed in here (you can tell by the funky crop ratio), including the one above. These are shots compiled of 15 ish different images which allows you to shoot much closer and still get a wider shot. That means you can have a wide shot with extremely shallow depth of field (which is impossible otherwise). There may be a tutorial coming on this at some point!

Okay, enough rambling. Enjoy!

Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso Joshua Tree Editorial Photo Shoot / Jenna Mahr / Ben Sasso

  1. Reply

    that fire! all so good!

  2. Reply

    HOLY SMOKES. (PUN INTENDED)

    aND “YES, PLEASE” TO THAT TUTORIAL!!!

  3. Reply

    Really great work!

  4. Reply

    This images are awesome! love it!

  5. Reply

    SERIOUSLY incredible work! I am always fascinated with your clean and bright edits.

  6. Reply

    Im always blown away by your imaGes, but let me Tell you, i Love that you have found inspiration again! ThEse are a beautiful series of images. Stunning model, beautiful stYlizing, and of course your amazing talent captured it all! Your work is truly inspirational!

  7. Reply

    How Do you make her skin look that flawless?! What do you use to edit That or what tool do you use?

    • Thanks Jenna! Great skin always starts with great light. Soft light tends to be extremely flattering since it cuts down on any harsh skin texture. In the retouching process I use a technique called Frequency Separation that allows you to alter the tones/texture on their own. It’s more involved but it’s a great process for what I need!

  8. Reply

    Do you use the 1.4 or the 1.2 Ben? These are lovely aNd as you say, similar but different. I love the style and the softness you made. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and processes.

  9. Reply

    These are stunning love how wide open it is

  10. Reply

    Hey, lovely work as always, Im simply in love with the tones and atmosphere in those pictures. I cant understand how the background is so blury? In some images your model looks so like the doll almost cartoon or drawing, if you know what I mean 🙂
    Im wondering how you’ve achieve this effect?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks, Egle! Those images are called Bokeh Panoramics and I talked about them briefly in the text of this post. You can google how do do them, and I’ll likely be doing a tutorial on them at some point!

  11. Reply

    these are breathtaking. what talent! thank you for sharing.

  12. Reply

    Ah, these are fantastic! Would love to see that tutorial. Love the edits on these.

  13. Reply

    Love it! Great work dude

  14. Reply

    Wonderful, beautiful, inspiring work!

  15. Reply

    very interesting concept, I especially love the fire shots and your use of brenizer

  16. Reply

    most excellent use of the brenizer methods

  17. Reply

    This is incredibly powerful on so many levels. Beautiful work, Ben. Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

  18. Reply

    LOOOVE, just in time for game-of-thrones- too 😉

  19. Reply

    Ben, it’s truly crazy how talented you are. Just so obsessed with your work! This shoot is incredible!

  20. Reply

    Gotta say, this my favorite from what youve done. Its just perfect.

  21. Reply

    my most favourite shoot ever. i wish i could live in this world.

  22. Reply

    loooooove this entire series! ever single thing about it.

  23. Reply

    Absolutely stunning!!!!

  24. Reply

    Epic! You never fail to DISAPPOINT. Loved it!

  25. Reply

    {awe} InspiRing

  26. Reply

    Everything about this shoot is amazing !!

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