At age 17, Benjamin took a hike that changed the trajectory of the rest of his life. His father dropped him off at one end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and picked him up 11 days later on the opposite side. The extraordinary encounters of that single trip sparked an enduring passion for nature and an intense desire to share the natural world with others. Compelled by these forces, he worked to become a photographic artist. Though his initial efforts were disappointing, he pressed on. He returned to the wilderness again and again to practice, experiment, and hone his skills. Since then, he has achieved national and international recognition for his work. Benjamin remains personally and artistically grounded in the Southern Appalachians. Conceived in the Smoky Mountains, his artistic vision has grown to encompass the exquisiteness of nature everywhere.
“My world travels have done nothing but further my appreciation for my Appalachian roots. The ecosystem that includes the Great Smoky Mountains and the mountains of the Blue Ridge is one of the most spectacular wild places on the planet. Part of the beauty of this region lies in its depth and diversity. The sheer number of species, the dramatic change in seasons, the elusive wildlife, and the Appalachian landscape combine to create a place that will challenge the casual observer and deeply reward the persistent explorer.”