P&P Blogger Profile: Ben Willmore

Ben Willmore of Where is Ben?

I’ve been teaching Photoshop fulltime since 1994 and was one of the first dozen people inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. I’ve always been passionate about everything that is visual (graphic design, photography, art, architecture, life experiences, etc.). I’m the author of three Photoshop books and I’m currently touring the country via motor coach… you can follow my adventures at www.WhereIsBen.com

Why do you blog?
I mainly started my blog to share what I’m doing while traveling around the country in a motor coach. I knew that many people would be wondering about where I’m going, what I’m shooting and what it’s like to live a mobile lifestyle.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, which ones would they be?
http://www.engadget.com/
http://www.gizmodo.com/
http://www.tuaw.com/

How long have you been using Photoshop/been a photographer?
I’ve used Photoshop since before it was released by Adobe. I can’t remember when I wasn’t into visual stuff… I owned my first camera sometime in grade school and owned my first serious 35mm camera in high school and a 4×5 in college.

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon 5D and have the following lenses:
17-40mm
24-105mm
100-400mm
100mm Macro
Lens Baby 3G

Mac or PC?
I’ve owned a Mac since they were introduced in 1984 and also own a tablet PC, but will be getting rid of it once I upgrade to a MacBook Pro after MacWorld.

What is your favorite piece of photo or computer equipment (other than your camera)?
My belt-based camera “bag” from Think Tank Photo. I have access to all my lenses and can switch them so fast that it’s amazing. (more info on my blog at www.whereisben.com)

What piece of equipment would you most like to get but don’t have?
A 600mm lens hooked to a cropped frame sensor SLR with a 1.4x extender on a Wimberley head and a massive tripod. I just finished spending a week shooting at Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico and I sure would have liked to have a longer lens.

What advice do you have for a novice creative professional/photographer?
Try to learn from every shoot you go on. If you’re somewhere for more than one day, don’t just shoot, transfer your shots to the computer and clean your sensor. Open and process your images while taking notes as to what worked, what didn’t and create a plan for the next day. If you stop learning every day then, either you’ve stopped paying attention, or you are no longer a novice.

What inspires you to create?
The desire to experience as much beauty as my senses can endure and the desire to learn how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary through the development of my creative vision.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
I believe this quote from Roy Williams captures what I think:

“If you don’t start paying attention, you’re going to wind up where you’re headed.

Is there something special in this life that you hope to do”someday”? How much of it can be done today, this very day, before you go to bed?

In our youth, we have dreams and schemes and bright eye-gleams. And then one day we wake up, realize that whole decades have escaped us, one day at a time, and we’re no closer to our dreams than when we began. Badda-bing, badda-boom. Midlife crisis.

Action is the solitary ingredient that separates planning from delusion.

One thing leads to another. What “one thing” are you going to do today that will bring you closer to what you want to do tomorrow? It doesn’t matter how small the thing is. What does matter is that you DO IT TODAY. And then do another little thing tomorrow.

Don’t allow the merely urgent to displace the truly important. Steal back a little of your life each day for living.

Free the Beagle.”
-Roy H. Williams

Many people seem to have more dreams than goals and I don’t see them moving closer to a better life, which is a shame.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you live now)?
I live exactly where I want to… on the road exploring America. I would like to explore the rest of the world as well, but I don’t have a specific place I’d like to call home. Whenever I decide to stop living on a motor coach, I’d consider moving onto a motor yacht so I can explore more of the world.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Explore America (and much less frequently the rest of the world), photograph interesting places, visit good friends and learn new things (I read a lot).

What talent would you most like to have?
To be able to be fluent in Spanish, German, Japanese and French amongst other languages.

From Inside the Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word? Intelligence
What is your least favorite word? Ignorance
What turns you on? Outercourse
What turns you off? Closed minded people who won’t shut up. I wouldn’t mind talking with them if they were at all open to changing their opinions. But it becomes a complete monologue instead of a dialog when all they do is spout their opinions without any interest in understanding the views of the person they are speaking with.
What sound or noise do you love? The sounds of nature (wind, rain, the surf, etc.)
What sound or noise do you hate? Domesticated dogs barking on an otherwise quiet night.
What is your favorite curse word? I don’t have a favorite; it all depends on the situation. I tend to reserve curse words for when they will have their greatest impact. I find that using them on a daily basis waters them down so much that the person using them sounds less intelligent.
What occupation other than your own would you like to attempt? Inventor
What occupation would you not want to participate in? Politician
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Thanks for never trying to speak for me and for living your own life instead of experiencing it through the experiences and ideals of others.

*Note: If you would like to participate in the P&P Blogger Profile series, please email Jason with your blog’s URL and he will send you a profile to fill out. Also, be sure to check out the P&P Weekly every Monday for news about this site and a roundup of what other Photoshop & Photography Blogroll members are posting.
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