A few of his pictures have shown up on our Facebook page over the last year. His Instagram page is absolutely ridiculous, riddled with great pictures of playing cards and Erdnase’s classic, “Expert at the Card Table.” From what those two things are sometimes paired with — brass knuckles, baseball bats, empty bottles of rum — the results are powerful and stark. Most of his pictures are black and white, but the few times he uses color, it’s subtle and restrained.
But where his images really get nuts are the works he does with shadows. A shot of a deck of Madison Rounders features a shadow of a raven. And his recent club-shaped shadow from a Black Artifice deck (pictured above) was madness.
Ben said he got interested in magic as a young boy, after seeing David Copperfield’s Grandpa’s Aces, and again eight years ago after discovering David Blaine. But photography is also a longtime love with family background, he said.
“I’ve been interested in photography since my parents bought me my first camera,” he said. “My mother worked for Kodak as a printer, so she gave me many black and white images every day.”
Those daily gifts inspired a deep love for monochromatic images, and he took a ton of pictures with that Lomo camera, by Lubitel. Many of his family pictures are also black and white. The color scheme best reflects his mood and what he tries to capture with each image, he said.
“My mood does all the work … I try to give a soul to decks, designs and many other things that make me think of what I can imagine, and what can come out from a deck of cards. Particularly shadows.”
Now he shoots with his iPhone and a Canon EOS 600D, which is French for “Rebel T3i.” His Instagram is worth the follow.
SUITABLE FOR FRAMING is a special feature on the Ellusionist blog that finds great images of playing cards, including our custom decks, and treats them like the works of art they are. Have you seen someone’s card work that we should feature? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with links to images, not actual images.