Alister Benn: Photographer of Light

Alister Ben

Alister Ben


Remember your childhood imagination creating magical worlds, what you pictured heaven to look like, and the delightful places you dreamt of when you slept. Remember when you stopped believing in these dreamlike scenes and then look at Alister Benn’s photographs. You will surely question why you ever stopped believing in these places.


Alister Benn, professional photographer since 2003, has an incredible ability to produce the most indescribably beautiful photographs. Known as a photographer of night scenes and light, he grew up in Scotland with a keen sense of adventure, spending many nights under the stars where he developed passions that would never escape him.


Though it is hard to imagine, Benn has not been a photographer his entire life. At university, he studied astronomy and astrophysics, inspired by his childhood star gazing, and later went on to pursue a career in International Finance, which lead him to South East Asia and China. In China, Benn met his wife Juanli and they inspired each other to begin photographing while traveling in the Malaysian rain-forests. In 2009, the couple settled in the Chinese province of Yunnan, founded their project Available Light Images, and became quite serious about photography. After a few years, the couple needed a change, sold their belongings, and moved to Asturias in Spain where they could capture images of the beautiful juxtaposition of rugged coast and mountains.


An outstanding night escape shot by Alister Benn. For details read our technical interview with Alister Benn.

An outstanding night escape shot by Alister Benn. For details read our technical interview with Alister Benn.

Entirely self taught, Alister Benn became professional by 2003 due to research, inspiration from other photographers, and practice, practice, practice. He now produces incredibly unique photographs of the sea, mountains, wildlife, and night time images that he captures with a variety of techniques that will be explained in detail in a future technique article. Benn uses a NikonD3x as he feels it is superb at capturing detail along with AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lenses for night time photography. His post processing is all done in Lightroom 3 as well as Adobe PhotoShop CS5.


With exciting goals of producing future eBooks to guide new photographers, of potentially doing night time wildlife photography, and of moving to Thailand, Benn has no plans of slowing down his career. His images inspire the viewer to remember a world they could only imagine as children to realize that world does, in fact, exist. Benn’s photographs are truly something entirely unique and compositionally exquisite.


Keep an eye out for future gear, technique, and interview articles about Alister Benn.


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