photographer — teacher — translator

Photography snuck up on me at Carleton College while I was studying everything from Michel de Montaigne to Modernism, and it nearly derailed my academic pursuits in the most wonderful of ways. It's still trying. 

It gives me great joy to work in a traditional darkroom using 35mm and large format film with a focus on hand-processing, printmaking, and color toning to achieve an expressive print. The beauty and objecthood of photographs fascinate me. I try to have every photographic medium in which I work complement the message and image portrayed. 

When I work I photograph what I find, and to adapt a phrase from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, I try to respect every subject, living or still, and give each a defense against the lens. 

When not in a darkroom, you can find me in the classroom. Since 2010 I've taught courses in Comparative Literature, French, Communications, and Art departments on literature, cinema, and photography at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As an educator, my greatest goal is to provoke creativity and critical inquiry in my students in an imaginative, interdisciplinary, and enjoyable fashion.

My dissertation examines the influence of photographic and cinematographic technology on international Pictorialism and French New Wave filmmaking. When I get the chance I switch hats and translate 19th and 20th century literature and poetry from French and Spanish.

My photographic work is shown in Texas, Minnesota, Vermont, and Massachusetts where my wife Megan and I live.

If you love the smell of photographic chemistry in the morning, if you want to collaborate on a panel or project together, or if you want to discuss anything photographic from Daguerre to Kodachrome, feel free to drop me a line at:

selected work & awards

2017 PhotoPlace Gallery Juror's Prize Winner: Handmade & Alternative Processes

2016 FACE Foundation Tournées Film Festival Grant

2015 Exhibit Archivist & Curator, "Yankee Yarns: The Photographs of New England Journalist Alton Hall Blackington, 1920-1939"

2015 Short Film: “Lichtstark” (8:27), 35mm/digital video
Historic Northampton: Fast Forward Film Series

2014 W. E. B. Du Bois Library Special Collections Digital Humanities Fellowship

2013 Translation: six poems and photographs by Isabel Cadenas Cañón
Palabras Errantes en Nueva York Online Journal of Latin American Literature in Translation

2012 Graduate Editor, mOthertongue: Comparative Literature Multilingual Journal of the Arts

2010 Carleton College Voice Interview on Photography

2009 Laurence McKinley Gould Library Photographic Exhibit
Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems: A New Illustrated Anthology

All images ©2007-2017 David Bendiksen
p: 979.595.6587