Pen Densham - Photographer

tl_files/images/schoos-art/Pen Densham_2 (2).JPGPen Densham is a remarkable photographer who is also an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director with an extensive track-record in film and television.  His love of the camera began in his native England where is father was a cameraman who recruited Pen at four years of age to ride an alligator in a theatrical short.  He became a photographer at 15, taking photos of the Rolling Stones and selling images to various periodicals.  An article in a national photo magazine titled “Go Shoot Yourself” included images of Densham himself reflected in mirrored surfaces.  The inclusion of water, transparency and reflection have continued to be consistent themes in his work.

Densham emigrated to Canada at 19 and founded the company that became the Trilogy Entertainment Group with his current business partner, John Watson -- Pen would film and John edited.  They have won over 60 international awards including two Oscar nominations.  With the encouragement of Norman Jewison, Densham eventually came to Hollywood where he has written, produced and/or directed major films and TV shows like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Backdraft, Blown Away, Moll Flanders, The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.  All the while, Densham has continued taking pictures, gradually developing a unique style of etherial images in contrast to his previous "hard forms" of landscape photography. 

Speaking of his photographic journey, Densham says, 

"I was raised loving photography; my mother and father made short theatrical films. Cameras seemed like magician’s instruments. I yearned to cast spells with them. To enchant. I struggled to capture images that made one’s eye dance. 

As I grew and studied the medium, I immersed myself in doctrines. The correct way to photograph. I created tens of thousands of images - but few seemed special, liberated, organically valuable.  A box of invisible rules had trapped me. Losing inspiration, I abandoned image-making and invested in a life as a filmmaker. 

It was only on seeing my teenage daughter Victoria’s photographs that I grasped her self-realized, untrained image-making had a poetic unpredictability and innocent emotional power. Inspired, I started a new journey. I had heard of the legend of the Chinese Koi, trying to transform themselves by leaping up the waterfall called the Dragon Gate. I am trying to swim beyond my pool of orthodoxy, often painfully catching myself on the sharp rocks of doubt.  I am still learning to follow intuition, to use the camera like a brush, not a gun. I have been  especially encouraged to keep on this journey of visual emancipation by two artistic spirits, Thomas Schoos and Yann Perreau.

It is a pleasure to share a selection of my discovered nature visions."

Please see the Densham Gallery for more information on Pen's current work.