Benjamin Lowy.


Benjamin Lowy (b 1979) received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. Since then he has covered major stories worldwide. In 2004 Lowy attended the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, he was named in Photo District News 30 and his images of Iraq were chosen by PDN as some of the most iconic of the 21st century. Benjamin’s work from Iraq, Darfur, and Afghanistan have been collected into several gallery and museum shows, his work has shown at the Tate Modern, SF MOMA, Houston Center for Photography, Invalides, and Arles. His work from Darfur appeared in the SAVE DARFUR media campaign.In 2011 Lowy’s Iraq | Perspecitves work was selected by William Eggleston to win the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. A book will be printed and out in stores this Fall.

Benjamin lives in New York City with his wife, photographer Marvi Lacar, their son Mateo, and two dogs.


FROM YOUR DESKS: You spend most of your time on the road. At home, how do you work?

BENJAMIN LOWY: I sit in front of my color calibrated screen and I edit. It’s a different mentality then being out shooting. A different discipline, When I’m shooting, I’m supposed to be out and wandering, always looking for the next image. At home, I have to glue my ass to the proverbial seat and work. In one place.

Sitting down is tough – especially after living on the edge, or traveling and shooting and moving constantly.

FYD: What prompted you to use an iPhone in Afghanistan to capture images?

BL: The iPhone is more discrete. I blend in more. At least as much as a 6’1 westerner can blend in. But I can make images more quickly, more easily and it has an added aesthetic “art” flavor to it. Something that really gels with my current way of working now is creating visual images that capture an audience based on the aesthetics first and then introduce the content.

FYD: What is the general attitude of the Afgan people towards you?

BL: Afghan people are great! I don’t got out of my way to look for the Taliban, but normal everyday people are the same everywhere – in Afghanistan or New York.

FYD: You keep returning to Iraq. Is it different every time or status quo (in terms of morale and war itself).

BL: I haven’t been back to Iraq since 2008, but it does change every time I’m there. Or is it me who has changed? Can never really tell.

Work needs to get done and I make sure I sit myself down after one or two days off and finish all my edits.

FYD: I can’t help but recall The Hurt Locker scene where Jeremy Renner’s character is at the grocery store staring at the aisles upon aisles of cereal.  Do you have a cereal aisle moment back in the states?

BL: Yup. Incidentally its at Whole Foods. I get so annoyed when I go there. It’s almost a ritual for me now. My wife and I go there when I get back from long assignments. Just so I can vent.

FYD: Is it hard to be patient and what tests you back in the States?

BL: People who push their way onto subway cars as I’m getting out, missing an exit on the highway, and people who walk too slow on the sidewalk. Maybe I have PTSD?

FYD: Do you still dream in colour?

BL: I don’t ever remember my dreams. But I assume they are in color.

FYD: When are you going back to the Middle East and whereabouts?

BL: I just got back from Afghanistan. That’s been my destination de jour for the last few trips.

I blend in more. At least as much as a 6’1 westerner can blend in.

FYD: How do you screw your head on after the Middle East and go shooting skinny models walk down a runway?

BL: I’m a child of the our schizophrenic generation/culture. I’m sure it will hit me in a few years. But for now, I just go with the flow and work out my feelings in a journal and in the gym.

FYD: Is sitting down at a desk tough? How do you work when you are home?

BL: Sitting down is tough – especially after living on the edge, or traveling and shooting and moving constantly. But work needs to get done and I make sure I sit myself down after one or two days off and finish all my edits.

Ben Lowy is in Libya NOW. Follow him on Twitter @benlowy and via his Tumblr vidi : [wē-dē] : I saw.

Lefthand photo, March 21.2011

“Small town near Egyptian/Libyan border where Anti-Gaddafi graffiti has been crossed out. Doesn’t feel safe.”

1 Comment For “Benjamin Lowy.”

  1. Judy Palaferro says:

    These are very nice. Your editing work is superb on top of taking wonderful photographs. I love the variety and your color is energizing and tasteful. Thank you.

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