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The Blog

The daily, and somewhat random, musings of the FOLK editorial team. From the journeys, to the vlogs, to the behind-the-scenes-into-the-office moments of the team that brings FOLK to life. 

Morning Coffee

Ben Ashby







The morning came fast, we had photographed until dark the day before. We began in Seattle and worked out way towards the coast. Stops at Crescent Lake and Forks, and a very long hunt for props and supplies and coffee made our arrival to La Push, Washington very late. We pulled into town as the sun was setting on the horizon. We ran towards the driftwood and rocks to capture the most magical glowing orange light. As darkness swept across the ancient lands of the Native American tribe that lives in La Push we remembered we had yet to find a hotel for the night. 

Along the shore were rows of A Frame cottages. We assumed the red neon sign proclaiming No Vacancy was accurate, but we checked anyways. We were rewarded with the final cabin. No TV, no phone, no wifi, and no cell service were the price we'd have to pay for sunrise views of the Pacific. 

As the sun began to rise I pulled out my camera and began to snap images of Brandon as he prepared his morning coffee. I had already been along the shore for the first hints of the morning greys and pale blues, but by the time I returned a soft light had filled the tiny cabin...





At The Orchard

Ben Ashby


We met in Boston for a trip up to Ipswich to visit Russell Orchards. The temperature was still what felt like 140 degrees, so we didn't get to dress in festival autumn aesthetics, but we did manage to get more than enough sweet, crunchy, juicy apples to make the most wonderful pie with. 

If you're headed to Russell Orchards this harvest season, or any are a few of our best tips. 

1) Check the season and make sure the apples you're hunting for are in season. Nothing is worse than having to settle for apples you don't like.

2) Find out if the orchard is cash only. Russell is cash only for their you-picks. 

3) Do they allow you to roam to get the best photography moments. Russell allows for a good bit of roaming. Here in Kentucky we have an orchard that only allows picking. Skip those and go for the ones that provide all the Instagram shots you desire. 

4) What other activities do they offer. Russell has a petting area, pumpkins, tractor rides, and a delicious selection of apple cider donuts. 

5) Don't forget the apple cider. From cakes, to drinks, to everything in between. Apple cider is the under loved, but insanely versatile go to for the fall season. 


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Banff, Revisited

Ben Ashby

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It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we were in Banff.

Here are a few images from our trip. 




Gina + Ali + Lexington

Ben Ashby

Gina and I were in Lexington at the same time so we met up with her sister for a few photos in Gratz Park back at the beginning of July. These were shot with the Fuji X100F

Sunflower Fields Forever

Ben Ashby



Whenever I get a new camera to test and review I ask to shoot friends of mine. I thought I'd start sharing my shooting on the blog. This series I did in Beaver Dam back in July using the Fuji X100F. I especially like the Fuji because of its ability to shoot in low lighting and for its built in chromatic filter. It allows for very easy Lightroom editing.





The Folks | Thomas Seear-Budd

Ben Ashby


THE FOLKS 009 || @thomasseearbudd


1) How and when did you realize that photography was your passion? I developed a strong interest in photography while completing my degree in Architecture. Photography naturally made into into many of my projects during architecture school. I would often have to photograph urban spaces to superimpose my designs into. For my final year thesis I proposed an architectural intervention amongst a stand of burnt mountain ash tress in Australia. Photographing these beautiful 90m tall trees ravaged by fire and studying the regrowth occurring around their base became a critical part of my project and further spurred my interest in landscape based imagery. After I graduated university my growing interest in photography took me to the arctic for three months. In the north west of Greenland and central highlands of Iceland I documented the effects of climate change with a focus on the deteriorating ice sheets.


2) How has digital technology impacted your work both positively and negatively? During my travels to Iceland and Greenland in 2014, I was shooting exclusively on my 1980s Hasselblad medium format film camera at the time. It taught me a lot about composition, exposure, framing a shot and analysing a landscape when there’s no electrical technology to do that for you. It didn’t even have a battery. As I started to shoot more projects, the expense and slow process of developing and scanning film began to outweigh the benefits of this beautiful and incredibly rewarding process. Instead I took the compositional lessons and patience I had learnt with my Hasselblad and applied them when using my Canon. That way I was able to focus on the part I enjoyed most - taking the photos, and could be more experimental without worrying about the cost of film or whether the image had been exposed onto the film at all. 




3) When you think about your favorite work, what makes it stand out from the rest? I look to instil an element of wonder and aspects of the sublime in my work. These pieces are also often from tough journeys into unique landscapes so I find them really satisfying to look at. The abstract works I created of the Greenland Ice sheet stand out for me because they were incredibly tough to get. We had to travel all the way from New Zealand to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. We then drove a few hours to the edge of the ice sheet to camp there for three days before heading onto the ice for one night. It was insanely cold and isolated once on the ice sheet. The images I created really posses the mysterious, beautiful and very powerful nature of the ice sheet. 


4) If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue? As well as being a photographer, I also work in a creative architecture practice in Wellington, New Zealand where my eye for design is a key part of my work also. If photography wasn't a part of my life I would still work in architecture but most likely supplement it with another art form such as graphic design.


5) Has any one person or one location stood out amongst the rest when you think about your past work? Shooting the Greenland ice sheet will always be a stand out experience for me. However, Mueller Hut at Mt. Cook in the South Island of New Zealand also stands out. My last hike up there could not have been more perfect. The sun was out and the air perfectly still. We had the entire hut to ourselves surrounded by cracking glaciers with a direct view of Mt. Cook.





6) What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a new subject? Understanding what I really want to get out of the images is always a challenge. I struggle against photographing stunning landscapes for the sake of photographing them. I want my work to go beyond that. It needs to embody the experience of being in that place.


7) What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs? It depends on the work. The abstract works I created while in Greenland sought to reveal the dynamic, sublime and enigmatic qualities of the ice sheet, inviting the viewer to contemplate their own relationship with landscapes undergoing drastic change. My other travel orientated work seeks to inspire others to get out into these amazing landscapes. I want to hold the viewer’s attention, make them question the landscape in front of them and captivate them with the textures.




8) What gear, apps and technology do you use most to help you be successful? My camera, drone and Lightroom.


9) What essentials do you pack when traveling? My camera, a sleeping bag, thermals, and gloves. 


10) What motivates you to keep taking photographs of the world around you?  Being inspired by the work of others and seeing new locations or hikes that can take me into an environment I haven't experienced before. The feedback and collaborations I develop from fellow photographers on social media helps to fuel the fire as well.


11) What is something you wish you knew when you first started shooting? The best way to get better and be unique is to experiment. Don’t be afraid to try different shooting styles and definitely don’t be afraid to break any ‘rules’ of image making. 





12) If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself? If you work hard, good things will come. Just keep working, working, working. Trying new things with intensity is the key.


13) Favourite breakfast cereal? Weet-bix.


14) Favourite coffee shop? Customs in Wellington.


15) Favourite view? The 360-degree panorama view from Mueller Hut of the mountain peaks, glaciers, and rock faces. The view from my house in Wellington is also pretty great looking over the city and harbour framed by a beautiful Copper Beech tree.





16) First photo ever taken. I can’t remember the first photo I took but it would have been of my mother or father using a basic film camera. I remember being fascinated by these disposable film cameras as young child. When my family bought a computer it came with a webcam that could be used as a small travel camera. I vividly remember taking this to the zoo with a friend to photograph the Cheetah.


17) Road trips or flights? Flights, because they get me to really hard to get places. Unless I am in a Land Rover Defender then road trip hands down. 





18) Do you prefer the heat? Or the cold? Cold for sure.


19) Where are you based? Wellington, New Zealand


20) Give us one piece of advice. As cliche as it might sound, hard work really does pay off.


Camera: Canon 5D Mark III || Dream Camera: Phase One

The Folks | Liam Rimmington

Ben Ashby





How has digital technology impacted your work both positively and negatively? Digital technology has the incredible ability to connect people, the fact that I can push a few buttons on my phone and within seconds push content to thousands of people from all over the world is nothing short of amazing! This kind of interaction makes my work so much more rewarding than it would be in isolation. The biggest negative for me is simply time, the amount of time we dedicate to technology each day is mammoth, for me personally I sometimes need to remind myself that I don’t always need to fulfill the urge to pull out my phone every time I’m bored.

When you think about your favorite work, what makes it stand out from the rest? My favourite work is often not a ‘technically’ great photo, but rather one that evokes a feeling or emotion I can connect with at that moment in time.

How and when did you realize that photography was your passion? I began to realise my passion for photography when I first got a phone with a decent camera built in, I started taking photos more often and with more thoughtfulness, eventually that lead me to buy my first camera.





If you weren't a photographer what would you pursue? I would likely still be pursuing music, which was my biggest passion before taking up photography, I started playing guitar when I was 15 and was in bands for many years before my focus shifted to photography.

Has any one person or one location stood out amongst the rest when you think about your past work? It’s a classic/cliche but Iceland has to be the standout location, it doesn’t matter how many photos you see of the place, nothing quite prepares you for the sheer beauty and variety of the land of fire and ice.

What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a new subject? Understanding my connection to the subject, and their connection to the surrounding, figuring that out helps me to work out how I shoot to encapsulate that.





What message do you want people to receive when they look at your photographs? I want people to feel some of the emotion I experienced when capturing the shot, if they can get a sense of that moment from my perspective and share in that for the brief time they’re viewing, then I’ve achieved my intention.

What gear, apps, technology do you use most to help you be successful? My trusty Canon 5D Mark III is my camera of choice, along with a simple set up of 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 lenses. I also always carry a prism and some other light modifiers to play around with. Another big key to achieving the aesthetic in my images is the Tribe Red Leaf ELMT presets for Lightroom which are incredible.

What essentials do you pack when traveling? I always take my AirPods everywhere I go, I adore listening to Podcasts while traveling and my wide music collection is really important to have with me wherever I go.




What motivates you to keep taking photographs of the world around you? Just the wealth of beauty this world offers, from huge sweeping vistas to tiny details of a flower, there’s always something new to see and experience, and capturing that in photography lets you relive that over and over again.

What is something you wish you knew when you first started shooting? That although gear is important, having a simple set up and really knowing your equipment is far more important than constantly buying the latest and greatest.

If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself? Enjoy today, don’t worry about tomorrow.

Favorite breakfast cereal? Curiously Cinnamon.



Favorite coffee shop? Upshot Espresso in Sheffield.

Favorite view? The inside of a tropical greenhouse with sunlight streaming in.

First photo ever taken? I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing it was probably a flower, I’m pretty obsessed!

Road trips or flights? Flights, I find them exciting and there’s something magical about being transported to somewhere half way across the world so quickly.





Do you prefer the heat? Or the cold? Cold, I don’t deal well in heat.

Where are you based? Sheffield, UK.

Give us one piece of advice? Do the things that make you excited/content, don’t worry worry about what others think, only you can tell your story properly.


I’m currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mark III and my dream would be to upgrade to the 5D Mark IV.