Pen Densham

Oscar Nominated Filmmaker, Author & Art Photographer

 

Pen 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. 

 
 

 
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The Densham Gallery

Click to enlarge:

 

Emergence as an author

Densham became a published author with his book about screenplay writing and selling creativity in Hollywood, Riding The Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing (And Not Getting Eaten), published by Michael Wiese Books in January 2011.  The title comes from the cover photo of Densham at the age of four astride a live seven-foot alligator in one of his parents' theatrical short films. Written with the goal of supporting emerging creative people finding their own voice and path through the Hollywood industry as well as artistic endeavors in general, the book includes supportive essays by professional screenwriters Shane Black, Nia Vardalos, Danny McBride, Andrea Berloff, Eric Roth, John Watson, Robin Swicord, Todd Robinson, Alan McElroy, Anthony Peckham, Ron Shelton and Laeta Kalogridis.

The book received positive reviews from Academy Award-winning writer-director-producers like Paul Haggis and Ron Howard, as well as actors like Jeff Bridges, Morgan Freeman, Robin Wright and Emile Hirsch.

 
 

FOR RESERVATIONS OR INFORMATION:

Gallery is open and appointments are available after hours. Please call 323-822-2800.


 

 

A word from the artist...

I approach photographic subjects that magnetize me as sensory explorations, allowing my unconscious to guide me: a Hawaiian stream, a Red Maple tree in Napa, reflections in Toronto Harbor, and especially, koi in ponds in California. I often shoot wildly against the rules — way over-exposing, hand-holding long shutter speeds, flying the camera -- pushing beyond the conventional to the emotions and sensations of nature. 

I am evolving my aesthetics, almost using the camera as a paint brush.  All my individual photographs are single, full-frame exposures, totally un-cropped. They are all captured using RAW, the most complete image that the camera can record.  I sharpen, saturate, or adjust hues and contrast, to sculpt and discover what is in the frame. Nothing is cropped away or added by Photoshopping.  I am the human algorithm that judges my discoveries.  I embrace their imperfections as well as their harmonies.  My pictures speak to me without words — when I choke up with emotion, I know I have found myself in that single image.

But, recently something new has excited me - combining images, like mirrored reflections or in sequences. These formations create vibrations and harmonies between the photographs as well as inside them.  This collection includes some of my unrefined “proof of concept” sequenced images.  It is a pleasure to share my adventure in process.

- Pen