Q&A: Ben Huff — Atomic Island (FW:Books)


  1. Q. Have you recently been living by any life philosophy?
  2. A. I don’t know if it’s a philosophy, necessarily, but I’m working to be more aware of my intuition.
    Q. What will baffle future generations about our day and age?
  3. A. Trump and how half the country has responded to covid.
    Q. Are you aware of any conspiracies?
  4. A. I don’t subscribe
    Q. What is it that interests you about photography?
  5. A. The tension between perceived fact and fiction. And, the unexpected turns that my own work is taking.
  6. Q. What is the worst thing about city life?
  7. A. In most cities; bad planning
  8. Q. What part of the planet would you like to explore?
  9. A. Sounds unambitious and simpleminded maybe, but there are dozens of places here in Alaska that I want to see before I spend time and money going somewhere else.
    Q. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural?
  10. A. I want to believe in ghosts, but I’ve seen no personal evidence.
  11. Q. Pick a field of science to be an expert within.
  12. A. Marine Biology
  13. Q. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t?
  14. A. I’m too anxious to run down that rabbit hole
    Q. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side.
  15. A. Someone’s personal gardener
    Q. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen.
  16. A. I’m hesitant to call any photograph important, but there are several that have helped me see the world differently.
    Q. How often do you take other people’s advice?
  17. A. In normal life, Not often enough. In photography, probably too much.
    Q. Describe a personal hell.
  18. A. A crowd of people on a hot day
    Q. Which living person do you most admire?
  19. A. My wife, Deanna
    Q. On what occasion do you lie?
  20. A. If it’s victimless and can save another person from being uncomfortable
  21. Q. What was the last crime you witnessed?
  22. A. The current push by the Right to restrict access to voting
  23. Q. What is the best way to educate yourself?
  24. A. Read and listen
    Q. What is the next book you want to read?
  25. A. I recently bought a copy of Roni Horn’s Island Zombie that I haven’t had a chance to sit with yet.
    Q. Ultimate camera?
  26. A. My Toyo 4×5 Field camera with a Schneider 210.
  27. Q. Most used camera? iphone
  28. A. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s?
  29. A. A good idea that never lived up to its potential
    Q. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength?
  30. A. I’ll be 49 in a few months, and I feel as good as I ever have. So, yes.
  31. Q. Describe a cheap thrill.
  32. A. A good fast trail run with my dog, Tesla.
  33. Q. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to.
  34. A. It takes me a long time to see things. I’ll leave it to the journalists.
    Q. Are impulses more important than consequences?
  35. A. Depends on the consequence
    Q. Which talent would you most like to have?
  36. A. I’d love to have learned a musical instrument when I was younger.
  37. Q. What is your plan for the next 24 hours?
  38. A. Up early to fish Coho in the morning low tide swing, then to the studio to do some printing for an upcoming exhibition, short run with Tes in the evening, dinner with Dea, and get to that Horn book before bed.


Ben Huff is a photographer living in Juneau, Alaska. His forthcoming book Atomic Island, published by Fw:books is available for pre-order — www.huffphoto.com
2014 – 2019 — Atomic Island is a portrait of the abandoned WWII and Cold War Naval outpost on the Aleutian island of Adak. Archival and contemporary pictures weave together a complex story of our westernmost front against communism, and the people who live among the remnants of our past military ambitions.