One of Durham Photographic Society’s most highly respected members, Jim Bennett, has died. Jim, in his 80s, was a highly skilled black and white worker whose impressive quality prints were an inspiration to all his photographic friends.
Jim joined DPS in 1980 and became society president in 1998 and 1999. He was well known for his superb prints, mostly landscapes, throughout the Northern Counties Photographic Federation and was a past winner in the prestigious South Shields international print salon which for many years attracted world-wide entries.
With Durham colleagues Don Bennet (no relation), Mavis Ord and the late Brian Wilcoxson, he gave lectures to other NCPF camera clubs over a number of years on their special interest in infra red photography.
His photographic friend for around 40 years, Mavis Ord said: ‘He had amazing talent with black and white print photography. The quality of his images was most impressive.’
Scots-born Jim’s expertise was not confined to photography. He began his working life in the Clydeside ship yards and later became a sea going engineer. His engineering skills were put to excellent use in later years when as a volunteer at Beamish Museum he helped restore historic items and he built impressive working model steam locomotives which ran at Beamish and on tracks at Chester-le Street on certain occasions. He lived not far from both these locations in Co. Durham.
To his many photographic colleagues one of his most impressive achievements was building from scratch a Victorian style half plate camera complete with fine woods and brass fittings. And it worked superbly well .
Jim produced some of his finest landscapes with this heavy piece of kit which he carried out on location uphill and down dale just as his intrepid forebears did generations earlier.
Jim was predeceased by his wife several years ago.
David Trout LRPS