Hi! I’m Ben Tilden and I’m a designer, photographer and web developer. I also love to cook. I’ve lived in Seattle, Washington, for most of my life, but my love of photography has taken me all over North America and parts of Europe, the Middle East, Hawaii, New Zealand, Japan and China.
Probably my favorite thing is exploring and seeking out new places, whether it’s a corner of my own city or some place thousands of miles from home.
Web and Design
I’ve worked on websites professionally since 1997, and started working in print design in 2005. I have worked on a wide range of projects, from slide decks to magazines to billboards. In general, I try to apply the philosophy of Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style’ in my visual design, striving to communicate as much important information as possible in the cleanest and most efficient way.
I’ve been taking photos since childhood, and for me, photography never gets old. My current camera is a Fuji X‑T5, but I have also used the X‑T2 and several iPhones in the past, and before that a six megapixel Pentax DSLR, and waaay back at the start, it was a 35mm Yashika T4 (thanks to the strong endorsement of Philip Greenspun’s website in the mid 1990s).
Most of the photos you will see on my website are landscape, travel, and street photos, but I also occasionally photograph people at events, taking a documentary approach.
I don’t think anything else makes me quite as happy as the feeling of exploring a new place, whether it’s an overnight road trip or a month-long stay somewhere on the other side of the world.
Like many people, my mom gave me cooking lessons as early as 7 or 8 years old. We started with scrambled eggs and worked our way up to the French dessert floating islands. In those days, I loved customizing pancakes by adding a pinch of allspice and cinnamon and creating special blend Kool-aide fruit punch concoctions by adding 7‑Up, a few drops of lemon juice, or whatever I could find around. I felt like a mad scientist, and food was fun.
I found a renewed interest in cooking in my mid-thirties. It struck me that being able to put real food on your table was an important and very adult skill to have. But it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that, for the first time, I started cooking virtually all my own meals, day in and day out. Making my own food this way catapulted me pretty dramatically forward in my knowledge of food and skill in preparing it. And this process of learning, experimenting and practicing gave me a way to experience those months of lockdown as a time of growth rather than stagnation.
The incredible thing about food is that you’re never done learning — there’s always a new cuisine, ingredient, technique to learn. And the reward for your effort is tangible and immediate: food.