Benjamin Perlin

Dedicated Volunteer and Rising  Photographer

Active community volunteer Benjamin Perlin has donated his time to Second Harvest Food Bank and the Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Murfreesboro, where he helps residents pass the time by listening to their stories and playing a range of board and card games with them. Benjamin Perlin also works at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Nashville, where he sorts donations and provides customer support.

When not volunteering, Benjamin Perlin pursues a passion for photography, applying his skills in that domain to the development of a photography business. Preferring film photography to digital formats, he spends significant time in the darkroom perfecting his photo processing technique.

With an interest in robotics, Mr. Perlin has also maintained membership with the Middle Tennessee Robotics Club for about eight years. A talented engineer, he has helped design electronics for an SAE racecar as a member of SAE International. In his spare time, he enjoys reading Kurt Vonnegut novels and practicing the bass guitar.

Cyanotype - Unique Blue Images through a Traditional Darkroom Process

A photography enthusiast, Benjamin Perlin uses mechanical film cameras to capture fleeting, indelible images. A large part of Benjamin Perlin’s craft involves darkroom photo processing techniques, including the cyanotype technique he used to create a unique blueprint of the Golden Gate Bridge that he submitted for the Congressional Art Competition.


British astronomer Sir John Herschel invented cyanotype, a classic monochrome photographic printing process, at the birth of the photographic era in the 1840s. The scientist Anna Atkins created several limited edition volumes showcasing plant life that popularized the resulting prints.

The modern cyanotype involves a combination of the simple solutions ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, which are mixed separately with water before being blended and used to coat absorbent materials such as textiles or paper.

The negatives (or objects such as ferns) are placed on top of the material, and UV light, including sunlight, is used to develop the prints. Once exposure has occurred, the material is rinsed with water and a white image on a cyan-blue background emerges.

Ben Perlin has experience with sabatiering or solarizing prints and has used this technique in a number of photographic works.

The Legacy of Kilgore Trout - Vonnegut's Enigmatic Recurring Character

Photographer Benjamin “Ben” Perlin hails from Nashville, Tennessee, where he is active in community and volunteer affairs. Alongside his interests in photography and community service, Benjamin Perlin is an avid reader. He particularly enjoys the works of novelist Kurt Vonnegut.

Many of Kurt Vonnegut's readers will recognize the name Kilgore Trout from the widely read novel Slaughterhouse Five. An antisocial, failed, science fiction writer, he becomes friendly with protagonist Billy Pilgrim. His unconventional ideas about time and space speak to Billy, who finds that Trout's wild stories closely match his own experiences with the Tralfamadorian aliens.

Kilgore Trout appears in many more of Vonnegut's works, always a science fiction writer in some capacity, and very possibly a stand-in for Vonnegut himself. Vonnegut once wrote that Trout is the “lonesome and unappreciated writer” he expected to become.

Trout played a leading role in Timequake, the nearest Vonnegut came to writing an autobiography. In God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Trout reprises the role of unknown writer, while the unusual title character Eliot Rosewater is his only fan. Trout also appears briefly in Jailbird, where it is revealed that Trout is a pen name for a man convicted of treason. While Trout does not appear in Galapagos, the entire book is narrated by the ghost of his son Leon.

The Who to Make New Music

Benjamin Perlin is a Nashville-based photographer who does volunteer work at the Tennessee State Veterans' Homes. Aside from his career and volunteer work, Benjamin “Ben” Perlin enjoys classic rock music, citing The Who as one of his favorite bands.


Though The Who’s Pete Townshend has said that he and Roger Daltrey planned on parting ways in 2017, never again to write music under the band name, “The Who,” the recent success of the Rolling Stones’ Blue & Lonesome album has inspired Townsend to give it one more go. Although Townshend admitted that writing new music with Daltrey has been a struggle, Townsend told Music Week that the pair is “more optimistic than ever.” Townshend attributes the new optimism to Daltrey’s growth as a musician and the recent success of the Stones.

Townshend’s greatest fear is that the new music will never compare to The Who's classics, and he worries about the band struggling to compete with young musicians. Daltrey wonders whether The Who should “be so arrogant” as to think they can recapture the magic of their early music.

Shutter Speed and Its Effect on Photographic Images

Active in his community, Benjamin (“Ben”) Perlin volunteers with multiple organizations in and around Nashville, Tennessee. Benjamin Perlin is also in the process of building a photography business. In photography, there are three key elements that affect how an image turns out: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

Through shutter speed, photographers can create very dramatic effects. With the right shutter speed, quick actions get frozen in time or motion becomes blurred to convey a feeling of movement. Simply put, the shutter speed is the amount of time the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. For that reason, some people call it exposure time.

To freeze action in time, photographers want a fast shutter speed. As the shutter speed becomes slower, motion becomes more blurred. This blurriness is not always undesirable. For example, car advertisements often use a slower shutter speed to make it seem like the vehicle is actually moving because the wheels become slightly blurred. Landscape photographers may use slow shutter speeds to make it seem like rivers and waterfalls are in motion.

A slow shutter speed is also ideal for capturing lightning or objects in dimly lit environments. With a fast shutter speed, not much light information will hit the sensor and the image may be dark and grainy.