Dawn J. Benko Fine Art Photography
Dawn Benko, an award winning photographer based in Northwestern New Jersey, specializes in fine art nature photography. Her passion for capturing “the moment” has seen her through an A.S. degree in photographic technology at Florida Institute of Technology and a twenty-five-year photojournalism career in her native New Jersey. In 2007, she began in earnest to pursue her true passion—nature and wildlife photography.
Dawn has driven a 15-passenger storm chasing van thousands of miles across the Midwest, chronicling tornadoes and violent thunderstorms. She has taken her camera 250 feet under the earth, to photograph a New York State caving expedition in complete darkness and up into the mountains of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where she took pictures while dangling from a rock-climbing rope. In 2009 she fulfilled a lifelong dream, taking a hiking and camping safari in Tanzania.
Dawn obtained the nickname “Saw Master” from teens during an Appalachian Service Project mission to West Virginia, where she helped to build a house for a needy family and concurrently documented the trip for the newspaper for which she worked. While helping in relief efforts in Haiti and post-Katrina Louisiana, she has photographed life in both locations and recently returned from a trip to South Africa, where she documented the work of Hands On The World Global. During this trip she also helped install a water pump at a South African primary school and a new roof on a student’s home. She also conducted a photography workshop for South African high school students.
Since turning her focus on fine art photography, Dawn has exhibited her work at a number of galleries and shows. In addition to her many photo journalism awards, she won a first place award in the 20th Annual Louisville National Juried Photography Show for her fine art photograph “Icescape”.