Born in Newport, Rhode Island, he began teaching photography at Yale University in 1979 and was dean of the Yale School of Art from 1996 to 2006. Benson has a broad range of interests in the photographic print-silver, platinum, palladium, and ink. Working in these different mediums, sometimes learning forgotten crafts and sometimes creating new ones, he has become convinced that ink and the modern photo offset press possess a potential for photographic rendition beyond anything else previously known. In recent years he has been working on the relationship between the computer and traditional photographic imagery, and has been applying the lessons from this in the production of long run offset books of work by different photographers, in both black and white and color.
Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company, White Oak Press, 1985 (Benson made multiple halftone films from each photograph, exposed those films to plates, and printed the plates on a single-color sheet-fed offset printing press.)
Lay This Laurel, Eakins Press, 1973, co-authored with Lincoln Kirstein
A Maritime Album, The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Virginia, 1997 co-authored with John Szarkowski.