Eleanor Hardwick is a photographer and sound artist based in London. Her work has been exhibited in galleries around the world, including The Southbank Centre and Palais De Tokyo. We lent her the new Neptune Convertible Art Lens System to test out amongst the spring bluebells.
Name: Eleanor Hardwick
Location: London, UK
Profession: Camera and sound artist
Website/Social Media links: www.eleanorhardwick.com
Twitter & Instagram: eleanorhardwick
Model: Lily Inge Newmark @First Model Management
Other interests aside from photography: making music, creating inclusive and immersive nightlife experiences with SIREN collective, inventing recipes from the leftovers in my fridge, my cat, exploring national parks, reading too many dystopian books and articles (both fictional and not).
Tell us a bit about your photography background?
I am self-taught, and I started shooting when I was twelve years old; uploading my work to Flickr and Tumblr where I connected with other young photographers. At the time (over ten years ago!) there were very few other young photographers around, and the female gaze in photography felt a lot less common.
What would you call your photography style?
I am always experimenting with the medium, so perhaps I could say that experimentation is my most recurring trait. I'm less so interested in having a repetitive, recognizable voice, and care more about expressing a variety of ideas in the way that is most appropriate to express them. I am often most drawn to photographing people, but I care more about adapting my style to my subject, rather than making my subject adapt to mine. There are so many beautiful or political or humorous or fascinating things in the world, and it makes me excited to interpret them all in their own way. My life is constantly evolving and I am always exploring new things, and my work does that with me. For example, ten years ago when I first started, I was a lot more interested in a very dreamy, fantastical approach that was a response to the over-sexualized imagery that I was force fed by the industry, but wanted to reject. Now I'm older, perhaps I have become less escapist, more intentionally political, and more interested in expressing sexuality.
What was your first impression upon seeing and holding the Neptune Convertible Art Lenses?
They're really small and light, which is great for me as I love being able to move around freely when I shoot. It was also very intuitive to put on, which is also great for me as I can't stand reading manuals!
How does the Convertible Art Lens System fit into your (photography) style?
I shoot mostly people, and although I like to shoot people often with a very wide lens, it's great for me that I could switch to an 80mm and go really close in without faffing for ages and realizing I've missed the moment. For me, it's important to be able to run between locations and capture things that are happening very quickly, and the lens system felt like it accommodated to that really well. They're also really small, which means a light bag for when you're traveling or hiking - which is my favorite way to shoot!
Could you share your best photo (taken using the lens system) and the story behind that shot?
I live in a park that was only until very recently a golf course - and these trees were planted by the local children as part of the effort to transform the golf course into its new park life. I found the uniformity of all the trees quite surreal, almost like a graveyard. One of my favorite ways to shoot is just to have my subject explore a large, striking landscape, and I just shoot on a very wide lens whilst they play. Lily has a very flexible, painterly way of moving in front of the camera - she's a joy to photograph!