Missing the warm summer weather? Hawaii-based photographer Alexandra Bennett takes our Fisheye No.2 camera out for a spin, photographing the sun, the surf, and lots of smiling faces. Check out her full series here.
Hi Alexandra! What have you been up to since we last featured your photos in the magazine ?
I've started taking my camera into the ocean and photographing surfers. In order to do so, I've had to learn how to position myself so that I'm close enough to the surfer, yet still a safe distance away from the surfboard and crashing wave. The ability to capture and share the exhilarating moment of catching a wave with the surfer is a blast! I'm also working on a screenplay for a feature length film. In one section of where we surf, there is a giant boulder that breaks off everyone’s fins, sitting insidiously at the bottom of the wave’s path it can appear suddenly, so I'm in the process of writing a horror film about it.
How did you come up with the concept for this series/what inspired it?
In Hawaii, people tend to have a shared respect for the land and ocean, a sense of environmental stewardship. For this series, I wanted to focus on photographing portraits of people interacting with the natural environment, whether it be through food from the land or waves in the ocean. I was inspired by people enjoying the vibrant energy of the island and the pure happiness that nature can bring. Almost every single person is smiling in these photos, unprompted.
You shot these with one of our Fisheye No.2 cameras. What was your experience shooting with this camera like?
Shooting with the Lomography Fisheye No.2 is always breezy and exciting. The camera is lightweight yet powerful, the in-house capabilities of flash, multiple exposures, and bulb setting are enough to capture any desired aesthetic. Compared to using a big digital SLR camera with heavy underwater housing, I found the Fisheye No.2 with submarine housing very easy and responsive.
What was your favorite thing about using this camera? Any tips/tricks you can share with our readers?
My favorite thing about using this camera is the new perspective! I enjoyed using a fisheye lens to photograph portraits because the rounded lens allowed the model to fill up most of the frame and have the background fall around the edges. One important tip would be to get as close as possible to your subject.
Pick a photo and tell us the story behind it.
This is a photo of the first time that my friend Zach, the creator of BRINE foods and ferments, sold his food to the public at the popular night market, "Uncle Robert’s."
My first job in Hawaii was as a wilderness therapy guide at a camp for teenagers struggling with mental health, and Zach was my supervisor. I respected him for his ability to calmly and creatively handle any task with a positive attitude. One day, to the camp's surprise, Zach quit his job with a big dream of creating his own kimchi company. To his close friends and family, it was obvious that cooking was his real passion and with one bite of his food there was no denying that he had talent. Zach now sells his food full time all over the island at various markets, stores, festivals and catering events.
What is coming up for you?
This winter I plan on flying to the neighboring island Oahu to photograph bigger winter waves. I feel very grateful that some of the best waves in the world are a one hour plane ride away.