Project Disrupt: Andrea Dixon – Part 1

Andrea Dixon is a digital artist and photographer who spends four months of every year working in Antarctica. After being selected as one of our Project Disrupt competition winners, she deployed to the southernmost point on earth, equipped with a Lensbaby Sol, a Lume Cube Lighting Kit and a Mountainsmith Camera Bag. She challenged herself to capture this rugged, unforgiving winter wonderland in a whole new way.

As a photographer and digital artist, my goal is to show my audience a version of things that they can’t see for themselves. My aim is to create an image that has a little mystery, and perhaps magic, for the viewer. Images as stories with open-ended questions that leave you wondering.

The Lensbaby Sol 45 is a special lens that helps me do just that. I struggled a bit with learning to focus this lens right out of the box. But as with anything new, a bit of practice really helps. I shoot a lot of manual focus lenses so I was not surprised, or bothered by this. Shooting in live view really helped me figure it out. I definitely had some unfocused images but some of them were happy surprises, and I loved the way they turned out. Getting the focus down on this lens is key and well worth the time it takes to do so.

I’m shooting this lens in Antarctica and the f/3.5 presented a good challenge shooting outside in the 24/7 daylight conditions. Using a fast shutter speed and closing the bokeh arms on the front of the lens solved the problem.

The Sol 45 is an absolute treat to shoot with. I create digital artwork layering photos upon photos. The dreamy bokeh edges of the Sol 45 images and the ability to really define your subject in such a distinct way is perfect for the kind of work I do. It’s allowed me to create the images I see in my head when I’m out shooting and isn’t that goal of every good lens?

I’m shooting this lens with a Canon 5D Mark IV. As with many Lensbaby lenses, the size & weight of this lens is hard to believe. It hardly feels like there is a lens on the camera. My camera with the lens fits perfectly in the pocket of my parka making it my go-to lens now for shooting at the ends of the earth.

It’s a joy to shoot with this lens and I’m grateful to have found it. I shoot it virtually every day and can’t wait to see what I can create with it next. Thanks Lensbaby!

You can check out more of Andrea’s work on her website and Instagram

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