Behind the Lens
My outstanding parents bought me my first camera, a Nikon D90, in 2010 from a street vendor in Hong Kong. Thanks to the limitless free resources on the Internet and good old fashioned trial-and-error, I eventually managed to get a decent grasp of some photographic fundamentals. I shot pretty consistently up until college where the camera pretty much sat in its bag for the better part of my five years at Louisiana State University.
During my second senior year, a couple of buddies and I started getting pretty big into kayak fishing. I broke out the old GoPro, stuck it in a rod holder, and got some pretty sweet photos. This re-sparked my interest in photography. Then, someone cut my locked chain and stole my kayak, and that was all over.
After trying out two other majors, I graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: International Politics and a commission as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. I had about 9 months before my report date at Ft. Benning, so I did what any other rational 23 year-old would do and blew all my graduation money on a summer trip to Europe with two of my buddies from my hometown of Atlanta, Garrett D. and Sebastian A. During this trip, I did an effective job of slowing down everyone's sightseeing in order to take thousands of garbage photos, with a few keepers mixed in. Outstanding life experiences aside, this put me back on the photo train.
Now, I live in Clarksville, Tennessee and spend most of my time on Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), occasionally shooting training events for the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment "No Slack". There are countless great men and women doing some pretty incredible things at our Battalion every day, and I am humbled to have the unique opportunity to capture and share their efforts with the world.
For the most part, I do my personal shooting and traveling solo these days. I don't get a lot of opportunities to go shoot, so when I do it's all work. That's the way I like it. I sleep in my truck or rental car, or in the backcountry. I'm up two hours before sunrise, and out at least two hours after sunset which can lead to little sleep depending on the time of year. I'll spend hours in one spot waiting for an animal to start moving, or waiting for the lighting to develop. I go where I want, when I want, and shoot what I want. I see some awesome stuff, and meet some even better people on these weekend expeditions.
I shoot a Sony A7RII with Sony Zeiss 16-35mm f4 and a Sony FE 70-300 f4-5.6.
No matter where my life takes me, I will always have this never-ending project. I hope you enjoy these photos a fraction as much as I enjoy creating them.
-2LT Sebastian BenCarlos Sans