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#CreatorConversations: Highlights From Our AMA With Ben Moon

#CreatorConversations is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series hosted by @sonyalpha on Instagram. As part of the series, we were joined by filmmaker, photographer, author and Sony Artisan Ben Moon (@ben_moon). See some of the highlights below and visit the Instagram post for the full AMA. Make sure you’re following @sonyalpha and #CreatorConversations to stay connected.

"...often it takes a crisis to help us recognize that we are more resilient than we could ever imagine, and the most painful challenges often foster lasting and beautiful growth." – Ben Moon #CreatorConversations

"Whenever you did come to a creative halt, what did you do to find your stimulus again?" – @austinmarfori

Ben: “First off, I try to go easy on myself if I’m feeling creatively flat. Instead of forcing it I put down the camera for a bit and focus on taking care of whatever is occupying my headspace or cluttering up my life. Clearing the slate of unnecessary stresses usually ignites the spark again.”

“How do you stay creative in times like these when access to our favorite playgrounds is limited?” – @mountainsandtheocean

Ben: “I’m fortunate to live in an area where I can still access a lot of my favorite areas, but really it’s all about making the most of a situation. Just as I enjoy rainy days because they force me to catch up on the tasks I tend to avoid when the weather is great, these times are pushing us to utilize our time and resources more carefully.”

“What’s your advice for starting with videography/photography for a living and generating enough income with it?” – @tomwms

Ben: “Start by learning everything you can about the path you’d like to take, ask a lot of questions and start creating your own work. Assist other photographers and filmmakers and again, ask a lot of questions. Most importantly, be a great person to work with and others will want to hire you. It usually takes at least three years to get established and generate anywhere close to livable wage, so keep that in mind as the early years can be challenging.”

“When it comes to meeting other creatives, what’s your first point of contact? How have you formed relationships with other amazing photographers?” – @jasonvizzini

Ben: “I’ve formed friendships with other creatives through IG, as well as events in the outdoor community and the annual #SonyKandoTrip. Usually an honest appreciation for someone’s work is all it takes to start the conversation.”

“Could you tell us about the first time you tried underwater photography? What were you trying to capture? Were you successful? Any learning lessons?” – @polythenelucy

Ben: “I first used a waterhousing while I lived on Kauai about 17 years back. It was for a film camera and I had some issues with the focus until I learned to preset my focus distances on the fisheye. I was trying to photograph surfers ducking under waves.”

“What’s the typical light source when you do your black and white portraits? How much work gets done in post to those? Do you do all your own post production, or do you have a favorite editor to work with?” – @mahting_putelis

Ben: “I use open shade, all natural light with a small bounce for the eyes. Simple setup that’s repeatable literally anywhere. I use LR and Photoshop for the post work, mostly dodging and burning to get the feel right. Haven’t worked with any outside editors yet since it’s more of a feeling than a preset method.” 

“What are the most important things in your landscape and sport photographs? (lights, subjects, perspectives, colors ...) – @killianthollet

Ben: “The most important thing to me is being outside with my friends - if I’m enjoying the moment then the magic can happen through the lens. Good light always helps, but it’s more about finding the beauty in the in between moments.”

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