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What's In My Bag: A Kit for Exploring Land & Sea

Alexandra Paradis (@searchingforparadis) is a 25-year-old photographer whose ethos is to focus on the elements: earth, water and air. Paradis’ has lived her life surrounded by the sea and her love for the ocean inspired her to receive a bachelor's degree in environmental science with two minors in marine biology and art. She later became a divemaster and is in search of a career that allows her to be in-and-around the water to help protect, save and photograph the fragile beauty that lies beneath the waves. With a well-traveled Sony Alpha kit that consists of three zooms and a prime, she strives to frame the natural beauty of this planet – showcasing why we should be putting in more effort to save what remains wild.

How an environmental scientist with a background in both biology and art creates images to protect the wild world above and below the waves.

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Cameras

Sony Alpha 7R III: She views the camera as an extension of her eye, and the Sony Alpha 7R III gives Paradis the flexibility to express how she sees the world. The high quality of the camera allows her to share her experiences as though the audience was there with her. Sony cameras have always been a part of Paradis’ photography journey starting in 2007, but the Sony Alpha 7R III is currently the only handheld camera she has in her bag.

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Photo by Alexandra Paradis. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/200-sec., f/4.5, ISO 100

Lenses

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G: Being a photographer that pays attention to the smallest of detail, this macro lens doesn't leave any detail out. She initially purchased this lens for her underwater photography. It's one of the two lenses she brings with her beneath the surface. However, it quickly became her favorite for not only capturing the photoreceptors of a mantis shrimp’s eye, but also for capturing candid moments of the people and places she holds close to her heart. The Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G is one of the first lenses she reaches for when she goes out to shoot.

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Photo by Alexandra Paradis. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/200-sec., f/2.8, ISO 320

Sony 16-35mm f/4: The second of the two lenses Paradis uses for her underwater work is the Sony 16-35mm f/4. When using this lens on land, Alexandra loves to use it to give scale to the environments that surround her subject, as well as to create foreground for landscape shots.

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Photo by Alexandra Paradis. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 16-35mm f/4. 1/200-sec., f/7.1, ISO 125

Sony 24-105mm f/4 G: When it comes to setting off on a hike or riding in the passenger seat on road trips, Paradis always has the Sony 24-105mm f/4 G mounted on her camera. It's her day-to-day, on–the-go lens. This lens can help attain a wide variety of photos; anything from open landscapes to the smallest of snakes slithering by in the rainforest. It’s the perfect lens for when she doesn't have time to stop and switch to another, skipping out on the time lag while certainly not skipping out on the quality.

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Photo by Alexandra Paradis. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 24-105mm f/4 G. 1/250-sec., f/4, ISO 100

Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master: Last but not least, the newest lens Paradis has grown very fond of, and rents when she can, is the Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. Her very first use of this lens immediately had her wanting it as her own. For someone who loves to capture wildlife, this lens truly allows Paradis to get up close and personal without disturbing her subject. This telephoto lens is one that she is currently saving up for and will be the next permanent addition to “what's in her bag.”

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Photo by Alexandra Paradis. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/500-sec., f/9, ISO 400

Accessories

Though Paradis’ bag is primarily to carry camera gear from one adventure to the next– there are other accessories in her bag that are not entirely photography related. 

Water Bottle: The places and subjects Paradis is drawn to are typically far from resources. Water being one of the most important ones, so Paradis always has her water bottle in her bag.

Drone: Not always being able to capture every perspective from the ground, Paradis has fallen in love with her new eye in the sky. Her drone photography has her falling in love with textures all over again, and has been photographing them more with her Sony gear as well. Overall, she has seen how her composition of her aerial images reflect those that she takes with her Alpha 7R III, and vice versa– using the two pieces of equipment to develop and grow as a photographer. 

See more of Alexandra Paradis’ work on Instagram @searchingforparadis.

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