Alexander Leeway

Landscape | Last Updated: February 23, 2021

G’day from Australia! My name’s Alexander Leeway and I’ve been a cinematographer for 8 years now, recently making the dive into photography.

Photography is my blood. My grandfather was an avid hobbyist and I inherited his Leica M3. His interest rubbed off on my Mum, who then adamantly encouraged my pursuit in a career behind the lens.

Be it shooting landscapes, objects or people, I use photography as a mediative practice to slow down and be present to the fleeting moments of life. I aspire to share what I capture with others and hope to bring the same feelings I feel of awe, appreciation and connection to the viewer.

I love how photography can transport viewers into another space and time. I try my best to capture the world in an ethereal and nostalgic way and I hope it presents a new perspective.

I never thought I would be a drone guy, but I bit the bullet and got myself a DJI Mavic Pro 2 to document the powerful and surreal landscapes of Iceland when I travelled there in 2019. ND filters are a must if you want to shoot some footage (which I did a lot of too) with the correct shutter speed and exposure.

On the ground, when shooting portraits, I document without extra lights or a tripod to be nimble. I run with a Fujifilm GFX 50R paired with a Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 65mm f/1.4.

The lens has a soft painterly vintage quality to it especially wide open, which is flattering on subjects and helps take the edge off the digital sensor. It’s also a manual focus lens which allows me to take my time and be precise with what’s being shot, allowing for a deeper connection with who I’m photographing.

My kit:

Fujifilm GFX 50R – The digital medium format sensor is lovely. It’s dynamic range and colour is akin to a high-end digital cinema camera, and the larger format sensor adds to an otherworldly feel.

DJI Mavic Pro 2 – This is my first drone and the drone I learnt flying with. It’s easy to use and I’ve been astounded by the different perspectives that this bad boy has opened up for me.

Leica M3 – I love the take-and-forget practice with film. It makes every frame more sentimental and unique.

Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 65mm f/1.4 – Affordable manual portrait lens with a vintage feel that pairs nicely with the Fujifilm GFX 50R. The lens flare out of these is insane. They are built like a tank too.

DJI Mavic 2 Fly More Kit – As the title suggests, this kit allows you to get more out of the drone with extra batteries, 4-way battery charger, spare wings and a nifty little satchel to carry all of that.

Mavic 2 Pro ND Filters Set – A must if you’re filming in broad daylight, I can’t stand choppy footage with the incorrect shutter speed.

Think Tank AIRPORT TAKEOFF V2.0 – Excellent for carry-on luggage on planes. It has wheels for when you’re rushing to the boarding gates and you can also wear it on your back for when you’re hiking.

SmallRig L-Bracket – Gives me a better grip around the camera and a bit of protection for any accidental bumps that may occur when travelling!

Apple Macbook Pro 13″

Lightroom – I use my own presets. I’m a big fan of adding a touch of soft haze and dialing the clarity down.

Some Advice

If you’re flying a drone in Iceland in winter, then touchscreen-enabled gloves are a must! Otherwise, your fingers will feel like they’ve been stung by bees. Also, bring tissues to wipe your runny nose. Oh yeah and don’t fly drones when it’s very windy as there’s a possibility you might lose it on a mountain face.

Final words

I hope we can all find the time and take in the fleeting moments the world has to offer. | @alexanderleeway

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