Behind The Viewfinder and into the darkness with ​@_smurfious  

We have been watching Benji’s work on Instagram for quite sometime — just waiting for the best opportunity to showcase this artist’s work. Instagram’s multi-image post is the perfect tool to give you a peek into his gallery.

On this weeks Behind the Viewfinder we bring you @_smurfious, super dope UK shooter that has embraced the night, and does some of the best steel wool spinning on ‘The Gram.’
Launchdsigns love featuring new and unique artists and Benji definitely fits that category.
Whats your style of photography, what type of images do you identify with most? 
what’s my style? To be honest I’m still not 100% sure, I started with steelwool and no matter how much I try new things steelwool is always a constant in my feed.
Who are the photographers influenced you?
In the early days of steelwool I made some awesome friends like @roskobiwan and @genesis750 and others and we’d constantly share ideas on techniques/locations etc and all kinda grew together. These days @thecatalystmachine and @josh.perrett are hugely influential, Adam’s approach to his edits, and Josh’s unique way he looks at a shot/angle/framing is just incredible.
Do you think that photography is an art form?
Without question yes
What technology (camera) do you use?
Sony a7ii
What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
Mostly pushing myself to see what I can and can’t do, but also it’s just kinda relaxing sometimes, whether it’s spinning wool after a 14hr day at work or spending a few hours on the beach waiting for sunset, these are both good places to be
Which is your favorite lens? Why?
Samyang 14mm af or sigma 15mm fisheye lens, I love the depth when shooting wide angle, and these are both beautiful lenses, I’m saving like crazy at the moment for the zeiss batis 2/25 as well
What camera gear do you wish you had? Why?
Obviously the zeiss batis 2/25, such a beautiful lens to use, apart from that I’m pretty happy with my kit at the moment, might upgrade to the A7rii once the mark 3’s are available (and the price drops)
Do you use Adobe Lightroom for edits? If so what presets do you use? Your own or downloaded/purchased.
I am a preset whore!! I’ve only been editing on computer and Lightroom since January but I save the presets from every shot I edit!! I love them! I only use them as a starting point to edit from or give an idea of which way to approach a shot, but I’ve often ended up with a finished shot far different from anything I imagined while shooting! my presets are available to purchase from @gramslayers
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
Ask questions, almost everyone I’ve ever approached on Instagram and asked questions of they’ve been good enough to reply, apart from that you tube videos, and also especially when light painting I record my settings, exposure time, aperture etc makes it much easier next time
Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
I’m the worst person in the world, normally a week after posting a shot I don’t like it, recently the glass jar water shots – I was meeting some friends on the beach for a sunset shot and got there an hour early so went to local super market bought the jar and 5 litres of water, it was very much a spur of the moment thing but worked pretty well
What role has Instagram played in your photography/designs?
Huggggeeee, seeing the crazy shots and edits that people are doing every day is hugely inspiring and obviously pushes me to want to do similar or makes me look at things in a different way
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
What aperture is/does would’ve been nice to know much sooner lol
What makes the good picture stand out from the average?
 Anything that makes you stop scrolling.
The subject doesn’t really matter, if it’s well composed, great lighting etc that’s what will make the difference
What first drew you to photography?
Steelwool spinning! I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures, I bought a second hand Canon s90 about 4 years ago, then Canon 1000d a couple of weeks later, then 18 months ago @mbrookes27 took me steelwool spinning for the first time! That was it, I was hooked I would literally go out every night it was amazing
When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
There are occasions where I know exactly what I’m gonna shoot and where and what lens to use, but to be honest most my shots come from just going out in the city with the 14mm lens and just seeing what works, some nights I’ll come home with 1000 shots and they all suck, other times I’ll find some absolute bangers
Where are you from, where do you live?
Bristol UK

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