‘Tokyo’s Misty Umbrellas.’

by Maachew Bentley for Lomography

Some started with a background in videography, others have inherited their family’s old 35 mm cameras, but for Queens native Maachew Bentley, his photographic adventure started with the iPhone 4. By shooting friends and always having a camera on the go while performing his daytime job as a DJ, Maachew developed his personal style. Finally, seven years ago, analogue came into his life under the form of a beat-up Minolta point and shoot to take on tour, as he couldn’t afford a digital camera. Since then Maachew has mastered the art of film in all its shapes, sizes, and formats. During his recent trip to Japan, Maachew shot the Earl Grey B&W 100 ISO to create a hypnotizing, yet mystical, body of work around a particular aspect of Tokyo’s street life: its umbrellas.

Why did you shoot this series on film rather than digital?

This was my first time in Japan and usually, when I travel somewhere for the first time, I find myself thriving under the pressure of capturing fleeting moments without a do-over.

“While waiting for things to lighten up there, I set my camera up accordingly and sort of just posed like a wildlife photographer hoping something interesting happened.”

Can you tell us more about the project itself? Why umbrellas?

Truly, the umbrellas were an unlikely companion, in this case, they forced me to create a series. I’ve got a weird thing against umbrellas, as I usually like to keep my hands free to do other things if it is raining.

Umbrellas seemed to provide this window to the subject in each frame, a biosphere to the mind, whether they were listening to music, hiding their face if they saw me aimed their way, or simply using it to push against the rain or winds while moving forward.

Depending on my angle, I saw everyone in a sort of mental living room, blinds down or up, all so relaxed on their respective mission. My projection of Tokyo was this super colorful place and has always been from growing up watching anime, to even the pop culture references associated with Japan. This day provided the other side, a different impression.

photos by Maachew Bentley
shot on location in Tokyo, Japan


read Maachew’s full interview here
purchase Earl Grey B&W 100 ISO here 

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