Featured Photographer;Michael Caputo aka alohabigmike


- What sparked your interest in photography?

I liked taking photos from since I can remember. I used disposable cameras from when I was a kid, then in all my travels in the US Air Force. Hell, I still use one now...I think they rock!

I really became interested in photography after a friend showed me his photos from a Sigma DP2 Merrill. I couldn't believe the quality. I wanted photos like that. So, I bought myself a couple digital cameras; a Nikon D3200 and Sigma DP2M. It's what I learned on, and I'm glad I learned on digital -- I was able to shoot a ton of photos and delete them right away because they all sucked at first. 


-Coming from a surf and water background did you find that this helped your interest in photography grow and keep evolving?

I'm not really from a surf background. I'm from Chicago. I started surfing on Lake Michigan in my twenties. I have some old shots from those days, on a disposable camera of course. People thought we were crazy surfing on a lake in the middle of brutal winters.

I only became interested in evolving with photography about a year ago. One year ago I would not have been able to tell you what an aperture or f-stop was. I took photography in high school, but I got an "F". I failed. All I did was ignore every assignment and try to shoot up girls skirts. Now, I know every technical term in the book and I don't shoot up girls skirts anymore. I think maybe I had it right the first time.


-What gear do you use?

Lets see... Nikonos V, Pentax ME, Konica S3, Canon A-1, Canon EOS 620, Pentax 67, Kodak Reflex, Fuji Quicksnap, Holga 120. The list goes on and on. I'd say my favorite 135 are the Canon EOS 620, Konica Auto S3, and the Nikonos.  



 -Why do you choose to shoot a lot of film? What do you think makes it special to shoot with?

Film vs Digital...the BIG argument. People call each other names over it. I say shoot whatever makes you happy. There are things digital can do that film can't touch or get anywhere close to. It's amazing. You also have to spend hours editing on a computer though.

I prefer film. I like the whole process from start to finish; especially selecting the type for a particular subject. It's exciting. Film has a look that digital just cant replicate in my opinion. Each negative or slide is a little piece of art. Can you say that about an SD card?


- Your posts on Instagram are quite funny do you think this is important to separate yourself from other photographers?

You can have the greatest photos in the world, but if you have boring captions and lame interaction with followers...I won't be one. I'm there for fun. I write the first thing that comes to mind. I normally joke around most of the time with everyone and I write captions like I talk. Humor has always been my approach to life. If I can't think of anything funny to say, then I quote the Big Lebowski. The Dude Abides, man.


-Who has influenced your photography most?

Chris Burkard, John Hook, Josh Soskin, Sarah Lee, and a ton of folks from the Nikonos Project. I go a little nuts when I see great photos. I also really enjoy finding people who shoot film extremely well.  


-What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started out?

I wish I would have bought a damn Leica M3 and been done with it! I have more cameras than I have fingers and toes. I might sell half my gear and buy a Leica M3 or M6. I also wish I knew about the inexpensive processing lab at the local drug store.


-If you had to give one piece of advice to photographers what would it be?

That's funny to me. I'm a firefighter. If some photographer tried to give me advice on firefighting, I'd tell him to go fuck himself.