We all know the song by Bette Midler and the lyrics,
Did I ever tell you you're my hero, you're everything, everything I wish I could be...
Well, the song might be about love and support, but photographically speaking and with birds of prey especially, it's the perfect definition of how I felt looking at Kristofer Rowe's work. Most of us have seen hundreds of images of birds, but Kristofer's approach is unique. In fact, in an article on the Tamron website by Jenn Gidman he commented,
"I don't want my photos to lack emotion," he says. "Sometimes people will say, 'Look how sharp the image is and the beautiful background I got, which is nice, but many times they forget to look for the bird or animal's expression."
Jenn went on to share:
He stays away from traditional crops, preferring instead to fill the frame when he can. "You get more of the personality that way," he says. "For example, many people think you always have to show the bird's whole body. They'll say, 'Oh, the tip of the wing is cut off in one of your images,' but I did that purposely—I want the viewer to focus on the eyes and the expression, and if a part of the bird's body has to fall out of the picture for me to achieve that, that's OK."
Check out the sharpness of the image above, keeping in mind that it's a screen shot from Tamron's website. It's what I refer to as a "Wow print." A "Wow print" is any image so good, it's the only one you'd have to show a client to get hired. It's also the standard I suggest for every image in your galleries, no matter what your specialty might be.
Whether you're into bird photography or not, take the time to read Jenn Gidman's interview with Kristofer and pay attention to his images. His work isn't about capturing pictures of birds, but about their personalities and sharing photographs that are different from everything we typically see. Every step in his technique is about giving the viewer a different perspective, and his philosophy would make him award-winning, no matter what the subject, including brides, babies, and pets!
Although the video below is about Kristofer shooting with Tamron's new 150-600 mm G2 lens, you've got just a few days left to check out four other incredible zooms on their Spring Rebate Program.
There's a reason Kristofer chose Tamron glass to capture some of the most spectacular bird images I've ever seen! Visit a Tamron dealer and check out their full family of lenses for yourself - you won't be disappointed.
This can be very demanding on gear and the Tamron 150-600 G2 is designed to put up with the elements. I found AF to be fast and accurate. I also found the rendering to be very pleasing with a good transition from the subject to the background. The addition of the flex zoom lock is a welcome addition and the VC was top notch for stabilizing the lens since I only shoot handheld.
I often shoot prime lenses, but having the ability to zoom out with my hawks was paramount to achieving the image I wanted. It also allowed me to frame the images and really smooth out the backgrounds to keep the focus on the subject.