Intro by Chamira Young
Given the beautiful weather during these summer months, one of the most rejuvenating activities you can do is photograph the great outdoors. And whether you're a golfer or not, we can all be fans of picturesque golf greens, especially when you have the right lenses in your camera bag! Beauty is everywhere, and it's more important now than ever to stay creative and inspired.
Today we highlight the work of photographer Channing Benjamin as he uses a trio of Tamron lenses to capture the beauty of America's expansive golf courses. Specifically, he's using the the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2, the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2, and the 18-400mm VC to essentially capture the various aspects of the sport. In the article below, Channing discusses his creative process, how he scouts out spots to shoot, how he uses light, and more!
We also made sure to include each of the three lenses he discusses in the article. Click on any of them below!
Photos on Par With None
Channing Benjamin uses his trio of Tamron lenses to show America's greens from a golfer's perspective.
By Jenn Gidman
Images By Channing Benjamin
Before he was photographing golf courses around the US, Channing Benjamin was playing them. "I was a golfer in the mid-2000s, and I'd take a lot of pictures of the courses with my cellphone," he says. "My friends saw I had a good eye and encouraged me to get a real camera, and when I started posting photos taken with my DSLR, I got a really great reaction on Facebook and Instagram."
Because he was a concert video director at the time, Channing quickly learned to appreciate the more relaxed pace of photography, especially on the golf course. "Directing shoots for live concerts is intense," he says. "With photography, I was able to control my environment more and mellow out a bit. Combined with my personal passion for golf, it seemed natural to end up taking photos of golf courses."
Channing, a licensed golf course photographer for Pebble Beach Company, is also certified as a drone pilot, which diversifies his client offerings. "You can be somewhat limited on what you can see on the course when you're on the ground," he says. "I had taken a ladder out to some courses and captured some photos from a higher perspective, but then I saw some drone work others had done and was intrigued. To be able to take a drone photo from 40 or 50 feet up is amazing. I like to keep a balance, though, between my drone photos and those taken on the ground."
When he's on the green, Channing relies on a trio of Tamron lenses: the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2, the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2, and the 18-400mm VC. "My go-to lens is the 70-200," he says. "I purchased that lens first because, from what I'd read and seen of it, it seemed to offer terrific bang for the buck. Now, thanks to its versatile focal-length range and optical quality, I get many of my best shots with that lens. And once I had the 70-200, I wanted to be consistent, so I picked up the 24-70 and the 18-400. The 24-70 serves as the perfect portrait lens when I photograph the golfers themselves, and the 18-400 is a convenient travel lens due to its light weight, and it offers me a wider perspective when I need it. Plus, because I shoot completely handheld on the courses, the Vibration Compensation (VC) on all three lenses is critical for me."
Channing's photographic mission on the courses is to reveal the unique details of each site. "Every place is different, in both geography and history," he says. "And, because I'm a golfer myself, I try to approach many of my photos from a golfer's perspective, showing things on the course that would resonate with those who play. That's why having this arsenal of Tamron lenses is key for me, so I can capture all of these various perspectives."
When Channing does his scouting, he'll often play the courses himself. "That's my excuse to get out there, to know what I'm getting into," he says. "On the flip side, it can sometimes be good not to know too much about a course. If I know a place too well, I may not get that first-impression perspective that often gives me some of my freshest, most exciting photos. It can be fun to stumble across a scene rather than know exactly what I'm going to get ahead of time."
That golfer's perspective Channing mentioned earlier is why he took the two photos seen here of a golf bag and golf balls on the green at the Quarry in La Quinta, California. "The Quarry is on Golf Digest's top 100 golf courses list," he says. "For these two photos, I wanted to show what golf is all about. That bag doesn't have a stand on it, because it's a 'walker's bag,' which is more tied to the roots of the game—a lot of people these days ride golf carts and don't walk the course. For the golf balls photo, meanwhile, I shot it wide open, focused on the ball on the tee, and let the lens do the rest."
Read the full article here.
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