Images copyright Tony Shepherd. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Like some of your favorite restaurants, the cuisine often changes along with the chef. And just like deciding whether you're going out for Italian, French, Mexican, or American, the comparison from photographers to fine chefs is always on point. In the Tamron Kitchen this month, we're mixing it up a lot and going to a "cuisine" we haven't visited in the new series - abstract fine art.
Tony Shepherd joins us in the "kitchen" with a well-defined foundation for "turning the mundane" into something special. And just like those favorite dishes by a great chef, each presentation is unique in what's being captured.
All around us is extraordinary beauty hidden in the plain sight of ordinary things.
Pixbyshep is a gallery that celebrates the dignity and beauty of the mundane in black & white
(sometimes with a splash of color).
Tony's another guest "chef" who left me feeling like I've been hanging out with him for years. In this short podcast, with some of his Instagram images going over 20,000 hits, he talks about the key ingredient - reaching out to every visitor. He's built his own community of followers just like a great chef.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where the chef comes around to the table at some point in the evening and asks how your meal was? It doesn't seem to happen as often these days, but from past experience, it always made us want to return to that restaurant again. That's the way I find myself visiting his Instagram page. Tony is all about building relationships.
Based out of Nashville, you'll find Tony out and about, just about everywhere, on regular photo walks. He's like a treasure hunter for the mundane, and I especially enjoy his choice to capture so much of it in black & white.
There's a quote in business that applies so much to Tony's approach to building his brand...
"The customer doesn't care how much you know,
until they know how much you care!
Tony's an artist with a passion for not only the capture of his images, but showing his appreciation to each follower. He's built a community around his love for simplicity. That quote above doesn't just apply to his philosophy with his followers, but I'm betting everyone he comes in contact with. From my first phone call with him through recording his short podcast - there's a wonderful feeling of a growing friendship.
Tony needs to be on your radar. Follow his website and his Instagram page. At a time in all our lives complicated by so many forces outside our control - Tony's trips to discover what seems so ordinary is a breath of fresh air and one that simply made me smile.
Tamron needs to be on your radar, too. They never slow down on manufacturing some of the finest performing glass/optics in photography, and the Tamron team is just as impressive. Obviously, they want to sell lenses, but their first focus is always on how to help you raise the bar on your skill set. And, if you're headed to Nashville in January for IUSA, wander over to Booth 823 and check out their complete product line while getting to know one of the finest tech teams in imaging!
by Skip Cohen
It's Tamron Tuesday, and there's so much you can learn from these short videos Tamron regularly shares. And they're all on Tamron's YouTube channel.
The video below is from their archives, with professional photographer Maxim Guselnikov putting the 70-180mm F/2.8 DI III VXD, model A056, to the test. He's shooting Sony full-frame mirrorless.
Remember, I'm sharing screen grabs from a video. So, imagine how sharp the original images must be.
In addition to simply watching another artist work, each still image in the video includes the exposure triad and focal length. Maxim's shooting in the studio, outdoors, in the theater, and truly putting this lens through a great little test drive.
Tamron's manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging today. But don't take my word for it - visit your local Tamron dealer yourself!
And check out their ongoing workshops and programs taking place all around the country.
The 70-180mm F/2.8 DI III VXD, model A056 lens is part of Tamron's current "Fall Savings" program, but only until October 30! Click on the banner below for more information and to find the Tamron dealer nearest you.
Image copyright Justin Haugen. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
The comparison between great chefs and artists in imaging continues this month with Justin Haugen in the Tamron Kitchen. And, just like following a favorite recipe, this month we're including an outstanding behind-the-scenes shot showing Justin's setup. Every chef has a unique technique for the way they combine the key ingredients. With Justin, it's not just about capturing a stunning image but his understanding of lighting that goes into the creative process.
Based out of Tucson, his primary focus is most often on engagement and wedding photography. But taking everything he's learned over the years, he's applying it to another specialty, commercial portraiture. As an educator and a well-respected photographer, he shared a lot of terrific detail about why he lit this image the way he did in the short podcast above.
A big part of the fun of this series for me personally, is getting to know the "chefs" we feature in each post. I've only had a couple of phone calls with Justin, plus the recording, but there's a quote from David Levithan that says it all.
With some people, the minute you start talking it feels like you've known them for years.
It only means you were meant to meet sooner...
Justin is an artist, educator, and podcaster with Rob Hall on High ISO. He regularly teaches at Shutterfest and will be at WPPI 2023. He should be on your radar. His website is just a click away, follow his Facebook page, and check out @photowarlock on Instagram.
Tamron needs to be on your radar too. They're manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging, but just as impressive is their dedication to helping artists raise the bar on their skillset. From workshops and educational programs to terrific rebates and promotions, they never slow down. There are now four FREE eNewsletters to choose from, or subscribe to all of them. Click on the banner below for your free subscriptions.
Click on the banner below and check out Tamron's current Fall Savings program!
Image copyright David Akoubian. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Before starting this series, I really hadn't thought much about comparing great chefs with great artists. But here we are several years later, and with each new Tamron Recipes, the analogy fits. Every chef has a cooking style - a way they blend the ingredients with just the right seasoning and presentation that keeps bringing us back for more. Artists are the same, and we caught up to one of my favorite Tamron Chefs this month, David Akoubian.
He's based in Georgia, but his heart is wherever he's shooting. And while his passion is definitely wildlife and landscapes, I'm not sure there's anything David can't photograph. What I love most about so many of David's images is the way they tell a story - they're not just beautiful pictures.
I found an interesting quote that captures so much of what David is all about:
Storytelling is about connecting to other people
and helping people to see what you see.
David didn't just step into the scene, click the shutter and move on. Just like a fine chef, David had a goal in how he wanted to capture the image above and the story he wanted to share.
When I approached the scene I was attracted to the area below the falls, but to me it wasn't strong enough to stand out on its own. As I studied the scene I liked how I could almost use the fallen tree as a leading line to the falls. I knew I would need to either move way back to use a regular or slightly wide angle lens, or I could use an ultra-wide angle lens and stand close to the log. The added bonus would be with the ultra-wide angle lens it would give a feeling of decompression making the log look larger than the falls and much further away than it really was. That would lead my viewer's sight from foreground to background.
And check out everything going on at Tamron too. In addition to manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging, their support for the photographic community is the very best. From workshops and educational programs to terrific rebates and promotions, and their FREE newsletter, they're always watching your back when you need support. Their website is just a click away on the banner below.
Captured by Lisa Langell
by Skip Cohen
Whether you're an outdoor/wildlife artist or not, there's a lot to learn from Tamron's videos. To start, they're making some of the finest glass in imaging, and their new 50-400 is pretty outstanding - a "next-level ultra-telephoto zoom." But technology is only part of the story. When you visit the product page, Tamron's sharing images from well-respected photographers to help demonstrate the versatility of the lens. I grabbed three of my favorites to share in today's post.
I also like how they share the exposure triad, the focal length, and the gear used. They're not just announcing a new lens but adding an educational element about the image itself.
Now take things a step further and pay attention to how they tell the story of the new lens in the one-minute video below. Forget that it's a lens and take the same storyboard and apply it to how you might tell your own story in a marketing video about who you are and the services you offer.
Regardless of what you shoot with, check out Tamron's YouTube page - it's loaded with great videos and elements to help you raise the bar on your skill set. There are 390 videos currently in the collection, with almost 26,000 subscribers...and it's just a click away.
Captured by Takahiro Bessho
Captured by Masaki Kadono
Copyright Nader Abushhab. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
With each new Tamron Recipe, I become increasingly aware of how much great photographers are like our favorite chefs. Every chef has a specialty, and the twist they put on each dish served becomes their signature. Artists are no different, and Nader Abushhab joins us in the "Tamron Kitchen" this month.
Based in Phoenix, Nader's a full-time photographer. Over the last decade, while there probably isn't anything he can't shoot, his passion is clearly in portraiture and fashion. And just like great chefs with diverse backgrounds, Nader started his career in animation and multimedia design. Throw in working with designers and models from around the world; then combine the experiences with ad agencies all over the country, and you've got the perfect mix to appreciate his style today.
There's a great quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson I've always enjoyed. Put together all the things Nader's done in his career in imaging and combine them with his passion for the craft: it fits so well.
"I am a part of all that I have met."
But there's more to a recognized chef than just their cooking. That's a big piece of what I enjoyed getting to know Nader. It only took one phone conversation to feel like I've been hanging out with him for years. Being a successful photographer isn't just about knowing when to click the shutter, but about relationship building and how you work with people. You've got to be personable, upbeat, and make them feel like they're your only client.
When I asked him why this was one of his favorite portraits, his answer said it all:
"From an experience perspective, this image showcases working quickly with a subject in a short amount of time to get them comfortable, perceive their angles, and execute a portrait that feels iconic. A lot of real world scenarios will call for that in photography."
When you look through Nader's galleries, that's a lot of what you see. Natural expressions of people who are having a good time working with him. He needs to be on your radar, and his website is just a click away, as well as his Instagram page.
Along with Nader, put Tamron on your radar. They're manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging. Plus, their focus on education and never-ending support for photographers is legendary. Just click on the banner below to visit their website as well as their new promotional offers.
by Skip Cohen
It's Tamron Tuesday, but I'm sharing the video below for several reasons. First, this is pretty exciting news for those of you shooting FUJIFILM gear. Tamron's expanded the 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens for FUJIFILM X-mount. Second, Tamron's FLASH Sale includes the 17-70mm for Sony.
But third, is why I like to share these videos, and it's definitely about thinking outside the box! Pay attention to the story they've packed into just over one minute. Watch the video, and as you watch it, what if you told your story the same way? Great images, minimal text, good music - all in a marketing piece that becomes the lead-in feature on your website. Think about the storyboard as you put it together, showing you working with a couple of clients, the process, and the results.
And when you hit the Tamron page for the 17-70mm lens for Sony, you've got a selection of videos, all product related, but each slightly different in its approach. Again, short ideas relevant to how you might tell your story while at the same time putting great optics through their paces!
Meanwhile - the clock is ticking, and there are only a few days left to take advantage of the 14 lenses on the FLASH Sale. Just click on the banner to the right.
by Skip Cohen
I know how much we all hate it when we're bombarded with email pitches - but if you've had your eyes on new lenses and expanding your choice of focal lengths - this new very limited-time program from Tamron is worth checking out.
There are instant savings on fourteen different lenses for Sony Mirrorless, Canon and Nikon DSLRS. The Flash Sale covers some of the finest glass in imaging. Just click on the map to find the Tamron dealer nearest you.
Over the last decade, Tamron has never slowed down in the development/manufacturing of great optics to help you capture the very finest images. And if you've met any of their staff, you also know they also never slow down on their focus on education and helping us all become better artists!
Image copyright Lisa Langell. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
When we started this series, I hadn't really thought about how appropriate it was to compare photographers to chefs. Like your favorite restaurants and cuisines, your passion as a "foodie" is based on the flavors and style of cooking each restaurant represents. It's always driven by the chef.
Photography is no different; we fall in love with an artist's work, style, and subject manner. But, just like dining out, the consistency of quality becomes important too. And like great chefs, they have their favorite tools to work with.
This month's Tamron Recipes piece was a particular kick because we caught up with Tamron Image Master Lisa Langell while she was still in Alaska. Adding to the fun, it was just days after she captured the image above. Based out of Arizona, she's been teaching Alaska workshops for many years.
There's a quote on her website which truly defines her level of passion for the craft.
"Great photography shouldn't just document what you saw...or even how you experienced it.
It should capture how you want your audience to experience that moment!"
I've followed Lisa's work for a lot of years. In fact, she was a guest on one of the very early episodes in the Tamron Recipes series almost three years ago. Lisa needs to be on your radar, starting with a visit to her website. And stay tune to her workshop schedule - she's got some exciting news coming up in the very near future about her Magic of Alaska photography tours.
There's a common denominator with every Tamron "Chef," their love for the gear they're using, especially Tamron lenses. As I've written so many times before, they're manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging today. If you haven't visited your local Tamron Dealer, it's definitely time!
Just click on the banner below for more information.
by Skip Cohen
It's summertime, and even with gas prices being absurd, so many of you are traveling both locally and hitting your bucket list on vacation. If you're a wildlife photographer, there's a lot of great content to make you drool in the video below. But regardless of what you photograph, I love how this film was produced...you don't need any more than great music and stunning images to tell a story.
Luke Stackpoole takes us to Namibia with his 150-500mm F/ 5-6.7 Di III VC VXD for Sony E-Mount lens. With its focal length and being lightweight, it's perfect for a trip like this. And in terms of the quality of the images, keep in mind that I'm grabbing screenshots from a video. So imagine the quality of the originals!
Tamron's making some of the finest glass in imaging. This lens is just one example. As you watch the video, you'll also understand why this lens won a 2022 TIPA Award!
But there's one more reason I love sharing a video like this...think about how you'd tell your own story. Sure, this is about exotic travel and wildlife, but how would you tell your story? Put together music with great images, minimal text, and whatever your specialty, there's the potential for a terrific marketing video.
by Skip Cohen
There's something a little sadistic about the joy of winter weather when I'm sitting outside in my backyard in June writing this post. Plus, living in Florida, everyone whines when we hit those bone-chilling sixty-degree temps in the winter!
I wanted to share this short Tamron video for several reasons. First, it's so well done. Even the music they chose leaves you wanting more than just two minutes! Plus, Ken Hubbard is a buddy who regularly puts Tamron lenses to the test in virtually every kind of weather. Over the last few years, he's taken us all over the world. Last but not least, Alaska is still on my bucket list!
Regardless of what lenses you shoot with, the video is a great break from whatever you're working on.
And if you haven't checked out Tamron lately - it's time to visit your Tamron Dealer and take a serious look at the 28-75mm F/2.8 G2 lens Ken's traveling with here. Just click on the thumbnail to the right for more information about this remarkable NEW lens from one of the industry's finest manufacturers.
Click on the images above to view in the SCU Lightbox.
These are screen grabs from the video, so imagine how sharp the originals must be!
by Skip Cohen
I love this video from Tamron because it's loaded with great tips about shooting handheld. Jake Sloan does a terrific job of advice for capturing better landscape shots. Whether you shoot with Tamron lenses or not, if you're interested in landscape photography, Jake's tips in this short video are going to be so useful.
If you haven't visited Tamron's YouTube channel, it's time to check it out. There are 384 videos, many of them featuring some of the most respected artists in the industry. Plus, they're covering virtually every specialty, sharing good solid ideas on technique to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images.
With the Father's Day countdown underway, and more people traveling this summer and spending time outdoors, now's a great time to visit your Tamron dealer. The 70-180mm F/2.8 lens is a phenomenal piece of glass and it's part of Tamron's very limited time Father's Day promotion, with a $100 rebate. The program ends this Sunday, June 19.
There are eleven different lenses featured on this new promotion with "Instant Savings" from $50 to $200. Just click on the link below to find a Tamron dealer near you.
Image copyright Lewis Kemper. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Great photographers are like terrific chefs. They have a favorite cuisine or, with Lewis Kemper, a specialty. They have a restaurant they're associated with, with Lewis, it's the outdoors. And they have their favorite tools of the craft; with Lewis, one key set of tools is thanks to Tamron.
We're excited to welcome Lewis Kemper back to the Tamron Recipes series, featuring favorite images from some of the very best artists in imaging. He's a photographer, author, and educator who redefines passion for the outdoors and wildlife. Based out of Sacramento, his love for the outdoors and telling the story of North America has become his signature. He has been to 47 states, from Alaska to Florida. And his international travel has taken him to over ten countries, including China, Tibet, India, and Iceland, to name a few.
Having followed Lewis' work for many years, while his images are stunning, it's his passion for the craft I appreciate the most. His love for the wildlife and landscape has been a constant quest for the ultimate image for over 40+ years. He simply doesn't slow down!
Lewis Kemper should be on your radar. Check out his website and definitely visit his galleries. And if you've got an interest in terrific hands-on workshops, take a look at three trips he's got coming up later this year to Alaska, Kenya, and Death Valley.
Just before recording the short backstory that went with today's post, Lewis and I talked about Tamron lenses. They're manufacturing some of the finest optics in the world. On June 6, they launched a limited-time Father's Day promotion, making this an ideal time to visit your Tamron dealer. Just click on the banner below.
by Skip Cohen
Now and then, a great sale comes along you need to know about. There are six lenses in Tamron's new "Flash Sale," but it's only active for two weeks, and it kicked off yesterday. So with Mother's Day, graduation, and Father's Day all around the corner, here's an opportunity for saving on some of Tamron's best for the perfect gift - better yet, maybe it's time to expand what's in your own camera bag.
With better weather just around the corner and more of you shooting outdoors, I grabbed the video on the 150-500mm lens. Plus, a few of Ken Hubbard's images, (Click to view in the SCU lightbox.) But this is only one of six focal lengths for you to check out at your nearest Tamron dealer!
Over the last decade, Tamron's manufactured some of the finest glass in imaging! Time to add a few to your camera gear.
by Skip Cohen
Now and then, I run across an image that's far more than just an older photograph. I know I've shared this image a few times over the years, but for me, it represents the epitome of what a great throwback is all about.
To start, the image itself is a perfect example of great storytelling, all in one photograph. "Forever Alone" is about Cupid forgetting to keep one arrow for himself. He's at the bar, drowning his sorrows, without a chance at love on Valentine's Day. And to add to the fun of the image, that's the artist himself in the far back left corner!
The image was created by an artist who's become a great buddy over the years. It's one of the early images I shared of Jonathan Thorpe's. It was captured eight years ago, just about to the day. Jonathan is no stranger to the SCU blog. He's a Tamron Image Master, and his work has been featured in guest post images, an episode of "Why?" and the Tamron Recipes podcast.
The backstory gets even better in this BTS video from 2013:
Throwbacks also help us stay in touch. I caught up to Jonathan for a few minutes at IUSA last month. I also called him this morning to determine when the "Forever Alone" was created and make sure it was okay to share. Just the fun of catching up to him was a great way to kick off the day.
Last but not least, Valentine's Day is Monday. So that makes the timing of today's Throwback Thursday post the perfect preview to the holiday.
Whether you share Throwback Thursday images or not, take the time to go on the hunt. That's half the fun. It's a reminder of how important photographs are. There are few things more valuable than looking at an old photo and appreciating the memories it brings back.
And as a marketing tool, throwbacks are a perfect way to remind your clients it's time to update that family portrait. For most of you, your target audience is "Mom." With the renewed focus on family because of the pandemic, now is the time for you to plant a few seeds of ideas, especially for children and family portraiture.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
PS Interested in seeing more of Jonathan's work? He needs to be on your radar. Just click on Cupid to visit his website.
by Skip Cohen
It's Tamron Tuesday, and regardless of whether or not you shoot with Tamron lenses, their newsletter is outstanding. It's always filled with good solid content sharing what other artists are doing to grow their brand, skillset, and creativity.
Depending on the stories they run in each issue, you'll pick up valuable information about shooting with different focal lengths too.
Click on the subscribe banner to the right to sign up - it's free, and Tamron doesn't bury you in spam, just great content.
And, if you're looking for more worthwhile content, check out their YouTube channel. With 346 videos and growing more every week, you'll find topics covering virtually every aspect of photography.
Here are two examples - First, their 60-second tips series, and second, an in-depth profile travel log featuring Luke Stackpoole. He fulfilled a long-cherished dream and traveled for several weeks through one of the most beautiful countries in Africa: Namibia. It's loaded with stunning images and great content. You can learn a lot "traveling" with another artist, even for just a few minutes.
I love sharing these longer videos because they not only tell the story from the artist's perspective but watch it and think about the production values and how you'd tell your story.
by Skip Cohen
For me, the fun of Tamron's YouTube channel goes a lot deeper than just great images and "hanging out" with artists from around the world.
Let's not forget the lens itself! The 28-75mm F2.8 is perfect for travel. While you'll often hear people argue that one lens can't do it all, combined with Sony gear, it comes pretty close! Remember, these are screen grabs I'm sharing - so, think about how sharp the original files must be.
Click on any of the three screen grabs to visit Kenna's website and see more of her work!
Check out Tamron's rebate page for great deals on other Tamron lenses. They're manufacturing some of the finest optical glass in the world, and you owe it to yourself to capture the very best images for yourself as well as your clients.
by Skip Cohen
This could well be my favorite video that Ken has done for Tamron over the years, and what better time to share it than on a Tamron Tuesday?
First, is the video itself. Just trust me on this and grab a cup of coffee and kick back and spend four minutes of your day as Ken wanders along the east coast of New England photographing lighthouses. I don't know if it's the music, the birds, the sound of the ocean, or just Ken's love for what he's doing, but it's incredibly soothing to watch.
Second, it's not a hard sales pitch - in fact, it couldn't be more soft-sell. And regardless of whether or not you shoot with Tamron, it's got a little educational twist and will leave you wishing you were hanging out along the Maine coast.
Third, special projects are a key to keeping your sanity, especially these days. None of us know what to believe in the world, and stepping away from your direct business and just being out with your camera is the perfect way to get your head back in the game. Special projects stimulate creativity and help you focus your priorities.
Ken's shooting with Tamron's 24-70mm lens. If you'd like more information, just click on the thumbnail to the right. And if you're thinking about some gear, Tamron's got a great program going on right now.
Tamron's making some of the finest glass in imaging, but don't take my word for it. Visit your Tamron dealer. And to my buddy, Ken Hubbard, nicely done and team from Tamron - nicely done!
They didn't become the world's leading lens manufacturer by accident!
Images copyright David Akoubian. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
With all the challenges coming out of the pandemic and travel for many of you limited, David Akoubian shares some terrific insight into how he turned his backyard into a bird sanctuary. David's a phenomenal artist and Tamron Image Master, now with one of his favorite subjects literally on his doorstep every day!
I love the way Tamron and David have put this video together with a solid "how-to" approach to the sanctuary and great tips on technique and learning the behavior of the birds themselves. But there's a sidebar backstory I appreciate even more - this is about "Personal Projects." Projects like this help keep you stay focused on the passion for why you became a photographer in the first place. Personal projects help save you from being buried under the stress of the day-in-day-out challenges of building your business!
Tamron never slows down in support of photographers. In addition to over three-hundred videos on their YouTube channel, you'll find their tech team regularly supporting events around the country to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images.
Check out the links below for information on Tamron's NEW 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD Lens for Sony E Mount cameras, along with their ongoing active schedule of events in your area! If you haven't checked out Tamron lenses lately, they're making some of the finest optics in imaging!
And check out David's website for information about his workshop schedule, along with his blog and great images in his galleries!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.