by Skip Cohen
Two weeks ago, I shared a Tamron video featuring the work of Erik Stensland. While I usually don't share videos with the same artist so close to one another, after watching this one, it so deserved to be seen by more photographers.
To start, I love Erik's honesty and the way he talks about burning out in his "previous life," and turning to landscape photography. I've heard so many stories from photographers over the years about how they got started, often making the transition from another career field through their passion for imaging.
Second, I love the way Tamron has taken the needs artists have for the various features of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens and brought them together with Erik's needs while out shooting.
Tamron is on a never-ending quest to manufacture the finest glass in photography. They're providing artists with great tools to help capture everyone's goal - the search for the ultimate image.
Erik's working with the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens and with a click of your mouse on the thumbnail to the right you can find out more. And check it out for yourself by visiting your local Tamron retailer or catching up to members of the Tamron team at any of their upcoming events!
The Tamron team is dedicated to helping photographers raise the bar on their skill set and provide them with some of the finest creative tools in photography!
Images copyright Erica Robinson. All rights reserved.
Click to view either image in the SCU Lightbox
by Skip Cohen
Working together with the team at Tamron USA, Chamira Young and I started this series in January, making this our seventh episode of Tamron Recipes. As I've written in the past, we completely underestimated what we'd learn about and from each featured artist, as well as the fun we'd have in the process. "Fun" is one of those lost words in business today, but each artist has expressed their love for the craft in so many different ways and they're definitely having fun!
There's a quote credited to several people, including Steve Jobs and Confucius: "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!" Well, each artist is dedicated not only to their specialty but virtually every aspect of imaging. They've shared incredible insight into their growth as artists, and their dedication to telling a story with each image they capture, and always with Tamron lenses.
A passion for "giving back" has been a common denominator as each chef has opened their heart and shared a wealth of knowledge. They've allowed us to share their recipe for a single image and then expand it to their ingredients for growth in their skill set and business, often going well beyond their photographs.
With every Tamron Recipes post, we always share a quote about the recipe for success. I recently found this one by Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker who passed away in 2009.
2 cups faith, 2 cups love, 1 cup hard work, 1 cup persistence, 1 tbsp vision and a dash of swagger
We're jumping into the Tamron Kitchen today with "Chef" Erica Robinson. While the previous posts started with a phone call or two, today's is a little unique because Chef Erica isn't just a working artist, but also a dedicated member of Tamron's technical support team. I've met Erica many times before and she's no stranger to SCU readers having been featured in previous posts.
When I found the recipe for success by Jim Rohn, I couldn't help but notice how well it described Erica. She's filled with faith in her skill set and understanding of the craft. She loves photography and has a passion for wearing the Tamron hat and working with other artists - if you've ever seen her at a trade show, you already know what she's like in action. She's persistent in her quest and hard work to capture an image or tell a story, and that little touch of swagger is demonstrated in her pride as an accomplished artist.
About the images and the SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD lens: The Tamron SP 85mm "is the world's first* fast aperture lens with image stabilization."
"It's unique design allows us to include our VC (Vibration Compensation) system - without the lens becoming too large or heavy. What's more, our SP 85mm F/1.8 delivers edge-to-edge viewfinder brightness for ease of composition and superior low-light performance. The fast aperture of the F/1.8 also offers the perfect balance of subject sharpness and bokeh, that dreamy blur which separates your portrait subject from the background."
*Among 85mm F/1.8 interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras as of January 2016. Data source: Tamron
Click on the banner below to find out more about this outstanding member of Tamron's prime lens family.
When I looked at Erica's work, it was no easy task to pick one image. I couldn't do it and talked with her about using two from her past trip to Cuba. For so many of us there's still a beautiful mystique to the people, the culture and the country. Although legal travel for Americans started to open up in 1999, "President Obama restored people-to-people travel in 2011." (Source inSightCuba.com)
About "Chef" Erica: One visit to Erica's galleries and you'll immediately see what I meant about her passion for the craft. I love her About-page description of herself, and it's so appropriate to share part of it here:
I won't write this out like a dating profile or write some perfect euphoric poem expressed on every Instagram post you see. But what I will tell you, is my life is in pictures. I travel around the US as a tech rep, and around the world for adventure. I'm proud to pass along my knowledge and experiences in seminars, workshops and now here. All, to others who feel the same travel pull on their heartstrings as I do. My hope is that with one little tip or story, it will encourage YOU to explore, dare you to dance with a stranger, or inspire a new challenge in your photography and travel journey.
Part II of Erica's recipes is coming next Tuesday with her podcast. We'll be talking a lot about her journey as an artist and especially her adventures in Cuba. You can be sure she'll be sharing some great insight into how she's built so many unique relationships with her subjects, clients, and other photographers in the industry.
Click on Erica's Tamron Recipe image to view in the SCU Lightbox. And, her website is just a click away,
This special series is a kick to build and share each month. Join us next Tamron Tuesday when we share
Erica's podcast together with more of her images. Things never slow down in the Tamron Kitchen and each "Chef" brings a new recipe for success to the table!
From the beginning of the SCU relationship with Tamron, we've always had a strong appreciation for the content they share - especially on their YouTube channel. Each video is always packed with solid content from some of photography's finest artists. Regardless of your photographic specialty, you'll find some real nuggets of wisdom from each artist being featured.
Erik Stensland is out and about with Tamron's 18-400 mm lens, and I love his point about the capabilities of a crop-sensor lens with an 18-400mm range. I grabbed screenshots from the video just for the fun of showing the versatility of this lens.
Tamron is always focused on manufacturing great glass and helping photographers raise the bar on their skill set and images. Follow the schedule of the Tamron team when they're on the road. In July they're in Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Washington, Kansas, Rhode Island, and Michigan! All it takes to put them on your radar is a click on the banner below!
Intro by Chamira Young
Have you stepped outside of your comfort zone lately? Photographer Douglas Croft did, and discovered a new passion for photographing whales he didn't know he had. You never know where inspiration will come from, and being open to new experiences is a prime opportunity to rejuvenate your photography passion and learn about subjects previously unknown to your own personal "bubble".
It was by deciding to go on a whale-watching tour that photographer Douglas Croft discovered his passion for capturing breathtaking images of the behemoth mammals. And ironically, it was right in his own back yard of Monterey Bay! He's been hooked ever since. By using Tamron's 18-400mm VC HLD zoom lens for his adventures, he's been able to capture his giant subjects whether they surface right next to his boat or hundreds of yards away.
Check out his work below, as well as the fascinating backstory and process!
By Jenn Gidman
Images By Douglas Croft
For the first 15 years that Douglas Croft lived in San Jose, he had no idea that Monterey Bay existed. Then, about eight years ago, he went on a whale-watching tour, and he was hooked. Since then, he's served as a volunteer on the Whale Entanglement Team with the Marine Life Studies group, working to rescue large marine mammals that get caught in fishing gear and marine debris. He also works several times a week with Blue Ocean Whale Watch, which leaves out of Moss Landing Harbor to take spectators to see whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other marine life.
Douglas says his experiences in these local waters have been eye-opening. "Monterey Bay is such a vibrant ecosystem that it really boggles the mind," he says. "I went to Africa twice, and then I came home and discovered the Serengeti of the sea was right there in my backyard. The first time I saw a whale breach from a boat, I didn't even remember I had a camera in my hand until it had splashed down; I was in such awe. It still awes me like that. I've since seen hundreds of whale breaches, but it never gets old, and it's almost always surprising, because you never know where or when it's going to happen."
That surprise factor is what's drawn Douglas to the Tamron 18-400mm VC HLD zoom lens for his adventures on the water. "That's what makes this lens outstanding," he says. "Because you often can't anticipate where or when photo-worthy moments are going to happen, if a breach starts happening 200 yards from the boat, I can zoom out to 400mm and be right on it. Then, if something takes place right next to the boat, I can pull back in. It's such a versatile lens. Plus the autofocus is awesome, and it's a light-enough lens that I can shoot all day with it. The moisture-resistant construction is handy as well, since we go out on the boat even if it's raining—the whales are out no matter what."
Although participants on his whale-watching tours are able to see whales 365 days a year on Monterey Bay, some species are seasonal. "Humpback whales, for example, are migratory," Douglas explains. "We usually have them up here from early April through November. Then most of them head down to Mexico to the breeding and birthing waters."
Gray whales, like the mother and calf Douglas captured playing in the kelp by Big Sur, are seen in the fall and in the spring. "These two were doing their migration past Monterey," he says. "When they're not here, they're either down in Baja in the birthing lagoons or they're up toward Alaska feeding. The gray whales swim very close to the cliffs along Big Sur, because they want to avoid killer whales—swimming close to the cliffs reduces their acoustic signature so the killer whales can't hear them. So if you're on the cliffs, you can look straight down on them. On the day I captured this photo, the water was really clear, and there was a lot of kelp hanging around in the kelp forest because there hadn't been any storms in some time. These whales got right in there."
Although Douglas doesn't consider himself an expert on animal behavior, he's learned some tricks to anticipate better what's going to happen on the water. "There are always clues on what the animals are going to do," he says. "Sometimes a whale will breach completely out of the blue, but a lot of times, if they do it once, they'll do it again. And so you watch that area. On the humpback whale you see breaching here, that whale easily breached 50 times over the hour we were watching. I had plenty of opportunity to try and grab a photo."
The lunge-feeding humpback whales Douglas often photographs have their own particular "tell." "If we see congregations of diving birds, we know that schooling fish are near the surface," he says. "And if whales are in the area, the likelihood is that they're going to feed close to the surface. So if you see where the birds are diving, you can anticipate the whales will come up right where those birds are."
Even if you know what the marine animals may do, you still don't know when it's going to happen. "It always takes your breath away," Douglas says. "You can only somewhat anticipate it and be zoomed in to where you think you'll see some action, with your finger on the trigger. My hands get so sore after a day on the water, because they're clenched on the camera all day."
Read more and enjoy additional images from Douglas...
Be sure to check out Tamron's events schedule. Their team is on the road with great programs/events throughout the entire year!
Images copyright Marcie Reif. All rights reserved.
"Good things happen when you set your priorities straight!"
by Skip Cohen
Welcome back to Tamron Recipes and Part II, our conversation with "Chef" Marcie Reif. Marcie shares so much great insight in this conversation. Her passion for the craft, along with her clients, comes out loud and clear. Her goal with each client is to exceed their expectations, and as I've written in the past, make herself habit-forming!
We're having a lot of fun with this series. "Fun" is too often a mystical word that gets lost in business today, buried under the stress of decision making, interruptions, and priority setting. But, the quote by Scott Caan seems to define at least one aspect of Marcie's outlook on life, her priorities. On her about page, she leads with a description of herself as simply, "wife, mother, artist." That pretty much says it all, establishing those three hats she wears that are a big part of the foundation of who she is.
I'd add one more hat, "friend." With each podcast, both Chamira and I have found the start of new friendships with our guests. Marcie's not just part of the Tamron family, but ours as well and that's one of my most favorite things about this industry - the friendships we all share that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
In wandering through Marcie's galleries, I wanted to pull a variety of my favorite images. You'll notice a universal theme - people! I doubt there's very much Marcie can't photograph, but it's her relationships with her clients that's demonstrated in great expressions in every image. Click on any photograph in this post to visit Marcie's website.
One of Marcie's most favorite tools is Tamron's new 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD lens. But it's not just about the quality of the optics, but the focal length. With a 35-150mm range she can be close to her clients and a director when needed, as well as a journalist's approach and back farther to observe. She talks very openly on her approach and why this lens is ideal for working with families and kids.
"Chef" Marcie's recipe is a click away if you missed it last week. Check out the 35-150mm lens with a click on the thumbnail to the right. And, visit your Tamron dealer to check this lens out for yourself and make sure Tamron's schedule of local events and trade shows is on your radar. You'll find their complete schedule below with an almost endless number of workshops, shows and dealer programs all year long.
Image copyright Marcie Reif. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
This is our sixth episode of Tamron Recipes, and it's been a pretty incredible journey. I've written before how Chamira Young and I thought it would be a fun idea to try, but in all honesty, we completely underestimated the insight each "chef" would share. We also never thought about the diversity of the subject matter - from landscape to macro to babies, birds and critters and storytelling with just one photograph, and always with Tamron lenses.
Each "chef" has opened their heart and shared a wealth of knowledge, taking the recipe for a single image and expanding it to include their recipe for success in business, well beyond their photographs. With every post, we always share this quote about the recipe for success. We all know the expression, and there are four primary ingredients:
What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients:
Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you,
seize your opportunities, and be a member of a team.
We're in the Tamron Kitchen today with Marcie Reif. These posts and podcasts always start with a phone call or two. In my first conversation with Marcie, it was obvious she's entirely focused on her love for portraiture. She builds relationships with her clients, never doing anything just halfway. She loves her career choice. Like a world-class chef, she's always looking to be creative and is always looking for the precise moment to capture the personalities of her subjects, and she's part of an incredible team, the Tamron family.
About the Image and the 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD lens: This new Tamron lens has become one of Marcie's favorites.
The 35-150mm lens "is based on the new concept of allowing you to concentrate on a wide range of portrait compositions without the interruption of pausing to change lenses. The fast F-stop offers F/2.8 at the wide end while maintaining a bright F/4 at the telephoto end."
To the core I love photographing the joy of kids and families. Creating a strong and authentic portrait of their pure joy has definitely become my style and what people come to expect from me. This lens gives me a lot of room to play with that. Sometimes I need to be close to them to tickle them or sing. Sometimes I need to be farther away and it's their parents that can bring out that joy in them. Either way I can be close or far away with this lens. M. Reif
Click on the banner below to find out more about this outstanding lens.
About "Chef" Marcie: Based out of Atlanta, one trip to Marcie's website and she sets the stage for her expertise as a family photographer. From her opening statement about being a "wife, mother and artist," to her description of her style of photography, there's no question of her goal to meet each client's mindset.
My goal is to deliver you a unique set of images that are artistic, natural, and warm by mixing childhood images with connections to love. My style and heart lead to very natural photographs. I always try to deliver my clients images of their family “being” a family. This may mean singing, dancing, playing together, or maybe just some ginormous hugs! I LOVE to capture kids being themselves because best moments come when you set them up, sit back, and wait. M. Reif
Stay tuned for Part II of Marcie's recipe coming next Tuesday with her podcast. She'll be sharing a lot of great insight into how she's built her business and reputation. She's a passionate artist with outstanding listening skills allowing her to better define each client's goals and relationships with a solid foundation of trust.
Just click on Marcie's Tamron Recipe image above to visit her website. And, follow her on Instagram and Facebook too.
What a kick this new series is to build and share each month. Join us next Tamron Tuesday when we share Marcie's podcast together with more of her images. Things never slow down in the Tamron Kitchen!
Image copyright Lisa Langell. All rights reserved.
Last month we shared a podcast packed full with great insight and a series of images by Tamron "Chef," Lisa Langell. The Tamron Recipe series always receives a great response, and today, Lisa's back with one of her recipes for success - how to photograph hummingbirds. The fun of working with Lisa is her attention to detail, combined with her willingness to share just about everything she's learned over the years to help more photographers fine-tune their skill set.
This new guest post is loaded with good solid information, especially Lisa's observations on the importance of "re-imagining nature photography" for today's contemporary clients and the interiors of their homes.
Lisa's hummingbird images are all captured with Tamron's 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD lens. Just like Lisa's approach to photography, Tamron never slows down in manufacturing some of the very best optics in imaging. And, they're just as focused on helping photographers improve their skill set to help capture the very best photographs.
To find out more about this outstanding lens, click on the thumbnail to the left. The 70-210 lens is also included in Tamron's Spring Rebate program through July 6, 2019 with a $200 instant savings at authorized Tamron dealers.
Check out more of Lisa's work and her workshop schedule with a visit to her website. Just click on the banner below. While her August workshops are already sold out, with some classes, she maintains a waitlist. Make sure you sign up for her FREE newsletter, so you're always up to date on her workshops, trips, and latest information to help you become a better artist.
by Lisa Langell
Creating wildlife and nature photography that works well into the interior designs of homes, offices and more is a true passion of mine. Echoing back to my years long ago of working as a floral designer with other interior decorators to transform the indoors, I learned a great deal about people’s palates, tastes, design techniques, and decorating trends.
Making wildlife photography something people want to hang in trendy, well-decorated and designed homes requires transforming how we perceive what constitutes “nature photography.” We must go beyond the “rules” and restrictions long-associated with “classic” magazine and calendar-style photography. It requires re-imagining how we photograph, process, print and display our work so that it is on-trend with the decorative and artistic look of today’s indoor environments.
The high-key style hummingbird photography I do is just one example of re-imagining nature photography for today’s interiors. Here is how it is done.
Recipe for Hummingbird High Key Setups
1 hummingbird feeder (which inevitably attracts bees and wasps, detested by hummingbirds)
3-4 speedlite flashes positioned about 18-24 inches from the bird, set to Manual, at 1/16th to 1/32nd power.
Zoom and aperture settings variable to achieve the light and look you need, depending on the placement of the flashes.
1 white backdrop about 24-36 inches behind the bird
1 flash positioned to illuminate white backdrop set to no higher than 1/8 power
1 camera on a tripod - Set camera to the following settings (slight adjustments made as needed):
1 Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD lens
1 remote trigger (I do not recommend the type that requires line-of-sight communication)
1 or more stunningly gorgeous hummingbirds
See the setup:
Ethics of Flash Photography and Hummingbirds
The ethics of using flash photography with animals and birds is something which I have spent considerable time researching before I comfortably employed these techniques with hummingbirds. I am highly conscientious of being a good steward of our natural world and wanted to understand any impact this method of photography may have on birds before engaging in this type of photography.
Of the current information I located on the web, there are diverse opinions, but a lack of peer-reviewed, published scientific studies available on this topic. Virtually none of the articles I located involve birds and flash photography; however studies that looked at fish and reptiles indicated daytime use of flash photography resulted in little or no negative impact.
It is important to note that though hummingbirds were not included in the study, the intensity of light used in the studies below appears greater than that which hummingbird photography requires. A lengthy meta-search of research abstracts resulted in these two articles which most closely aligned with my interests:
Huang, B., Lubarsky, K., Teng, T., & Blumstein, D.T. (2015). Take only pictures, leave only…fear? The
effects of photography on the West Indian anole Anolis cristatellus. Current Zoology 57(1), 77-82.
De Brauwer, M., Gordon, L.M., Shalders, T.C., Saunders, Archer, M., Harvey, E.S., … Mcllwain, J. (2019).
Behavioural and pathomorphological impacts of flash photography on benthic fishes. Scientific
Reports, 9 (Article 748). Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37356-2
I also reviewed the work of Dr. Graham Martin (Professor Emeritus, University of Birmingham and a leading Ornithologist focused on avian vision and sensory science) and Dr. Jack Pettigrew, (Professor Emeritus and Director of the Vision, Touch and Hearing Research Center at the University of Queensland in Australia. Both are leading researchers who have expressed possible concern for flashing nocturnal creatures such as owls, but I have been unable to locate any research or commentary which suggests low-power flashes are detrimental during daylight hours.
Lastly, I have my own observations:
The hummingbirds that come in to feed do not appear disturbed by the flashes. In fact, they return frequently throughout the day to feed at the setups. On very few occasions I have observed a mild “startle” response at a flash, but the bird goes back to feeding in less than a second and subsequently makes continued return trips to the feeders without further startling behavior. One final note, I do not employ high-speed repeated flashing when shooting (e.g., 3-4+ flashes per second). Though the technology is capable of doing so, I choose not to.
Images copyright Ben Kraushaar. All rights reserved.
Click on any image to view in the SCU Lightbox
I love this series from Tamron because they pack a lot of good content into each short video, and they always highlight just one lens. And, with this one, in particular, I love the coverage professional photographer Ben Kraushaar shares with his images of fly-fishing in Wyoming.
A few years back, our son got me into fly-fishing. I've spent hours standing in streams in Montana and Georgia, and although the nibbles have been plenty, the actual catches just the opposite. It's an amazing sport, but one that requires patience and an appreciation for simply being outdoors. But I've never been disappointed at any time fishing - it's Zen-like, incredibly peaceful, and if I could stop thinking I need to set the hook I'd find myself more successful. Like any sport it takes practice, but for me, success is in the appreciation for building my skill set.
Ben Kraushaar's tagline on his site says it all - "Benjamin Kraushaar is a scientist, photographer and storyteller of all things outdoors!" His website is just a click away. And, on this excursion, he's wearing his photographer, and storyteller hat with Tamron's 35mm F1.8 lens. He shares some great insight in this short video.
Tamron never slows down in their quest to help photographers raise the bar on the quality of their work and their images. They're manufacturing some of the finest optics in imaging!
Tamron's Spring Savings rebate program is going on right now through July 6. Stop into your Tamron dealer and check out one of the most extensive lens lines in photography!
Intro by Chamira Young
You know you're looking at an amazing maternity portrait when it makes you pause, suck in your breath, and just stare as you soak up the beauty with your eyes. Photographer Casey Dittmer regularly creates such images, which is why it's such a blast to feature her work today.
Check out her beautiful maternity portraits below, as well as the meticulous way she plots each photo shoot for her clients. They will definitely make you stop and have an awe-filled moment. As you'll see, rather than going the traditional maternity image route, she puts her own unique spin on the photo sessions, while emphasizing the comfort and safety of the mothers-to-be.
Whether it's a high school senior portrait, corporate headshot, or maternity photo shoot, every photo session you do should be an experience for your client. I love that Casey acknowledges this, even going so far as to very appropriately call her maternity sessions the "Goddess Experience". And for all of her different photography styles, Casey relies on the two main lenses in her arsenal: the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2 and the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2. And for those who want to know the lens settings she used, we've included those as well.
Get ready to be inspired!
By Jenn Gidman
Images By Casey Dittmer
Casey Dittmer has been taking pictures since high school, when she worked for a portrait studio. College came next, followed by starting her own family—and that's when Casey decided to launch her own studio instead of buying the one she was working at. "We had a new baby, so we started our own business so we could control it and go at our own pace," she says. "We built it from the living room up, from nothing to where it is now."
Located in Grand Junction, Colorado, Casey's studio specializes in portraiture, including family, high school seniors, boudoir, newborns, and maternity, the latter of which Casey has been paying special attention to for the past five years or so. "We've been trying to carve out our niche and change the conversation in maternity," she says. "For so long, maternity photography has centered on a cozier, softer, touchy-feely kind of look, which some women really like. But other women aren't as cool with it. It's just not their personality, or they're not as comfortable in their pregnant bodies as some other women may be."
That's where her studio's "Goddess Experience" comes in. "What we honor is the women's strength in that moment," she says. "We find it's very empowering to celebrate you're having a baby, but also to make a note of what you're accomplishing in bringing a new life into this world. At no other time are women's bodies such a dynamic shape, so we try to showcase them in beautiful gowns."
For all of her different photography styles, Casey relies on the two main lenses in her arsenal: the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2 and the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2. "These have both been fantastic from the get-go, with always consistent performance," she says. "Because I started from nothing and didn't have the budget to buy a ton of equipment, I needed to find a lens that could do everything I needed to do. I love that with these two I can get wider, sweeping shots like the ones you see with my maternity work, but also take advantage of the telephoto end of things to zoom in for more detailed shots on my newborns, giving me the ability to capture just the belly and the hands. Plus, because I shoot completely handheld, the Vibration Compensation (VC) feature on both lenses helps reduce camera shake and keep my images sharp."
Casey creates most of the gowns for the Goddess Experience herself. "We do have a few vendors we purchase gowns from, but 80% to 85% of the gowns you see are custom creations I've created for them," she says. "We style at least one look for each session." And the backgrounds she scouts are often ultimately selected to lend a grandiose feel befitting a goddess. "We want each photo to be unique, almost like an event," she adds.
A well-laid-out plan is required for a successful maternity session. "I need to know exactly what I'm going to do and how we're going to get there, so I'm not fumbling during the shoot," Casey says. "We need to pull off the session as quickly and efficiently as possible."
This became especially important, for example, when Casey and her team captured the maternity photo shown here in the famous Dark Hedges of Ireland. "When you're doing on-location shoots like this, they're overrun by hundreds of tourists on buses," she explains. "You go in with your plan, get the shot, and get out. We got lucky, because when we scouted the Dark Hedges, it was super-busy. But when we came back for the actual shoot, there were only a few people there. Using natural light with a bit of fill for her face, we were able to pull off this photo in a half-hour."
How maternity shoots differ from many other types of photography is the added effort needed to keep Casey's subjects comfortable and safe. "Sometimes I have these amazing ideas, but then I realize it's not really feasible to do them without some risk of possibly hurting or exhausting the mom-to-be," she says. "We also try to take breaks as often as we can. When we get excited and are in that high-energy shooting mode, we have to stop once in a while and let our subjects sit, relax, and breathe. Our models aren't just models—they're there as moms-to-be, and you have to be mindful of what their needs are."
That element came into play during her beach shoot in Ireland. "It was cold and blowing rain that day, though you can't necessarily tell that from the photo here," she says. "It wasn't fun for anyone involved. Not only did we have to get her out there safely, but we also had to get her out there and back in fairly quickly, for comfort's sake. It took less than half an hour to walk across the sand, get her into position, fire off the photos we needed, and then get her back down."
Safety and comfort were also paramount for a bucket list–style shoot Casey calls "Bump and a Hump," a photo she'd wanted to do for years. That image finally came to fruition recently in eastern Utah, with the help of a camel called Cosmo. "His smile kills me every time I pull up this image," she says. "We found a place that has camels available for things like this, but many of the national parks that have sand dunes don't allow professional photo shoots. We finally found a place called Little Sahara Sand Dunes that didn't mind us coming in."
Read more and enjoy Casey's additional images...
Be sure to check out Tamron's events schedule. Their team is on the road with great programs/events throughout the entire year!
On April 25, Tamron announced "the launch of a new zoom lens, the 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD (Model A043), for full-frame DSLR cameras." There's a new sheriff in town! The new lens is definitely worth a trip to your Tamron dealer, but there's more behind why I'm posting this.
I love sharing these short product pieces from Tamron for two reasons. Yes, it's an infomercial for a new product, but the content is short, sweet, to the point and worth watching. Here's a new portrait zoom with great diversity and adding to the list of creative tools to help you capture stunning images.
Second, they do a great job of telling the story. I know it's a lens, but think of how you'd tell your story and be just as direct and to the point. In less than two minutes they hit all the highlights, share one great example after another and very definitely plant a seed suggesting it's time to swing by the camera shop.
I also like the way every still image in the video is at a different focal length. I pulled the 35mm, 85mm, and 150mm as examples. Add six more portraits, and they've given you everything you need to know about the lens, and all in the shortest amount of time.
Click the banner on the right for more information about this new lens and the location of the dealer nearest you.
Technology never slows down...what a kick!
Click on any of these screen grabs for a larger image in the SCU Lightbox!
Ken and Andre are back in Alaska with Episode 2 of Tamron's Unofficial Field Guide Season 4. Since they started the series a few years ago, we've shared every episode from past seasons as they travel around the country capturing great images while working with some of the best gear in photography, visiting some spectacular locations and working with some of the finest artists in photo.
By the way, that's Charlie Voorhis in the back seat hanging out with them. Charlie is an outstanding filmmaker and also a Tamron Image Master. He's no stranger to SCU and was featured in a post last year.
Ken and Andre are shooting with the SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens which is a fantastic piece of glass. And, as they mention in the video, using a crop-sensor camera, they're effectively at 900mm! The lens is also part of Tamron's current Instant Rebate program. Just click the banners below for more information.
In the meantime, enjoy this short video below, as the industry's odd couple travel Alaska. And, if you're at a convention/conference when these two are in the Tamron booth, wander over and introduce yourself. They're great guys, terrific photographers and educators and passionate about helping artists raise the bar on their skill set!
In the news this morning is the announcement from Tamron USA about the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD lens wining a TIPA Award! Tamron's manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging and as you review other "members in the family," you'll see the TIPA World Awards thumbnail on a number of different lenses. This is Tamron's eighth TIPA in just the last five years!
" Best Mirrorless Standard Zoom Lens "
"This fast mid-range zoom for Sony E-mount cameras has specialized glass elements that control aberrations and deliver excellent resolution throughout the entire focal length range. All the lens surface is treated with Tamron's proprietary BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating that significantly reduces ghosting and flare. An all-new high-speed AF drive system with an RXD stepping drive delivers rapid, quiet focusing action. The lens features close focusing of 0.19 meters at the wide setting as well as moisture-resistant coating construction and fluorine coating, making it ideal for outdoor and nature photography."
Isn't it time you visited your local Tamron dealer and found out what all the buzz was about?
If you're not signed up for Tamron's FREE newsletter you're missing some great content with each issue. With each issue there's always one feature story and links to a lot of solid information to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images.
One of my favorite features is "Techniques from the Techs." Tamron's got a pretty remarkable and talented tech team, with each member being an artist in their own right. Each article ties in another aspect of photography. Linked from the new issue of the newsletter, was this short article by Armando Flores.
To sign up for future newsletter's the email address form is just a click away. You'll never be disappointed in all the good content Tamron shares.
Meet Tamron's Tech Team
by Armando Flores
Every time I go out for a day of shooting, like most of us I expect for the light and weather to be perfect, but lets get real, Mother Nature has a mind of her own. A big part of photography has to do with being at the right place, at the right time, and a little bit of luck. We can certainly control the place and time but if you haven’t guessed it, the luck part is the weather.
These past several months I found myself in various places without any luck: smoke filled skies in Montana, thunderstorms in southern Utah, and cloudy overcast skies in other places. This however did not deter me and it shouldn’t deter you either, so if you find yourself in a similar situation look on the bright side, this is a perfect time to shoot Black & White.
Grey dreary overcast skies might take away most of the color, but it will not take away the tonal range. Black & white photography is nothing more than capturing shades of grey anyway.
Read more and enjoy Armando's additional images...
Tamron never slows down in manufacturing some of the very finest glass in photography today. Check out their full product line and then visit the Tamron dealer nearest you!
Last year Tamron launched their "One Location, One Lesson, One Lens" series. It's been a nonstop hit with each new episode. But, it's so much more than just a great demonstration of what Tamron lenses can do - it's a chance to meet some phenomenal artists and educators, who, in each new video share some excellent tips to help you raise the bar on your images.
This new Lesson features Erica Robinson, a member of Tamron's Tech Team. She's an accomplished artist, having a diverse background in imaging from photography support on a cruise ship to weddings to landscape, travel, and teaching. And all along the way, there are two common denominators - her passion for the craft and quality!
Every month Erica and the team are out and about around the country with multiple workshop events. They need to be on your radar, and you'll find a complete listing of programs just a click away.
Erica's on the Oregon coast with Tamron's Ken Hubbard watching her back as the tide comes in. Watch the video and you'll see just how close the Pacific comes to catching her! She's working with Tamron's new 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD lens. Click on the banner below for more information, and examples of the outstanding new member of the Tamron family.
And, if you're headed to WPPI this week, swing by the Tamron booth, #335 and catch the Tamron team along with daily presentations, all aimed at helping you expand your skill set.
"What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients:
Chose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of a team."
Welcome back to Tamron Recipes. I know I'm dating myself to use an expression like this, but my co-host Chamira Young and I are having a blast with this new series and we so appreciate the nice feedback. Comparing talented artists/photographers to great chefs is so accurate. Each image truly is a feast for our eyes and often hearts. (Sorry, it's hard not to drop a pun in now and then!)
All of us use or hear the word recipe every day, most of the time in reference to either food or success. Our guest on this new podcast is Jonathan Thorpe, and if this were an episode of "Iron Chef" he'd be one of the resident Iron Chef's standing next to Bobby Flay and Michael Simon in Kitchen Stadium.
Jonathan shares a lot of great insight into his passion for the craft and his journey into the business of being a successful professional photographer. Listening to the podcast above you'll pick up on his love for imaging almost immediately.
Jonathan is the ultimate storyteller, sharing images that have us looking into each photograph rather than just at them, and the SP 45mm is one of his favorite go-to lenses.
His recipe for the initial image, shared last week, was captured with Tamron's SP 45mm F.1.8 Di VC USD lens and a Canon 5D Mark IV. Tamron Recipes always comes in two parts, first with a great image and then the story behind the photograph as well as the "chef."
Jonathan's first recipe in the Tamron Kitchen is just a click away. And check out the SP 45mm lens with a click on the thumbnail above, which is also included in Tamron's New Year Savings program going on through March 2, 2019. Just click on the banner below.
More Images From Jonathan Thorpe's Archives
Jonathan's ability to tell a story with just one image comes shining through with each photograph in his galleries. Take the time to check out his work, because we could only share a few of our favorites here. He's a "chef" who clearly has fun with every project. And, if you're headed to WPPI at the end of this month, he'll be speaking in the Tamron booth, #335.
Jonathan needs to be on your radar. Click on any of his images below to visit his website.
Images copyright Jonathan Thorpe. All rights reserved.
Image copyright Jonathan Thorpe. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
The word recipe is used over and again in so many conversations and often beyond food. We've all heard it in reference to business models and especially "the recipe for success."
What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients:
chose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of a team.
Welcome back to Tamron Recipes! This is our second in the series, and we're sharing the ingredients for great photography, and combining imaging with success by one of the finest "chefs" in the industry.
Jonathan Thorpe joins us, and he lives by the quote above from Ben Fairless: Jonathan loves the career path he's chosen. He never compromises on anything but the best, and his creativity never slows down, capturing images that always tell a story. And, without question, he's part of a remarkable team, the Tamron family.
About the Image and the SP 45mm lens: The image was created/captured in the local backyard of a friend's home. On the upcoming podcast, you'll hear Jonathan refer to the SP 45mm as one of his favorite "go to" lenses.
About "Chef" Jonathan: Getting to know Jonathan started with the Tamron Image Masters many years ago. There’s always more to his images than just a great photograph – he’s the ultimate storyteller, often sharing images that leave us looking into them, not just at them. He's a commercial and advertising photographer out of the D.C. area, but I'm not sure there's anything he can't photograph, and always with the passion that's become his signature.
Jonathan never slows down in making photography "fun," both from the capture side as well as viewing. "Fun" is one of those words so often lost in business today, but he never disappoints. His tagline of a photographer, director, gentlemen says it all.
There's a lot of Jonathan's work in the SCU archives. He needs to be on your radar. Just click on his image above to visit his website. And, you'll often find him speaking in the Tamron USA booth at the various conventions!
On my bucket list of things to do in photography is someday being a crew member on one of Jonathan's shoots. His ability to tell a story isn't always limited to the final image. He's a team player and I loved this shot of the whole crew when it was all over!
Assistant: Erich Morse
Monster: Helen Bloom
Additional Makeup: Joan Jones
Costume: FXCA Studios
Location Owner: Brad Masters
Stay tuned - there's a lot more coming this year from the "Tamron Kitchen." And, if you'd like more information about this remarkable new lens, just click on the banner below.
"What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients:
Chose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of a team."
Welcome to Part II of our new Tamron Recipes series. We're sharing the ingredients for great photography and combining imaging and success by some of the finest "chefs" in the industry but in a new podcast.
On January 21, working with the team at Tamron, we launched a fun new feature from the Tamron Kitchen. We're sharing some terrific recipes every month.
We've all heard the word "recipe" over and again, most of the time about either food or success. And, having fun with the popularity of reality food shows, we're talking with some of the finest "chefs" in contemporary photography.
We want to go beyond their recipes for photography. They're sharing insight into their passion for the craft and their journey into the business of being a successful professional photographer.
David Akoubian joined us in the first post, with his recipe for a stunning image from the Tetons captured with Tamron's SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens and a Nikon D850. Now he's back with a terrific podcast and talking about his career, his love for the outdoors and insight to help you look at your own journey as an artist.
David's first recipe shared in the Tamron Kitchen is just a click away. The two images below were also captured with the SP 24-70mm lens.
Images copyright David Akoubian. All rights reserved.
More Images From David Akoubian's Archives
Although David's core passion is about the outdoors with landscape and wildlife, there's probably nothing he hasn't photographed. His diversity in his galleries, which we talked a little about in the podcast, is a demonstration of his passion for the craft. From macro to critters and portraits, he's a "chef" who needs to be on your radar. Click on any of his images to visit Bear Woods Photography.
And, when you visit David's website make sure you follow his blog. He's always sharing great images and information to help you raise the bar on your skill set!
Over the years we've all heard the word "recipe" over and again, most of the time in relation to either food or success. B. F. Fairless, a 20th Century American steel executive wrote:
What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: chose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of a team.
Welcome to Tamron Recipes where we're sharing the ingredients for great photography and combining imaging and success by some of the finest "chefs" in the industry.
David Akoubian joins us in this first episode, and following B.F. Fairless's lead: He's chosen a career path he loves; always gives it his best; he rarely slows down seizing/capturing incredible images and without question he's part of remarkable team, the Tamron family.
About the Image and the 24-70mm lens: The image was captured around 6:00 am just as the sun was coming up. We talked with David about this image and photographing in the Grand Tetons.
Early morning photography: We had such a beautiful majestic landscape, why not capture it in the very best light?
The Tamron 24-70mm lens: The focal length of this lens is perfect and the sharpness is unmatched.
The Grand Tetons: Looking back at my career as a "chef" - this is one my favorite "kitchens" to work in. My Dad took me there in 1976 and every trip back has been a memory-maker.
About "Chef" David: Based out of Jasper, Georgia, Bear Woods Photography is all about David's love for photography, education and travel. Living in the mountains of North Georgia with his wife Evelyn, they're in an area they named Bear Woods.
We've shared a lot of David's work and videos over the years here at SCU. He definitely needs to be on your radar. Just click on his image above to visit his website and don't forget to check out his workshop schedule. You'll never be disappointed in a class with David!
Stay tuned - there's a lot more coming this year from the "Tamron Kitchen." And, if you'd like more information about this remarkable new G2 lens, just click on the banner below.
Over the years we've shared a lot of videos featuring Tamron USA's Ken Hubbard, "The Hub." Everything he shares is always loaded with helpful content with each video designed to help photographers raise the bar on their skill set.
Last week I got the first copy of the Tamron newsletter for the new year. There's a lot of great content being shared in each issue, and it's FREE. I like the fact that I can go through it on my timetable because lately, I seem to be buried in interruptions. Sound familiar?
In this new issue, there was a feature story, Travel Tales from The Hub, and it couldn't be simpler to appreciate. Ken shared a few of 2018's high points, and always with a camera in his hands! His opening paragraph says it all...
2018… Another year of crisscrossing America, with thousands of miles flying high above the clouds and hundreds of nights in hotels, countless mornings waking up and wondering where am I, what day is it and why am I here??? Life on the road can be tiring and tough sometimes, but it takes you to amazing places to photograph.
So, if the "Where's Waldo" series did a yearend travel log it might look something like travels with "The Hub." But, Hub's got better photographs, a tip here and there and he gives us the ability to live a little vicariously through his travels.
If you are a photo industry #roadwarrior, you fully understand, and hopefully your loved-ones understand the lives we lead. We love the road, we love seeing all that America is, and we can never get enough. Not everyone can understand this wanderlust drive to keep going, to meet and teach, to see and photograph, to live and experience everything there is to take in on our travels.
Got an interest in finding out more about some of Ken's favorite lenses? Just click on the thumbnails below.
And, if you're not currently on the subscriber list, getting the Tamron newsletter is just a click away.
Images copyright Tim Grey. All rights reserved.
Posted on Tamron's YouTube channel just before the end of the year, the new video below has a lot of good solid "how-to" content. It features Tim Grey in the Palouse region of Washington State.
It's not only a great video, but for me, it shares one more favorite thing about this industry - the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
I first met Tim when he was with Microsoft and involved with their ProPhoto Summit of which I think the last one was in 2007. We both moved on to other career paths a few years later, but imaging is the glue that keeps so many industry friends in touch.
Tim's an outstanding educator, and you'll find an incredibly diverse series of classes/programs with a visit to GreyLearning. And, if you want to see more of Tim's work check out his main website with a click on any of his images in today's post. You'll never be disappointed in what he shares.
In this new video, he's working with Tamron's all in one 18-400mm Di II VC HLD lens. Tamron continues to go non-stop in manufacturing outstanding optics and helping photographers raise the bar on the quality of their images. For more information about this phenomenal glass, click on the banner below!
Remember, I'm sharing screen shots in today's post - so, imagine what these images look like right out of the camera!