Intro by Chamira Young
Personally, I love when elements of nature, everyday objects, and thoughtful composition intersect to create works of abstract art that spur a visual dialogue. No matter where you live in the world or what language you speak, photography is the great unifier! That brings us to today's featured photographer.
We're excited to highlight the work of macro photographer Monica Royal as she uses the Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 VC lens to create eye-catching, abstract works of art that spark conversation. She discusses how she has fun with the images she creates, and also how she seeks to foster a human connection with her viewers through her work.
Check out the post below for a healthy dose of inspiration. The dedication of the Tamron team is second to none as they support photographers by creating the highest quality lenses in the industry and sharing inspiring examples from your fellow creatives!
Making a Connection Through Macro
Monica Royal uses her Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 VC lens to create abstract images that spark conversation.
By Jenn Gidman
Images by Monica Royal
When Monica Royal creates her abstract macro photos, it’s the design of the composition that drives her. “I’m drawn to basic shapes,” she says. “And I love the properties of water and other liquids and getting close to the droplets, which I add into much of my work. It’s so much fun to play with macro, because something as simple as paper can be made abstract, which sparks a conversation. That conversation creates a human connection, which in turn gives you the opportunity to educate people.”
For years, Monica has exclusively used various Tamron 90mm lenses for her macro work, and she’s now on her latest version: the SP 90mm F/2.8 VC. “My dad bought me my original 90mm lens back in 2006, and I never looked back,” she says. “I purchased all of the newer incarnations myself. I’m so comfortable with this lens, which I use for portraits as well, because it’s so sharp and produces amazing bokeh. The Vibration Compensation (VC) feature on the newer version has been a great addition as well.”
Monica almost always creates her macro images with her camera on a tripod, using natural light, and she keeps her post-processing to a minimum. “I’ll do cleanup of some stray or distracting reflections in the water droplets in Photoshop, but I don’t touch them too much,” she says. “Otherwise I’d end up with black circles, which wouldn’t look natural and organic.”
Read on to see how Monica created some of her more recent pieces with the Tamron 90mm F/2.8 VC lens.
For my paper clip series, I wanted to just go into the studio, close the door, and play. This was a paper clip (see above) that I bent with a pair of pliers, trying to use the basic principles of design. I would create a wider bend, then a sharper bend, all while keeping in mind the focus points where I thought the water drops would fit well. The water drops are able to cling to the paper clip like that because of water’s sticky properties; it's the hydrogen bonds of water that make it so cohesive with other surfaces. I applied the water droplets with a syringe, with a studio strobe lighting the scene.
This is a green tendril coming off of a vine from a cantaloupe plant. The plant was on my kitchen table for a week, and I started to position these tendrils so they would curl around and grab onto the trellis, allowing me to capture them in various states of curl. For this image I positioned a piece of fuchsia tissue paper behind it, with a bit of light coming up from underneath the plant. You can see the specular highlights along the bottom of the tendril, though that part is out of focus.
Read the rest of the post here.
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.