Image copyright Alyce Bender. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
We're halfway through 2020 already, and this is our 18th episode of Tamron Recipes. Without question, time definitely flies when you're having a good time. And being in the middle of a pandemic changes nothing in the willingness of each Chef to share insight into their love for the craft.
We started this series, thinking it was a great way to demonstrate the quality and versatility of Tamron's extensive lens line, but we've learned and shared so much more. Each month we're introduced to another member of Tamron's imaging family...and what a family it is!
Alyce Bender, known as "Bender," is in the Tamron Kitchen this month with a variety of cuisines - from wildlife to landscapes to macro to abstractions and Impressionism, you'll sense her love for the craft the minute you step into any gallery.
A fun aspect of these episodes has become my search for a quote that seems to fit each Chef. Until my recent phone conversation with Bender, we had never met. Immediately, it became apparent how much she loves the craft and capturing the personalities of each subject - even her landscapes.
We believe people with passion can change the world for the better. That's what we believe.
And we believe those people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
are the ones that actually do.
About "Chef" Bender: I don't know Bender well enough to know if she's out to change the world, but she's certainly helping to make it better. As I started to get to know her passion for the craft, and her love for whatever subject she's capturing, the quote by Steve Jobs was perfect. Each image in her gallery represents a story she wants to share, and her image above is no exception.
Please take the time to visit Bender's website. From the very first image, you'll sense her passion for imaging and her quest to share each experience with us and why she feels it's important:
I really am happiest in the field and am passionate about sharing the unique biodiversity this planet has to offer. My goal is to connect viewers and photographers with the natural world through my imagery and tours. I believe the stronger the connection between people and nature, the easier it is to promote environmental awareness and to protect vulnerable species and their habitats.
About the Image: Bender used Tamron's SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens to capture the photo above. It's not only one of her favorites, but it was also Chamira and my first "WOW" when we visited her website. And it comes with a great backstory.
Taken outside Kushiro, Japan in the late afternoon on a chilly February day this year. This is one in a series of images I am working on to highlight the beauty and grace of the endangered Red-crowned Crane.
February is when these cranes court each other with elaborate and choreographed displays. Even though they mate for life, paired cranes still use the courtship dance to reestablish those bonds.
For me, this year was especially difficult as it was the warmest winter in over 60 years for Japan, meaning there were a lot of blue sky days. For these images I really need overcast, preferably actively snowing, weather. Of the five days I spent with the cranes this year, I only had one day of partly overcast and a couple of hours of snow and overcast conditions this final evening. Thankfully, everything, from the weather to the position of the birds, finally aligned on that last afternoon to allow me to capture this image.
Click on Bender's image to enlarge and view in the SCU Lightbox. Then visit her website and follow her schedule of Photo Adventures too! The pandemic has changed the availability of specific trips, but if she's on your radar, you'll be able to keep up to date with everything she's doing and her schedule. And visit her macro gallery, an extension of her skill set brought out during downtime and dealing with social distancing.
As one of the world's leading manufacturers of outstanding glass in imaging, Tamron never slows down. The quality of their optics has become legendary. They're one of the industry's most favorite suppliers, and whether online these days in virtual workshops or live at their booth at any convention, they're always busy.
Once the pandemic is over and things start to get back to normal, you can count on Tamron being back on the road. But for now, social distancing is a necessity, but NOT in cyberspace.
Tamron's website is loaded with outstanding content as well as their YouTube channel. And their tech team is regularly teaching online with workshops supported by Tamron retailers all over the country.
Check out Tamron's current rebates on fifteen outstanding lenses, including one of "Bender's" favorites. Just click on the banner below.
This might be just the right time for you to expand your gear, and take full advantage of the downtime getting to know a new lens, and boost your skill set.
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.