by Skip Cohen
It's 2021, and what a kick to launch a new season of Tamron Recipes with a chef whose specialty is outdoors and pandemic-perfect. We started this series in 2019 when words like "hunkering down" were pretty removed from our vocabulary.
While the pandemic changed everything in our lives, it hasn't dampened any of our chefs' enthusiasm. Many of them have used the challenge of downtime to expand their skill set and mix up the "cuisines" they're best known for.
Michigan based artist Nick Irwin joins us on this first Tamron Recipes for the new year. He's a part-time fine art and landscape photographer with a full-time love for the craft. His website and Instagram page especially present one outstanding image after another. It made it hard for us to pick a favorite for this first part of his series!
After the first few chefs in the series in 2019, I started sharing a quote that seemed to describe each featured artist best. For most of them, like Nick, the quotes have been based on my first introduction to them through both their images and a phone call or two. One phone call with Nick, and it couldn't be easier to find a quote that describes his love for photography and the outdoors!
Passion is energy.
Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
About Chef Nick and This Image: When I first spoke with Nick about his love for photography, the energy of that passion came through loud and clear! It's obvious how much photography, the outdoors, and Michigan are part of his life. What's impressive is how short a time he's been working with "real" camera gear. His love for imaging starting through photographs he was posting using his phone. People liked what he was sharing, and somebody suggested it was time he got a real camera.
Scott Bourne once wrote about photography being the great equalizer. To paraphrase, It doesn't matter what your background is, your financial status, what you look like, etc. - the quality of each photograph is how you're judged.
About the image above: This was last July. I went to shoot the comet Neowise as I did the night before at a different lighthouse. I did not expect the Northern Lights to show up. I was actually done shooting the comet which was in the north sky and walked to the other side of the lighthouse for milky way shots towards the south. Then I saw the green glow in the sky. Off I went back up the opposite dune and took several shots, even helped a couple other photographers with their settings.
Little Sable Point Light in Michigan is one of my favorite places to do night photography because the sky is dark and it’s only an hour away. This photo was published by National Geographic with another one of mine this past August.
Take the time to visit Nick's Instagram page. You'd never know he was relatively new to the industry when you scroll through the images he's shared.
The most challenging adjustment many of us have had to make due to the pandemic is not being in physical proximity with our peers and the various vendors/manufacturers who support our love for imaging. While many companies have reduced their activities to a minimal presence, Tamron isn't slowing down. Online and off, in small programs around the country, they support imaging artists as best they can. Check out their listing of local events, all within the appropriate safety and physical distancing guidelines.
And, if you currently own any Tamron lenses, don't miss out on the benefits of the Tamron V.I.P. Club. Check out the short video below, highlighting just one of the advantages of being a member, but you only have a few more days to get your lenses registered!
The lens Nick used for the image above was the 28-75mm F2.8 zoom. Specifically designed for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, click on the thumbnail to the right for more information.
I feel like I've written this same thing just about every month for almost a year - Remember, hunkering down is about your health, NOT about growing as an artist and expanding your skill set. There's very little that grows in your comfort zone, which makes the downtime we're all experiencing perfect for raising the bar on the quality of your images.
Stay active in social media and spend time with your camera in your hands every day, capturing images for your most important client...YOU!
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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.