Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Using a super telephoto for intimacy

It used to be I didn't have anything longer in my arsenal than my Minolta 70-300 which I dearly love, but in all honesty I don't use it a lot these days, since I got my Tamron 200-400mm. I really love this lens and having had it for a about a year and a half now, I can fully say that I use it a lot. This past full saw it put through it paces while photographing the Elk Rut in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. It is a big lens and built like a tank, it isn't the fastest at f5.6 continuous but it is sharp. Best thing about the Tamron 200-400mm lenses, is that they can be had for a song over at KEH usually around the mere $200 mark or less. Sure they are used, but you aren't going to get a lens at that price/performance, let alone focal length from anything else pretty much. So if you are looking for something tio start you off in wildlife photography, then I highly recommend this lens.

that is just the thing though. Wildlife photography. That is what generally most think of when you start getting up there in focal length like 400mm. It is pretty much a natural. however, one thing this lens has that many others don't, is 1:2 Macro ability. Close focusing goodness, which, as I have come to find out, can make for some very interesting images at 400mm.

This has opened up basically a whole other world of photography for me, with a whole other shooting style, being able to do things which before, I had never really done, either because I didn't have the focal length, or because I honestly failed to ever see it/notice it. As photographers, we are always evolving, looking for ways to shoot differently, to be more creative with our work, and to try something which we have never tried. When I first got this lens, my sole intention was birding, and it then that I realized what I had been missing on one of the first photoshoots I ever did with the lens. I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera, and I locked on to something which I wasn't trying to lock on to, some cat Tails in a marsh, and then, it just sort of came to me. The wheels in my head started turning, and I started scanning at 400mm with the lens, seeing things, seeing the intimate details of nature which I had never noticed before.

One of the fun things to do with this lens is landscapes from a distance, it is amazing what you can see which the naked eye can not, it has opened up a whole other world essentially which I otherwise would have completely missed. The trees on the mountainside, subtle changes in light, winter weather conditions, etc. Florals also can be a lot of fun, especially in what would be otherwise harsh lighting conditions, where I would never even think of doing a landscape image. Backlighting can be fun to work with.

So the next time you are out with with a super telephoto, don't forget to take a minute and notice the smaller, more intimate details around you. You very well might be amazed at what you find!

Images below shot using my Tamron 200-400mm lens on Sony and Minolta dslr's.

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