Macro Winner Steve Pontus

Barrel Cactus

One of the things that I like about Macro photography is that it helps one to grow as a photographer by training you to look and to see things differently than the casual observer might. Observing the symmetry of patterns, the detail and the beauty of a plant or an insect that you may not have noticed before.

Another attraction to this type of photography, for me, is that a bounty of interesting subjects can be found within a few square feet of your own backyard, or as in the case with this image, in a clay pot on my patio.

The cactus in the image, I have discovered, is not a small “barrel” cactus but a variety know as a “pincushion” cactus (genus Mammillaria). It is about the size of a baseball and is growing in a container with three other varieties of small cacti.

Canon EOS 7D, Tamron SP AF Di 90mm 1:2.8 MACRO; 1/200 sec at f/8.0, ISO 200

 

Macro Featured Submission MD Zunaid

Saravanampatti, Coimbatore, India

I just saw this beautiful flower in front of a hotel after my lunch, and I was tempted to take pictures of this flower. This is the first macro I took after I bought the Tamron 16-300mm, and I started to love my lens after this shot.

Lens selection:
This is the only lens I own with great zoom and aperture. I always go for a wide range of landscape or macro shots, and this is the only lens in the world to fulfill all my needs, from 16mm to 300mm, with great picture quality.

Equipment: Canon 1100D (T3i), Tamron AF 16-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD

 

Macro Featured Submission Lana Gramlich

Northlake Nature Center, Mandeville, Louisiana

I love the fractal geometry of these flowers, but haven’t had much luck photographing them. Too often I come upon them too late and they’re already dying, or the background is too light and creates more of a silhouette. When I came upon this one at eye level, popping in front of a dark background, I finally had my shot. I set up my tripod as close as I could, focused near the center of the flower and opted for a large aperture setting to blur the background. I don’t typically worry about metering the light—I just take a few different exposures and process the best one in post. I made sure I got some shots in the right range, and I was good to go.

Lens selection:
Due to advanced arthritis in my back (developed after cancer treatment), I have difficulty carrying a lot of gear anymore. As such, I sometimes go out with only one lens. That was the case here. My favorite things about this lens are the wide range of focal length and its lightweight construction. These two features are a great help for me as a photographer with arthritis. I can take ONLY this lens and still be assured of a wide range of photographic options in the field.

Equipment: Canon EOS Rebel T2i and Tamron 16-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DI II VC PZD macro lens, Sunpak 2001UT tripod and Neewer (wired) remote shutter

 

Landscapes Winner Klaus Priebe

Chasing The Sun

The shot was taken on a little trip to White Sands, New Mexico while catching the first light on my new Tamron 15-30mm 2.8 lens and giving it my first real world landscape workout. I walked the dunes following the sun and found these two little bushes growing out of the sands with the thousands of tiny little beetle footprints in every direction. It was just too cool so I patiently waited about 45 minutes for the clouds to move and let the sun light up the scene a bit. It almost looked as if the clouds were not going to clear but when the eventually did it was 10 minutes of sheer bliss. When the sun finally lit up the dunes it appeared as the bushes along with all the little critters were chasing the sun. I could just visualize them heading towards the sun and catching the sunset. The light glancing along the dune ridges really made for a visual treat. I could see the small grains of Gypsum sparkle in the sunlight and all the wonderful textures of the dunes and tracks coming out as the light skimmed the dunes.

The little beetle tracks were just out of control. They were everywhere. At first I was a bit underwhelmed by all of them until I really saw the complexity of the patterns and how these little critters added so much to the art of Mother Earth. The lens worked absolutely perfect for the lighting I had there. There was virtually no flare from the sun and the sharpness along with the color and contrast of the lens helped bring this scene to life.

Nikon D610, Tamron SP 15-30mm ƒ/2.8 Di VC USD

 

Landscapes Featured Submission Roshin Lal Ramesan

Ruby Beach, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

I reached Ruby Beach around quarter-past 8 (with sunset at 9 p.m.) to find it packed with photographers. Most of them had taken up position at the reflection pond to capture the sunset with reflection of sea stacks in the pond. I noticed that the sun was low in the sky and if I lined up the camera right, the setting sun would be seen through the crack in the monolithic rock. Knowing that this moment would last only a few seconds, I set my Tamron 24-70mm to a relatively small aperture (ƒ/13) without entering into diffraction limiting range to create the sunstar and made this shot.

Lens selection:
Tamron 24-70mm is my favorite walk-around lens, 24-70mm is an ideal focal range with wide to normal to medium telephoto. I also like how well this lens performs when the sun is in the frame, in terms of reducing flare and maintaining contrast, as well as the sunstar it produces when used with a small aperture. My favorite feature of this lens is its vibration compensation. I shoot a lot a sunrise and sunset, and having VC enables me to quickly move, frame and shoot handheld at low light while keeping the ISO low to maximize dynamic range and reduce noise.

Equipment: Nikon D610, Tamron 24-70mm ƒ2.8 @ 24mm, exposure of ƒ/13 @ 1/125s, ISO 100. Induro CT-214 tripod with Arca Swiss P0 ballhead

 

Landscapes Featured Submission Alf Bailey

Buttermere, Cumbria, U.K.

Buttermere (in the U.K.’s Lake District) has been a favorite location of mine since I started taking photos some six years ago. I had a particular shot in mind for some time, in fact I had made the 300-mile round trip from home on eight occasions without much success. Each time I would arrive at dawn to find that the weather forecast was inaccurate, with wind the most likely culprit to spoil the shot. On this occasion, I was too late to catch the dawn light, the traffic on the motorway was bumper to bumper to due to an accident, and I had pretty much given up hope of finding conditions ideal. However you can imagine my delight when I arrived at around 8 a.m. to find the lake was flat calm. The light was quite flat at this stage as the sun had not rose high enough over the mountains edge, but soon after, I could see light patterns developing as the side of the mountain was illuminated. I took several shots, but waited until both sides of the mountain were bathed in light before I took this particular shot. The backdrop remained hazy behind the trees, but there is, in fact, a mountain there, too, and a waterfall that’s very faintly visible. I headed home feeling quite elated! But it was only when I processed the images that I really appreciated what the camera and lens had captured.

Lens selection:
I chose the Tamron lens for this shot for its sharpness and because it offered a good range of possible compositions. I could get the whole scene in at 70mm or zoom in to 95mm to get this result, or zoom further in to isolate the little boat house more (which I did on subsequent shots). My Favorite feature of the lens is the sharpness and internal focusing mechanism; it means there’s no rotation when focusing, which in turn means I can use circular filters/polarizers without complications, although I didn’t use one for this shot.

Equipment: Nikon D700, Tamron SP 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Manfrotto 190 Pro XB and 3-way head

 

Landscapes Featured Submission Susan Valera

Grand Teton National Park at Oxbow Bend, on the Snake River at the north end of the park

I was spending a week in Jackson Hole in October with friend when I decided to get up early in the morning and head up to Yellowstone for the day. Since I had been there the year before, I knew that the best time to shoot was early in the morning, when there’s no wind and the water is calm. As I drove around the bend, there was a spot to park. I spent quite a bit of time just shooting different angles of the scene. That same day, I shot everything from hot springs and waterfalls to buffalo and a mama grizzly with her cub. The Tamron 28-270mm covered all the shots with ease, never finding that I needed to switch to a different lens.

Lens selection:
I chose the Tamron 18-270mm lens because I like to travel light and not carry a lot equipment with me as I find myself running through airports to make close connections. It’s a very versatile lens covering just about every situation I have come across.

Equipment: Canon Rebel T3i, Tamron AF 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 VC

 

Landscapes Featured Submission Swee Hoe Lim

Surat Thani, Thailand

There are many impacts to the environment when building a large reservoir. Some direct impacts are to the biological, chemical and physical properties of rivers and stream-side environments. This shot was taken in one of the dams located at Surat Thani, Thailand. The dead trees shown in the photograph are beautiful yet alarming.

Lens selection:
The shot was taken while riding the boat cruised through the dam. The quick focusing response and distance of subjects are the key factors why the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens was chosen.

Equipment: Canon EOS 6D, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens

 

Landscapes Featured Submission Mahmoud Dasser

Saudi Arabia, Desert near Riyadh City

On my way back home after a beautiful night camping in the desert near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I stopped to take this picture of the camel and its babies in the middle of this nice desert landscape. The challenge was to act quickly to capture the baby camel feeding and ensure the composition was well balanced between the camels and vegetation in foreground and the mountains and sky in the backgrounds without disturbing the camels.

Lens selection:
The image stabilization, the wide aperture, ultra-wide focal length and the image quality are the key features I appreciate most in the Tamron 15-30mm ƒ/2.8 lens.

Equipment: Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens

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