December 17, 2007, Commack, NY—The overwhelming majority of great photographs, especially those including people, has one thing in common—they effectively capture, express, and convey human emotions. In other words, photographs that are judged to be the best are almost always those that evoke a strong emotional response in the viewer. Bearing that simple but profound concept in mind, Tamron, acclaimed for manufacturing innovative lenses of superlative quality, created an entirely new kind of photo contest, An Emotional Appeal that debuted in 2006. Instead of basing it on the usual range of specific subject categories, we asked all entrants to submit pictures that best express the universal theme of human emotion and emotional interaction.
The rules were equally broad—the pictures submitted didn’t even have to be taken with a Tamron lens. “The response to last year’s contest surpassed even our high expectations, and we’re pleased to say that we received well over 1,000 entries this year as well,” stated Stacie Errera, Chief Marketing Officer for Tamron. The lucky Grand Prize winner will receive a superb Tamron AF18-250mm all-in-one zoom lens that is bound to expand his pictorial—and emotional—horizons considerably. The winner and twenty selected favorites can be viewed at http://www.tamron.com/galleries/PhotographerInfo.asp?id=21&cat=16&item=0.
“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all those whose pictures were selected for posting, our sincere thanks to all who participated, and our deep gratitude to Contest Judge Andre Costantini, whose experience and keen professional judgment helped us accomplish the arduous task of selecting the winners” said Errera.
The Grand Prize Picture— “Mixed Emotions” by Lance Taylor
Lance Taylor of Ft. Meade, Maryland took this charming picture of his wife Jacqueline and 3-year old daughter Jillian at a beach near Corolla, North Carolina. “The water was pretty frigid,” recalls Taylor “and Jillian couldn’t stand up in the waves by herself, so my wife would pick her up and lift her up over the water as they rolled in. In this instance, she didn’t catch her in time and Jillian fell down and got chilled as a wave rushed in. I grabbed this shot of my wife smiling broadly as she picked the baby up, but my daughter’s somewhat pained expression shows that she was none too pleased about being dunked. For obvious reasons, my informal name for this shot is ‘mixed emotions.’” Indeed the juxtaposition of divergent expressions and emotions, as well as the tight close-up composition emphasizing the essentials is what makes this shot a winner.
Lance Taylor, a Captain in the US Air Force, is a semi-pro photographer who hails from Austin, Texas. He shoots model portraits as a sideline and plans to expand this creative activity going forward. “I love working with people and creating artistic images using studio and portable lighting. Directing models is easier than working with the general public and gives me more freedom to create something unique.” To see his model portraits, go to www.lancetaylorphotography.com.
A happy prize winner, Lance Taylor says, “I’m really looking forward to receiving the Tamron 18-250mm lens—I’ve heard very good things about it.”
“Home on the Ranch” by Becky Maness
Becky Maness of Victor Idaho (“a teensy farming community of 2000 on the western side of the Grand Teton Range”) captured this iconic image of her grandparents, Ross and Phyllis Kunz, on their over-100-year-old cattle ranch in Victor. “I wanted to create something to remember them by that also expresses their lives and their deep love for each other,” says Maness. “They’re the sweetest people ever.” She certainly succeeded—the expressions, attire, and rough-hewn setting against weathered wood siding combine to create nothing less than an Idaho version of American Gothic. The simple, straightforward composition and the conversion to black-and-white enhance its timeless “old time photo” quality.
Maness captured this definitive double portrait with a Canon EOS 30D and Tamron SP 28-105mm f/2.8 LD lens using natural light, posing the couple against an old farm building, and “zooming in to create an intimate portrait.” She’s been shooting actively since age 13 and her first Tamron lens was a 28-70mm on a Pentax TZ-20. A semi-pro who wants to expand her photographic business opportunities, she currently works part-time as a travel agent.
“Bawling Baby Girl” by Nathan Maxfield
Nathan Maxfield of Stoneham, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston) captured this irrepressible image of his then two-month-old daughter Kamryn while trying to shoot a conventional infant portrait. “I arranged a fairly sophisticated lighting setup,” says Maxfield “placing two lights on either side of the camera and a third light aimed at the background. I then asked my wife to hold the baby up from behind, which is why she’s not visible in the picture. Obviously little Kamryn did not think too much of these proceedings because she immediately belted out a lusty scream. At that point most fathers would have said ‘strike the set’ but I just took the picture anyway—and I’m sure glad I did.” In the great pantheon of bawling baby pictures, this is one of the most emotional submitted, and ironically the soft pink background complements the wee screamer perfectly.
Maxfield, a semi-pro who has been shooting seriously for about 5 years, is the co-owner of smithmaxfield.com, a photography studio in the Boston area. He specializes in stock and commercial images as well as business and medical images for websites, and his pictures have appeared in local magazines including North Shore Living, Stomp, a local fashion magazine, and Stuff at Night, a well-known Boston-area entertainment magazine. Maxfield shot this classic crier with a Canon EOS 30D and Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) lens. “I did tons of research online before buying this lens, and it’s incredibly sharp just as they said on the forums. I use it for magazine work and also to cover the Massachusetts and Vermont Pageants for the Miss USA Contest.”
The Tamron “An Emotional Appeal” 2008 Photo Contest deadline is 11/30/08
Tamron USA, Inc. just announced the “An Emotional Appeal” 2008 Photo Contest and is looking for images from scrapbook and photo enthusiasts that convey a variety of human emotions—happy, sad, tired, mad, or any other. The contest winner will receive a Tamron AF28-300mm VC zoom lens with Vibration Compensation designed for all of today’s popular Canon and Nikon digital SLR cameras (a $600 street value). The winner and 20 favorites will be featured in Tamron’s online photo gallery.
A bonus for anyone who downloads the contest entry form is advice from professional photographer Andre Costantini, who has run workshops designed for scrapbookers at several scrapbook stores and regularly lectures on portrait photography around the country. Costantini provides 10 Photo Tips for Better People Photography that are sure to help photographers of any level make better pictures.
The contest rules and entry form, as well as Andre Costantini’s photo tips, can be downloaded by logging onto http://www.tamron.com/lenses/scrapbook.asp
Tamron is a leading manufacturer of lenses for photographic, industrial, laboratory, video, digital and scientific applications. Among its many optical and mechanical innovations since the start of the company in 1950, Tamron’s development of mass produced hybrid aspherical elements in 1992 paved the way for high ratio zoom lenses. The technology was incorporated into the ground-breaking 28-200mm and continues with the new 18-250mm developed exclusively for use on digital SLR cameras and featuring an unprecedented 13.9X zoom range.