Workshop Zoom Magazine & Tamron Netherlands
A few weeks ago, I led a workshop in association with Zoom Magazine and Tamron Netherlands. The participants had to test and review the new Tamron 10-24 F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC lens. The location I selected for this workshop was the beautiful Aekingerzand. A diverse landscape with forest, dunes, lone dead trees, and lots of other amazing possibilities. To access the full potential of the lens, the participants had to complete different assignments. All images taken by the participants, and their verdict about the lens can be found in the link at the bottom of this article. All the behind the scenes photos are taken by Carolien Zwerver.
Upon arrival, I did a quick check to see if the sky would clear, but it didn’t appear to be the case. Luckily for us, it didn’t rain as it did in most of the country. Even though it was fully overcast, the sky was packed with drama. Before we started, everybody got their lens, and we went straight into the forest. At our first photography spot, we held a short introduction in order to get to know each other a bit more. Thereafter, I explained a bit about the lens, about the location and our plans for the evening. Finally we discussed the assignments. After all this talking, it was time to do what we came for: Photography!
To see what the lens is capable of, participants had to go through different assignments. To do so, we started at a little pond surrounded by trees. This spot works best when the sun is still well above the horizon because it is surrounded by trees obscuring the sun when it gets too low. Because the wind was starting to settle down, we got some amazing reflections in the water. The overcast sky added drama and gave us beautiful diffuse light. Because the water’s edge was really swampy, Lindy took of her slippers and walked straight in. This way she was able to capture the flooded branches as a nice foreground element whilst having the beautiful reflection in the background.
With Camilla I discussed different focussing techniques because she told me she often had trouble with that. Marion found a beautiful dead tree with the complete root system exposed. This tree offered a perfect subject to test the perspective of the lens. We discussed different compositions and I gave advice on where to place the camera and explained why to avoid getting too much sky in such an image. Often with photography, it is nice to shoot from a low angle, but not in this case. With the tripod fully extended and the camera high above the ground, Marion got a fantastic image. The bright silver root-system contrasts really well with the darker greens of the forest. Too much sky would be distracting but she did a really nice job. And thanks to the perspective of the wide angle lens, the final image looks really dramatic!
Waves of Sand
As the sun got lower, our first spot was getting too dark and flat, so we moved to our second location; the dunes. Thanks to the rather strong wind that had been blowing the last few days, there were amazing patterns in the sand, leading all the way up to the trees in the background. We stopped to discuss how to use these patterns and why these work perfectly with a wide angle lens. We talked about how to get both the background and foreground in focus. Finally I explained how a smart phone can be used to guide you finding a composition.
After this, the participants set to work with what they had learned. It was cool to see all the different ideas and the enthusiasm. Some tripods were fully extended, while others were really close to the ground. With Jeroen, I spoke about how and when to use the focus stacking technique, and Rudolf told me he was taking an HDR image to emphasize the dramatic landscape and sky. As the sun was nearing the horizon, it was time for us to move to hour final spot. But not before a group shot of course.
The lonesome dead tree
Our final spot was a beautiful solitary tree on a little hill. This tree had lost its life and all of its bark long ago and you could clearly see the ware and tear by the years that had gone passed. In other words, perfect ingredients for a dramatic wide angle image. With the 10-24 lens you can get really close to your subject, and if you do so, the perspective changes. This means that your subject gets quite big in respect to the background. This effect is really cool to play with and can add a lot of drama.
There is always time for one more
On our way back to the car, we spotted a solitary tree with a beautiful leading line and the lovely pink tone of the setting sun. This was such a nice photo opportunity that it was to good to leave behind. Here everybody took some final images and this way the low-light capabilities of the lens were put to the test. After this final session, it was time to head back to the car. Everybody was reluctant to hand over the lens because they all had a really good experience! After a little debriefing and saying goodbye, it was time to go. Really satisfied about the evening and the response of the participants I drove home. This had been a lot of fun!
That’s it for this week’s article! Thanks a lot for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and if it inspired you to go on a workshop with me, my Basic Landscape Workshop is in Summer Sale! If you enjoyed this article please share on social media! And, if you like my photography, please follow me on Instagram @harmenpiekema
If you are curious about the images taken by the participants, follow this link (written in Dutch).