Fresh sweet corn, so flavorful that it doesn’t even need butter or salt. Blackberries that ripened under the hot July sun and stain your fingers when you eat them. When you’re cooking with fresh local produce, you don’t have to add much (or anything) to make it taste good. That’s why I love going to the farmers market every weekend during the summer and picking out the best fruits and veggies I can find.
Simple is also best when you’re doing macro photography, like with the Tamron 60mm f/2 lens. Unlike a standard prime lens, a macro lens is designed to fill the frame of a photograph with the subject. Whether you’re taking a picture of a flower, insect, or sliced yellow cherry tomato, the view is up close. The end result is a stunning photo that makes your audience feel like they can smell that rose, hear that bumble bee buzz, or reach out and grab that tomato.
I’ve found that this requires me to think differently when it comes to photographing food. With a prime lens, I obsess about the bigger picture–making sure the napkin is at the right angle or that the bottle of beer in the background isn’t a distraction.
When you use a macro lens, the bigger picture matters less. When I first started experimenting with my lens, I was staging photos like I did with my prime lens. But with a macro lens, it’s the small details that matter most. Napkins might not matter, but a tiny little piece of peach flesh sticking to the pit matters a lot.
Less is more in macro photography. When you start with a beautiful piece of fruit, you don’t need to add a lot of props or spend a lot of time staging. And just as you need to start with a good subject, you need to start with good equipment too. That’s why I love my Tamron macro lens.
From a distance, the lens can do portraits or traditional food photography. But I really love using it up close. I’m obviously not a professional photographer, but I take photographs for my blog nearly everyday and the Tamron 60mm f/2 lens is my favorite for taking photos of individual ingredients. It has a wide aperture to allow for low-light or to add the perfect amount of bokeh to your photos. It can be manually focused or used on auto-focus–the auto-focus is a little bit slower than my standard prime lens, but the upside is that I’ve found it’s less prone to error. Photos are crisp, sharp, and even the most minute detail is captured–which can be good or bad (in the case of bruises or bumps on fresh produce!).
The Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2 Di II LD Macro Lens is available for Canon, Sony, and Nikon DSLR cameras. Purchase it at your local photography shop, Amazon, or other major electronics retailers.
Disclosure: I received a Tamron macro lens in exchange for work I’m doing with Tamron, but all opinions in this post are my own.