Farmers Market Haul + Photography With My Tamron Macro Lens

Tiny Tomatoes [Taken with Tamron Macro Lens]
Sometimes simple is best.

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.

Corn, Peppers & Tomato [Taken with Tamron Macro Lens]
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.

Kermit Eggplant
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.

Fresh Peach [Taken with Tamron Macro Lens]
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.

Tomatoes [Taken with Tamron Macro Lens]
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.

Bowl of Berries [Taken with 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.

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and head writer of Oh My Veggies. She lives just outside of Raleigh with her husband and their 4 wonky-eyed rescue cats.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Kiersten. I use an older DLSR, a Nikon D200, and one of the lenses we have is a Tamron 90 mm macro lens. I haven’t used it that much. My husband is the one who has been more interested than me in the past in photography, and it’s only since I’ve started blogging that I’ve become more comfortable with the camera. It’s been a good learning experience. I’d like to learn more about how to best use the macro lens and how the pictures it takes would differ from your 60 mm lens.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I think the best way to learn is to set aside an hour and spend it taking photos at different angles, distances, etc. Whenever I get a new lens, I spend time reading over the manual and reviews online, but I never really learn how to use it until I start taking pictures!

      • says

        I should do both– set aside that hour for experimenting with the Tamron, and look for the manual and/or reviews. I’m infamous for just diving in with tech instead of reading the manual or help file, and I guess I’ve done it again here.

  2. says

    a gorgeous gorgeous post! i have been debating getting a macro lens. and this might just seal the deal. the only problem is that now i will have to wear my glasses to see the subject, because inevitable there will be a hair or thread or spec on something or the other item in the picture. :)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yes! We have 4 cats and they always try to get on the table while I’m taking pictures. And then inevitably, I’ll be editing my photos and I’ll find a cat hair in the frame. You really do have to work differently with a macro lens.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      No, just natural light! Our dining room is in the corner of the house and it has two large windows on both sides, so it gets lots of sunlight. I do have an umbrella light that I use during the winter sometimes, though.

  3. says

    Gorgeous photos! I was wondering like Meghan if you used natural light or a light box. I am hooked on natural light and with winter rearing it’s bleak head I need to get a light kit. Which one do you use? I’m working with my kit lens and saving up for the 50mm and now this one!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I know, whenever I start getting excited for fall, I remember that fall also means shorter days! Sigh. Last winter, I used this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GX484U/. I’ve been pretty happy with it, although you really have to use a tripod too because it’s not very bright. And my hands are not steady enough to hold my camera still for even a split second!

  4. says

    AWESOME photos! Hopefully I can learn to take such beautiful pix! I just got a starter DSLR and i’m still just shooting in automatic mode. LOL!

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