Sixty miles from home, three miles upriver, waist deep in water and only one lens to do all the shooting. I can’t say it enough; there is only one lens that I have the confidence in to get the job done. The Tamron 18-270mm, time after time, it gets the shot.
I photograph for several outdoor publications. Sometimes I have the luxury of carrying several lenses to a shoot but there are a lot of times that it’s just not practical, this is when the compact, all-in-one 18-270mm comes in handy.
Freelance outdoor photography is very competitive, especially fishing photos. There are literally millions of grip-n-grip shots for editors to choose from. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need get creative. When shooting a fishing event, I stay close to the action, whether it means around the water, on the water or even in the water. Another good technique for fishing photos is to keep low. I always kneel down when possible, even in the water.
I recently photographed a smallmouth bass fishing trip. Fishing for river smallmouth is a favorite late spring pastime in the Midwest. Smallmouth fishing, especially in a river, is demanding; hiking for miles, wading swift currents, negotiating slippery rocks and yes, even falling in the water if you’re not careful.
These conditions are not favorable to camera equipment. I have in the past carried loads of gear upstream just to get a great shot. A backpack full of heavy lenses makes for a long day. Not to mention, everything needs to be in a waterproof bag. This makes it just about impossible to get an action shot.
Smallmouth love to jump, especially when they are first hooked; by the time you get the proper lens out of the bag, attached to the camera and start shooting, the action is over. That is when the Tamron 18-270mm shines.
I use a Sony Alpha DSLR, a full size camera. With the 18-270mm attached, the camera and lens fits in a waterproof bag and tucks neatly in a small shoulder camera bag. In seconds, I have the camera ready and shooting.
The lens is great for all around shooting. That’s what it was designed for. Yeah, the 18-270mm is not a specialty lens but, with a little practice, the lens is capable of capturing just about any shot.
Some of the action shots that I captured of jumping smallmouth would have been challenging if it weren’t for a few quick adjustments on the camera. A bright sunny day and this fish just happened to put on its aerial display in the shadows. With only seconds to react, a widest possible aperture (f5.6 at the zoom range) and a quick dial to 800 ISO was the only way to stop the action.
The action ended with the fish being landed. Next came the hero shots, always wear a colorful shirt for fishing photos. My wife had on a bright orange shirt just for the occasion. Again, the 18-270mm is the perfect lens for capturing great color. All that was needed to fill the shadows on the sunny day was the pop up flash on the camera.
Last was a low angle photo of the fish being released, this was the perfect shot to (illustrate a story) with a handful of pictures.