Landscapes That Tell a Story


This story was written by Tamron's writer Jenn Gidman about Photographer Jim Begley.


Landscapes That Tell a Story

Jim Begley looks for the light, and a way to make each photo his own, with the versatile Tamron 18-400 VC HLD lens.

Jim Begley has traveled and led photo workshops all over the US and the world, from the national parks of the Southwest to the glacial terrain of Iceland. What he looks for when he's scanning the scenery: the best possible light and a way to make each image his own, even if he's taking it at a destination that's been visited by thousands of other photographers.

"If you've got terrific light, you can turn a so-so image into a fantastic one," he says. "I make sure that what I want to highlight in the photo is the sharpest and brightest part of the image, because that's what the viewer's eye will be drawn to. What I'm looking to do is make that photo unique, to make it mine, even if it turns out to be different than what I anticipated."

Keep reading for some of Jim's tips on how to create eye-catching landscapes with a versatile lens like the Tamron 18-400mm VC HLD lens, which he used on all of the photos you see here. "I fell in love with this lens the first time I used it," he says. "It offers me the flexibility to capture diverse photos from one scene in front of my camera, often from the same spot—important when you're vying for space at tourist attractions with other photographers. It's also light enough to carry around all day, and the Vibration Compensation feature helps keep my images sharp when I'm shooting handheld, which applies to most of these images here. It's the perfect travel lens."

Take a photo that makes your viewer think about the story behind it.
This is especially true for landscapes, which have often been through so much natural and man-made upheaval over the years. You want to make the viewers wonder how the scene before their eyes got the way it did.

Yellowstone National Park has some of the most intense geothermal activity in the world, including hot-spring activity underneath Yellowstone Lake. As soon as you see the Fishing Cone geyser shown here, located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin, you get the impression that something interesting is going on, or has happened. And it did: In the early 1900s, it used to have eruptions that went as high as 40 feet in the air. It doesn't do that anymore, thanks to water level and temperature changes over the last century—now it's just considered a hot spring. It's still compelling photographically, though, especially with that neat contrast of the different shades in the water, which was super-clear.

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