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Find Out Why Mark Warnes Uses Tamron Lenses

Find Out Why Mark Warnes Uses Tamron Lenses - We talk to Tamron user Mark Warnes about his wildlife and landscape imagery.

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Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD in Professional Interviewed

Mark Warnes

Image © Mark Warnes

Mark Warnes is a Welsh photographer who has been chosen as a top 100 finalist in the 'Yellowstone Forever' competition, as well as having his image featured on the front of Natures Best Photography magazine this spring.

We covered the story in last week's feature, and this week, we've interviewed Mark to find out more about himself and his work.  


Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you discover photography?

I started taking photographs after my dad bought me an SLR camera for my birthday when I was young and have been taking photos ever since. I still have the original camera, a Praktica MTL 50 but have moved onto DSLR now. A friend's dad was a professional photographer and I used to help him out from time to time. I learned the basics of composition and exposure from him as well as learning the how to develop film. 


What drew you to nature and wildlife imagery?

I’ve always loved the outdoors and avidly watched nature programs on television when I was younger. David Attenborough was a particular favourite and I remember thinking how amazing it must be to do that for a living. 


Tell us about the kit you use.

I use two Nikon bodies, a D750 and a D7100 which I use for the extra reach the crop sensor provides. I use mainly Tamron lenses, the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USDSP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USDSP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 VC USD and SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO.


Why do you use Tamron lenses and what do you like best about them?

Tamron lenses have always been known for their exceptional quality. The Tamron lenses I use have been chosen for their fantastic reviews and the value for money they provide. My three main lenses all compare very favourably to the Nikon equivalent, and in many instances outperform them. I find all of the lenses easy to handle, fast to focus and optically superb. Image stabilisation is also spot on. You also have the 5-year Tamron warranty on your purchase.


Is the 150-600mm a favourite lens of yours?

Yes, I love the focal range of the lens. It's sharp, light enough to carry around all day and the image stabilisation allows you to shoot hand-held in most instances without having to carry around a tripod.


Your atmospheric image of fishermen in Yellowstone has recently made it onto the cover of Natures Best Photography Magazine - can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to take the image?

I was actually set up at dawn hoping to catch some elk or bison in the morning mist of the Madison River as the sun came up. It was really cold and as the sun began to warm the cold air and burn through the mist rising off the cold river, silhouettes of the fishermen started to appear as they stood on the banks of the river. As the mist lifted the scene began to glow golden- 'the golden hour’. 

What do you think makes it stand out from the crowd? 
I think the photo is very atmospheric, the way the mist was rising and swirling around. Then as the light began to change as the sun came up, the fishermen appeared through the mist. I had no idea they were there beforehand. For me, dawn is a very tranquil, quiet time and I think this photo captures that tranquillity.


What do you think makes Yellowstone so special as a photographic location?

It's an iconic location and somewhere I had always wanted to visit. It has such a diversity of scenery and wildlife. It has it all - mountains, waterfalls, rivers, the thermal features and all of the quintessentially American wildlife. From a photographer's point of view, to follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams is also a major draw.

Photography can be a game of luck as well as skill - do you have any tips for finding and photographing rare or shy subjects?

Do your homework on the location and the wildlife you want to photograph. Know your subject, try to find out about their behaviour, movements and habitat. Above all, be patient, and respect the subject you are photographing. 

What is your favourite location to take photos and why?

If I was based in America it would definitely be Yellowstone because of all the wildlife there and the plentiful opportunities it offers. Locally my favourite is Forest Farm in Cardiff, a local nature reserve based around wetlands and a disused canal. It's a great place for a variety of UK wildlife and is one of the best locations for photographing kingfishers.

Do you have 3 top tips for someone wanting to get into wildlife and nature photography?

Know your camera, be patient and above all respect the wildlife you are photographing.

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