If you’re bored and looking to shoot something completely new, we’ve got a simple challenge for you. Shoot low! No, we’re not talking about low-light. And we’re not necessarily talking about low shutter speeds. Instead, we mean that you should change your perspective. And if you’re a Sony shooter, you’re in luck. There’s a lens that has this perspective unlike anything else out there: the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD.
This piece is presented in partnership with TAMRON. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with Tamron to recommend these gems to you.
Gear Used in This Post
- Sony a6600
- Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD ($799 right now)
This lens lets us shoot in aperture priority, a high ISO, and what I like to call “set it and forget it” mode. This way you can keep focused on just shooting and creating cool photos.
Why Shoot Low?
There are tons of great reasons to shoot low. If you shoot fashion photography or photograph dogs, you’re probably familiar with it already. Shooting low gives you a completely different perspective and something fascinatingly distinct than what we get from eye-level. It’s not always easy to get up high to photograph things, but it is much easier for us to get low! Most photos that we see are shot at eye-level. Those photos are typically emotionally motivated and focused a whole lot on the moment. When you shoot low, you create your own moment each and every time. You’re giving your viewers a glimpse into a perspective not often seen.
With a camera like the Sony a6600, you’ve got a flip screen that lets you shoot from below pretty easily. Using the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD, you can get an entire range of images at f2.8 easily. Here are just a few ideas:
- Shooting low and looking up at your dog or cat
- Shooting low from your plants
- A low perspective on food, books, or other random objects
- Shooting low with portraiture essentially makes us look up to a person
- Photographing specific sections of buildings from down low is like focusing on abstract details with landscape photography
More importantly, shooting low lets you stay connected to the subject matter. When you put your eye in the viewfinder, you’re choosing to focus intently on what you’re looking at. But when you use the screen, you’re looking at a whole lot more.
Shooting Wide and Low with the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
Using a lens like the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD lets you get really wide while also getting very low. Throughout the entire range, you’ll get a constant f2.8 aperture. What’s really cool and very unique about shooting low and wide is how the perspective shifts. Wide-angle lenses these days have what’s called perspective distortion that you get when you’re very close to a subject. The Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD focuses just under 8 inches away. Combine that with shooting really wide, and you’ll get some very cool photos. Around the corners, the wide-angle lens will bring things closer into the center. At the same time, it will offer special “pop” in the colors.
Here’s another tip: think simple. When you look up, you’re bound to see the sky. Give your subject a background that’s distraction-free. Sometimes this may mean overexposing to blow out the background.
Because you’re focusing really closely, you’ll also probably get very little of the scene in focus and a lot of bokeh. Stop the lens down! This will make sure your subject is totally in focus if you want that effect. Always remember that your lens has an aperture setting!
The Long End of the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
Using the telephoto end of a lens like the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD, you can focus on details and amusing compositions. Landscape photographers tend to do this with telephoto lenses. They work to photograph more abstract things in nature. The Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD lets you do the same exact thing at the longer end. When shooting low, you can zoom in on the details to get something special.
Most of the time, if you just look up and think like your focal length sees, you’ll find curious compositions. It could be clouds, birds in the sky, a part of a building, and much more. But if you aim to get really down low, things can get even more fascinating.
Sometimes I like to do a technique that makes photos look like paintings. To do this:
- Stop the lens down.
- Shoot at a low ISO.
- Get a shutter speed of around 1/15th or lower. But longer than a second.
- Aim the camera upward.
- Start dragging it downward slowly.
- Release the shutter.
- When the shutter recocks itself, you’ve made your photo.
You’ll create this cool effect that looks like a painting. The Tamron 17-70mm f2.8 Di III-A VC RXD and Sony a6600 do this really well together by controlling the camera shake. Both have image stabilization built-in, so the effect will be a balance between subtle and dramatic.