Nathan Allen uses his Tamron SP 24-70mm VC G2 and 70-210mm VC lenses to show new perspectives on landmarks and landscapes.
When Nathan Allen graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2016, he immediately set off on a 22-day road trip across the US—an adventure that reignited his passion for photography in general, and for travel and landscape photography in particular. “It’s an amazing feeling when you can capture a moment in time of parts of the world that, due to constant changes in the environment, are never exactly the same each time you photograph there,” he says.
On his more recent journeys, Nathan has relied on the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2 and 70-210mm VC lenses to help document his travels. “If I had to take just one lens with me on a trip, it would be the 24-70,” he says. “It’s the all-around lens—it can get wide enough for sweeping landscape shots, but also zoom in to get tighter on a subject.”
As for the 70-210, Nathan especially appreciates the versatility of its focal-length range, the Vibration Compensation (VC) feature to keep his images from coming out blurry when he’s on the run and handholding, and its light weight. “When you’re doing a shoot in the mountains, you don’t want cumbersome gear,” he says. “At just over 30 ounces, I can carry this lens around all day without a problem.”
Nathan’s focus, whether he’s capturing an often-photographed landmark or a vast mountain range (his favorite landscape feature to photograph), is on elements that might go unseen, or on perspectives that people might not immediately pick up on. “I also want people to be inspired, to want to go do whatever I’m showing in my pictures,” he says. “I want them to imagine themselves there, which is why I often incorporate people into my photos. It adds a human element to epic landscapes.”
In his travel adventures, Nathan occasionally has the chance to photograph iconic landmarks, and his goal is to always find an aesthetically appealing angle or viewpoint that isn’t photographed as often. “For my image of the Flatiron Building in New York City, for example, I wanted to show symmetry in the shot, since it’s such a symmetrical building,” he says. “I tried to keep the building as centered as possible, with the clouds framing it.”
SP 24-70mm (65mm), F/2.8, 1/1600th sec., ISO 160
70-210mm (122mm), F/4, 1/100th sec., ISO 250
70-210mm (70mm), F/2.8, 1/2000th sec., ISO 400
SP 24-70mm (35mm), F/2.8, 1/200th sec., ISO 80
Another instance where patience came into play: when Nathan shot Mount Rainier in Washington. “First off, I love this photo, because it’s an incredible mountain, and there are so many layers to this image,” he says. “In this part of Washington, you’re basically at sea level, so this mountain is 14,000 feet of pure elevation gain; it’s not like, say, parts of Colorado, where everything is already way above sea level. But while this seems like a photo that I was just able to capture on the fly, the mountain was actually completely covered with clouds just 30 minutes before I took this shot. If I’d left, I wouldn’t have gotten this photo. It was about halfway through the sunset when the clouds cleared.”
70-210mm (70mm), F/11, 1/500th sec., ISO 160
SP 24-70mm (70mm), F/2.8, 1/200th sec., ISO 64
SP 24-70mm (52mm), F/4, 1/200th sec., ISO 160
SP 24-70mm (24mm), F/22, 1 sec., ISO 64