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Boredom Busting


Ian Jones and his Tamron 20mm F/2.8 ultra-wide-angle lens keep the creative juices flowing during at-home isolation.


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By Jenn Gidman
Images by Ian Jones


For the past three months, Ian Jones has seen the same type of pause in activity that most of us have during the pandemic, translating to many hours idling around the house and trying to come up with ways to occupy his time. That extended boredom ended up driving his latest series of photos, conceptual images inspired by the things he did and thought about while stuck at home in Pittsburgh. “Many of the photos you see here revolved around food and the idea of motion, because I’ve done a good amount of food photography, and I like trying to make those images look alive,” he says. “Plus I wanted to create pictures where the viewer might ask: ‘How did he do that?’”

Ian captured his at-home images with the Tamron 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD lens for his Sony mirrorless camera. “This lens is super-sharp and crisp, and just like Tamron’s other lenses that I’ve used, it’s really quick and always nails the focus,” he says. “I also love it because it’s so small and compact. I can easily fit it in a camera bag or in my hoodie with my Sony body and carry it around all day. Plus, because I shoot a lot for Instagram, I like how that 20mm focal length mimics the ultra-wide-angle lens on the newer iPhones that people are using to create their images on that platform.”




Read on to see how Ian used the 20mm lens for his creative photos in quarantine.

© Ian Jones
20mm, F/2.8, 1/1250th sec., ISO 2000
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© Ian Jones
20mm, F/3.2, 1/3200th, ISO 3200
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Stuck at home for so long, I ate and drank a lot. Making fun drinks became a pastime in and of itself, so I always had plenty of lemons and limes on hand. Using the 20mm lens, I wanted to showcase the process of preparing these beverages, getting down low to capture interesting angles in tight quarters.

I was able to pull off this composite lime-in-the-air shot because that 20mm lens is so quick with its focusing. I put my camera on a tripod, which captured the first shot as I threw the ice up in the air. For the second image, I cut a lime in half and attached it to a fishing line hanging from the ceiling. As the line was untwisting and the lime was spinning, I poured water on it (not the gin we were really drinking) to create that splash. I removed the fishing line in Photoshop.

© Ian Jones
20mm, F/4, 1/8000th sec., ISO 1000
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The photographer Peter McKinnon partnered with a coffee shop to offer his own coffee, and I wanted to try some out in my Tamron mug. I shot this in my backyard as a composite, with my camera once again on a tripod capturing the shots as I dropped ice cubes into the coffee to make it splash. I combined three or four photos of me doing that, which is why you see that kind of funky splash around the cup. I usually shoot at F/2.8 for most of my photos, but I did this one at F/4 because I wanted to make sure that not only the individual coffee splashes would be sharp, but also the word “Tamron” on the cup.

© Ian Jones
20mm, F/2.8, 1/1600th sec., ISO 3200
Click image to view larger

One of the things I’ve done a lot during the pandemic is stand in front of my refrigerator, looking for something to eat or drink. One day I saw this tea and decided to photograph it. With my camera on a tripod, I took one of those skewers you use for shish kebabs and taped it to the cap so it held the cap up. I had my left hand on my camera, taking the pictures, while my right hand held a vape pen I’d purchased to create smoke in my shoots. Next, without moving anything, I used a ramekin to splash water against the back of the bottle, so it looks like the water is coming toward the camera. Then I combined those images in Photoshop and removed the skewer for the final image, so it looks like the cap is suspended in midair.

© Ian Jones
20mm, F/2.8, 1/3200th sec., ISO 800
Click image to view larger

I take my iPhone out of its case about once a month to clean it, and this time around I decided to once more explore my fascination with motion by pouring water on the phone and photographing it (it’s water resistant). I figured it would be an eye-catching shot that would get people buzzing, especially with the new iPhones scheduled to debut in the fall. Once again I used a skewer, this time attached to a table, and taped it to the phone, which I then poured water on. I like the way the water ended up pooling and splashing off of it. It was a cool effect.

© Ian Jones
20mm, F/4, 1/25th sec., ISO 1000
Click image to view larger

The concept behind this photo continues with the boredom theme, and on how dependent we’ve become on our phones. There were times over the past few months when I would put my phone down, then literally pick it right back up again within 20 seconds. So my idea behind this photo is the phone reaching back up at you as you try to escape it. This was another composite. I cleared the table and chairs out of my living room and had my fiancee position her arm as you see it here. Then I put all of the furniture back and took the photo of the phone on the table. I used the smoke from the vape pen again right at the spot where her arm meets the phone, which helps blend the two images a bit more seamlessly.

To see more of Ian Jones’ work, go to www.isjdesigns.com.






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