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Wide Angle, With Feeling



Glynn Lavender uses his suite of Tamron lenses, including the new 11-20mm F/2.8, to elicit a reaction in his viewers like he felt when taking the picture.


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By Jenn Gidman
Images by Glynn Lavender


When he was still a teen, Glynn Lavender had a rather unusual entry into the world of photography. “I was an absolutely cheeky brat as a kid and got thrown out of school at 15,” he says. “My mom used to run the photography section in a department store, and so she dragged me into a local camera shop and said, ‘This is my son, he likes to talk—employ him.’”

Glynn’s job at that shop led to decades behind the camera, and today he’s the owner of Australia’s Creative Photo Workshops, which offers photo tours and workshops around the world, though that’s been put on hold during the pandemic. “I started my company because I have a passion for sharing knowledge in a fun, noncomplicated way,” he says. “Photography doesn’t need to be hard—it just needs people to share knowledge simply. I love the light that turns on in people’s eyes when they start capturing shots they never thought were possible for them.”

During his travels, Glynn uses his lineup of Tamron lenses, including the new 11-20mm F/2.8 Di III-A RXD, 35mm F/2.8, 15-30mm F/2.8 G2, 17-35mm Di OSD, and SP 24-70mm F/2.8 G2 models. “I’m a sucker for a wide-angle lens, and my Tamron lenses offer me the image quality and versatility I’m looking for,” he says. “I love shooting as wide as I can and using that perspective, along with the elements in the scene, to draw the eye into the shot and to the subject.”

When scouting for scenes to capture, Glynn strives to make viewers feel like they’re there with him, taking it all in from his perspective. “I try very hard not to have preconceived ideas of what I’m going to shoot, because as soon as I set my mind on looking for a particular thing, I miss so many good shots because I’m focused on looking for that one thing,” he says.

As photographing people is a prominent part of his process, Glynn purposely sets out with what he calls his “stupid goofy smile stuck on,” looking everyone in the eye as he wanders. “I wait for connections with individuals who respond to that goofy look,” he says. “The majority of my portraits are captured after making those connections.” Glynn also goes with his gut on many of the photos he takes. “I pay attention to what I’m feeling and thinking,” he says. “I want to photograph subjects that make me smile, laugh, recoil, feel angry—anything that I have a reaction to. I want to find a way to capture that feeling in a shot so that when someone sees one of my images they, too, have a reaction.”

In general, one simple guideline underlies Glynn’s picture-taking. “ I want to capture the element that stood out to me in its least confusing form,” he says. “There’s nothing in any of these images that isn’t there for a reason. I almost never crop. I take the time to frame my images so they include exactly what I want to show. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not, but they’re always what my eye and heart wanted to show.”

Read on to see how Glynn used his Tamron lenses to capture the photos you see here.

© Glynn Lavender
15-30mm (18mm), F/3.5, 1/5000th sec., ISO 200
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This image was captured in Delhi, India. I was leading a tour group and saw this man sweeping flowers and tree litter from the top of an elevated entrance into a tomb. I thought it would be great to get a super low-angle perspective of him sweeping the leaves at us. The hardest part of this shot was convincing the guy sweeping to brush the stuff into our faces. To ensure a decent photo, I needed to use a fast shutter speed to stop the movement of the sweeper and the leaves, and I had to shoot in burst mode to make sure I got the broom angled exactly the way I wanted it. I always love it when the act of taking a shot is so much fun it almost doesn’t matter how the image comes out.

© Glynn Lavender
17-35mm (17mm), F/16, 1.3 sec., ISO 100
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This image was captured in one of Melbourne’s many alleyways dedicated to street art. For this assignment, I wasn’t allowed to include any recognizable face or buildings with company names on them—not an easy task in a city. I wanted a person in the image, but I wanted to show the hustle and bustle of a busy city and add some life to the shot. Using a slow shutter speed while a chef in his whites rushed past did the trick.

© Glynn Lavender
24-70mm (24mm), F/5.6, 1/800th sec., ISO 100
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One of my favorite places to shoot is in the fishing villages of Bangladesh, where there are incredibly colorful moon boats, people with character, and no tourists. This image was shot outside of Cox’s Bazaar as a man returned from washing the fish in his baskets. I love wide angles, leading lines, and photographing people. All of these elements came together so well in this shot.

© Glynn Lavender
11-20mm (11mm), F/7.1, 1/1000th sec., ISO 100
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Something strange happens in Australia whenever I have a photo assignment: It starts to rain. The wind starts to howl and the temperature plummets, and it usually doesn’t stop until after my deadline has passed. For this photo, I was fighting horrendous weather everywhere I was shooting. A brief break in the rain allowed the sun to peek out and light up the Port Arthur Jail, the incredible structure you see here. I like to get my camera down to ground level and use reflections to enhance an image so it’s not simply a picture of a building. The rain had left puddles here, so that’s exactly what I did.

© Glynn Lavender
35mm, F/2.8, 1/3rd sec., ISO 100
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This shot was taken of a couple of bench seats in a street in Melbourne that light up at night. You can see they’re still wet from the downpour. My goal here was to show the benches in a somewhat different way than we usually see them. Changing angles and perspectives can open up a whole new world photographically.

© Glynn Lavender
35mm, F/2.8, 1/320th sec., ISO 640
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Of course it was raining in this shot, too! One of the great features of the new Tamron wide-angle lenses is their ability to get really close to a subject and, like the previous image, allow us to see the world in a totally different way. Sometimes only shooting close-up subjects is a way to challenge yourself and hone your photography skills.

© Glynn Lavender
35mm, F/22, 1/50th sec., ISO 100
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Modern cities are really pushing the boundaries architecturally. It seems that every visit I make to a city there are new buildings to shoot, new angles, new viewpoints, and new shapes to capture our imagination. This is simply a shot of me looking up at one such building. Up is often forgotten, especially in travel photography.

To see more of Glynn Lavender’s work, go to www.instagram.com/glynnlavender.






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