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Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (May 2021): Thomas Andlauer

The Fstoppers community is brimming with creative vision and talent. Every day, we comb through your work, looking for images to feature as the Photo of the Day or simply to admire your creativity and technical prowess. In 2021, we're featuring a new photographer every month, whose portfolio represents both stellar photographic achievement and a high level of involvement within the Fstoppers community.

This month's winner is Thomas Andlauer! His work is notable for its strong personality and use of color. Be sure to check out our favorite shots of his below and give him a follow to see his full portfolio. He's now in the running for Fstoppers Community Photographer of the Year!

https://fstoppers.com/photo/556404

https://fstoppers.com/photo/515837

https://fstoppers.com/photo/490394

https://fstoppers.com/photo/482618

https://fstoppers.com/photo/526586

How to Be Chosen

Remember, in 2021, we'll be featuring a photographer chosen from the community every month. At the end of the year, the Fstoppers Community Photographer of the Year will be chosen from the 12 monthly winners, with the overall winner getting a tutorial of their choice from the Fstoppers store. Be sure to share your photos in the Fstoppers community

See Past Photographers of the Month

You can see all Photographers of the Month here.

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8 Comments

David Pavlich's picture

Another great choice. Some really nice work!

Thomas Andlauer's picture

Thank you David !

Thomas Andlauer's picture

Wow, thanks a lot Alex ! It's a great pleasure to be featured for the "Photographer of the Month" ! :)

Paul C's picture

Dear Thomas - you earned this accolade - these are wonderful photo's. I have tried photography in rain forests in Asia and it is dark and difficult to work there - but the wildlife and flora there are magnificent.

For those who haven't checked your website - you are far more than a macro-photographer, for you also have some fabulous landscapes and cityscapes too. https://www.tandlauer.com/en/about/

You have made me get my 85mm macro out ready to try again at the weekend - only this time I realise that I have to get closer and get lower ! But give us a hint - are you using flash - or is this all natural light for the macro pictures?

I see that you use the 100mm a lot - but even more interestingly, you also use the 24mm F14 probe lens. Can you tell us all a bit about using that?

And for Alex and F-stoppers - please give Thomas a commission (or get Venus Optics to sponsor an article) to tell us all how he does it? This is one of those lenses that are not in stock in many camera shops so we need someone to walk us through it !

Congratulations - Paul C

Thomas Andlauer's picture

Thank you so much Paul for your kind words and compliments! I really appreciate! :)
I'm honored to make you get your lens and go out.

That's right, I like doing other kind of photography work too, such as Cityscapes and Landscapes.
I think I try to use what I've learnt from Landscapes/Cityscapes genre in my macro photography, in terms of framing, composition, etc. especially with wide angle macro that can be seen in my most recent work on Instagram or on my website.

To answer to your questions, yes I do use flash almost every time. This is of course necessary at night, but is useful during day too, because of low light of just to give some punch, and catchlight in the eyes.

Originally, I started macro with the Canon 100mm f2.8 lens. So, all my first pictures were taken with it. Then, I did some shots with others lenses to get other perspectives, such as 70-200 f2.8 + extender + close-up, Laowa 15mm f4, Laowa 24mm probe, or my 16-35mm f4.

Yes, you're right, the Laowa 24mm probe is quite uncommon! This is not a lens I use really often, however it can really shine in some configurations. For example, I have a picture from a Fer-de-Lance snake in my Insta (https://www.instagram.com/tandlauer/) or on my website (https://www.tandlauer.com/en/macro/), which really showcases what this lens can do.
The snake is inside a kind of dead palm leaf. In this case, the 24mm probe allowed me to be super close (a few centimeters to the head) to this highly dangerous snake, and to have this wide-angle perspective, giving the feeling to be inside the leaf with the snake.
Therefore, this lens is very useful to get close to venomous snakes. Of course, you still have to be very careful, and I used a piece of large cardboard with a hole for the lens tube to create a screen between the animal and the camera, to safely be able to access the focus and aperture ring of the lens.
I used this lens in another shot (a composite of a frog jumping into water with half view underwater and half view outside), because the first part of this lens is waterproof. I took the underwater part with it.
Another advantage is, because of its small diameter, it allows to be much lower on the ground/support than a traditional lens, giving the sensation to be with the subject.
However, I have to say:
- this is not the sharpest lens
- it has some yellow colorcast (at least mine) which can be corrected later in post-processing
- it is fully manual, so not too easy to adjust
- it has an aperture starting at f14, so you will need to bring light

At the end, is it really an amazing lens, but very specific. I plan to shoot some pictures with it and already have some ideas :)

Thomas

Robert T's picture

Stunning work, Thomas! I am thinking to start doing some macro photography without spending much money, can you please tell me what extender and close-up filter do you use on the 70-200 f2.8 lens? And give me some examples of photos done with this combination? what flash do you use? Thank you very much.

Thomas Andlauer's picture

Thank you Robert !

Well, with the 70-200 I used canon 1.4x and 2x extenders. I used the Canon 500D close-up filter/lens too. You can combine both as you need, regarding the perspective you want and the subject size.
To be honest, I don't use the 70-200 lens a lot as I own dedicated macro lenses, but as an example, the attached picture (frog on a mushroom carpet) - which is already in my Fstoppers portfolio - was taken with it (70-200 + extender and/or close-up filter, I don't remember exactly). In this case I wanted to benefit from the higher compression given by a high focal length. It allowed to have a denser carpet than with a wider lens. For the small residual gaps, cloning in PS helped.
I'm using Yongnuo 600ex-rt ii flashes, with the transmitter YN-E3-RT II. I'm using a small square diffuser on each flash. Sometimes I use one off-camera flash, others two in a cross-light pattern. It depends. I can blind pictures with different flash position too.

Thomas

Robert T's picture

Thank you very much! I was curious what kind of magnification and compression would you get with that lens combination.The macro world is amazing!