The Story Behind The Shot

Every great shot has a great story behind it. Each week we feature a Member photo and ask them why they chose a specific lens.

Jurall Adams-Stephens


Shot with: Canon 24-105mm f/4L

Photographer: Jurall Adams-Stephens (Facebook)

Why did you choose this lens? I chose this lens for flexibility in terms of zoom. I could only pack one lens and this lens handled everything.   

Tell us about the getting the shot: I actually go this shot heading home to the airport. My wife and I wanted to "soak up" the last bit of Maui, Hawaii. It was a windy as you can tell and the sun was piercing through, so I framed the shot so the sun would flare just a little through the trees. 


Jerry Gauriloff

Shot with: Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G

Photographer: Jerry Gauriloff  (@bigjerry34)

Why did you choose this lens?  I chose the Nikon 28-300mm because this is a great lens for wildlife photography, since its capable of significant zoom.   

Tell us about the getting the shot:  My wife and 5 month old daughter went for a walk in the park. I always bring my camera because you never know what you’re going to see.  This lens is a little heavy for walking around but I wanted to be able to be far away enough from the ducks to get candid photographs. This is a Mallard Hen. You can tell it’s not an American Black Duck due to the white lines on either side of the blue patch under its wing. The line of ducks is actually all hens. Judging by the feathers along the shoreline they are entering the pre-fall migration molt, losing their feathers and growing new ones. 


Foto By Freas

Shot with: Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G

Photographer: Michael Freas (Foto By Freas) (Website / Facebook)

Why did you choose this lens? I chose the Nikon 10-24mm because of its wide angle, crisp detail, and performance.   

Tell us about the getting the shot: While on a property shoot, I ventured out to the patio to get a shot of the property for sunset. After getting what I needed I decided to grab some shots for myself. The Key West sunset is known worldwide. It brings you back down to earth, and makes you appreciate sunset.  This photo is a mixture of techniques, with old school blending/bracketing. This is actually 9 different exposures, all blended together. Key West is Paradise. Come visit. Its always 5 o’clock down here!


Alanna Bova Photography

Shot with: Nikon 24mm f/1.4G

Photographer: Alanna Bova (Facebook)

Why did you choose this lens?  I chose the 24mm because I wanted to get a shot of her laying down, looking upwards into the camera with all her beautiful hair fanned out. I didn't have a ladder or step stool with me so my usual 85mm portrait lens would have been much too close.

Tell us about the getting the shot: With the 24mm I was able to stand right over her as she laid in the grass and still capture the entire shot!  


George Schuler

Shot with: Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro

Photographer: George Schuler (Facebook)

Why did you choose this lens?  I chose the Canon 100mm f2.8L IS macro because, well, I am fascinated by the up-close tiny world, and macro is best way to capture it. 

Tell us about the getting the shot: The shot was taken at a local pond with plenty of water plants and insects to go with them. I was specifically targeting dragon and/or damsels. This guy practically posed for me.  As they say "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." 


Keren Sarai Photography

Shot with: Nikon 85mm f/1.4G

Photographer: Keren Sarai (Website / Facebook)

Why did you choose this lens?  For this image I used the Nikkor 85mm 1.4G lens.  I LOVE this lens for portraits, especially when shooting intimate moments between couples.

Tell us about the getting the shot:  This lens allowed me to give the couple space but still be able to get in real close.  It also is a great lens for getting nice blurred backgrounds which makes yours subjects pop out even more!  This lens changed the way I shoot portraits is a must have! 


Anwar Ali

Shot with: Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 55mm

Photographer: Anwar Ali

Aperture: f/5.0

Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec

Why did you choose this lens?:  I like the zoom range on the Canon EF 24-105mm, especially with a constant f/4 aperture.  Also, the lens' weight is a nice balance for the Canon 70d.

Tell us about the getting the shot: In the last 2 years of this 5 year old life, I have never seen him out of some type of fireman gear.  He was removing some type of dirt from the manhole cover in a very serious way. I took this picture at his eye line to make him seem a little taller. 


Alanna Bova Photography

Shot with: Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Photographer: Alanna Bova  (Website)

Aperture: f/4.5

Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec

Why did you choose this lens?:  I had never used a Macro lens before and was very excited to experiment with this Nikon 105mm.  Since the flowers in my mother's garden had just started to bloom I thought I would wander around the yard for flowers and other items to photograph.

Tell us about the getting the shot: I didn't have much daylight left but the 105mm was able to let in tons of light.  After photographing more traditional flowers I spotted the dandelion seeds and thought it would be a great subject for capturing tiny details and I love the result.


Amira K Photography

Shot with: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Photographer: Amira K  (Website / Facebook)

Aperture:  5.6, the widest opening I could get at this zoom range to let in lots of light. 

Shutter Speed:  1/200 sec. It was a bright day and I wanted to make sure I get the lady under the tree as sharp as possible, she was my main target in the picture.  Also, with a long lens, I had to make sure there was no blur. 

Why did you choose this lens?: You can’t go wrong with a telephoto lens while travelling. I first got my 70-300mm for a Safari trip in Africa but before I knew it I started using it to shoot people on the street. Now I don’t go on a trip without it.  It’s helps you get that up-close, emotional picture without disturbing people. If it wasn’t for this lens I would’ve not been able to get most of the spontaneous, moving portraits I got on my last trip. You point your camera at someone and they lose the wrinkles on their face, their worried emotions.  All you get is happy smiles. This lens was a blast during my trip last year through 15 countries.

Tell us about the getting the shot: I was in Japan during the cherry blossom festival. People were celebrating everywhere under the blossom trees.  I wanted to capture a unique, post-impressionist image like a Van Gogh painting.  But I couldn’t find a good unique shot - everything looked the same to me. Then a friend invited us to 13th floor apartment.  I went out into the balcony to try to get few shots downs on the street; and then I spotted this lady.  She was sitting on alone on a bench waiting under a cheery blossom tree. This was one of the best shots I took on my trip, and my favorite photo.  I called it “That day, waiting so long” but it should really be called “The shot that I waited so long for.”  My advice: Never leave on a trip without a long zoom lens you always need it no matter what you think. 


Tracy Ann Photo

Shot with: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Photographer: Tracy Ann  (Website / Facebook)

Aperture: f/9.0

Shutter Speed: 1/2.5 sec

Why did you choose this lens?: I had a shoot for architectural photos for a website, so I knew I needed a wide angle lens. 

Tell us about the getting the shot: I know they are not the most exciting but they came out fabulous and the client was very pleased.  I could not have achieved these photos without such a wide angle lens!


Pano K Photography

Shot with: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 200mm

Photographer: Pano K  (Website / Facebook

Aperture: I shot it at f/2.8 because I really wanted the background to be out of focus so the bike would stand out. 

Shutter Speed: The snow made everything super bright and the large aperture required shooting at 1/800s. 

Why did you choose this lens?: I knew I was going to be shooting a sporting event outdoors (didn't find out about the snow until later!).  So I brought the 70-200mm with me because I needed the zoom. It's not as long as some other lenses, but it has that critical 2.8 maximum aperture, which makes amazing bokeh. 

Tell us about the getting the shot:I ended up shooting mostly at the longest end (200mm) because the bikers were far away from me.  But I also realized there was a corner where they all had to pass by to get to the finish line.  So I camped out across from there and snapped each rider as they came through. Given the heavy snow, my main goal was to make sure the riders were in focus, and not the snow flakes which can sometimes trick the autofocus. Luckily, this shot was in focus!


Pano K Photography

Shot with: Canon 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 17mm

Photographer: Pano K.  (Website / Facebook)

Aperture: A relatively small aperture of f/10 was used so that both the foreground and horizon would be in focus.

Shutter Speed: Given the bright lighting conditions, a shutter speed of 1/200s was used. 

Why did you choose this lens?: The 17-85mm was my first real travel lens. It's light and covers a pretty broad range, from wide-angle to moderate telephoto, which means I can use it in many different situations.  For this reason, it was my main travel lens for several years, until I upgraded to the Canon 24-105mm f/4L.  

Tell us about getting the shot: This was an outdoor, very bright scene with the sun high in the sky and much of the frame filled up with white rocks or light blue sky. This automatically meant that I'd be using a relatively fast shutter speed to let in less light.  It was also a landscape shot, so I wanted everything to be in focus, both nearby and far away.  This required using a small aperture of f/10, which meant that the lens opening would be relatively small.