THROUGH DAVID AKOUBIAN’S LENSES
David Akoubian became a
photographer because he
didn’t have the patience to
paint. Growing up the suburbs
of Atlanta, he was always
interested in art and nature.
When his father took him on a trip to the Grand Tetons
as a teenager, he became hooked on landscape
photography. “There’s so many places in the world to
see, and I wanted to capture them instantly,” he says.
After leaving the United States Marine Corps in
1992, he decided to make a living as a photographer.
He shot portraits as well as nature, and within a few
years, began teaching workshops. Teaching gigs in far-
flung locations, as well as a home in the foothills of the
Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia, allowed him to acquire
mastery over wildlife and nature photography. Today,
his clients include Coca Cola, The Nature Conservancy
and Scholastic Books, and his work has appeared
in Nature Photographer and Audubon, among other
publications. He is also one of the select photographers
named a Tamron Image Master.
Although Akoubian initially resisted the switch from
film to digital photography, he now only shoots digital.
“You’ve got such a wide, dynamic range in the digital
sensors that you didn’t have in film,” he says. “You can
capture so much more now.”
In particular, Akoubian notes, Tamron lenses have
really blossomed in the digital age. He first fell in love
with the Tamron 90mm macro in 1978, and has been a
devotee of the brand ever since.
Akoubian uses a Tamron lens in every type of
situation. With the SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD
G2, he is able to capture shots of birds in flight that he
could never have dreamed of capturing with film. “It’s
my go-to lens for wildlife,” he says. “I love the sharpness,
fast focusing and incredible tracking ability of the lens. It
is light enough that it can be handheld.”
When he is capturing a panoramic landscape, he
attaches a SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD to a full-
frame camera. “It is also, by far, my favorite lens for
photographing the night sky,” he adds. If he wants to
PICTURED: The Teton
mountain range in
Grand Teton Nation
Park, Wyoming shot with
a Tamron 16-300mm
F/3. 5-6. 3 Di II VC PZD