A scene like this, spotted in the Guadirikiri Cave in Aruba’s Arikok National Park, is a challenge for even the most experienced photographer. The rays of light streaming in through the hole in the cave’s ceiling can be tricky even for the most advanced camera’s spot metering system, while the all-encompassing darkness presents a daunting problem for lenses with slow apertures. But as a travel photographer—or a traveler in general, really—I can’t make excuses. I need to capture and communicate the moment as it plays out before my eyes.
Thanks to Tamron’s new 16-300mm All-in-one Zoom lens, I was able to do just that. I flipped my camera to spot metering mode, dialed in the largest possible aperture given my focal length, and fired away. The lens did the rest. The snappy Piezo Drive autofocus system locked in on my friend’s face, even in the sort of light that presents a huge challenge for some of my ultra-wide aperture lenses. With the handy manual override system, I was able to fine-tune my focus where necessary, while not missing out on the moment. With my new Tamron in hand, I was able to capture a truly unique moment in one of Aruba’s most unique environments, and elevate what could have been a blurry, blown-out snapshot to a travel photograph I am proud of.