The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

01.23.2015

Tout_LensExploration-85mm

What’s bright, gives wonderful, round bokeh and is perfect for portraits, sports, street and product photography? Give up?

It’s Sigma’s 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens. This beauty fits on both full frame and cropped sensor cameras.

The ideal portrait focal length is said to be twice to two and a half times the normal focal length. So before diving into the 85 let’s take a look at focal length and what it means in regards to sensor size. First, here’s a definition or two.

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01.20.2015

The temps here in Ohio have dropped to below freezing, and a beautiful blanket of snow covers the ground—the perfect conditions for some winter dog photography!

Many challenges face cold-weather photographers—from batteries to keeping yourself warm—but here I want to offer advice on getting the proper exposure in the snow. This will be the first of a periodic series on improving exposure settings for dog photography.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador retriever, poses in the early morning sun, looking across a snow-covered field. One of the biggest challenges of photographing in wintry conditions is getting the exposure right. Here, I metered off the snow and then opened up about 1.5 stops. Nikon D800E. Sigma's APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at 200mm. f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 1000. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Sharpener Pro plug-in applied. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Rowan, our ‘fox red’ Labrador retriever, poses in the early morning sun, looking across a snow-covered field. One of the biggest challenges of photographing in wintry conditions is getting the exposure right. Here, I metered off the snow and then opened up about 1.5 stops. Nikon D800E. Sigma’s APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens at 200mm. f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 1000. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Sharpener Pro plug-in applied. Photo © 2015 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

The biggest technical challenge of shooting snowy scenes is determining the best settings for exposure. The meter in your camera is programmed to give you proper exposure for approximately 18% gray. In other words, when your camera is pointed at a subject that reflects something around 18% of the visible light, you will have spot-on exposure.

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01.13.2015

Over and over again I am asked how to get boudoir images that are a guaranteed sell. For me, it’s a simple equation. Shots you know work plus shots that you take a little risk on, equals sales! Here are 4 shots I am sure to get at every boudoir session and you should too!

1. THE HEADSHOT.

© 2014 Jen Rozenbaum | Lens: 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art | Shutter speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: F4.0 | ISO: 640

© 2014 Jen Rozenbaum | Lens: 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art | Shutter speed: 1/125 sec | Aperture: F4.0 | ISO: 640

Every client wants a photo that they can show their friends, maybe even post on Facebook or Twitter. Something not too revealing, but of course edgier than an every day photo of themselves.  Better than a selfie, but not quite boudoir. These photos are not only popular with clients, but allows you the opportunity for a client to talk about you and show off your photos without feeling to exposed.

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01.05.2015

One Photographer’s Experience Using Sigma Lenses in Istanbul, Brussels, and Paris, Part I

By Eduardo Angel

© Eduardo Angel

© Eduardo Angel

I have recently returned from Istanbul, that fabled city that straddles two continents, Brussels, with its ancient roots and bilingual arrangement, and Paris, the legendary City of Light. These cities are famous for offering up a feast of imaging possibilities, and in this article I’ll share some of the things I considered before hitting the road on assignment, including my approach to lens selection.

Except for a few days in Istanbul where I had the priceless assistance of my talented friend Levent, I shot stills and video and recorded “soundscapes” by myself for three weeks using exclusively Sigma lenses.

To get started, one important limitation was that while I wanted to travel as light as possible, even though there’s nothing “light” when it comes to video gear, I still needed to have a full production and post-production setup with me.

This is not an easy challenge to meet, but it’s one that we increasingly face as digital visual storytellers. All the gear needed to fit in my trusted Tenba Roadie II Backpack so I could take it with me as carry-on luggage. It also had to be able to be taken on public transportation at each location if needed.

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01.05.2015

One Photographer’s Experience Using Sigma Lenses for video in Istanbul, Brussels, and Paris

By Eduardo Angel

For a recent assignment in Europe I chose a set of five Sigma lenses that would cover all the bases, no matter what type of shot I needed:

• 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
• 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
• 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM
• 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art
• 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM |Art

Image © Eduardo Angel.

All Images © Eduardo Angel.

For photographers and videographers new to Sigma, it takes a bit of work to navigate through Sigma’s nomenclature, but everything makes sense in the end. Based upon the format, Sigma assigns different designations for formats and image circles, as follows:

DG stands for “Digital Grade.” The coating on these lenses is optimized for full-frame DSLR systems.
DC stands for “Digital Compact.” These lenses are specifically designed for APS-C sensors.
DN stands for “Digital Neo.” The lenses under the DN designation are intended for mirrorless cameras interchangeable-lens cameras that feature either APS-C or Micro Four Thirds size sensors.

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12.30.2014

At the end of each year, we commonly reflect on our past 12 months and look forward to the next dozen. So, how was your dog year, and what is the outlook for 2015?

  • Did you have fun with your dog?
  • Did your dog have fun with you?
  • Do you have some particularly memorable photos?
  • Are you learning new ways to photograph your dog?
  • Did you learn anything from your dog about life?
Happy new year from Rowan! May 2015 be a banner year for you and your dogs. Nikon D800E. Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art Lens at 105mm. f/16, 1/250 sec., ISO 200. Dynalite RP1600 with two MH2015 heads, PocketWizard Plus III. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik plug-ins applied. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Happy new year from Rowan! May 2015 be a banner year for you and your dogs. Nikon D800E. Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art Lens at 105mm. f/16, 1/250 sec., ISO 200. Dynalite RP1600 with two MH2015 heads, PocketWizard Plus III. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik plug-ins applied. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

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12.23.2014

Did you get new Sigma gear this holiday season?

Do you have a favorite Sigma lens in your kit?

Share a selfie gear shot of you and your Sigma lenses and cameras using either the #MySigmaLens or #MySigmaCamera hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, or Google Plus and it can be featured right here in this blog feed. Get silly, or get seriously creative, but be sure to share a photo with those hashtags by January 31st, 2015!

At the end of January, we’ll pick four of the photos, and hook up the photographer with a brand new Sigma weather-resistant polarizer filter that matches the lens pictured!

 

 

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Click the jump below for full rules and eligibility.

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12.23.2014

Photography in winter can be a challenge. And when I say “winter”, I’m not talking of winter in the sense of majestic snowcapped peaks framed by freshly powdered pines with perfect golden light and fire-toned brushstroke clouds–I’m talking more of the winter of dirty refrozen slushpiles downtown three frigid days after a mid-January sleetstorm around 11:17 on a grey Tuesday morning when it seems there’s nothing magical left in the world worth getting out of warm car with a camera for.

A starling sits atop a weathervane, atop a three story building, captured through the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS | Sports paired with a Rebel T3i at 600mm, for an effective 960mm focal distance. Cropped to near square format for presentation.

A starling sits atop a weather vane, atop a three story building, captured through the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS | Sports paired with a Rebel T3i at 600mm, for an effective 960mm focal distance. Cropped to near square format for presentation.

Winter has its challenges, for sure, especially in the deciduous zones, where skeleton trees thrust bony fingers at the sky, and vistas and sweeping wild scenes are brushed widely with swaths of stingy browns and grays, instead of the festive pastels of spring, the lush greens of summer and the fall fireworks of foliage palette. But winter has it own charms and own rewards, and for photographers looking to challenge themselves and experiment, it can be a great time to get out and explore with a long lens, like the new 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS | Sports lens.

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12.23.2014

Posing is hard. It’s even harder to pose a boudoir client since she is usually not wearing much. No clothes, no where to hide!  So how do you know a good pose when you see it? Let me show you some examples.

Posing: Arms

© 2014 Jen Rozenbaum | Lens: 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art | Shutter speed: 1/400 sec | Aperture: F2.8 | ISO: 200

© 2014 Jen Rozenbaum | Lens: 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art | Shutter speed: 1/400 sec | Aperture: F2.8 | ISO: 200

In this first shot, my client looks larger than she looks in real life. The goal of a good pose is to make a client look as good as she looks in real life, if  not better. Making her look larger than real life is a huge fail.

So how do we make her look more like she looks in person (if not better)? In this case, the first point I notice is that her arms are adding bulk to her body. Arms are a tricky part of the body to pose because of this. They can easily make a woman look large.

Since her arms are up we can also see a lot of her back. Again, it’s making her look larger than she really is so we need to rearrange the pose slightly to flatter her more.

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12.18.2014

Having been an ice hockey goalie for the last 30 years, my passion for hockey photography runs deeper than any other sport. The speed of the action along with the close quarters of the action relative to the camera create a challenging environment to shoot in. Throw in frozen fingers, pucks whizzing by your face and the occasional stick in your ear and the task becomes downright treacherous. Here are some tips to not only get better hockey images, but to also keep your equipment safe and yourself out of the emergency room.

First, let’s assume your warm and comfortable and not in fear for your life so we can focus on the photography end of things. Shooting with a fast lens such as Sigma’s 120-300 f2.8 Sport lens or the 70-200 f2.8 HSM is a necessity. Unlike many of the field sports, shooting with a wide angle with hockey can also yield some great results when the action is within inches of you if you’re against the glass.

The first thing to look at before you shoot is the lighting system at the rink. Some rinks have LED lights shining down on the ice which is the ideal situation since they light the ice surface evenly with a consistent color temperature. Some rinks have lights that shine up toward the ceiling resulting a softer reflective light that isn’t as bright. Unfortunately, most rinks have mercury vapor lights that create hot spots on the ice surface and inconsistent color temperatures. The lights pulse in intensity that isn’t visible to the naked eye but show up in every image which can cause you to pull your hair out chasing white balance.

© 2014 Steve Chesler | Inconsistent color temperatures can be a problem when shooting under mercury vapor lighting. This image shows how the subject is well lit the moment this was shot and the lights further back where at a different color temperature in their light cycle.

© 2014 Steve Chesler | Inconsistent color temperatures can be a problem when shooting under mercury vapor lighting. This image shows how the subject is well lit the moment this was shot and the lights further back where at a different color temperature in their light cycle.

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