In Part two of the Boudoir Video Workshop, Sigma Pro James Schmelzer demonstrates bed posing technique with constant lights. James gives great advice on paying attention to detail, so check it out! He uses the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens for this shooting session.
Also check out James’ video on basic etiquette on how to work with models!
Don’t forget to check out his first post on lighting!
If you are interested in a crash-course in pro-caliber bird and wildlife photography, you can’t go wrong with this great presentation from Sigma Pro Roman Kurywczak from B&H’s Optic 2016: A Paradigm Shift in Birding Photography. It’s 40 minutes, which—we know—is like FOREVER in internet time, but it truly is time well spent to see what is now possible with bird photography in 2016 thanks to incredible advances in both DSLR performance and modern compact superteles like the Sigma 150-600mm Sports and Contemporary lenses.
Every Photographer has a bucket list of places and things they would like to shoot. 3-3-2016 ended up being the perfect day to knock a few locations off my list. The fact that the weather wasn’t great was actually a plus. Intel from some friends, found me stuck in afternoon Kennedy Expressway traffic, trying to get to “CP Morgan” for the test run of the newly refurbished METX 99. I figured the combination of fresh METRA paint and older Pennsylvania Signals against the Chicago skyline would be a good contrast for a first shot. I pulled up with minutes to spare. After parking, I grabbed my Canon 5D and favorite Railfanning lens, the SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS lens. Sharp, fast and versatile- the image stabilization is perfect for less than ideal lighting situations. Minutes later the gates at Racine avenue came down and I had my shot… The 99 Popped against the gloom of the city!
Parking in this city is an issue. The main purpose of this trip was to shoot off of a couple of new Parking Structures recently built to handle this crush of traffic. Location Number 2 is the new public parking structure located off the corner of Kinzie and Clinton Street. This is the busiest single location for Train traffic in the entire City. The triple track leads to Chicago’s Union Station (CUS) pass under the multi-track bridge of UP/Metra’s Ogilvie Transportation Center (Or just O.T.C). By the time I arrived Metra was starting to load up both Depot’s with equipment for the impending outbound afternoon rush.
What is it about snow monkeys that brings people from all over the world back year after year? After all the famous snow monkey park in Nagano, Japan is pretty small and can get crowded but being able to see the snow monkeys close up and interacting and with one another, and sometimes with people, is really an experience you wont forget. But above all else I think that the young monkeys and their non stop energy are really the biggest attractions at the park.
We all live under budgets. But when it comes to photography, a budget should not limit our creativity. Even without a professional camera body and an assortment of lenses, you CAN get great photos at an aviation event. It’s all about sticking to some basic camera settings…leveraging the strong points of your equipment…and the right lens.
Enter the small and mighty Sigma 18-300mm f3.5-6.3 zoom as the “right” lens. Paired with a Canon 70D camera body, it’s small, light, and easy to carry around. I used this combination recently at two aviation events – Sun ’n Fun 2016 in Florida and a gathering of TBM Avengers in Illinois. I knew the large zoom range would have me covered with everything I wanted to photograph. Just mount the lens to the body, turn on the Optical Stabilization and start shooting. But to make this combo perform in the various photo opportunities I would encounter, it was time to make a few camera adjustments. Here are a few tips I used to make it work:
Living in Oregon, my free time is spent wandering the incredible nature that encompasses the Pacific North West. Like many people who share this pastime, finding a balanced hiking setup is a real struggle. Over packing can really drain your energy and weigh you down, while under packing could leave you disappointed that you’re missing a great shot with the gear you left at home.
Recently I have been trying to cut down on many of the non-essential gear that comes with me. My goal is to get rid of the clutter and focus on technique and challenging myself to create imagery without a 50lb bag on my back… and out comes the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM | Contemporary. This little gem of a lens has been surprising me time and time again to the point where it’s pretty much attached to my 70D constantly. The 18-300 is in the Contemporary line, and a lot of folks aren’t quite sure what that means. To put it simply, the contemporary line is geared more towards consumers and defines the merging of compactness and great image quality. Don’t be thrown off because it doesn’t say Art, this little lens is stocked with Sigma’s premium glass (4 FLD) along with great macro capabilities and an optical stabilizer, plus the versatility is insane!
The Sigma 50-100mm 1.8 DC HSM | Art is the latest addition to the art line. This designated crop sensor lens is the second lens to incorporate a constant 1.8 aperture through its entire focal range, with the 18-35mm 1.8 | Art being the first. My first impression with this lens (and this seems to be a common one for the Art line) is how solid it feels in the hand. The Global Vision lenses tend to have a more robust feel and weight to them than previous Sigma lenses, something I like in a lens. I am not the most gentle with my gear so it’s nice to have gear I know will stand up to the wear and tear I put them through.
I took the 50-100mm 1.8 DC HSM Art out for a few days to gather some images and showcase its strong points. This lens is for crop sensor cameras and I did my testing on a 70D. First thing I do when I get a new lens is plug it into my laptop with the Sigma USB DOCK, just to make sure its firmware is current. It’s a free software, Sigma Optimization Pro, and it takes 2 minutes to check this. If you are not familiar with the USB Dock, it allows you to connect any Global Vision lens to your laptop to update its firmware and do focus calibration. You can also do customization on lens performance for a few other lenses but for more info visit this page. Sigma was the first to pioneer this technology and give photographers more control over their gear.
My passion for dancers started many years ago when I first started my photography business. I found their passion for dancing matched my passion for photography and I found their desire for perfection contagious. Whether I’m creating a scene that is traditional for ballet or simply performance driven, the art, the work, the passion all shines through.
When setting up a session like this, the first decision for me is, what lens will I use? My choice was the Sigma 50mm F1.4DG HSM | Art lens. For me, the lens provides a real perspective as to what the eye actually sees. The next choice was to use a studio that was large enough for the dancers to move and fly through the air and the 50mm 1.4 with it’s fast shutter allowed me to capture that defining moment with ease. This is an extremely sharp lens that captured not only the muscle tone in their legs and arms, but also the expression of the dancers as they fly through the air. When you work this hard with such precision and perfection it should be rewarded with beautiful imagery.
At the end of every hockey season, I get to play with strobes on the ice at my local ice rink in Western New York. This year I had the opportunity to play with the new Sigma 24-35mm f2 DG HSM along with the Sigma 10mm F2.8 DC Diagonal Fisheye. Shooting with wide angle lenses for sports action allows for a unique look compared to the typical telephoto compression on most sports images.
We just recently returned from an awesome 30+ day tour of Japan and the people, food, opportunities, and sights were all amazing, it seemed like there was always a surprise or something new around every corner.
During my winter wildlife tour we visit a few different areas of Japan but before that tour officially begins we had the chance to spend a few days in and around the greater Tokyo area doing street shooting and visiting some of the most photogenic tourist hotspots. This post features some of my favorite images from around Tokyo.