The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

10.28.2014

Tout_LensExploration_10-20

Intro

The Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM zoom is the ideal ultra-wide lens. Sharp, compact, lightweight, able to take front-mounted filters, and, affordable, it’s the super-wide zoom for all types of photographers.

Read More >>

10.28.2014
©  2014 Steve Chesler |

© 2014 Steve Chesler |

As a sports photographers, I need a big, fast zoom lens to keep up with the action. The new Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 | Sports lens is just about perfect for the sidelines. With the performance customization available with the USB Dock, it is perhaps the ultimate field sports telephoto zoom.  Right out of the box, this lens is one of the sharpest pieces of glass I have ever used, so I was a little hesitant to play with the settings using the USB Dock. However after exploring the options with the easy to use Sigma Optimizer Pro software, I was comforted knowing the Restore to Defaults option was always just a mouse click away.

Read More >>

10.23.2014
©  2014 Melanie Myhre

© 2014 Melanie Myhre

By Melanie Myhre

Photography for me is more than creating a pretty picture. It’s about telling a story and transporting the viewer to another time and place. The idea that anything is possible if you can dream it is a re-occurring inspiration in my work.  If I can create and capture a fantastical scene in our own reality without compositing in Photoshop, I feel that I have succeeded in preserving a little wonder and hope in our world, even if that scene existed for just a brief moment.

I wanted to create something surreal, haunting and mysterious.  A forest at twilight seemed like the perfect setting for a dark fairytale. A friend had just given me 30 white feather boas to make a perfect fairytale dress.  I sewed them into an elastic waistband for an overskirt. The underskirt was made from white satin sewn into elastic and cut into 3 inch strips to allow for more freedom of movement.  I created the bodice from a plain white corset found at a thrift store.  A hot glue gun was used to attach beads, paper flowers, and jewels.  By the time the dress was finished, it looked like a flock of chickens had exploded in my studio!

Read More >>

10.21.2014

Welcome to my new, bi-weekly photo “dog blog” celebrating canines and cameras. Here I plan to write about dogs, photography, and life. Specifically, I hope over time that over time this column accomplishes three things:

  1. Shares ideas about way to photograph your pet
  2. Documents the growth of our new Labrador retriever puppy from the first week at home onward, as well as showcasing other dogs
  3. Reflects on how photography of our “best friends” can teach us about life, particularly examining how dogs influence our lives and, recursively, how we affect theirs.
Our eight week-old fox red Labrador retriever, Rowan, poses for her first portrait. There’s a good chance she’ll make an appearance in my upcoming “CURIOUS CRITTERS: Dogs” book. Nikon D800E. Nikon SB800 flash. Sigma 105mm f/2.8mm lens. 1/250 sec., f/22, ISO 100. Lastolite Cubelite Light Tent. Two Dynalite  Monolights. Richland County, Ohio, USA. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

Our eight week-old fox red Labrador retriever, Rowan, poses for her first portrait. There’s a good chance she’ll make an appearance in my upcoming “CURIOUS CRITTERS: Dogs” book. Nikon D800E. Nikon SB800 flash. Sigma 105mm f/2.8mm lens. 1/250 sec., f/22, ISO 100. Lastolite Cubelite Light Tent. Two Dynalite Monolights. Richland County, Ohio, USA. Photo © 2014 David FitzSimmons. All rights reserved.

This first installment is full of joy and replete with sadness. While my family and I are elated with the arrival of our new ‘fox red’ yellow Labrador retriever, Rowan, we are also grieving the recent loss of our nearly fourteen year-old friend, Maple, our first yellow Lab.

Read More >>

10.21.2014
©  2014 Lindsay Adler | Specs: Sigma 24-105mm 4.0 at 62mm | Shutter speed: 1/3200sec | Aperture: f/4.0 | ISO 100

© 2014 Lindsay Adler | Specs: Sigma 24-105mm 4.0 at 62mm | Shutter speed: 1/3200sec | Aperture: f/4.0 | ISO 100

*Please note that I ADDED the slight vignette in these images in Photoshop/Lightroom.

Earlier this year I took an expedition into the giant sand dunes outside of Dubai to shoot a fashion editorial for Zink Magazine. This was a shoot I had been anticipating for quite sometime, as it was the type of work I always dreamed of shooting. I would be in an exotic location with an incredible team on my side, beautiful model, and freedom to create striking images. It truly was a dream shoot made into a reality.

On the first day of shooting we took the vehicles deep into the dunes, passing camels and leaving the nearest town and signs of life far behind.  As we approach the gathering of dunes I was amazed as they towered like mountains above the SUVs. Seeing the model first stand into front of the dunes, she appeared like a speck before their grand size.

As we stepped out of the car, however, I realized a major obstacle to be tackled. Perhaps my dream shoot wouldn’t be a simple and picture perfect as I had hoped!

Read More >>

10.14.2014

In late August a Hurricane off Mexico sent giant waves to California. The surf spots that are open to the south-southeast swell angle were extra large to extra extra large. The morning the swell hit I ended up shooting at the Wedge, a surf spot in southern Newport Beach in Southern California. This was a historic swell and will be talked about for years and years and never forgotten by those lucky enough to experience it in person. These are some of my favorite images from that session, I hope you enjoy them.

The Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S really worked perfectly at the Wedge at this size. I brought a 1.4x teleconverter and longer back up lenses but never had a need for anything else.

Sequence image 1 of 4

© 2014 Robert O'Toole | Lens: Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S lens | Nikon D4 | Shutter speed: 1/4000 sec | Aperture: f/4 | ISO 200 | EV - .7, Manual mode, handheld.

© 2014 Robert O’Toole | Lens: Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S lens | Nikon D4 | Shutter speed: 1/4000 sec | Aperture: f/4 | ISO 200 | EV – .7, Manual mode, handheld.

Big drop on one of the bigger waves that day. If you look close you will see this guy’s back foot is not on the board but is about two feet in the air.

Read More >>

10.07.2014

What a difference a couple of years makes!

Two years ago, we were gearing up for PhotoPlus, just days after the announcement of the Sigma Global Vision at photokina 2012. We were preparing ourselves for discussions and briefings to explain the philosophy behind the three new lines being offered.

At that time, many photographers and technical editors were confused as to what Art, Sports, and Contemporary was meant to convey in a lens name. We spent a lot of time that fall explaining the way that Sigma is rethinking lenses and how this relates to the three new lens markings.

The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is one of the newest lenses in the Sigma line, announced at photokina 2014. This lens is designed for exceptional outdoor performance.

The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens is one of the newest lenses in the Sigma line, announced at photokina 2014. This lens is designed for exceptional outdoor performance.

Shortly thereafter, though, the first of the new Sigma lenses, the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens was released, and almost overnight, the conversations changed. Photographers and editors around the world were blown away by the build quality, and more importantly, the total image quality of this new Sigma, full-frame, fast-aperture wide prime. People realized that this new lens, the original Art lens, was something quite special. It defined the Art category and heralded a new era for Sigma under the guidance of new CEO Kazuto Yamaki. It was the perfect proof of the promise of the the Sigma Global Vision.

Read More >>

10.07.2014
©2014 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 21mm | Aperture: f/20 | Shutter speed: 1.0 sec. | ISO 400 on tripod.  3 stop Singh Ray reverse GND filter and 3 stop GND filter stacked.

©2014 Roman Kurywczak | Lens: Sigma 12-24mm | Focal Length: 21mm | Aperture: f/20 | Shutter speed: 1.0 sec. | ISO 400 on tripod. 3 stop Singh Ray reverse GND filter and 3 stop GND filter stacked.

In part one we discussed the use of polarizers and solid neutral density filters.  So what other filter should you have in your bag? The answer is: the graduated split neutral density (ND) filter. What do they do?  They allow you to balance the light on the foreground with the tonality and brightness of the sky.  How?  The filter is split in half with the top being much darker and the bottom half clear.  The dark area is graduated down towards the middle, which allows you to darken the sky and better match it up with the tonality of the foreground. They generally come in 2 styles; one with a hard edge and the other is often referred to a soft edge.  The hard edge has a clearly defined line where the soft edge is more graduated.  This is the one I prefer and use most of the time. A variety I also have is called a reverse graduated neutral density filter (both made by Singh Ray) where the darkest area is towards the middle which makes it particularly useful as the sun comes up or is about to set.  It is best suited for situations where you have a pretty level horizon without many protrusions into the sky.  Below is an example of both and they typically come in increments from 1stop all the way up to 5 or more.  Most practical are the 2 and 3 stop versions from numerous manufacturers.  Notice that I am not recommending any screw in type as what you want to darken is seldom in the middle of the frame.

Read More >>

10.06.2014
Lens: Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II | Canon 1D Mark 3 | Focal length: 19mm | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 0.8 seconds | ISO 400 | Circular Polarizer | all mounted on tripod, standing in the water

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG HSM II | Canon 1D Mark 3 | Focal length: 19mm | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter speed: 0.8 seconds | ISO 400 | Circular Polarizer | all mounted on tripod, standing in the water

This simple answer is absolutely yes!!!  While they may not be as important as they were in the film days, there are still some filters that are absolutely necessary in today’s digital age.  I will break this blog up into two parts so I can cover this topic in depth.  Part 1 will cover circular polarizers (CP) and solid neutral density (ND) filters.  Part 2 will cover graduated neutral density filters as well as some additional specialty filters you may want to have in your bag. Let’s start with the circular polarizer.  Truth is I don’t use  a CP as much as I used to.  The dynamic range of modern digital cameras has greatly improved over slide film so I only use my CP when I am around water to reduce/eliminate glare. I went out to photograph waterfalls this spring in Pennsylvania. 

Read More >>

10.06.2014

Of the three main variables relating to creative and artistic control on DSLR and compact interchangeable cameras–aperture, shutter speed and ISO–aperture control, is for many beginners, the most difficult to grasp. Have no fear, we’re here to help! Learning how and when to select a wide or narrow aperture unleashes the creative and expressive potential of your camera’s lenses, and puts the control firmly in your hands.

These two apples were photographed with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | A lens zoomed to 35mm with an F2.8 aperture for shallow depth of field. Notice how just a sliver of the leaf and near apple is on the focal plane. The front apple is about a foot from the lens, with the farther apple nine inches behind. The back wall with the very soft shadow is ten feet from the camera.  1/40 F2.8 ISO 400, continuous lighting.

These two apples were photographed with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | A lens zoomed to 35mm with an F2.8 aperture for shallow depth of field. Notice how just a sliver of the leaf and near apple is on the focal plane. The front apple is about a foot from the lens, with the farther apple nine inches behind. The back wall with the very soft shadow is ten feet from the camera. 1/40 F2.8 ISO 400, continuous lighting.

And here is the same image captured at F/16, a much smaller aperture. The area of the aperture circle is much smaller, so a longer exposure time of 8/10 second is necessary to give an equivalent exposure. Notice how much harder the edges are on both the far apple and the shadow on the wall with the smaller F/Stop.

And here is the same image captured at F/16, a much smaller aperture, with the focus again exactly on the leaf of the front apple. The area of the aperture circle is much smaller, so a longer exposure time of 8/10 second is necessary to give an equivalent exposure. Notice how much harder the edges are on both the far apple and the shadow on the wall with the smaller F/Stop.

Quite simply, the lens aperture (also known as the F/Stop) controls the size of the opening inside the lens that light will be passing through during image capture. At a given focal length and focal distance a wider aperture will have a shallower zone of sharp focus than a smaller aperture.

Read More >>