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03.15.2017
© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art at 24mm at f/1.4 for 15 sec. and ISO 3200 all mounted on Induro CT304 tripod and BHL3 head, moonlit and light painted

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art at 24mm at f/1.4 for 15 sec. and ISO 3200 all mounted on Induro CT304 tripod and BHL3 head, moonlit and light painted

Many of you ask me what’s in my bag when I go on one of my photo workshops. My reply is always the same: depends on where I’m going! I take commercial flights to every one of my workshop locations. Each photographic location requires different gear so in part one I will start with the location that is the most difficult to pack for: Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Why is this the most difficult location? Because you will need lenses for landscape and wildlife photography and with current airline carry on restrictions it makes packing everything into one bag very difficult but I will show you that it can be done.

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03.13.2017

By John Lincourt

I’m a Rhode Island based photographer specializing in nautical photography. That means I get to capture a lot of the beauty that is the New England shoreline as well as a variety of uniquely Rhode Island events.  It also means that I get to shoot some incredible sailboat racing, many times I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the best photographers in the world. It can be intimidating shooting next to a photographer with the latest big full frame camera and an even bigger super expensive, super fast lens.  I’ve been shooting digital with my crop sensor cameras since around 2005 and shooting sailboat races with my D7000, a D5100 and my trusty Sigma 150-500mm (and several other Sigma lenses) since 2012.

 

This spring when I was given the opportunity to shoot a great event called J Fest New England in Bristol, RI as their official photographer, I knew instantly that I’d be giving my gear a good workout.  Knowing that if I did a good job for the event, I’d get great exposure and the possibilities of shooting more work for J Boats the makers of the very popular J22’s and J24’s among many other models. Then the wheels started turning.  Nikon just came out with their new flagship Crop Sensor Camera, the D500, Sigma recently launched the  150-600mm Contemporary and Sport lenses and now the 50-100mm f/1.8.  A few emails and a manageable credit card bill later I had what I hoped would be the ideal kit for shooting regattas on its way, a rented Nikon D500 and the 2 lenses on loan for the whole month of August from Sigma. The original plan was to shoot the regatta and then return all the equipment, write this blog for Sigma and that would be the end. Having the 2 lenses for the whole month though gave me a few more options to put the lenses through a good workout. The D500 went back the day after J Fest, but since I had the 2 lenses for an additional 3 weeks, I was able to shoot 2 other regattas and a really cool night event using the 2 lenses and my D7000 and the D5100 that I use as my 2nd camera when I shoot regattas.

I made sure I had all the equipment a week before J Fest so that I could set everything up and get used to all the new gear. I didn’t want to show up at the regatta and not be able to set up all my new equipment. To my delight, an opportunity presented itself, a friend’s Little League team made it to Northeast Regional tournament in Bristol, Ct. Shooting that event would certainly be a challenge though, the game would be under the lights, so I was dealing with low light and fast action.  I set up the cameras the same way I’d be using them for the regatta the following weekend. The only real difference was that I was shooting at a much higher ISO. The 150-600 would be on the D500 and the 50-100 would be on my older D7000.

I expected the images to be sharper than what I could have gotten with my old well used 150-500mm and my 1st generation 50-150mm f2.8, I wasn’t expecting what I got. Both lenses produced what I considered unbelievably sharp images and tracked the action very well even with the relatively low light of being under the lights.

© John Lincourt | Nikon D500, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, at 180mm, 1/1,250th sec, f5, ISO 12,800

© John Lincourt | Nikon D500, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, at 180mm, 1/1,250th sec, f5, ISO 12,800

© John Lincourt | Nikon D7000, Sigma 50-100 f1.8, at 92mm, 1/1,250th sec, f4, ISO 400

© John Lincourt | Nikon D7000, Sigma 50-100 f1.8, at 92mm, 1/1,250th sec, f4, ISO 400

Based on just this practice outing, paring the 150-600mm with the D500 would be everything I’d hoped for. I was able to shoot a high enough ISO so that I could stop any action even late in the game with only the stadium lighting.

So let’s back up and talk about what it’s like to shoot a regatta for a second. If I’m shooting from a boat, I’m going to have my subjects moving in all different directions at the same time, couple that with the fact that I’m going to be bouncing around on a boat too while I’m chasing the fleet, making sure I stay out of their way and still get the boats from different angles, get close ups of individual boats, bows plowing through the chop, wider angle shots of the whole fleet, and while I’m at it, maybe even a few shots of the participants grinding a winch or driving the boat, or even being hoisted up the mast if I’m lucky. If I’m on shore, it’s easier to get full fleets, but I need as much reach as I can to get the activity on deck. The combination, of the two lenses I’ll be using gives me a 35mm equivalent range from 75 mm to a whopping 900 mm on my crop sensor Nikon cameras.

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03.10.2017

I thought it might be fun to gather some of my favorite images created with Sigma’s 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A lens I created in 2016.  This wide-angle perspective is a fun look for me when shooting portraits. There are so many elements that make for a great image and perspective is one of them.  As a portrait artist I’m always experimenting and trying to create a “unique look,” something that will separate me from my peers.  Using a different lens forces me to see differently. The added value of using a lens like this is being able to photograph in small spaces and still capture the whole scene. I have found no distortion in this lens at any aperture, which is extremely important to me given that I like to shoot wide open.  This is one of Sigma’s “Art” lenses and is f 2.0 at all focal lengths.

In this image of Lauren, I was shooting in an old elevator shaft.  My lights were set up behind me and I was standing about 6-7 feet away from the back wall and my subject.  The window above her gave me the additional light I needed to back light her hair.  What I love about photographing this way is I am able to capture the inside of the walls, creating a tunnel like effect which adds to the overall look that I wanted given her expression.  Had I backed up any farther, I would have been standing on the edge of the Hallway.   I specifically chose this location to showcase what this amazing lens can do.  Not too mention to create a very fun image.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A f 2.0 s 1/80 ISO 2000 Focal length 35mm. Hand Held, manual mode.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | A f 2.0 s 1/80 ISO 2000 Focal length 35mm. Hand Held, manual mode.

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03.02.2017
© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 1/50 sec. and ISO 640 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 1/50 sec. and ISO 640 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

When I think about the lenses I travel with the most, the one constant in my bag is the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art.  Why?  It is the often under appreciated workhorse for my landscape photography because of its versatility and incredible sharpness throughout the frame. Its zoom range allows me to compose and recompose the scene without having to physically move my tripod.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to 62mm at f/22 for 15 sec. and ISO 50 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art set to 62mm at f/22 for 15 sec. and ISO 50 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

I find this versatility especially important when I am photographing waterfalls and physically can’t get to a different location to reposition myself.  The long end of the zoom range allows me to tighten up my composition and give the viewer a much cleaner composition.

 © Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to28mm at f/16 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 640 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to28mm at f/16 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 640 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

It is also the lens I keep on my camera when I am driving around, so I can quickly jump out of the truck and compose the scene hand holding as shown in the image of the grain elevator above.  I crouched down to hide the main road behind the golden grasses.  In the image below, I was able to quickly run down to the waters edge in the Grand Tetons as the morning fog was lifting.

 © Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to51mm at f/11 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 250 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to51mm at f/11 for 1/400 sec. and ISO 250 hand held with the Vü circular polarizer.

Now, while I don’t mind getting wet for a shot, it is nice to have the 105mm focal length to keep me from getting wet by the frigid north Atlantic as I am in Iceland trying to capture the icebergs on the black sand beaches of Jökulsárlón.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 0.5 sec. and ISO 160 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to105mm at f/11 for 0.5 sec. and ISO 160 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

Like the rest of the Art lineup it’s solid build and edge-to-edge sharpness is perfect for most situations you will encounter out in the field.  The optimum zoom range should make this your go to lens on all of your landscape shoots. Learn more about the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art lens.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to35mm at f/10 for 1/20 sec. and ISO 400 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG (OS) HSM Art set to35mm at f/10 for 1/20 sec. and ISO 400 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead with the Vü circular polarizer.

Roman Kurywczak is a full time nature photographer and proud Sigma Pro team member who conducts lectures and workshops across the globe. His boutique tour company, Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours, caters to very small groups (only 4) to provide the ultimate learning experience for participants. His down to earth and easy to follow teaching style make him a highly sought after lecturer. The author of several instructional eBook’s on nature photography, Roman strives to share his passion for photography as others have shared with him. He is married for over 26 years with two sons and lives in NJ. You can learn more about Roman’s workshops, lectures, eBook’s, galleries, and more at: www.roaminwithroman.com

02.22.2017

Sigma Pro Liam Doran gives a first-look account at the new Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art lens for on-mountain winter sports photography. Check out the video to hear his thoughts and to see a sampling of his first shots with this great new ultrawide full-frame constant-aperture Art zoom lens!

 

Photo © Liam Doran Photography.  Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art lens at 13mm 1/1250 F16 ISO 400 paired with a Canon 1DX

Photo © Liam Doran Photography. Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art lens at 13mm 1/1250 F16 ISO 400 paired with a Canon 1DX

1224Liam

02.14.2017

Sigma Pros Jen Rozenbaum and Judy Host share their Valentine’s day vision with the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens.

Aperture: f 1.4 | Shutter speed: 1/500sec | ISO 600 | manual mode

Aperture: f 1.4 | Shutter speed: 1/500sec | ISO 600 | manual mode

by Judy Host

For portrait photographers who are always looking for ways to create artistic images, the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG Art lens is the perfect lens to accomplish your vision.

Photographing at F1.4 about four feet from my subject, I am able to focus in my subject’s eyes while her face, skin, nose and eyebrows have that beautiful soft fall off from the open aperture.  Her lips, which are the same distance to my lens as her eyes, are also sharp. The rose is slightly out of focus because it is closest to the lens.  I love this effect and it’s a wonderful technique to use to soften skin tones and enhance the eyes. This image was created at f 1.4 s 1/500 ISO 600 using natural light, manual mode and hand held.

There is beauty in simplicity. A simple red rose symbolizes love, passion and the fragrance of remembered experiences.

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02.08.2017

Bosque del Apache in New Mexico is one of the world’s premier spots for doing bird photography.  Located on a major western flyway, every year millions of birds pass through on their way south.   And one of the most recognizable is the Sand Hill Crane,  which is a great avian subject for making a variety of spectacular photos. In this piece, we are going to discuss panning and speed-blur techniques.

Choosing the Right Equipment for the Assignment.

My normal travel kit consisting of Sigma 24-105mm F/4 Art, Sigma 120-300mm F/2.8 Sports and Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 Sport  lenses worked out perfectly again on this trip. These three lenses cover me with an amazing range of 24 to 600mm for fantastic image quality on both my full frame and crop sensor DSLRs. I find these high quality Sigma zooms to all be a virtual match to any of the best fixed focus lenses available,  and give me so much more versatility. And they make travelling so much easier when the airlines now have so many baggage restrictions.

Why do I choose to shoot with the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 Sport over the contemporary model?  Image quality is my number one priority,  and since my main camera is a 36 megapixel full frame camera, the sports version is the better lens for my needs. The Sport version optical design gives me a sharper and chromatic aberration free image over a full frame sensor. The contemporary version design places size and weight a priority.   Also, the full weather sealing of the Sport version is a plus when I am likely to be shooting in rain, snow, or dusty environments.

© Robert O'Toole 2016 | Sandhill cranes and cottonwood tree bathed in fog and early morning light. Sigma 150-600 S and Nikon D500 @ 330mm, 1/250s at f/7.1, EV -0.3, ISO 2000, Manual mode.

© Robert O’Toole 2016 | Sandhill cranes and cottonwood tree bathed in fog and early morning light. Sigma 150-600 S and Nikon D500 @ 330mm, 1/250s at f/7.1, EV -0.3, ISO 2000, Manual mode.

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12.29.2016

Cold weather winter photography can be very rewarding.  From snow-blanketed landscapes, to action sports, the Sigma bloggers are braving the elements to make stunning images. With a little practice, foresight, and preparation, there’s a whole frozen world to be documented with Sigma lenses!

Adirondack Mountain Life with the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens

© John DiGiacomo 2016 | American Gold Finch (Focal Length 600mm, ISO 1000, F7.1, 1/400sec)

© John DiGiacomo 2016 | American Gold Finch (Focal Length 600mm, ISO 1000, F7.1, 1/400sec)

John DiGicomo captures nature and skiing with the 150-600mm S lens.

 

The Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Macro | Contemporary lens takes on the Alps

The autofocus is fast enough to capure sharp images of skiers in action.  Sven Brunso finds powder in Disentis days after the last storm. ISO 200 at 28mm f/10  1/1600 sec.

The autofocus is fast enough to capure sharp images of skiers in action. Sven Brunso finds powder in Disentis days after the last storm. ISO 200 at 28mm f/10 1/1600 sec.  Photo © Liam Doran

Sigma Pro Liam Doran takes on the Alps with the compact all-in-one 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Macro | Contemporary.

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12.28.2016

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens has developed a strong following at air shows. And  for good reason- it’s sharp as a tack and has a great zoom range for photographing airplanes in action.

©Jim Koepnick 2016 | Air Show action- Sigma 150-600 f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport lens at 548mm; ISO 200; f9 at 1/320 second.

© Jim Koepnick 2016 | Air Show action- Sigma 150-600 f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport lens at 548mm; ISO 200; f9 at 1/320 second.

But what about the times when the creative bug bites you and there isn’t an air show happening in  your area? For me, the answer is to go hang out at some of the small, local airports. And to realize not all interesting aviation photos have to be taken at an air show.

And…it also doesn’t mean you need to leave your Sigma 150-600 lens at home. It’s a great lens for  capturing a different perspective on aviation. The narrow field of view and compression become artistic tools for your imagination. It’s also a great opportunity to give all of your Sigma lenses a workout…not to mention your imagination.

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12.22.2016
© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art set to 12mm at f/22 for 1.6 sec. and ISO 100 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art set to 12mm at f/22 for 1.6 sec. and ISO 100 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead

I love wide-angle lenses especially the super wide angles like the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art.  I had the older version of this lens so I was really excited about getting mine in time for my workshop to Iceland and fortunately it arrived a few days before I left.  As usual, the build quality of the lens was equal to that of the entire Art lens lineup and the first thing I noticed was how little distortion it had. In the image of the waterfalls of Mt. Kirkjufell above, I used it at 12mm to show the entire perspective of the bank.

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art set to 13mm at f/22 for 0.6 sec. and ISO 50 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead

© Roman Kurywczak 2016 | Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art set to 13mm at f/22 for 0.6 sec. and ISO 50 mounted on Induro tripod and ballhead

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