As the Editor of Nature’s Best Photography Students Magazine (NBPS), I’m constantly calling camera companies to ask for equipment sponsorship. Our online magazine features writing and photography by students for students 21 years of age and younger. In exchange for their stories, I send equipment to young photographers across the world to encourage them to keep up their photography.
I first spoke with Sigma about the magazine over a year ago. It was clear from the first conversation that they got it – Sigma recognizes the importance of supporting young talent and the value of photographic education. Sigma agreed to sponsor our biannual photo contest by providing a lens of the winner’s choice for each grand prize. Through their sponsorship, I have been able to provide four young photographers with the lens they need to further their photography.
A few months after we negotiated sponsorship, Sigma launched a scholarship program for high school seniors. This fantastic opportunity for young, aspiring talent reiterated Sigma’s commitment to fledgling photographers.
Along with being Editor of NBPS, I am also a young photographer (23 years old). Last summer, I spent six weeks in Southeastern Peru volunteering as a photographer for the Amazon Conservation Association. I visited the Los Amigos Conservation Concession in the Amazon basin and the Wayqecha Cloud Forest Reserve in the high elevation cloud forest.
Sigma generously provided two lenses for my trip and I can give excellent reviews to each one. I took the Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG HSM and the Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye on my trip. I used the 500mm more because I mostly shoot with full-frame cameras and the fisheye is for smaller-chip cameras, but can say that I would recommend the 10mm to anyone wishing to spice up their photography with creative perspectives – it is particularly great for architecture.
The Sigma 500mm f/4.5 was a fantastic lens for birds and for smaller animals that were unapproachable. It was also a good fit for hummingbird photography – it provided enough length to bring the birds in and was fast enough to create beautiful blurred backgrounds. I used it with a 2x extender on a number of occasions and the images were still sharp and crisp. For an example, check out the lizard image – shot with a 2x extender.
In the fall of this year, I will be returning to Peru as a United States Fulbright Scholar to photograph a conservation corridor that will connect protected lands around the newly constructed Inter-oceanic highway, which stretches across Peru and Brazil. I’ll be taking a Sigma DP2s point-and-shoot camera along. I’m excited to test out the Foveon Sensor and will send in some images from the markets and the cities later this year. More from the field soon!