The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

10.04.2010

Vermilion Flycatcher. CICRA Research Station, Los Amigos Conservation Concession, Madre de Dios River, Peru © Gabby Salazar

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.

Tyrian Metaltail Hummingbird. Wayqecha Cloud Forest Reserve, Peru. Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG HSM© 2010 Gabby Salazar

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.

Lizard (Plica plica). Los Amigos Conservation Concession, Peru. Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG HSM with 2X Teleconverter. © 2010 Gabby Salazar

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!

Check out more of my work at www.gabbysalazar.com or follow my journey through the Amazon at www.roadtoamazonia.com.

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  1. This is a great initiative from Sigma in promoting young, talented photographers. Am sure amature’s out there gonna make full use of this. I wish we had something like this in India. GOOD LUCK

  2. Good initiative taken by Sigma to promote young photographers, specially representing developing countries. It may be thinked by Sigma to launch soft instalment facility for them. It will definitely make a greater difference with other manufacturers, specially in India.
    Best wishes.

  3. nice images in the blog as well as on your site Gabby
    Nice to hear that sigma supports young talent from around the globe.
    we have been using sigma lenses almost exclusively (170-500 and 50-500) and
    like them as they are great “value for money” lenses.