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10.27.2011

Okay, so I’ve been shooting with the SD1 for about a month now, and I have to say, “Wow!”

Mount Sneffels – Autumn Sunrise. San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA. Sigma SD1 camera, Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens set at 30mm, f/11, 1/2 second, ISO 100. Sigma Cable Release CR-21. Photo copyright David FitzSimmons 2011. All rights reserved.

The details that this camera reproduces are amazing. If you want to show viewers the intricate details of a subject, all the while producing smooth, pleasant, and accurate color tones, then check out Sigma’s amazing new SD1.

Details from “Mount Sneffels – Autumn Sunrise.” San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA. This 1000x800 pixel crop represents less than 2% of the original image, meaning that making prints 40” x 60” or larger is easily accomplished. Sigma SD1 camera, Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens set at 30mm, f/11, 1/2 second, ISO 100. Sigma Cable Release CR-21. Photo copyright David FitzSimmons 2011. All rights reserved.

In the field: Two weeks ago I was presenting at the Telluride Photo Festival, sharing stories about producing my new picture book, Curious Critters. Around 4:30 a.m. one morning, I arose to photograph sunrise over the San Juan Mountains. I headed down the valley from Telluride and then over to Montrose, CO. As I began the descent into the valley town of Montrose, the sun was just getting ready to rise. I looked off the right of the highway and saw a dozen or so cars pulled off and tripods set up, pointed toward Mt. Sneffels.

I swung my rental car into the pull-off and jumped. What was before me was a mountainside rising toward the 14,000 foot peaks, and the slope was covered with aspens and a whole range of other fall foliage colors. A minute or two after I set up my tripod, first light struck the peaks. A snowstorm had covered their caps a few days prior, so the scene was storybook.

SD1 DSLR

Boy was I glad I had my SD1 in-hand! My sunrise photo is so detailed it can be enlarged easily to 40” x 60”, probably even larger. You can see individual leaves on the trees, ridges on the peaks, and details of trees hundreds of feet away. Amazing!

Mandarin Goby, from David FitzSimmons’ Curious Critters series. Sigma SD1 camera, Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro lens, f/16, 1/160 second, ISO 100. Sigma Cable Release CR-21. Photo copyright David FitzSimmons 2011. All rights reserved.

My new children’s picture book, Curious Critters, will be officially released on November 7, and I am starting work on the next book in the series. So I have begun shooting all my Curious Critters with the SD1. The results are equally amazing.

Detail 1 from Mandarin Goby, from David FitzSimmons’ Curious Critters series. The details are enthralling here: the lip transparent structures, they lines on the eye, and the vibrant color gradations. Sigma SD1 camera, Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro lens, f/16, 1/160 second, ISO 100. Sigma Cable Release CR-21. Photo copyright David FitzSimmons 2011. All rights reserved.

I recently worked with Pet Stop, Ashland, Ohio, in photographing some spectacular tropical fish. My favorite was the Mandarin Goby, a fish that looks like it fell in an artist’s palette and came out the best way possible. I’m used to seeing the colors come out well from the Foveon chips in my Sigma cameras, but the details are now the spectacular part. When I zoom in on the Goby, you can see the most intricate structures, like lips, eyelids, and such.

Detail 2 from Mandarin Goby, from David FitzSimmons’ Curious Critters series. Look at the tiny spots, intricate structures, and other features of this beautiful saltwater fish. This represents less than 3% of the full-size image above. Sigma SD1 camera, Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro lens, f/16, 1/160 second, ISO 100. Sigma Cable Release CR-21. Photo copyright David FitzSimmons 2011. All rights reserved.

Much of my photography rests on details. If I can show how amazing the details of an animal, plant, or landscape are, then perhaps I can excite people enough to get out and enjoy nature…as well as conserve it.

Sigma SD1…my first impression: Wow! Beautiful color and incredible details!


Curious Critters, David’s new children’s picture book, is now available. Click here to see sample pages or to purchase from Wild Iris Publishing. All images in Curious Critters were all produced with Sigma lenses. Curious Critters will be available through bookstores and online in November.  To see more of David’s hallmark white-background animal portraits, visit www.curious-critters.com.

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  1. “Curious Critters ” is an amazing book of beautifully detailed photographs and FUN text. David is truly gifted when it comes to putting a book together to inspire people to go out and enjoy nature!

  2. David, nice as that first image is, colour wise, I’m sure you find that its unecessary to stop down to f11 to get an entire landscape in focus with a 1.5x crop Foveon sensor. The lens you used is sharpest at f4 and at every focal length except 50mm it is considerably sharper wide open than it is at f8. f5.6-f8 would be more than sufficient and give sharp images from forground to infinity and you will have greater sharpness and clarity.

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