The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

03.01.2012

Eye Scene: Photographer, Ryuichi Oshimoto Travels with Sigma Camera & Lenses

Title photo: On the eastern border of Cutler, Maine, there were signs of morning. The morning light permeated through the sky and the harbor, connecting the Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Ocean, was shining brightly. Counting the boats on the calm water, the super-wide zoom lens captured the entire landscape. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/1250 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 8 mm

As I admired the lighthouse on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, the drizzling got heavier. I decided to leave, but the couple from Tennessee and the elderly man continued to engage in conversation. Heading south on Lighthouse Road from the north end, I took Main Road (774) to Head Harbour Wharf Road. I ended up in a narrow harbor in a cove. The rain stopped and I walked around the harbor. A small ship came back to the bay and two tanned young men got out of the boat. In preparation for lobster harvesting season, the two were inspecting their boat. I asked them about the lighthouse on the small island and they said, “At low tide, you can walk over there, but if you don’t return quickly you will be stuck on the island. The currents are stronger than they seem, so swimming isn’t an option.”

Photo 1: In the harbor, small boats line up in a uniform pattern. Under the gray skies, the bright red flowers stands out to welcome the fishermen. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/160 sec | Aperture:F7.1 | Focal Length: 105 mm

Returning to the main road from the harbor, I drove to the pier at Wilsons Beach on the west coast. At the corner of the L-shaped pier, I see a man swinging his fishing rod back and forth into the Bay of Fundy. I asked him what he was fishing and he curtly replied, “Mackerel.”

Photo 2: It seemed like the fisherman was throwing the fishing road toward the sky rather than into the bay. The fishing line and weight that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye, were captured by the high-resolution sensor. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/1000 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 23 mm

A pickup truck stopped at the pier and a man got on board a docked ship. I asked him what he was doing and he said that they were cleaning the boat today and leaving tomorrow morning at 7am to dive in the bay and return at 5pm. He smiled and said, “Uni, uni! (Japanese for sea urchin)” I let him know I would be back in the morning.

Photo 3: This diver specializes in sea urchin. He catches them and sells them to contractors, but he doesn’t save them for himself. The boat maintenance was time-consuming and on the days he doesn’t work, he goes golfing. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F4.0 | Focal Length: 85 mm

Driving south on the main road, I ended up at the east coast of Roosevelt Campobello International Park.

Photo 4: The coast on the southeastern side was a pebbly beach and empty. The off-season tranquility was pleasant. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 8 mm

My original plan was to stay at the charming inn in Lubec, but after visiting the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island, it wasn’t a bad idea to stay on the island too. I went to a small motel in the middle of the island, but the office was empty. As soon as I called the phone number listed on the brochure, the friendly owners who lived nearby came to the motel. When I received the keys, I headed back to North Road Wharf again.

Photo 5: I wanted to see another side of the wharf at night. There was not much difference in scenery from the heavy cloud coverage in the afternoon. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 50 mm

From the wharf, I went to the only restaurant open during this season on the island. I could’ve eaten at the vacant restaurant, but I took my dinner back to the motel.

Photo 6: I ordered some fish and chips. It was dark outside and it was difficult to see the woman’s face. Receiving my dinner from the window, it was substantially heavy. Camera: DP2x | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:100 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/30 sec | Aperture:F3.5 | Focal Length: 24.2 mm

Sunlight escaped through the clouds from my short drive back to the motel. When I returned to the motel, I pointed the lens in the western direction.

Photo 7: The sudden unexpected sunset. The motel had ten rooms and the room numbers started from the gulf. My room number was number 2. Pointing the super-wide angle lens toward the sinking bright sun, the motel and Campobello Island was incorporated. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 8 mm

Photo 8: The same scenery under the gray clouds during the day had turned into sunset soaked afternoon. Using the slow shutter, the sunset sky as well as the sound of the Canadian flag fluttering in the wind was captured. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:100 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/15 sec | Aperture:F16.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm

On this night, I was the only guest at this motel. It was a quiet night and the only sound heard was the wind. The next morning rain fell weakly on the ground. I drove slowly over the wet pavement to the pier where the boat was leaving to catch sea urchin.

When I arrived at the pier, the boat had already left the pier. A woman and two men were glowing in blue white from the illumination in the boat. The three saw me standing at the pier. The boat went farther and farther away from the pier and eventually disappeared into the dark bay.

Photo 9: A cold rainy morning. The boat left for the Bay of Fundy to catch sea urchin. Placing the camera on the side view mirror of my car, I followed the faint boat and I gently pressed the shutter. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed: 0.4 sec | Aperture:F2.8 | Focal Length: 50 mm

From the pier I continued to the lighthouse on the northern tip of the island. I parked the car and didn’t see the van of the couple from Tennessee parked here. Watching the lighthouse glow in a pattern through the thick dark clouds this morning, I look back on the red sunrise I saw the day before. The low tide made it possible to walk over to the lighthouse now, but I was not planning on taking the trip there. It was not because of a fear of not being able to go back, but more of a feeling that it was a place of admiration.

Photo 10: The Head Harbour Lighthouse protected ships from the thick fog, high tide and dangerous rocks at the Bay of Fundy. Campobello Island floating on the Bay of Fundy has one of the world’s largest tide changes and a dramatic landscape can be seen. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/13 sec | Aperture:F4.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm

I returned to the motel to have a light breakfast. As I was unwinding since the weather was unpleasant, the sunlight streamed into the window. I placed the key in the mailbox, then left the motel and headed south while gazing morning in Lubec.

Photo 11: The landscape looked opposite from what I saw yesterday. Hiding in the shadows of the Mulholland Point Lighthouse, the ultra-wide zoom lens captured the morning air. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/200 sec | Aperture:F9.0 | Focal Length: 8 mm

Crossing the bridge from Campobello Island, I was stopped by US immigration. The young man carefully inspected the backseat of my car full of camera equipment. He asked a lot more questions than normal, but I think the reason being is that there was little traffic and he was enjoying conversation with me. Returning to Lubec, I went to the southern part of town that I haven’t seen previously.

Photo 12: The volleyball net was set up parallel to the bridge connecting to Campobello Island. Mulholland Point Lighthouse is clearly visible. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/200 sec | Aperture:F9.0 | Focal Length: 30 mm

Photo 13: The boat was placed here. I wondered if it will float at high tide. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F10.0 | Focal Length: 26 mm

Photo 14: Grass appearing from the low tide, had a strong smell of salt and shimmering in the morning sun. the large aperture medium telephoto macro lens captured each strand of grass. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 105 mm

Photo 15: A woman walking her dog walked toward the southern coast. I walked over too and saw that the low tide had created a vast mystical landscape. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm

Photo 16: A small shed was built by the shore. Across the blue water is Campobello Island. It was a complaint-free sunny day. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/320 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 17 mm

From the center of town, I headed southwest toward North Lubec. The land in the northern part of Lubec, shaped like a peninsula, is covered in trees and is quite vast. Without making the trip to the end, I went back and bid farewell to Lubec.

Photo 17: I can see the southwest area of Campobello Island from a cove on the northern tip of Lubec. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm

The day before, I drove on SR191, a road that I overlooked, and headed southwest from Rubeck to East Machias. Eventually the road took a sharp right turn and a church and lovely pier came into view. The coastal town of Cutler was full of sun and the reflection on the water was bright. The rainy morning at the pier in Campobello Island feels like ancient history.

“Welcome to Cutler!” an elderly woman with her dog walked toward me. Her great posture and clear tone in her voice showed wisdom through her years. When she learned that I was Japanese, she said “As a person living on the coast, I pray from the bottom of my heart for the ones lost in the tsunami and the reconstruction of Japan.”

Photo 18: Standing at the entrance of the church where SR191 makes a perpendicular turn, I look into the direction of Little River. The woman who spoke to me looks small and far away. In monochrome, the quiet and cozy town by the coast was taken. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/640 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 11 mm

Photo 19: With the church in the background, the woman spoke to me. I did not the stop sign was necessary here. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 8 mm

Photo 20: Walking on the same Steamboat Road as the woman and her dog, I headed south and saw Cutler Harbor. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 30 mm

Photo 21: Walking further, I saw the harbor. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 25 mm

Photo 22: Winter was close on the northeast coast of Maine, so I did not expect to still see the fall foliage. In this region, this tree may have been one of the last ones. Camera: DP2x | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 24.2 mm

Since I missed the exit, I was able to enjoy the fall foliage so ultimately, I was happy to take a wrong turn. More than anything, on the eastern coast of the US, I was grateful to meet a person who prayed for Japan’s restoration.


All artwork on this page was processed from RAW data (X3F) with Sigma PhotoPro software. After processing, some selected images were imported into retouching software to remove dust. This photo essay is currently running on Sigma Japan’s site and it is published here two months later.

Facebook comments:

3 comments so far

Add Your Comment
  1. In photo 4 I am seeing distortion in that it looks like the beach stones are ovoid to the lower left and right, oval in the direction of the center of the picture. Is this barrel distortion? This would distract me unless I could correct it.

  2. Russell, ultrawide lenses pull in a much wider field of view than the human field of vision, and objects nearer the lens, and closer to the edge of frame do exhibit certain characteristics typical to this class of lenses; however, this is not necessarily barrel distortion. Barrel distortion in a phenomenon in optical physics where a flat field is reproduced to the capture plan as if it were projected onto either the interior or exterior surface of a sphere and can occur with lenses of any focal length.

    Here is a blog posting explaining rectilinear ultrawide lenses and their unique characteristics in much greater detail: http://blog.sigmaphoto.com/2011/sigma-8-16mm-f4-5-5-6-dc-hsm-hands-on-advice-by-jack-howard/

  3. Your article reminded me of my first visit to Lubec and Campobello in 2002 and to other parts of coastal Maine in other years. I was especially reminded that the solitude of rural Maine often looks more romantic than it actually is. The other sharp memory is that clouds, if not rain, are a constant, which makes the color appear all the more brilliant on sunny days.