Prime lenses are designed for exceptional imaging at a single focal length. Unlike zoom lenses that easily span a given focal range and variable field of view with a twist of the zoom ring, the field of view and focal length remains constant. If you want to take in less of the surroundings with a given prime lens, you’ve got to physically move closer, and to take in more of the scene, you’ve got to back up. But of course, as you move, the angle of view remains the same all the while.
Whether unwrapped as a surprise under the Christmas tree, or purchased with gift cards to take advantage of the great seasonal pricing on all sorts of photo-related gear and gadgetry this time of year, it’s a known fact that many photographers will be finding themselves the proud owners of new lenses, cameras, bags and accessories right around now. And whatever piece of new gear it is, it’s always important to check it out and run it through its paces before heading out to make a once-in-a-lifetime photo, to make sure you, the proud new owner, are both familiar with the gear, and ensure everything is working as it should.
Learning how and when to use different settings and options for image capture is one of the most important parts of becoming a stronger photographer. There’s no setting or camera function that’s going to be perfect for all situations, while is exactly why there are so many options. For example, every DSLR offers a couple variations on Autofocus for either a Single-shot or Continuously tracking autofocus.
Each has it strengths and purposes, and even with that, there’s still times when switching the lens to manual focus is the best way to ensure that your chosen subject and focal point is sharp in the image. In this piece, we’re going to look at three photos of seagulls to briefly explore and explain the reasons why to choose one type of AF or manual focus over the others.
One of our key missions here with the No Fear Photography blog postings is to teach photographers to take more creative control of their cameras in order to make stronger photos because taking the camera off full-auto-everything puts the power of shutter speeds, ISO and F-stops firmly in your hands. There’s many more variables, too, such as white balance, single/continuous Autofocus or manual focus, and so on to be tweaked and tuned. And the more controls you adjust, the more chance there is, that at some point in your photography, you are going to miss a shot due to operator error.
The holiday season is a great time to make photos with gorgeously softened backgrounds and shallow depth of field for painterly, creative, and festive results. Indoors and out, the Christmas trees bedecked with tiny lights, Menorahs, and decidedly secular seasonal displays that brighten the world each December present the perfect opportunity to experiment, explore and create. While we’ll obviously be featuring a number of Sigma lenses in this how-to, much of the information here is universal.
Halloween can be an amazing time to make all sorts of cool photos. Between the Jack O’Lanterns, people of all ages in silly or scary costumes, and haunted houses, there’s something great to shoot pretty much everywhere you turn.It’s also a great time of year to throw so many of the hard and fast guidelines of photography aside and have some fun by breaking some rules, and employing some cool photo tricks to make Halloween photos that’ll turn some heads. In this blog posting, we’re going to have some fun and give you some ideas on how to capture the spirit of the season.
The fourth of July means many things, and for photographers, one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of this holiday is capturing amazing photos of fireworks. The bright lights in the night paint the sky with multi-colored flames in a way that can be spectacular to witness and capture with your camera. And while it may seem that fireworks–and articles about how to capture fireworks with your DSLR–only appear for a few nights in early July, there are actually tons of nights from coast to coast all summer long when the skies are illuminated with fireworks.
Spots where sand, sea, and sky come together offer certain challenges to photographers, but the results can be so amazingly rewarding. Conditions can change quickly as the sun hides behind a cloud, and conditions most certainly change slowly as the tides sink and rise and the sun and moon dance across the sky. The same patch of sea may be mirror calm and reflecting golden light, or it may be a churn of furious waves. Fogs, mists, and wind-whipped sand can make for gorgeous images even as they fool camera meters. There’s a world of possibilities waiting to be captured along these edges, whenever you visit, and with whatever Sigma lens you’ve got in your bag.
The May 2012 issues of Parenting and Popular Photography magazines feature our new advertisement for the Sigma 18-250 F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM all-in-one lens featuring a lovely shot of a mother and daughter sitting together on a footbridge above a waterfall and creek in the woods. This versatile lens is a great addition to the camera kit of family photographers as it is compact, lightweight covers a great focal range, and has Optical Stabilizer for making sharp shots in low light without a tripod. To help you learn more about this nimble lens that’s as comfortable shooting wide angle landscapes and big group portraits at 18mm as well as distant birds and your little superstars in sports action, we’ve put together a cool package of blog postings to how you what this lens is all about. And if you’ve still got any questions or need more information, leave a comment here (or on any of the related stories) and we’ll try to respond as soon as we can.